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April 26, 2007

Unhappy Songs

No, your style has not congealed. Hank Williams continues to be the best songwriter America has ever produced. Take heed to Jerry Lee Lewis’ current model of “Misplaced Freeway.” And that is only a minor Hank track.

A few of his songs are virtually too good to be true.

And as I ponder the place you’re
I am so lonesome I might cry

That’s completely impressed.

I will nominate one among my favourite songs: “Spherical Midnight” by Thelonius Monk. This track is an amazing problem for a musician, as a result of its chord adjustments are the form of gymnastics solely Monk can throw at you. And the melody is classy.

It begins to inform,
‘spherical midnight, midnight.
I do fairly effectively, until after sunset,
Suppertime I am feelin’ unhappy;
However it actually will get unhealthy,
‘spherical midnight.

Reminiscences at all times begin ‘spherical midnight
Have not received the center to face these recollections,
When my coronary heart continues to be with you,
And ol’ midnight is aware of it, too.
When a quarrel we had wants mending,
Does it imply that our love is ending.
Darlin’ I want you, currently I discover
You are out of my coronary heart,
And I am out of my thoughts.

Let our hearts take wings’
‘spherical midnight, midnight
Let the angels sing,
in your returning.
Until our love is secure and sound.
And outdated midnight comes round.
Feelin’ unhappy,
actually will get unhealthy
Spherical, Spherical, Spherical Midnight

Unhappy songs are the perfect songs. I do not know why. Considered one of my favorites continues to be “Tennessee Waltz,” the Patti Web page model. For sheer thoughts boggling despair, nevertheless, nothing beats “Is That All There Is?” by Peggy Lee.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on April 26, 2007 5:35 PM

That is an important checklist. As for me, I am normally too drunk to recollect afterwards. However it’s virtually at all times nation and western. Nothing like a superb c&w unhappy track to fall off the bar stool to.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on April 26, 2007 5:44 PM

‘Sam Stone’ by John Prine. However then, I’m one ageing, maudlin dude.

Posted by: Don McArthur on April 26, 2007 5:46 PM

Oh, Friedrich.

There may be a lot good songwriting in the present day, and so some ways to search out it and listen to it. My guess is that the lots’ pure tastes haven’t declined a lot as ceased to be gently guided by the extra educated. However that is too advanced a query for in the present day. Anyway, listed below are some current downer songs that I actually like:

Aimee Mann, “Save Me”:

“In the event you might, save me,
from the ranks
of the freaks
who suspect
they might by no means love anybody.”

This was the track on the finish of the film “Magnolia”.

Gillian Welch, “Solely One And Solely”. Fairly straighforward misplaced love track, the type that might have been written by outdated Hank. Welch has a variety of these, alongside extra modern singer-songwriter sorts of stuff.

Dar Williams, “February”. Traces a failing relationship with the metaphor of winter.

Over the Rhine, “Suitcase”. One other old-style track, with deceptively easy lyrics. This lady has a tremendous distinctive voice, too.

Posted by: J. Goard on April 26, 2007 6:01 PM

Sondheim’s Ship In The Clowns

Posted by: ricpic on April 26, 2007 6:02 PM

Garland’s rendition of The Man That Acquired Away — and I am not homosexual!

Posted by: ricpic on April 26, 2007 6:06 PM

Quick Automobile I assume.

Posted by: adrian on April 26, 2007 6:19 PM

What’s it y’all wanna hear?


Posted by: Ronnie on April 26, 2007 6:21 PM

I am an enormous outdated time nation music fan, so I naturally love unhappy music.

Any followers of Ray Charles’ “Trendy Sounds in Nation and Western Music”? A sensational cowl of “You might be My Sunshine” — Michael P ought to positively examine that out. He in some way mixes the unhappiness of a variety of nice nation songs with this hovering exuberance, and on the identical time they continue to be unhappy. “I Cannot Cease Loving You” is wonderful. That album raises sorrow to an ecstatic pitch.

A couple of different nice unhappy songs:

“What Turns into of the Damaged Hearted”
“Am I Too Blue For You” (Lucinda Williams)
Lucinda additionally did the extremely bittersweet, “Look What You Misplaced When You Left This World”
“Solely the Lonely” (Roy Orbison)
so many good ones from Roy…

Too many from Billie Vacation to even rely…exhausting to select her saddest, is not it?

“Good Evening Irene” is among the nice unhappy songs for those who take heed to the lyrics and get the that means.

Posted by: MQ on April 26, 2007 6:38 PM

Frank Sinatra’s “Temper Indigo”.

As for good unhappy songs nowadays…I do not know.

Posted by: Luke on April 26, 2007 6:59 PM

Ah, sure, now I bear in mind. The Avett Brothers. Try “Smoke in Our Lights”, “Fairly Lady from Annapolis (dwell)”, “My Shedding Guess”, “Well-known Flower from Manhattan”, and “Distraction #74”.

