Thursday, June 27, 2013

Top 5 Songs: Depressing Songs


So.....another post with a list. Hey I like lists, so you should all be lucky this is still the House of Fun, and not the House of Lists;)

Today for the sick hell of it, I compiled a list of the top 5 depressing songs I knew off the top of my head.
Like Elton John famously sang, "Sad songs really do say so much".
So if you some of you guys are bi-polar, manic depressive, or easily depressed, you have my full permission to skip reading this one. Hey, I just don't want to be held responsible for any suicide attempts directly following reading this one.

Although to be honest, if you're not tempted to suck on the end of a shotgun barrel after reading this list, you might not have a pulse or you already did the deed before finishing the list;)

Like I said, these songs are right off the top of my head; I didn't Google a list of depressing songs because that would be cheating.

So without further ado.......

5). "Diary" by Bread

Now at first you wouldn't think this was a depressing song. It certainly doesn't start out that way, or even seem to be the intent of the song. But if you really listen to the lyrics and story that unfolds, it's clear the singer and listener are not heading towards smiles-ville.
How so you may ask? Here's the story in a nut-shell:
The singer finds his wife's diary, and reads it. That was the biggest mistake he could'v e made as he discovers who her dream man is, and it's not him. So at first he's like "That's cool, I'll just try and be the dream guy she wants. Apparently that doesn't work out for him, and at the end of the song he's letting her go  with the guy she was supposed to be with in the first place. And yet he's happy for her because he just wants her to be happy. Noble, but stupid. And depressing.

Like I said, good song, just.....damn.

4). "She's Gone" Black Sabbath

Well at least this one's supposed to be a sad song, and it is. Poor Ozzy pours his heart here, talking about the girl who left him, and just how much it broke him. We can all relate in one way or another to Ozzy's plight right?
Despite the tone of the song, it's still fucking awesome. The strings that were brought in really help accentuate and drive home the heartache and longing.
This was Black Sabbath at it's experimental best during this time period, as they were desperately trying to shake things up, choosing to step outside their comfort zone and the doom and gloom heavy metal box they kinda put themselves in. But don't feel bad for Ozzy, since he eventually found his soul-mate in his wife Sharon. So a happy ending came out of this after all.

3). "Abraham, Martin, and John" Dion

Arguably one of the first socially conscious songs of the Civil Rights songs written during that era(emphasis on arguably because there's also Bob Dylan and Sam Cooke to consider) Dion wrote this not too long after the assassinations of both Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and Bobby Kennedy. I don't know about you guys, but it definitely puts things in perspective, especially when we're reminded of the sheer number of social and civil activists that are dead and gone before their time and before they got a change to see the fruits of their labors.

Here's  the lyrics:
"Has anybody here seen my old friend Abraham?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
He freed a lot of people, 
But it seems the good they die young.
You know, I just looked around and he's gone.

Anybody here seen my old friend John?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
He freed a lot of people, 
But it seems the good they die young.
I just looked around and he's gone.

Anybody here seen my old friend Martin?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
He freed a lot of people, 
But it seems the good they die young. 
I just looked 'round and he's gone.

Didn't you love the things that they stood for?
Didn't they try to find some good for you and me?
And we'll be free
Some day soon, and it's a-gonna be one day ...

Anybody here seen my old friend Bobby?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
I thought I saw him walkin' up over the hill, 
With Abraham, Martin and John."

Sad indeed.

2). "Although The Sun Is Shining" Fleetwood Mac

Oh god will Danny Kerwin make you feel sad and depressed quick. And not just because you can  literally hear and feel the sadness in his voice, but also from the lyrics alone.  Just in case you guys were wondering, there was a Fleetwood Mac before Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, and Christine McVie joined the group in the late 70's. It's sad, but oh so beautifully haunting. I could've easily done the top 5 with just his songs from this period, but I decided to pick this particular one instead.

1). "Alone Again Naturally" by Gilbert Sullivan

Ol' Mr. Sullivan wins the award for most depressing song by far with this one. Hell, it even made it into the Guinness Book Of World Records for most depressing song ever. And really, all you have to do is listen for even half of it, and you'll see why. Apparently Gilbert's had a rough few years, as he sings about his dad dying, than his mom dying soon after from a broken heart because the father died, oh his girlfriend dumped him and ran off with another guy....I think. So yeah, Gilbert Sullivan's basically the quintessential hard luck Charlie.
Here, just read a small sample of the lyrics to the song.

