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I Hate Myself and Want to Die: The 52 Most Depressing Songs You’ve Ever Heard

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  854 ratings  ·  108 reviews
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY - May 26th, 2006 - "Ten Things We Love This Week"
3. 'I HATE MYSELF AND I WANT TO DIE,' by Tom Reynolds
This roundup of 52 of the most maudlin songs ever penned, from Manilow to Metallica, will move you to tears of despair — or shrieks of helpless laughter.

PLAYBOY - "There must be a section of Tom Reynolds's record collection that wards off disc jock
Kindle Edition, 218 pages
Published August 18th 2016 (first published 2005)
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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I love the way Tom Reynolds writes! This book is laugh-aloud hilarious! Even if you don't know some of the songs (I knew about two thirds of them) you still find yourself laughing over his descriptions of them. He's a master of the comic metaphor and simile. My favorite chapter was on Richard Harris' version of "MacArthur Park"-- priceless!! On a more serious note, along the way I also found myself picking up information on how a song is composed, which was interesting. I also loved the illustra ...more
bought for $1 at the art book fair. I'm ten pages in and it's already hilarious & awesome.


Aw, this book is very clever & funny. It takes fifty-two songs and examines them fairly thoroughly, giving their history, who wrote / performed them, lyrical and musical explications, why they're depressing, etc. He's a bit over-enamored with his own sense of humor, though; you can tell that he's writing to make himself sound very witty and smart, which can be a bit grating. He also uses pretty predict
Aug 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"I Mope, Therefore I Am"

Why did I give 5 stars to a book that is clearly not one of the great works of literature? Because it is, considering its genre, something that fully achieves its aim. It made me laugh out loud, kept me entertained from start to finish, and did so without using any "trashy" humour. It made me think "THAT IS SO TRUE" and "I'm glad I'm not the only one who overanalyses song lyrics and then gets worked up about them". Above all, the level of detail in this satire makes it pe
Jan 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although this is a quick read (you can skim through it in less than an hour), it's absolutely HILARIOUIS! This book is exactly what it claims to be: Author Tom Reynolds taking well-aimed and well-deserved shots at some of pop culture's most depressing songs. The only drawback is it should have been longer. I can think of a couple songs by The Cure and Janis Joplin that should have made the final cut... But I highly recommend this book just the same.

But before you rush off to your nearest library
Goth Gone Grey
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, favorites, humor
This is one of those top-shelf books that I return to when I need something silly that doesn't require much thought to absorb. Feeling under the weather? Tired from life? Time to read it again.

The book is filled with descriptive gems like "...this grumpy dirge still finds its way on to FM radio playlists and will reliably crawl out of your car speakers like a balding slug at the exact same spot on the highway where your cell phone cuts out." It echoes (and indeed, replicates) some of Dave Barry
Beth Summerour
A funny compilation of the most depressing songs ever. I heard about this book on a rock radio station. They are all criticized in some way, which is a shame cause I like some of those songs. He seperates the 52 songs into different catagories, such as: I Was A Teenage Car Crash; I Hate Myself and Want to Die; I'm Tring to Be Profound and Touching, But Really Suck At It; If I Sing About Drugs, People Will Take Me Seriously; She Hates Me, I Hate Her; Horrifying Remakes of Already Depressing Songs ...more
Jesus Hills
This book had promise. This book could have been so much more. This book should have been shorter. It started out entertaining but turned into a repetitive slog. The joke structure--akin to your run of them mill Pitchfork music review--was a rinse and repeat mess that alternated metaphors. Reviews of the book claim that it was well-researched and for the most part it was, but based on what I already knew about certain songs and artists there appeared to be some informational cherry-picking. Natu ...more
Aurora Dimitre
I liked this one. It reminds me a little of some of the shitty essays I write about music, and I liked how clearly the author does love music, even some of the songs in this book, and I liked how he discussed the whole thing. And it was funny, man, he brings up some good points. A good time overall.
Jan 25, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The book is really just a music snob complaining about songs and/or artists he doesn't like. ...more
OK, FWIW, the author is witty and funny. But with this title, I am shocked that the following songs were not included, which leads me to the conclusion that the author may just be simply too young to adequately address the topic he's selected for his missive here:

-Dust In The Wind (Kansas)
-Freebird (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
-Angie (The Rolling Stones)
-Slipped Away (Avril Lavigne)
-Slipping Through My Fingers (ABBA)
-My Father's Chair (Rick Springfield)
-Mother Father (Journey)
-Love Hurts (Nazareth)
-Against A
This book was a lot of fun. The songs are grouped into categories such as "Teen car crash songs" "If I sing about drugs people with think I'm deep" "I'm telling a story no one wants to hear" etc. There were some songs in here I'd never heard of but the author's writing style was funny enough that it didn't matter if I knew the song or not.

