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Feeling Nostalgic? The archives > What are the saddest songs you have ever heard?

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments NPR has a list of the saddest music in the world...all classical...

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/st...

What are the saddest songs you've ever heard?


message 2: by Ken (new)

Ken (playjerist) | 721 comments Randy Newman’s, “I Think it’s Going to Rain Today,” is certainly among them.


message 3: by Lori (new)

Lori Oh those are good! Definitely Albinoni.

First off the top of my head, both by Elton's Madmen
Indian Summer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI6k9K...
Goodbye http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkDzab...

The first 2 movements of Keith Jarrett's Koln Concert.

Leonard Cohen's Famous Blue Raincoat, altho the sadness is now in the past it's still so easy to imagine the pain.


message 4: by Phoenix (new)

Phoenix (phoenixapb) | 1619 comments Martina McBride's Concrete Angel...it's a beautiful song, and I.HATE.IT. I try to avoid sad music.


message 6: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11703 comments Jim wrote: "Christmas Shoes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNsvE3..."


That one seems more schmaltzy than sad. I think it tries too hard.


message 7: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24389 comments Mod
I like NPR's list, especially the Shotakovich and the Britten. I didn't find them especially sad, but beautiful.

I'd have to think awhile to come up with the saddest songs I've ever heard, but one that pops to mind is "Eternal Father, Strong to Save," also known as the Navy Hymn. It's often played at funerals, especially state funerals. It's beautiful, stately and somber and it always makes me teary.

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_...


message 8: by Carol (last edited Sep 28, 2010 06:08PM) (new)

Carol | 1679 comments Hallelujah - by just about anyone. I went to get a link to Jeff Buckley and now I'm all teary.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8AWFf...


message 9: by Ken (new)

Ken (playjerist) | 721 comments Carol wrote: "Hallelujah - by just about anyone. I went to get a link to Jeff Buckley and now I'm all teary.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8AWFf..."


The Buckley version is gorgeous, but I don’t really find it sad.

Barber’s Adagio is certainly the gold standard in beautiful misery. Barber might not have made himself so fucking depressed if his drug had been meth rather than alcohol. I assume that’s the reason there are no melancholy speed metal songs.


message 10: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca White (rebecca_white) | 1028 comments Barber: Yeah, it's so elegant in its sadness, that makes it beautiful.
Albinoni: I don't know if I'm the only one who remembers a progressive band from the 70s (the time of most progressive bands, I guess), Renaissance. They Wrote words to Albinoni's Adagio. Not necessarily good words, although if you're a brokenhearted bookish teenager they did the job.

What comes to mind as the saddest song I know is John Cale's "If You Were Still Around." It'll knock your socks off, and the lack of specificity - this is clearly not just a break up but something far worse - makes it all the more powerful.


message 11: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments american pie by Don McLean


message 12: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 3452 comments Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me." Not sappy, but melancholy.


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Scout, that's the exact song I was going to say!


message 14: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 3452 comments Serendipitous!


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments That song makes me sob uncontrollably. I can't stand to listen to it, Scout.


message 16: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 3452 comments Jackie, I like listening to this song because Raitt's voice isn't sweet, and the lyrics aren't self-pitying. She accepts what she can't change, and her strength while longing for something she can't have is what I respond to.


message 17: by Brittomart (new)

Brittomart "How Soon Is Now?" by the Smiths.

There's a club, and you want to go/You could meet somebody who really loves you/So you go and you stand on your own/And you leave on your own/And you go home, and you cry, and you want to die//


message 18: by Stacia (the 2010 club) (last edited Sep 28, 2010 11:45PM) (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) I don't know if it's one of the "saddest," but I remember the first time that I heard "Cat's in the Cradle" and it sort of made me tear up a bit.

PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR KID, DIRTBAG!


message 19: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca White (rebecca_white) | 1028 comments Sam Shephard said the first time Dylan played "Sara" for her, she stood up and walked out of the room. I think she was still there, but clearly the damage had been done. I always thought of that as the song I most wish had been written for me.


message 20: by Dr. Detroit (new)

Dr. Detroit | 6033 comments Johnny Thunders' "You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory"


message 21: by RandomAnthony (last edited Sep 29, 2010 05:33AM) (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments This is a tough one for me. You see, I find "How Soon Is Now" to be reaffirming...if I had to list my 20 songs that impacted me most in my life, that would be on the list. There's a sense of defiance in much of The Smiths' material that played a big part of getting me through high school. Here's the song, by the way, for you Smiths' neophytes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_U5Hpe...

