These Are the Sad Songs

Via LRC, a link to a list (with audio) of “the 25 most exquisitely sad songs in the whole world.” I think I could come up with a better list, and I certainly know a few other folks who could. But this one will do: it can’t be all bad if it includes “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” “Lost Cause” (a particular favorite of mine), and “I Know It’s Over.” You can’t go too far wrong with Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash, either, though “In the Real World” and “Hurt” might not be the best picks.

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7 thoughts on “These Are the Sad Songs

  1. Jesse Walker May 7, 2007 / 5:36 pm

    Triangle Slim had a long-running contest on WXYC back in the ’80s to determine the saddest song ever recorded. I think John Prine’s “Sam Stone” won. (“There’s a hole in daddy’s arm where all the money goes/And Jesus Christ died for nothin’, I suppose…”)

    Meanwhile, one of my favorite movies of the last few years is Guy Maddin’s The Saddest Music in the World, a very funny satire. Highly recommended.

    • ron everhart October 15, 2017 / 6:25 pm

      For some reason I thought “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda” won that contest, but as I think of it, I’m thinking it was the runner-up to “Sam Stone.”

      Anyway, I’m happy to know there’s someone else out there who remembers those times.

  2. Bob Cheeks May 7, 2007 / 6:58 pm

    Hey, how about Theora Kilogore’s immortal, This is My Prayer? Classic stuff, circa 1961

  3. Brian May 8, 2007 / 5:27 am

    I don’t know if it can be described as equisite but the saddest song I’ve ever heard is Hank Williams Sr.’s “First Fall of Snow”. The primative lo-fi recording certainly helps.

  4. Tim May 9, 2007 / 9:18 am

    “There is a general place in your brain, I think, reserved for ‘melancholy of relationships past’. It grows and prospers as life progresses, forcing you finally, against your better judgment, to listen to country music”.- Kary Mullis, Nobel Prize Winner for Chemistry

  5. Madge Hope February 18, 2010 / 1:53 pm

    ‘I know it’s Over’ is indeed one of the saddest songs ever. Probably the saddest song I have heard is ‘Casimir Pulaski Day’ by Sufjan Stevens.

    Also found this relatively unknown artist called Barnaby Griffin who specialise in sad songs.

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