The author breaks down each song and talks about both the music and the lyrics and how they combine to make a song depressing or not. He talks about how someti
Jun 17, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: list lovers, music lovers
Shelves: trivia
Apparently, I'm a little sensitive when it comes to my love of music.
Reynolds can be a little harsh at times about the insipid nature of some songs. His writing is quite cynical, but I've got to give him kudos for "listening to every one of [The Cure's:] albums, beginning with 1980's Seventeen Seconds." For a non-Cure fan, that is a feat unimaginable.

I did have to laugh about the songs listed in the chapter entitled "I'm Telling a Story That Nobody Wants to Hear"; I hadn't heard any of them.

I d
The author writes about 52 songs that he believes to be the most depressing songs in existence. The book is loosely divided into chapters by subject. Each song gets an introduction, some analysis of the lyrics and music, and then a "what makes it depressing" discussion.

The author writes with sarcasm and humor, and he doesn't always hate the songs under review. However, his definition of "depressing" does seem to vary from dark subject matter like death to simply a song he's tired of hearing so m
Kristin Strong
Jun 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, music-musician
I have often wondered "What the hell is wrong with people?" when I hear the opening notes of a song on the radio or somewhere that is filled with misguided metaphors, key changes you can see coming like an artillery shell from a distant hill that deliver the musical equivalent of death and destruction, and/or whiny/breathy/raspy vocals meant to convey real emotion but that only bring irritation and exasperation.
This book doesn't answer that question, but it made me feel less alone in my loathing
Oct 03, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
if this book was meant to be comic. okay, its just not my kind of humour.

if not mostly I hate this book, and want it to burn.

most useless and un-informed book ever written. I doubt if the author even heard the songs he is talking about.

I picked up the book, because I have always wondered why people listen to depressing songs. but i did not think that looking at the frequency of some words in lyrics, or the title is what classified as depressing.

The author considers himself very wise, categorizi
Alex Cruse
Jan 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-kindle
3.5 stars.
I did not intend to read this entire book today but it was a fun and easy read, just like Reynolds previous book about creepy songs. If you like the early music journalist inspired works by Chuck Klosterman then give this a try.
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult
I have to be honest, I really scanned this book in one night. It wasn't bad. In fact I enjoy Reynold's writing, how he can turn a phrase, the small things he digs up on his subject. I felt though that this book could have been easily edited down to a Cracked article. I like Cracked for the most part. I also like the writing most of the authors who pen their stories use.
I thought the subject would mine up some interesting songwriters, stories and songs. I know most of the songs. The fact is that
Dec 31, 2020 rated it liked it
I have such mixed feelings about this book. Firstly, I love the concept and was excited to finally get my hands on a copy to read. However, I was greatly disappointed to find that 85-90% of the songs discussed are from before I was even born - and I'm not a kid. In fact, the bulk of these tracks are things that my mom listened to before I was even a blip on the radar.

That said, equally disappointing is the fact that the author seems utterly clueless about any of the modern bands mentioned. He co
Lucy Werner
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very funny.
His unique type of Satire is completely on point.
Many laugh out loud moments.
Not recommended for in-public reading; people will see the title and worry about you and also be very concerned as you laugh reading a book with this title!

Matthew Hodge
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Slight with some amusing moments. But my biggest problem is that Reynolds can't seem to make up his mind. He wants to talk about why the songs are depressing *and* make fun of them at the same time.