The same goes for some Joy Division. I mean, on the surface, sure, it's mind-blowingly depressing, almost melodramatic...but when I was sixteen, the first time I heard Isolation, I was relieved, really, to know that I wasn't the only one around who felt this way and not only was there this guy in Manchester, England who felt this way, but the band had a slew of fans, too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5fYMj...

Now, Tom Waits has some flat-out sad songs, and "A Little Rain", from Bone Machine, is, to me, the saddest:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcPLrB...

She was 15 years old
And never seen the ocean
She climbed into a van
With a vagabond
And the last thing she said
Was, "I love you mom."

And a little rain
Never hurt no one
And a little rain
Never hurt no one


but even this song has a sense of hope:

The world is round
And so I'll go around
You must risk something that matters
My hands are strong
I'll take any man here
If it's worth the going
It's worth the ride



message 22: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca White (rebecca_white) | 1028 comments I agree with you about The Smiths and suchlike. People coping makes the feeling different. It's the truly beaten down that really make for sad songs.


message 23: by Brittomart (new)

Brittomart Well, I listen to it when I'm sad...and I want be even sadder.


message 24: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments You want to be sadder? Why?


message 25: by Meels (last edited Sep 29, 2010 07:16AM) (new)

Meels (amelia) I abhor country music, personally. But, living in Texas put me in the midst of it more times than I care to remember and this song actually made me cry real tears...more than once.

Tim McGraw - Don't Take The Girl

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-TXBn...

(Edit: Just watched the stupid video and started crying again, at work!)


message 26: by Brittomart (new)

Brittomart I mean, not like I want to ve sadder, it just like I know listening to that song isn't likely to help change my mood.


message 27: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Banjo Dan & the Midnight Ploughboys - Old Blue
and most songs about somebody's doggy best friend dying

Puff the Magic Dragon - the last verse made me weep as a kid



Emmylou Harris - Red Dirt Girl

Patty Griffin - Goodbye
Patty Griffin - Not Alone


message 28: by Dr. Detroit (last edited Sep 29, 2010 09:25AM) (new)

Dr. Detroit | 6033 comments

Maybe this one falls more on the melancholy side of the fence than the sad side, but I've always loved it.


message 29: by Meels (new)

Meels (amelia) RA, this might be the most depressing thread in recent memory. I just want to lay in bed eating chocolate now...


message 30: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments That's a great song.


message 31: by Meels (last edited Sep 29, 2010 09:31AM) (new)

Meels (amelia) (P.S. Clark, I absolutely LOVE The Waterboys. A Man Is In Love is one of the sweetest songs I've ever heard.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoGbbK...


message 32: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Patty Griffin's Goodbye gets me every time.


message 33: by Jaime (new)

Jaime | 158 comments Kevin "El Liso Grande" wrote: "american pie by Don McLean"

just want to add that while i was reading kevins post here this song starting playing on my Pandora station.


message 34: by Dr. Detroit (new)

Dr. Detroit | 6033 comments Amelia wrote: "(P.S. Clark, I absolutely LOVE The Waterboys. A Man Is In Love is one of the sweetest songs I've ever heard.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoGbbK..."


One of life's great imponderables is why the sun shines on U2's collective ass every day instead of the Waterboys'.


message 35: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Clark wrote: "Amelia wrote: "(P.S. Clark, I absolutely LOVE The Waterboys. A Man Is In Love is one of the sweetest songs I've ever heard.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoGbbK..."

One of life's great ..."


U2 changed, the Waterboys didn't. Not knocking the Waterboys - just saying their songs weren't arena sized.


message 36: by Dr. Detroit (new)

Dr. Detroit | 6033 comments Sarah Pi wrote: "Clark wrote: "Amelia wrote: "(P.S. Clark, I absolutely LOVE The Waterboys. A Man Is In Love is one of the sweetest songs I've ever heard.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoGbbK..."

One of lif..."


