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  1. #1
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Week 3: 25 Saddest Songs Ever

    Well, this new list isn't getting as much attention as I had hoped. I know this place has been kind of dead, but when something is fairly interesting, a large number usually chime in at some point. I guess this isn't that great a topic, but I'm going to see it though as promised. A day late this week...just forgot about it momentarily. Drum roll please.....

    No Surprises - Radiohead (1997)

    The Breakdown: A killer even by Thom Yorke's bleak standards, the kiddie chimes can't hide the singer's suicidal depression.

    The Waterworks: "I'll take a quiet life/A handshake, some carbon monoxide."

    Casualty Count: One heart that's "full up like a landfill."

    Not a bad choice. What say you?

    Swish
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  2. #2
    very clever with maracas Davey's Avatar
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    bring down the government ... they don't, they don't speak for us

    Not sure it's even the saddest song on OK Computer, but still pretty powerful in its new life, as embraced by the Bush-Whackers amongst us

  3. #3
    Indifferentist Slosh's Avatar
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    Great song. I haven't listened to this album in a while so . . .

    NP:
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Originally Posted by Troy: She has that same kind of cleft-pallet, slightly retarded way of singing that so many other people find endearing.


  4. #4
    Rep points are my LIFE!! Groundbeef's Avatar
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    Behind the Wall- Tracy Chapman

    By far, one of the saddest songs I have heard. Its about her listening to her neighbor beat the crap out of his wife every night. She calls the police, but they decline to intervene (must be before "must arrest" was the rule).
    This happens several times until they have to take his wife out in a body bag. Very haunting, and simple.

    Just plain sad.
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  5. #5
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    I never jumped on the Radiohead bandwagon and so while I am aware of some material, I'm hardly conversant. I will say everything that I've heard has been sullen and lugubrious.

    I'm surprised to find something so overwhelmingly popular being championed by the anti-populist, anti-popular, antidisesablishmentarianists here at AR. Maybe I'll have to take a looksie...

  6. #6
    Indifferentist Slosh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobsticks
    I'm surprised to find something so overwhelmingly popular being championed by the anti-populist, anti-popular, antidisesablishmentarianists here at AR. Maybe I'll have to take a looksie...
    I'm just anti-suck. Popular or obscure has nothing to do with it

    NP:
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Originally Posted by Troy: She has that same kind of cleft-pallet, slightly retarded way of singing that so many other people find endearing.


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    joy division...

    gloom at it's finest...

  8. #8
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Not a huge fan, I own most of their albums though.

    This song's a bit sad I guess, typical, cookie cutter 1990's alternative-music scene theme. Not sure what's so great about this that it makes a list unless you're a big Radiohead fan? Even then.

    All I can say is they can't find 24 songs sadder than this? I could think of 24 sadder songs by Matthew Sweet. I'm a consensus builder normally, but this is just a weak choice, IMHO after a solid first 2 weeks. Oh well...get me outta here...

  9. #9
    Suspended 3-LockBox's Avatar
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    The saddness of a song is going to be very very subjective. Let's face it, what's sad to some might be grating to others.

    Sad happens. It usually sneaks up on you. If someone says, "this song is so sad" and then you listen to it and say to yourself, "meh". Not something you can assess like you can other asspects of a song. Rarely is 'sad' my motivation for listening to music anyway. If I'm bored as hell, and I have to listen to music, I might listen to a style of music I'd otherwise eschew, like rap or country. But mostly, I'm looking for a good time. I like prog cuz it gives that etherial feeling I like in music. I some artists albums better than others, I like some artist's sad songs, but that's not how I'd measure an artist's writing ability. But a lot of Springsteen's music is just too depressing. I don't seek music to be depressed. I play The Wild The Innocent all the time, but rarely play Born To Run. Country music is full of sadness...blech. I don't mind depressing themes presented with a sense of humor or irony. But a whole album's worth? Better be killer musically then (which country rarely is). Don't need a whole lotta angry music either.

    Like I said, sad happens. Its fine if it happens, sometimes even cathartic, but I won't seek it out. Its plentiful enough around here these days as it is. I rarely need help putting myself in a sad state of mind.

    It is a good list, but I've been so busy with school...so sorry. It is a dead board.

  10. #10
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3-LockBox
    The saddness of a song is going to be very very subjective. Let's face it, what's sad to some might be grating to others.

