Thursday, February 11, 2010

Heart of Darkness

Up until the last couple years of my life Valentine's Day meant jealously watching other couples parade their annoying love in my face while I sulked around in the cheap whiskey aisle at the liquor store. Alas, I have found happiness but you still won't catch me climbing aboard the corporate holiday ship that is Valentine's Day. Because NPR has already stolen my idea for best break-up songs to mark the date, I have decided to come up with the ten absolutely saddest songs I can think of. Pour yourself another drink and chase it down with a healthy dose of heartache.

Aretha Franklin - "Don't Play That Song For Me"
When The Queen is sad, you'll know it. And feel it.

Beach Boys - "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times"
"Sometimes I feel very sad," Brian Wilson sings like a mantra in this ode to depression. It doesn't get any more simple than that. Or heartbreaking.

Billie Holiday - "Am I Blue"
If loneliness had a theme song, this would be it.

Bright Eyes - "A Perfect Sonnet"
It's over dramatic, over-the-top, whiny and full of F-U/feel -sorry-for -me lyrics - everything a sad song should be.

Bill Withers - "Ain't No Sunshine"
Stark and soulful. Sadness has never sounded sexier.

The Cure - "One Hundred Years"
When you get to that nihilistic point where nothing matters anymore and never will again, this is your song.

Johnny Cash - "Hurt"
Cash took this thrashy-industrial song by Nine Inch Nails and turned it into an epic summary of a broken man at the end of his life laying out his 'Empire of Dirt' for all to see.

Neutral Milk Hotel - "Oh Comely"
Invoking The Holocaust, trailer parks and lovers being chewed to death by horrible creatures in a snowy forest is all in a day's work for singer/songwriter Jeff Mangum. It's not all sad though - the lovers at the end of the song rejoice at the fact that once they are eaten by the animal they will be as one in his stomach. Yay!

Otis Redding - "These Arms of Mine"
Even if this song was about flowers and puppy dogs, that voice would still make you cry.

Patsy Cline - "Crazy"
We've all been there - wanting that person who is no good for you. But I bet you never wrote a song this good about it.


  1. no Jeff Buckley? DEms big tears songs.

  2. You're right. How did I forget Hallelujah?!