Most depressing song you know?

Discussion in 'Radio' started by Flicka, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. Captain Lex

    Captain Lex One of the Regulars

    St Paul, MN, USA
  2. RodeoRose

    RodeoRose A-List Customer

    Depressing songs are the best songs!

    From "Cryin" Sam Collins:

    Ida Cox:

    Or almost anything by Townes Van Zandt. "Marie" especially is awfully sad; I thought it was a joke at first, it's so heartbreaking.
  3. AtomicEraTom


    Portage, Wis.
    Heard "Honey" on my way home tonight and immediately thought of this thread.

    Also, this one's on my list of 'Songs to Commit Suicide To.'

  4. St.Ignatz

    St.Ignatz Call Me a Cab

    Left of Philadelphia
    yep that's the one.
    Tom D.
  5. Teddy Bear's Last Ride
    But to be honest, I find this song a bit confusing because Red Sovine who recorded the original Teddy Bear also did a song called Little Joe where a grown up (and miraculously cured) Teddy Bear makes a cameo appearance.

  6. Ed

    Ed Familiar Face

  7. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    London, UK
    I just thought of another one that gets to me. Somewhere that's Green, from Little Shop of Horrors, BUT specifically Sheridan Smith's performance during the London West End Revival of 2007 (I never like Ellen Green). The dream to which Audrey aspires in this number is, candidly, my idea of hell - cookie-cutter house in the suburbs, children, the works - BUT it was all in the performance. Whereas typically this song is read as "this will happen one day", Sheridan played it as an Audrey who was expressing a wish for everything she could ever want in full knowledge that it could never possibly come true. Utterly heartbreaking, and realistic too. Not depressing per se (the stuff that depresses me would be the usual pop fluff about all your dreams coming true if you want them enough), but a sad, sad song.

    It's amazing how many people don't realise what that song is about. A lot of folks just don't listen to lyrics in general, I suppose. I remember one couple I knew seriously wanted "Build me up buttercup" played at their wedding. The mind boggles.

    The combination of sweet pop melody and dripping lyrical venom is something I adore. Nobody does it better than Dylan. Catatonia nailed it too.


    I love Elvis, but I've always been really badly creeped out by this song. Not entirely sure why.

    Interesting, I must do. I hadn't heard of that at all.
  8. AtomicEraTom


    Portage, Wis.
    That's another one of the most depressing songs I've ever heard in my life.

  9. Rundquist

    Rundquist A-List Customer

    Man, I love the Fureys and Davey Aurther. The Irish have the market cornered in sad ballads…do they ever. One of their other hits was “The Green Fields of France”, also about WW1.


    The song was written by Eric Bogle, who also wrote “And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda”. Liam Clancy had the first big hit with it, but I prefer Ronnie Drew of the Dubliner’s version.


    When I think of the Irish/English ballads, I can go on and on. How about a man talking to his dead lover at her grave and wanting to join her? The Unquiet Grave.


    The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem doing “The Butcher Boy”.


    The definitive version of Gloomy Sunday is probably Billie Holiday’s, but I always enjoyed the Smithereens version, mostly because I could have never imagined the song working so well in a rock format.

  10. olworthers

    olworthers A-List Customer

    Here's Liam singing that song:

    I'm not sure 'depressing' is the right word, but I do find this a very moving video....

  11. [video=youtube_share;IZbN_nmxAGk][/video]
  12. AtomicEraTom


    Portage, Wis.
    Oooh, Whiskey Lullaby. That's a killer.

    Being a Country-Western fan, I've got a ton of 'em!

    Nobody sings a sad song like the Possum.

  13. JFriday

    JFriday New in Town

    For this forum Gloomy Sunday is a prime candidate as already stated, along with the Mel Torme vocal arrangement of Harlem Noctourne (one of my all time favourite selections, regardles of the focus). In more modern folk I would suggest Gordon Lightfoot's version of "Bitter Green". On the all time English folk list for gloomy twists The Ash Grove, and for songs spiraling downward from bad to worse perhaps Barbara Allen should be added to the list.
  14. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

    Last edited: May 4, 2012
  15. AtomicEraTom


    Portage, Wis.
    Spun this vinyl today and boy is it a sad song.
  16. David Conwill

    David Conwill Call Me a Cab

    Bennington, VT 05201
    I'll Never Smile Again - Tommy Dorsey Orchestra with Frank Sinatra. It was always sad, but when I found out the story behind the song, I could no longer listen to it without choking up.
  17. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

    Da Bronx, NY, USA
    I tend to make a distinction between sad songs, like Strange Fruit, and songs about heartbreak, like I'll never Smile again, and just plain nauseating songs, like Stand By Your Man, and the king of the nauseators, Honey. But for pure I-Think-I'll-Just-Go-Shoot-Myself-for-No-Good-Reason depressed, it's Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are". Especially when it's wafting semi-audibly from a ceiling speaker in a drearily lit Manhattan drug store on a dark raw winter evening. It's just depresssssing.
  18. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Sit down some night with a stack of Vernon Dalhart records and you'll find plenty of tearjerkers:

    "Please Mr. Conductor
    Don't put me off of this train
    The best friend I have in this world sir
    Is waiting for me in pain
    Expecting to die any moment sir
    And may not live through the day
    I wanna reach home and kiss mother goodbye
    Before God takes her away"
  19. Gene Watson -- Paper Rosie


    The sun goes down in Calvin County
    Neon lights from an old beer sign
    Shone through the window
    Out on the sidewalk as I walked in to pass the time
    I looked around, sat down at a table
    Ordered beef on rye and a glass of wine
    And through the door came a little old lady
    She was selling paper roses and they only cost a dime

    Paper Rosie
    Paper Rosie
    She sold you paper roses
    But they only cost a dime

    Silver hair that's lost its gold
    Trembling hands as she passed a rose
    Red crepe paper made nature's bouquet
    Help a little old lady, buy a rose today
    I took the rose from her trembling hand
    With eyes of age she smiled and walked away
    Like a breath of spring I could smell the rose
    It came alive and her I heard her say

    Buy my Roses
    Pretty Roses
    They're only made of paper
    But they only cost a dime

    I went to look for her outside
    A spray of roses lay by her side
    The sky lit up and a choir sang
    A thousand voices as the church bells rang

    They sang Rosie
    Paper Rosie
    She sold you paper roses
    But they only cost a dime
  20. ThemThereEyes

    ThemThereEyes One of the Regulars

    Strange Fruit was the first song to pop into my mind.

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