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Author Topic: Saddest songs  (Read 4382 times)
onkster
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« on: June 01, 2012, 09:06:25 AM »

I'm adding this topic here, since it kinda got started in "New Album Info".

I nominate:
Sam Stone - John Prine
When She Loved Me - Jessie the Cowgirl
King's Crossing - Elliott Smith (this goes beyond sadness and into horror for me--I always felt like it was Elliott saying, ha ha, you think you love me, but I'm killing myself and there's nothing you can do about it)

Oh yeah, and Honey - Bobby Goldsboro. (Just kidding. "Hugged my neck" as a rhyme for "what the heck"? Good God.)
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pixletwin
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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2012, 09:16:50 AM »

Happy, The End by Innocence Mission is the saddest song ever written.  police
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meltedwhiskeyinmyhand
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« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2012, 11:02:45 AM »

This is the saddest g*ddamn song I've ever heard. I was taking my son for a walk last week and it came on The Loft on Sirius and I was bawling walking down the street. We lost my dad to cancer when I was 19 and he was 53 so it hits home. I'm a huge Big Al fan as you can see from my avatar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t18SwNOVRYg
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phirnis
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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2012, 03:01:21 PM »

Townes Van Zandt comes to mind. Tower Song perhaps?
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Ron
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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2012, 03:43:51 PM »

Here's one many of you may not have heard... and may not get the significance of.  Charlie and Ira Louvin were the Louvin brothers, Ira had this incredibly CRAZY harmony sound.  Anyways they made a bunch of really, really, really rich backwoods gospel/bluegrass music in the 50's, Ira (married several times, notorious wife beater, shot by one wife, etc.) died in a car crash back in the 60's.  Charlie went on without his brother for nearly 50 years, but it was never the same, their harmony was as unmistakeable as the Everly Brothers.  If you're not a fan of theirs you may not appreciate this song, though. 

Anyways, Charlie made a final album a few years ago, and wrote and sang a song called "Ira" that's one of the biggest tear-jerkers I've ever heard.  he passed away about a year later.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIT0Xe1qaoI

"One day soon I'll sing with you and the Angels; Hallelujia; Ira"
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the captain
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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2012, 05:11:02 PM »

Here's one many of you may not have heard... and may not get the significance of.  Charlie and Ira Louvin were the Louvin brothers, Ira had this incredibly CRAZY harmony sound.  Anyways they made a bunch of really, really, really rich backwoods gospel/bluegrass music in the 50's, Ira (married several times, notorious wife beater, shot by one wife, etc.) died in a car crash back in the 60's.  Charlie went on without his brother for nearly 50 years, but it was never the same, their harmony was as unmistakeable as the Everly Brothers.  If you're not a fan of theirs you may not appreciate this song, though. 

Anyways, Charlie made a final album a few years ago, and wrote and sang a song called "Ira" that's one of the biggest tear-jerkers I've ever heard.  he passed away about a year later.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIT0Xe1qaoI

"One day soon I'll sing with you and the Angels; Hallelujia; Ira"

Great choice, Ron. The Louvin Bros were amazing.

There was an Elliott Smith choice earlier. I've got another of those. This one, Whatever (Folk Song in C) is sad, not in a "s/he broke my heart" kind of way, but in an "i know how this is going to end" kind of way... It's a really simple song, but my favorite of his by far. It wasn't on a proper album, but on the posthumous collection New Moon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drVDhpDe44g
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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2012, 06:42:41 PM »

Two weeks since you've gone - Scott Walker
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Jay
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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2012, 10:21:41 PM »

As dumb as this sounds, I would say one of the sadder songs I've heard is Seasons In The Sun. I mean, it's a guy saying goodbye to everybody before commiting suicide.  Here Today by Paul McCcartney is another one. I would have to say that one of the saddest songs I've ever heard is Keep Me In Your Heart For Awhile by Warren Zevon. He recorded the song as he was dying of cancer. The first verse is "Shadows have fallen, and I'm running out of breath. If I leave here it doesn't mean that I love you any less". That's like being punched in the gut, and kicked in the back of the head at the same time.
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JohnMill
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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2012, 10:50:45 PM »

I like sad music so if given time I could probably think of a lot.  "Magnolia" by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers was probably the first song I broke down and cried to.   "The Warmth of The Sun" by The Beach Boys likewise very emotional.  That being said a song doesn't need to necessarily be about something tragic to be emotional.  