Sounds like you've pondered it, SP?


message 37: by Meels (new)

Meels (amelia) The Waterboys rock. I know U2 is all "One of the Greats" and all that blah blah blah. I was never that big of a fan. I don't dislike them, I'm just pretty apathetic. Where as, The Waterboys make me quiver. To each his own...


message 38: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (bonfiggi) 'Teen Angel" for mercilessly trying to jerk the tears, and "I Still Miss Someone," and I do.


message 39: by Carol (new)

Carol | 1679 comments Sarah Pi wrote:
Puff the Magic Dragon - the last verse made me weep as a kid


I never want to hear Banjo Dan.

Puff the Magic Dragon! I went to the kids' tent at a festival and the performers had rewritten the last verse. The grownups were there with their kids and met up with Puff! Tears were streaming down my face. I was alone, and people were probably afraid to have their children around me. Good times.


message 40: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Huh - a survey that says "Everybody Hurts" is the song most likely to get men crying.
http://www.pastemagazine.com/partners...
Guys, what do you think? I think there's a difference between a tearjerker and a genuinely sad song and they're all mixed up in that list.

Top Ten:

1/ R.E.M - Everybody Hurts
2/ Eric Clapton - Tears in Heaven
3/ Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah
4/ Sinead O’Connor - Nothing Compares 2 U
5/ U2 - With or Without You
6/ The Verve - The Drugs Don’t Work
7/ Elton John - Candle In The Wind
8/ Bruce Springsteen - Streets of Philadelphia
9/ Todd Duncan - Unchained Melody
10/ Robbie Williams - Angels


message 41: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments I like 3, 4, 5, and 8. The one most likely to make me cry would be 8. I hate 2 so much I want to kick it in the balls.

The songs most likely to make me cry have more personal meaning than over "cry for me" elements, I guess.


message 42: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Yeah, to me those are songs that make the singer tear up, not the listener.


message 43: by Jan (new)

Jan | 241 comments Unchained Melody

I googled the lyrics and got the whole package.
http://www.links2love.com/love_lyrics...
I'm tearing up.


message 44: by Lori (new)

Lori OMG I forgot Unchained Melody!

I don't think of Hallelujah as sad at all. More angry about the person Cohen is talking to is a religious prig who can't see that orgasm can't be a hallelujah moment.


message 45: by Ken (new)

Ken (playjerist) | 721 comments “From a Late Night Train,” or “Because of Toledo,” by Blue Nile are certainly Zoloft worthy.


message 46: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte Creech | 100 comments "Tear in Your Hand" by Tori Amos


message 47: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 3452 comments Britt, I'm with you. I don't want to listen to some happy song when I'm down. I'd rather listen to Dylan's "It's Not Dark Yet."

Shadows are fallin' and I've been here all day
It's too hot to sleep and time is runnin' away
Feel like my soul has turned into steel
I've still got the scars that the sun didn't heal
There's not even room enough to be anywhere
It's not dark yet but it's gettin' there.

Well, my sense of humanity has gone down the drain
Behind every beautiful thing there's been some kind of pain
She wrote me a letter and she wrote it so kind
She put down in writin' what was in her mind
I just don't see why I should even care
It's not dark yet but it's gettin' there.

Well, I've been to London and I been to gay Paris
I've followed the river and I got to the sea
I've been down on the bottom of the world full of lies
I ain't lookin' for nothin' in anyone's eyes
Sometimes my burden is more than I can bear
It's not dark yet but it's gettin' there.

I was born here and I'll die here against my will
I know it looks like I'm movin' but I'm standin' still
Every nerve in my body is so naked and numb
I can't even remember what it was I came here to get away from
Don't even hear the murmur of a prayer
It's not dark yet but it's gettin' there.


message 48: by Lori (new)

Lori Oh me too. I want to bleed my depression! I find it actually cathartic to listen to sad music when I'm sad.


message 49: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Hyatt-James (sandyhyatt-james) Every time I hear anything by Leonard Cohen I want to go outside and shoot myself.


message 50: by Dr. Detroit (new)

Dr. Detroit | 6033 comments Sandy wrote: "Every time I hear anything by Leonard Cohen I want to go outside and shoot myself."


He's never done much for me, either. If I hear "Bird on a Wire," I have to make sure there's nothing sharp next to the bathtub.


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