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Saddest pop / rock / prog / folk song?

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
"Jugband Blues", by the Pink Floyd, no doubt.

The album:
A Saucerful of Secrets, 1968

The story:

Syd Barrett was practically sure he was going to get fired from the group. He was also a drug addict, and furthermore, a schizo. He would later suffer from diabetes, too. This song reflects his state of affairs at the time.

He had become a pain in the... behind for the rest of the group, missing concerts, stopping right in the middle of songs, etc. So he was about to be fired. David Gilmour joined the band, and it was pretty obvious he was the replacement for Barrett.

El-cheapo analysis of the song:

The song deals with the concept of absence in a strangely poetical way. Never does Barrett utter a single self-compassion line, or never does he make clear the fact that he is sad, alone, depressed, and mad. He veils everything so well, the song doesn't even sound sad at all.

And that's the beauty of the song. While many modern sad songs proclaim loudly how sad and miserable the main character is, "Jugband Blues" is a rather rational, personal reflection on the sad state of affairs of the man.

It's a rather different song, than, say, "Wish you were here", even though the main concept is identical. WYWH is a centered, egotistical, song (just like Every Breath you Take, for example).

There is a very haunting part of the song, too. The first section is a rather straightforward blues song, while the middle part consists of a Salvation Army band improvising. Afterwards, the song comes apart (melodically speaking) with strange, haunting songs and chords.

The lyrics:

It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here
And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear
That I'm not here.

And I never knew we could be so thick
And I never knew we could be so blue
And I'm grateful that you threw away my old shoes
And brought me here instead dressed in red

And I'm wondering who could be writing this song.

I don't care if the sun don't shine
And I don't care if nothing is mine
And I don't care if I'm nervous with you
I'll do my loving in the winter.

And the sea isn't green
And I love the queen
And what exactly is a dream
And what exactly is a joke.


What do you think?
post #2 of 45
Sad though that may be (and I don't think it is - I think that particular song is about resigned indifference), sadder still is Aaron Carter's Crush On You, dealing as it does with secret longing, that longing exposed, and the humiliation that comes with that exposure. Sadder still was the follow up Crazy Little Party Girl, in which the soon-to-be-rapper was still engaged in secret longing. However, he did seem to be a lot happier about it second time around.
post #3 of 45
I think this belongs in the "Music" forum
post #4 of 45
it is now

I love sad, depressing music. Don't know why for sure, but I guess I just like to be moved by the music that I listen to. I'm trying to find some classical music that fits this, I know that Opus 131 : String Quartet No. 14 in C sharp minor by Beethoven fits this, so I ordered a CD with it on it. If you saw the great HBO series "Band of Brothers", that's what they were playing.

There are tons of sad songs, but the gods of depressing music are hands down My Dying Bride.

Just asked Darkangel, that band was almost too much for him to bare, and he's a goth!
post #5 of 45
the saddest song I know is The Great Escape by Marillion. it's the last song on the concept album, and ends the story (not counting Made Again here as it's not really part of the story). it's a long piece, around 14 minutes IIRC. all very quiet, and H's vocals are so emotional, just breathtaking. it's about a girl walking on a bridge...

here's the lyrics, tho you really need the vocals that go with it:

The Great Escape
Lyrics: Hogarth/Helmer
Music: Hogarth/Kelly/Mosley/Rothery/Trewavas

'Heading for the great escape
Heading for the rave
Heading for the permanent holiday
Heading for the winter trip
Heading for the slide
Heading for the dignified walk away

Heading for the open road
Goodbye to all that
Heading for the automatic overload

Standing in the open boat
Standing in the swing
Waiting for the ringing and the bright light

Waiting to be recognised
Quiet applause will do
They shower you with flowers when they bury you

You're holding on, you're holding on ...