"Don't Worry Baby" is a very emotional song for example.  So I think there is a great amount of variety as to what one perceives as being a "sad song" versus what someone else might think.  Brian Wilson has written a ton of sad songs but he's also written a bunch of songs that are very emotional on different levels  "Happy Days" off "Imagination" is a little bit of both.  It really makes you think what he's been through both on what has to be termed a really depressing level and then "Nature oh nature is slow to heal" is just pure emotion.  I mean who hasn't felt that?

Likewise Carl's "I Wish For You" really isn't a sad song in a tragic sense unless you have a grasp of how little time Carl probably had left on this earth when he wrote it.  Then it becomes very sad and very emotional.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2012, 10:53:13 PM by JohnMill » Logged

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You're The Only State With The Sacred Honor
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Ron
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« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2012, 11:24:07 PM »

True that about Carl's song. 

If you take anybody's last big song, it sounds sad.  I present Roger Miller = River In the Rain.  He wrote this for the "Big River" musical on Broadway, earned a Tony award for it, then left us all a couple years later. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nZNwR2maas

Similarly: Roy Orbison's "Mystery Girl", he had already passed away by the time the video came out.  Makes me tear up everytime I hear or see it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYmIkiaR9oc

Or how about this one:  Luther Vandross's "Dance With My Father"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgLHVi40Gc8



I think a critical component to that, for me, though, is they have to still be in fine form for me to REALLY get choked up by them.  Roy sounded as great as he ever did, so beautiful, such a loss.  Same thing with Roger Miller, still on top, writing as great as he ever did and singing with the same soul he always had.  Luther sounding as great as he ever did, so beautiful, so sad. 
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Ron
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« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2012, 11:29:40 PM »

Whew.  I had forgotten about that line in there "I pray for her even more than me.... I pray for her even more than me....."  So beautiful. 

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JohnMill
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« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2012, 11:34:19 PM »

Whew.  I had forgotten about that line in there "I pray for her even more than me.... I pray for her even more than me....."  So beautiful.  



Well Vandross' song is taken to another level because he was writing about his deceased father and then he himself passed not too long after.  I tend to put grieving songs on a different level than just plain "sad songs" if that makes any sense.  The reason being is if you ever lost someone whom you loved very deeply (as I have) they are always going to reduce you to tears very easily.  That has been my experience anyhow which is why for the most part I try to avoid grieving songs.  That being said Vandross' song is epically beautiful although I personally can't bear to listen to it all that much for the reasons I just explained.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2012, 11:35:28 PM by JohnMill » Logged

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Ron
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« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2012, 11:50:41 PM »

I agree with you, it's actually hard to listen to. 
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onkster
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« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2012, 09:51:06 AM »

End of the World, yes! Even more so once you know the context.

More:
Someday My Prince Will Come - Sinead O'Connor - her version turns it from hope to a broken, futile wish

That whole AM/PM Mourning suite from Chicago II, with Terry singing.

Tears in Heaven - Eric Clapton. Yeah I know, people bitch about this one a lot. God forbid someone gets tender and expresses real grief publicly. But I remember the first time I heard it, on the car radio, and I had to stop and listen to the whole thing. I thought then--and still think now--that it is a stunning, gentle work. It probably shouldn't have been released as a single--that first time I heard it, I was in a trance from it, especially the very powerful line "I know I don't belong here in heaven", indicating he wants to be with his boy, but he knows he has to go on living. The trance I was in was interrupted by the horrible LA DJ at the end, segueing out with one of those horrible, f***ed-up synth-noise radio bumps, and shouting "HEY, THAT WAS THE LATEST HIT FROM ERIC CLAPTON!" The mood was completely destroyed, and I was cruelly brought back down to earth from that holy little place I had just been. I later felt a string of my own family tragedies, one in particular involving a young nephew who didn't make it, and the sentiments of this song rang even more true then. This is the kind of stuff that belongs in a safer place, not the slam-bang arena of modern radio.
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Aum Bop Diddit
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« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2012, 10:55:30 AM »

