Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sad Songs are All the Rage

I have a penchant for sad songs.  I can't really explain why, I would just rather listen to someone singing about heartbreak than celebrating the fact that it's Friday.

As a special treat for you Ragers, I have compiled a list of my top 10 sad songs (in no particular order).

1 - Don't Give Up, Peter Gabriel featuring Kate Bush

I was first exposed to "Don't Give Up" through the Sinead O'Connor version in the 90s.  I was up late at night, playing Zelda on Nintendo and listening to CFNY (102.1).  They were taking requests and a guy called in who sounded profoundly - profoundly - depressed.  Though this version isn't the one he requested, it's my favorite. (fun fact: This was also the night that I heard Zombie by the Cranberries for the first time).

2 - No Children, The Mountain Goats

This song is not only in my sad songs top 10 but also tops my list of breakup songs (coming at a later date).  Back when people still burned CDs for other people, this was always the final track on any mix I created for the lovelorn and recently jilted.

3 - Independence Day, Ani DiFranco

I have loved this song since the very first time I heard it.  Another breakup mix favorite, this song functions on a completely different level.  Like most of Ani's songs, the lyrics are pure poetry, and incredibly evocative.

4 - Last Day of our Acquaintance, Sinead O'Connor

Over the years, I have rediscovered this song many times, and every time I have a slightly different perspective on the unravelling and dissolution of a relationship.  The song progresses from whisper quiet and slowly builds, which i've always felt was a representation of the build up to signing the final divorce papers.  The line I find most heartbreaking is "You used to hold my hand when the plane took off" - I'm not even sure why.

5 - Dogs and Thunder, Weeping Tile

Sung by the incomparable Sarah Harmer, this song is about losing a beloved pet. Enough said.

6 - Rooftop, Melissa McClelland

You may have heard this song in episodes of Grey's Anatomy or Degrassi TNG, but please don't hold that against Melissa McClelland.  This song has such a specific time and place.  I can picture the rooftop, the neighborhood, the weather and (in my case) the Chicago skyline in the distance.

7 - Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd

This song has been covered, remixed and sampled in dozens and dozens of different versions.  This simple acoustic version, By David Gilmour, is my absolute favorite.  His voice as he ages does more justice to songs like this.

8 - Soothe, Smashing Pumpkins

My all time favorite Smashing Pumpkins song, (off of my favorite album, Pisces Iscariot).  Just Billy, a guitar, and the rumble of Chicago city buses rolling by. Perfection. (Soothe comprises the first 3 minutes of the video, it was the best version I could find)

9 - Rule Nor Reason, Billy Bragg

This song is haunting.  In particular the line "We're both going to have to accept  that this might be as good as it gets." He also manages to name check the Queen and Shirley Bassey. Well played, Mr Bragg. Well played.

10 - I can't make you love me, Bonnie Raitt

I know the cheese factor is high with this song, but I love it.  I remember having a teenaged epiphany, late at night, as I listened to the lyrics.  I won't go into detail, because it's ultimately silly, like most teenaged drama.  Suffice it to say that the song has a special place in my heart.

What are your favorite sad songs???

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