However, his making fun of them then takes the edge off the depressing part. Sigh ...
Jill Byrd
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book cracked me up. I love the author’s sense of humor. I enjoyed remembering how I love to hate some of these songs.
Burak Isyar
Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An excellent reference book about some of the most stupidly depressive songs (plus some really good ones).. A very entertaining book, despite what it name suggests..
May 08, 2017 rated it liked it
I remembered skimming through this book as a senior in high school, and after ending up falling down a Google hole of depressing songs, I remembered this and bought it, wanting to read it again. As the cover and general irreverent tone of the marketing blurbs would tell you, this book is indeed pretty funny. There are lots of places where I laughed out loud, and the book was a very entertaining, breezy read.

My problem arises from the fact that Tom Reynolds' criteria for "depressing" seems nebulo
Mar 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I Hate Myself and Want to Die is an almost-perfect, wickedly funny book that will please both fans of popular music and dark humor.

I found myself agreeing with the majority of the author's picks for songs that are depressing (and a few that are just depressingly bad.) My favorites from Reynold's list for sheer self-flagellating misery are the song-music video double teams of Metallica's "One" and Johnny Cash's "Hurt."

I don't understand, however, why the author chose to do what he did with the
Daniel A.
Boy howdy, did I find this book in general and Tom Reynolds in particular—so, so much in particular—irritating. Under normal circumstances I would probably enjoy a book like I Hate Myself and Want to Die: The 52 Most Depressing Songs You've Ever Heard—after all, I enjoyed Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs, and much more than I did this one—but then, Dave Barry's humor and style of humor are, by comparison, much more subtle and much less self-enamored than Reynolds'. Reynolds is so thoroughly, compl ...more
Jul 06, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: music lovers who aren't annoyed by lies
Shelves: giggles
This guy basically just talks bout 52 very depressing songs and why they are depressing. Not all for the reasons you would expect. I had only heard about half of the songs, but it was still amusing reading about the others. He is SO funny. I lol'd several times.

(That's not actually my review, but I saw no reason to disagree with it, since what I heard of this book when it was being read out loud was pretty much awesome. Once I started reading it, however, I couldn't help disagreeing with a lot o
Angela Stockton
A very humorous book and not one to take seriously, especially if you like some of the songs, like me.

These are the songs mentioned that I like:
Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division LOVEEEE this song!
Lucky Man by Emerson, Lake & Palmer
The Wreck of the Edumund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot
Last Kiss by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers
The End by The Doors
In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins
Round Here by Counting Crows
My Immortal by Evanescence
The River - Bruce Springsteen
Prayers for Rain by The
Thomas Hale
I've been reading bits of this off and on for ages, but finally finished it this month. It's a list of songs with dark, depressing or morbid themes, and Reynolds spends 4-8 pages on each one discussing the lyrics, instrumentation and context for their release. Obviously not something to be read straight through, more for delving into snippets while listening to the music. As a curator Reynolds has some good picks, including some more obscure work; his editorial voice does grate after a while, th ...more
Lisa Litberg
Aug 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was some good clean fun. The author is well-versed musically (was that a pun?) and the book is humorous. Some of the songs I've never heard of. Some I remembered half way through the description and groaned at the memory. Some I love, but can acknowledge their role in the realm of the depressing. He examines lyrics, music, tonality, vocal qualities, instrumentation, studio mixing, etc. to decide whether the song is truly worthy of "depressing " status (as opposed to "sad". One of his exampl ...more
Jim Hayes
Great book. Many songs on here were absolute tear jerking downers, no doubt. there were several songs, however, that I was disappointed I didn't find on here. These would include:

"Something To Believe In" Poison Always brings a tear to my eye.

"Eleanor Rigby" The Beatles It bummed me out from the first time I heard it and turned the mood of my day sour.

"The Kids Aren't Alright" The Offspring Don't tell me you can't listen to this one and not go crazy.

"Dead Babies" Alice Cooper Makes you wonder ho
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15 likes · 2 comments
“Prayers For Rain' begins like practically every Cure song, with an introduction that's longer than most Bo Diddley singles. Never mind the omnipresent chill, why does Robert Smith write such interminable intros? I can put on 'Prayers For Rain,' then cook an omelette in the time it takes him to start singing. He seems to have a rule that the creepier the song, the longer the wait before it actually starts. I'm not sure if Smith spends the intro time applying eye-liner or manually reducing his serotonin level, but one must endure a lot of doom-filled guitar patterns, cathedral-reverb drums and modal string synth wanderings during the opening of 'Prayers for Rain.” 3 likes
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