From two of the greatest with many sad songs between them:

Lou...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ztE6-HahQM

And Gary...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qM_2ogAxEms

 Cry  Sad  Thud
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« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2012, 11:05:16 AM »

Please could you stay awhile to share my grief....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXkondOj7pg
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« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2012, 11:10:52 AM »

Fantasia on a Theme - Ralph Vaughn Williams: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS8Sd8amxcU
Beethoven's 7th: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBfKXHoSvDM
Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands - Bob Dylan
A Day In The Life Of A Tree - The Beach Boys
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shelter
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« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2012, 02:54:36 AM »

Tim Hardin - How Can We Hang On to a Dream
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJd9TPZEVf0
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« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2012, 10:17:47 AM »

Country music has a lot of sad ong and especially Kris Kristofferson has a knack for writing some of 'em

"Loving her was easier":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOpNd629wcc


"For the good times":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fH8odkqsU6Y

"Please don't tell me how the story ends":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLeDe5yRi8s


And besides his dad, Hank Williams Jr. also wrote some sad ones.

"I don't have anymore love songs":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICLIKyc90kA


And of course you have to menton at least his dad's "I'm so lonesome I could cry":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMz5xzdNE7U



And imo the Beach Boys' "Let the wind blow" is a very sad one too. And I love it !

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« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2012, 02:05:35 PM »

The entirety of Sinatra's In The Wheel Small Hours, Only The Lonely, Where Are You? and No One Cares albums.

'Caroline, No'

'Guess I'm Doing Fine' by Beck

'Bell Bottom Blues' - Derek & The Dominoes

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« Reply #20 on: September 16, 2012, 12:15:27 AM »

For the moment I offer you this little bit or dreary contemplation: "I Can See Myself Alone Forever" by The Field Mice, from the remastered reissue of their first album, 1989's Snowball.
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Ron
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« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2012, 12:22:26 AM »

On a similar note, not many know (I don't think!) that the guy who wrote "I wish it would rain" for the Temptations committed suicide one week after the single was released... he had written it about his wife and him breaking up after he found out she was cheating on him.  


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xM7BRP7uzFk

Some of the realest sh*t EVER WRITTEN
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Myk Luhv
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« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2012, 01:21:19 AM »

I don't know if people realise just how much "Goodnight Irene" is a sad song. There's no better version than Lead Belly's -- the one from Alan Lomax Collection: Popular Songbook 1933-59, which doesn't seem to be on YouTube -- either, and this (floating verse or his own?) lyrical addition seems often neglected in covers as far as I can tell:

Quote
I love Irene, God knows I do
Love her 'til the sea runs dry
If Irene turns her back on me, gonna take morphine and die

Irene goodnight, Irene goodnight
Goodnight Irene, goodnight Irene
I'll get you in my dreams...
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Sheriff John Stone
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« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2012, 08:35:06 AM »

Musically, the saddest (or one of the saddest coz I don't remember all the songs that I heard) song to me is Skeeter Davis - The End of The World.

That one always gets me, too. I'll add:

"Sad Song" - Lou Reed
"Shannon" - Henry Gross
"Thoughts Of You" and "Moonshine" - Dennis Wilson
"Baby Blue" - Badfinger
"Forget To Remember" - Frank Sinatra
"Who Are You Now" - Justin Hayward & John Lodge
"Photograph" - Ringo Starr
"Stardust" - Nat "King" Cole
"Cold Irons Bound" - Bob Dylan

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« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2012, 10:24:54 AM »

Sinatra's album Watertown, in its way more bleak than Only The Lonely.

Pink Floyd's "Jugband Blues" - especially when listened to watching the Youtube clip of the band performing it. The look on Syd's face as he sings the last lines is something that always stays with me.

Scott Walker's "My Way Home" may be the saddest of all his sad songs and, as John Mendelsohn would put it, brother, that's saying one heaping mouthful.

Bobby Goldsboro's "Broomstick Cowboy" is kind of angry and sad at once.

Charlie Rich once remarked, "I don't like happy music because I don't think it really says anything." Dunno if that's true for me.
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