Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Take A Sad Song And Make It Better

Listening to a good sad song can be cleansing, cathartic experience.

I got to thinking the other day about sad songs and started wondering which ones are the saddest ever.

It all depends on your individual experience, of course, which will influence how you react to any given song, but here’s my partial list:

I Can’t Make You Love Me, by Bonnie Raitt is right up there, maybe #1.  It just aches.

Sticking with Bonnie, Matters Of The Heart, should also be on the short list.

Romeo And Juliet, by Dire Straits is either a close second, or maybe even #1.  Whenever I see Knopfler perform it live, my reaction is "I hope I’m never unhappy enough to be able to write a song like that."

You’re Missing, by Springsteen gets me every time.  So does Father and Son by Cat Stevens.  Not sure why, but so does Hysteria by Def Leppard.

Two Blues classics, Love in Vain and St. James Infirmary, deserve consideration.  Anyone’s version.

After that, I’m not sure.  Yesterday?  Yes It Is?  For No One?  No.  The Beatles could do melancholy, but they were masters of juxtaposition, and so even their sad songs feel upbeat.  Springsteen’s pretty good at that too.

Maybe John Mayer’s Gravity.  Nah.  Too pretty.

Fast Car?  No.  That’s depressing, not sad.
Lots of emotional songs, lots of downer songs, but not many sad ones come to mind.  Hmmm  ...  maybe we could use more.  The catharsis might be good for us, and then maybe we wouldn't need so many pissed off songs.

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