I. The Last of You

Just when I thought I'd seen the last of you
You come here scratchin' at my door
Your pain and anger's in the howling dark
Of every corridor I walk

So tell me more about the love that you rejected
Tell me more about the trust you disrespected
I still don't know, why did you hurt the very one
Why did you hurt the very one
That you should have protected?

II. Falling from the Moon

Don't ask me why I'm doing this
You wouldn't understand
You're asking the wrong questions
You couldn't understand

A bridge is not a high place
The fifty-second floor
Icarus would know
A mountain isn't far to fall

When you've fallen
When you've fallen from the moon

There's murder on the street
I'm ashes on the water now, somewhere far away
I have fallen, fallen from the moon'

she jumps off the bridge and the story ends with the sound of rushing water.
post #6 of 45
I am going to post some MDB lyrics for you all.

Thsi is the title track to their album The Light at the End of the World, so get a cup of coffee and read the lyrics to this epic song:

An isle, a bright shining isle
stands forever, alone in the sea
Of rock and of sand and grass
and shale, the isle bereft of trees.

- Small. A speck in the wide blue
sea. 'Tis the last of all the land.
A dweller upon our lonesome
isle, the last, lonely man? -

By the Gods he is there to
never leave, to remain all his
life. His punishment for
evermore, to attend the eternal light.

The lighthouse, tall and brilliant
white, which stands at the end
of the world. Protecting ships
and sailors too, from rock they
could be hurled

Yet nothing comes and nothing
goes 'sept the bright blue sea.
Which stretches near and far
away, 't is all our man can see.

Though, one day, up high on
rock, a bird did perch and cry.
An albatross, he shot a glance,
and wondered deeply, why?

Could it be a watcher sent?
A curse sent from the Gods,
who sits and cries and stares at him,
the life that they have robbed.

Each year it comes to watch
over him, the creature from above.
Not a curse but a reminder of
the woman that he loved.

- Oh weary night, under stars,
he'd lay and gaze.
Up towards the moon and stars.
The suns dying haze.

Time and again, Orion's light
filled our man with joy.
Within the belt, he'd see his love,
remembering her voice -

The twinkle from the stars above
bled peace into his heart
As long as she looks down on him
he knows they'll never part

One day good, one day bad
The madness, the heat, the sun,
Out to sea, he spies upon land.
His beloved Albion.

Cliffs of white and trees of green
Children run and play,
'My home land' he cries and weeps,
why so far away?

Eyes sore and red. Filled with tears,
he runs towards the sea.
To risk his life, a worthy cause,
for home he would be.

Into the sea, deep and blue,
the waters wash him clean.
Awake. He screams. Cold with sweat.
And Albion a dream.

- Such is life upon the isle,
of torment and woe.
One day good. One day bad.
And some days, even hope.

The light at the end of the world
burns bright for mile and mile
Yet tends the man, its golden glow,
in misery all the while?

For fifty years he stands and waits,
atop the light, alone.
Looking down upon his isle
the Gods have made his home -

The watcher at the end of the world
through misery does defile.
Remembers back to that single night
and allows a tiny smile.

(His sacrifice was not so great,
he insists upon the world.
Again he would crime,
Again he would pay,
for one moment with the girl)

Her hair, long and black it shone,
The dark, beauty of her eyes,
Olive skin and warm embrace,
her memory never dies.

'Twas years ago, he remembers clear
the life they once did live.
Endless love and lust for life,
they promised each would give.

Alas, such love and laughter too,
was short as panting breath
For one dark night, her soul was kissed
by the shade of death.

(Agony, like none before,
was suffered by our man.)
who tends the light now burning bright
on the very last of land.

(Anger raged and misery too
like nothing ever before.)
He cursed the Gods and man and life,
and at his heart he tore.

- A deity felt sympathy
and threw our man a light
'Your woman you may see again,
for a single night. -

But think hard and well young man,
there is a price to pay:
to tend the light at the end of the world
is where you must stay.

Away from man and liufe and love.
Alone you will be.
On a tiny isle. A bright shining isle
in the middle of the sea.'

