Recently I published a review of Rihanna’s new CD; “Loud” (check it out here). In listening to the album, I came across a track that reminded me of a piece I had done a little over a year ago (Top Ten Songs that Make You Want to Jump Off a Bridge). The song is an acoustic piano version of the singer’s recent smash with Eminem, “Love the Way You Lie,” and it is one killer of a sad song. Listening to the tune made me want to revisit the earlier piece and add some more songs that are deserving of that title.
The following is the introduction to the original piece, followed by some new choices to fit the category of the saddest songs ever. As I always say, music is a very subjective thing and everyone’s got their own opinions as to what they think is sad or happy or whatnot. The songs included on both the original list and this one all make me sad whenever I hear them. Take a read…
Songs are like mental keepsakes that accompany us during the ups and downs of our lives. One of the best things about music is that it can be experienced time and time again, inducing good times anew and providing familiar comfort in times of sadness. Sometimes when you’re feeling down, a nice, slow song can help to ease a troubled mind, especially when the song depicts a situation worse than yours.
Throughout pop music history, there have been many songs recorded that speak to some of the more somber aspects of life: lost loves, longing, self-realization and hardship have all been themes of many a classic pop tune. Here’s a list of songs that are so sad they sometimes make you want to jump off a bridge when you have a listen. As they say, misery loves company and when you’re feeling a little down in the dumps, take a listen to some of these:
Love the Way You Lie (Piano version) – Rihanna
This acoustic version of the smash hit has heartrending lyrics and an equally depressing piano accompaniment. Listen to it here.
Seasons in the Sun – Terry Jacks
I remember this one from when I was a youngster in 1974. Even then I remember feeling such sadness over the tale of a dying man saying goodbye whilst recalling the brighter days of his life. Take a listen to this killer of a sad song here.
All by Myself – Eric Carmen
The title of this one alone tells you it’s a sad, sad song. Check it out here.
Jumper – Third Eye Blind
“I wish you would step off from that ledge my friend…”
This 1999 hit from alternative rock band Third Eye Blind is all about dealing with demons that exist in life. Though it’s done in mid tempo, the tune still manages to elicit melancholy whenever it’s heard. Check it out here.
Back to Black – Amy Winehouse
This classic from Winehouse’s stellar sophomore effort is a gripping tale of love lost. Watch the video for “Back to Black” here.
Angel – Sarah McLaughlin
Once upon a time I worked as a disc jockey in a bar and during that time one of the regular patrons would always request this depressing song. Of course, I’d never play it during the height of the evening, but I did play it for him on occasion. Though I think that it is a beautiful ballad, it is also one of the most depressing songs ever. Take a listen to it, if you can, right here. Just make sure you’re nowhere near a bridge when you do!
Losing My Way – Justin Timberlake
This lesser known tune from Justin Timberlake’s 2006 smash album “FutureSexLoveSound” is a heartrending tale of drug addiction and how it destroys the lives of even the most regular of people. The slow moving musical track, coupled with background “da du dup’s” and choral finish make this one as sad sounding as the lyrics. Check it out, complete with the words here.
Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton
I don’t know how I missed this one on the first go around. The 1992 song, about Clapton’s 4-year old son Connor, who died from a 53-story fall, is one of the saddest songs ever recorded. Take a look at Clapton performing “Tears in Heaven” here.
Everybody Hurts – REM
This classic from the band’s 1992 set “Automatic for the People” is almost as sad as it gets. Watch the original video for “Everybody Hurts” here.
Promise to Try – Madonna
This song, from Madonna’s 1989 CD “Like a Prayer”, is about the singer’s mother, who died when she was just a little girl of 5. The song is featured in the 1991 documentary “Truth or Dare” and shows a vulnerable side of the singer that many aren’t aware of. Check out the scene from “Truth or Dare” here.
Well, there you go: ten more songs that are sure to fuel those sad times in life. I want to thank fellow writers Sherri Thornhill, Theresa Leschmann and Jolie Du Pre for giving me suggestions for this piece. If you have any other favorite sad songs you’d like to share, please leave a comment.
To check out some more top ten music lists from this writer, click here.