Poor bastard.

Seriously, I defy you to listen to the whole thing and not start looking hard at that revolver in the corner.

Honorable mentions include the following:

-Late For the Sky by Jackson Browne:
Here's a sample of one of the saddest lines of the song right here:
"Looking hard into your eyes 
The was nobody I'd ever known 
Such an empty surprise to feel so alone"

Damn that's rough shit right there, and that's only in the beginning.

-Imagine by John Lennon:
Yes it's supposed to be a positive and hopeful song, and it is. It's just for a huge Beatles fan like me, it's very bittersweet because when you hear the song, you're instantly reminded of his untimely and sudden death. So unfair really. I also feel the exact same way when listening to "Across the Universe." I'll readily admit to tearing up anytime either song is played on the radio because I know we'll never see John again or ever see a full-on last time reunion of The Beatles. I guess we'll all have to wait for that reunion concert in the sky:(

Like I previously mentioned, you can listen to a good amount of Danny Kerwin songs from the 1969 Fleetwood mac album, "Then Play On" and you'll see what I mean.
Again, damn good stuff, just sad.

Now I know there are other songs out there just as bad, if not worse than those I listed. Like I said, these are right off the top of head.

No I didn't include any Country or Blues songs, because basically those two genres are based off sad songs. Seriously, just pick any blues or country song at random and you'll see what I mean.

I also didn't include any Motown/R&B, although I know for damn sure there are a good number songs that belong in this category.

As always, feel free to tell me your picks for really depressing songs in the comments section.
So, are you grabbing for the Paxil or Prozac yet?;)

Have a good weekend folks;)


Randomnerd said...

All brilliant choices, Mr. Morbid. Can't argue with a single one. Especially Abraham, Martin, and John. All the rest are so personal, and not that that one isn't, but it brings something that is within the entire world into yourself and pours it out into a tissue. I always cry during that song.
I always found 'Schism" by Tool to be an extremely sad song. The horrible knowing that once the puzzle pieces fit, but they got scattered and you can't get them back together. Don't know that it's the saddest song ever, but it ranks up there with mine.

Randomnerd said...

Of course if you want to go with sad songs that don't sound sad melodically, I'd vote for "Train in Vain"

Dale Bagwell said...

Schism huh? Really? To each his own I guess, as I never got sad after listening to Tool. But get what you mean though.

Train in vain huh?
Youtube, do your thing;)

Randomnerd said...

The Clash, man. The whole relationship in that song depresses me. But it's a break up song, so there you go. And then there's every Emilie Autumn Song, EVER. Guaranteed to make you emo.

Dale Bagwell said...

Oh that train in vain. I got ya. Good song, but maybe I haven't listened close enough to the lyrics since it didn't seem that depressing to me. Hmmm.

Dan W said...

Nice list there Mr Dale! I'm glad you find Imagine sad too - I don't get why so many see it as a peaceful song. It's more depressing than being stuck in a lift playing The Carpenters.

As for my additions, I think My Immortal by Evanescence is the saddest yet most spine tinglingly beautiful song ever created. Her voice is just crazy for a rock chick.

Add to that The Drugs Don't Work by The Verve and that's my favourite Downers dusted.

Dale Bagwell said...

Dan: Dude, that whole Verve Pipe album is a downer, but still sounds great.Too bad they were one-hit wonders, probably also due to them illegally sampling the Rolling Stones.

But damn what an album.

And yeah, My Immortal, hell even most of that album is a downer, but also sounds beautiful.

Randomnerd said...

@Dan, you are exactly right about her voice.
When that album came out I listened to that song on repeat about a thousand times, without even touching the rest of the songs. Not that I didn't like them, but that one just gets stuck in your chest.

Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

i know it's not on you list here Dale but i gotta go with Cats in The Cradle. this song made my dad hella sad years back when we were separated cause i was living in europe with my mother at time. i was around 5 and 6.

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