- 'I'll tend the light, for one more night
with the woman whom I love',
screamed the man, with tearful eyes,
to the deity above.

And so it was that very night
his lover did return.
To his arms and to their bed,
together they did turn.
In deepest love and lust and passion
entwined they did fall.
Lost within each other's arms
they danced (in lover's ball). -

- Long was the night filled with love.
For them the world was done.
Awoke he did to brightest light,
his woman and life had gone.

To his feet he leapt. To the sea he looked.
To the lighthouse on the stone.
The price is paid and from now on
he lives forever alone.

Fifty years have passed since then
and not a soul has he seen.
but his woman lives with him still
in every single dream.

'Tis sad to hear how young love has died
to know that, alone, someone has cried.
but memories are ours to keep.
To live them again, in our sleep.-
post #7 of 45
You guys need to hear a band that goes by the name of Soul Whirling Somewhere, album by the name of Hope Was.

Here is my synopsis of this album, which I will not bother to retype. My opinion of it has not fundamentally changed:


Also, the song, "A Single White Rose" by Human Drama. Lyrics don't do much when read out of context, but when I hear the song, I almost cry.

There are others. I could probably do a whole comp...

Anything by Black Heart Procession.

If you look up "Sadcore" as a style on AMG, you will find a whole genre of the stuff.
post #8 of 45
KR, that My Dying Bride lyric was indeed 'epic'.

... but for those who like more straight-up stuff, check out Grief's 'Come To Grief' (from the album of the same name).

Encounter many problems in life
Dealing with a constant strife
Confidence nowhere to be found
Ability run into the ground

My future looks extremely bleak
An immediate exit I seek
Ready to take my chances with fate
Carve my name in a block of slate

Razor blades are everywhere
They'll help me through my despair
Horizontal slashes - the wrist
Bleed, purge, my final bliss

My equilibrium is way off balance
I should be placed under surveillance
As I add to these holes in the walls
Life's got me by the balls

Watch me as I come to grief
Writhing in my final release
Agony like you've never known
From this clump of dust I'm thrown

Deceived me
I'll screw you all in the end...
post #9 of 45
it is now
That's cuz I moved it
post #10 of 45
Jan Arden's insensitive...

post #11 of 45
Waiting for the Night by Depeche Mode

Waiting for the Night
I'm waiting for the night to fall
I know that it will save us all
When everything's dark
Keeps us from the stark reality

Been waiting for the night to fall
I knew that it would save us all
Now everything's dark
Keeps us from the stark reality

Been waiting for the night to fall
Now everything is bearable
And here in the still
All that you feel
Is tranquillity.
post #12 of 45

Tonio K's H-A-T-R-E-D off "Life in the Foodchain"

You know what Frank Zappa said about broken hearts . . .
post #13 of 45
I would have to say Richard Burton singing MacArthur Park (you know..."Someone left the cake out in the rain...") is pretty friggin sad.
post #14 of 45
I'll go with Tom Rapp's "I Shall Not Care"

When I am dead
and over me bright April
shakes out her rain-drenched hair,
if you should lean
above me broken-hearted
I shall not care.

I shall have peace
as leafy trees are peaceful
when rain bends down the bough,
and I shall be
more silent and cold-hearted
than you are now.
post #15 of 45

Natalie Merchant "The Living"

What's it like there outside
With the living, with the living
Here I've found a place I can hide
From the living, from the living
Because I don't care to stay with the living

Oh, the bottle has been to me
My closest friend, my worst enemy
For a flavor I walked a fine life
Squandered it all and wasted my time
And I don't stand a chance among the living

For the lovers I've gambled and lost
Count my mistakes whatever the cost
I'll go off, I'll make myself scarce
Oh, come tomorrow
You won't find me here

Because I don't care to stay with the living
I don't think I'll remain with the living

And I don't care to stay with the living
No, I don't care to stay
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