    Sad happens. It usually sneaks up on you. If someone says, "this song is so sad" and then you listen to it and say to yourself, "meh". Not something you can assess like you can other asspects of a song. Rarely is 'sad' my motivation for listening to music anyway. If I'm bored as hell, and I have to listen to music, I might listen to a style of music I'd otherwise eschew, like rap or country. But mostly, I'm looking for a good time. I like prog cuz it gives that etherial feeling I like in music. I some artists albums better than others, I like some artist's sad songs, but that's not how I'd measure an artist's writing ability. But a lot of Springsteen's music is just too depressing. I don't seek music to be depressed. I play The Wild The Innocent all the time, but rarely play Born To Run. Country music is full of sadness...blech. I don't mind depressing themes presented with a sense of humor or irony. But a whole album's worth? Better be killer musically then (which country rarely is). Don't need a whole lotta angry music either.

    Like I said, sad happens. Its fine if it happens, sometimes even cathartic, but I won't seek it out. Its plentiful enough around here these days as it is. I rarely need help putting myself in a sad state of mind.

    It is a good list, but I've been so busy with school...so sorry. It is a dead board.
    Well, this is true.

    I usually listen to music with the goal of hearing whatever artistic expression the artist is trying to convey, a form of sensory diversion, or even for motivation or inspiration.
    Sometimes though that's completely eclipsed by the emotional recall a song can generate of a specific memory or event - the cliche "break-up song" that triggers the memory of an old relationship for example, I'm sure everyone has one - or at least a song that has a similar effect. No matter how hard I try can't get past it.

    Most songs don't pull "sadness" out of me - a few do. I try to judge sadness by the intent or message of the song - whether explicit in lyrics or implicit in melody - but like anything artistic that's completely subjective too.

  11. #11
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    It's subjective, alright. I can't even understand the lyrics to one of my top "sad" songs, but it definitely has this uncanny knack for casting a spell of melancholy over me which probably has something to do with the time in my life when I discovered the song. This list is probably comprised of all pop/rock and maybe some country songs, but there are some classical pieces, whether with lyrics (operatic) or without, that are beautifully depressing. Delibes' Flower Duet from Lakme is one of those achingly beautiful songs. I've never bothered to find a translation for the lyrics and probably won't. The "arrangement" with which I am most familiar is from the soundtrack to the movie "The Hunger". I've heard another version featuring Maria Callas which is just as haunting and I hope to find the version sung by Joan Sutherland.

    Maybe some of our classical aficionados can supplement this list with their choices.

  12. #12
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Yeah, except popular usually equals suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slosh
    I'm just anti-suck. Popular or obscure has nothing to do with it

    NP:
    Usually.

    Swish
    Last edited by Swish; 11-15-2007 at 02:54 PM. Reason: typo
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  13. #13
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    Johnny Cash's "Hurt"

  14. #14
    Dubgazer -Jar-'s Avatar
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    Well, it's definately one of my favorite Radiohead songs. Thom certainly knows how to create a mood. That's about all I have to say about it. I like "Let Down" better though.

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Jar-
    Well, it's definately one of my favorite Radiohead songs. Thom certainly knows how to create a mood. That's about all I have to say about it. I like "Let Down" better though.

    -Mason
    That pretty much sums it up for me, too. And "Fake Plastic Trees," too.

    Because, you know...gravity always wins.
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  16. #16
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    A 'sad' song in my book usually relates to a past moment in my life, perhaps nostalgia would be the better word for me. It's hard to tell.
    One would be 'roads' by Portishead from the album Dummy. I think it's a powerful song. Great, in fact.
    Another would be... heck there are so many. It's hard to recall them all.
    Perhaps 'the universal' by Blur.

  17. #17
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    I think there are plenty of "sad" songs out there, but to me, a lot of it is dependent on what kind of mood you are in. Sometimes when I am depressed or sad there are certain songs that can push me to the extreme levels of sadness.

    For example, pretty much the whole Jackson Browne album "The Pretender" is "sad". He wrote some wicked strong lyrics on that album. I best not play that sucker when I am down.

    Also Michael Sadler's solo album "clear" has some heavy duty sadness to it.

    "Madrigal" and "Onward" off of Tormato (Yes) are kinda sad.

    Dave

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