Posted by: Luke on April 26, 2007 7:04 PM

Richard Thompson pops instantly to thoughts:

Oh, I Swear and 1952 Black Vincent Lightning.

Posted by: raymond pert on April 26, 2007 10:04 PM

Your drawback, Friedrich, could also be as a consequence of the truth that in the present day’s saddest songs are normally delightfully poppy.

(Hipsters outline unhappiness as “graduating from nursery college”.)

Beck nonetheless does them straight, although, and his Sea Change document was good and unhappy starting to finish.

Most people and indie tunes are unhappy or saddish, and at all times have been.

Posted by: Brian on April 26, 2007 10:55 PM

“It is a Imply Previous World” (Sam Cooke)
“Stardust” (Nat)
“Good Morning Heartache” (Billie)
“I Want It Would Rain” (Temps)
“Saint James Infirmary” (Louis)

Posted by: Flutist on April 26, 2007 11:04 PM

I would not quibble with any of the above. Simply to throw one other couple in:

Gordon Lightfoot’s “If You COuld Learn My Thoughts”, as coated by Johnny Money.
Elvis Costello’s “A Good Yr For The Roses” (too weepy to satisfy the standards, I assume?)

For Brian’s statement that “in the present day’s saddest songs are normally delightfully poppy” I nominate Kirsty McColl’s fantastic cowl of Billy Bragg’s lament for the passing of yoth, “A New England” (assuming 25 years in the past nonetheless = “in the present day”?)

Posted by: Alan Little on April 27, 2007 1:53 AM

The author of “I want it will rain” dedicated suicide like every week or two after he wrote it. It was about his spouse dishonest on him.

I did not learn the unique publish very effectively; it requested for unsentimental unhappy songs, which I agree are the best form. (Additionally, the publish talked about “Goodnight Irene” already, which I did not see). You virtually want to return to pre-1960s music for that profoundly unsentimental unhappiness; I really like that high quality in older nation music.

It was additionally a pointy factor to say that the present power in pop music is motivated by repressed anxiousness. It is as if deep unhappiness is just too threatening to specific. We’re alleged to be shiny, completely satisfied, and profitable nowadays.

Posted by: MQ on April 27, 2007 3:54 AM

I’ve cried repeatedly to Ricki Lee Jones’ model of Tom Waits (OK, schmaltzy) Rainbow Sleeves. Argued with an outdated lover about whether or not she saves him or whether or not he loses his grip on these sleeves.

And I’ve cried repeatedly to Eva Cassidy’s model of Over the Rainbow, I suppose as a result of her loss of life in actual life provides a jolt to the listening.

Word that I didn’t cry to those whereas within the workplace. I’m an expert!

Posted by: Fenster Moop on April 27, 2007 4:24 AM

Willie Nelson, “The Final Factor I Wanted”
John Prine, “Sam Stone”
John Prine, “Hiya in There”

And a bunch of different stuff by Willie Nelson and John Prine.

Posted by: Waterfall on April 27, 2007 7:13 AM

Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger wrote Thanks for the Reminiscences (thislinked model is Sinatra’s tackle the track), which completely different singers co-opted into their very own variations. My desire is a dwell recording in Copenhagen of Sarah Vaughn that is obtainable, sadly, solely on vinyl. The Sassy One goes throught the gamut of emotions and actions from unhappiness and remorse to salaciousness, sarcasm and spite, ending up with amusing. No tears are shed. Simply an interesting 7 minute grand tour of life’s sorrows and joys.

Posted by: DarkoV on April 27, 2007 8:37 AM

“Johnson’s Love” by Dwight Yoakam
“Coming Up Shut” by Aimee Mann (again when she was with Til Tuesday)
“Wet Season” by Aztec Digicam
“The Driver” by Terry Reid
“You and I” by Jason Mraz
“I am So Completely satisfied I Cannot Cease Crying” by Sting
“Many of the Time” by Bob Dylan
“Breathe” by Michelle Department
“The Means It Is” by Bruce Hornsby
“Nothing within the World to Do with Me” by Charlie Wealthy
“No person Is aware of Me” by Lyle Lovett
“Stroll On” by U2

And, after all, all of “Blood on the Tracks” by Bob Dylan, maybe essentially the most lucid doc of ache ever laid down. There are few issues {that a} six pack and a spin of this disc cannot repair.

Posted by: yahmdallah on April 27, 2007 10:24 AM

“One Extra for the Highway”

Gotta agree about “The Man that Acquired Away” (“the evening grows colder, and all of the sudden you are older…”)

“Goodby to Love” (the Carpenters, I do know, however it’s a stated song—“I will say goodbye to like, nobody ever cared if I ought to dwell or die…”)

Dolly Parton’s “I Will All the time Love You”

Genesis’ “You Know I Love You” (“You understand I really like you, however I am enjoying for retains…”) and Phil Collins’ “I Cannot Cease Loving You”

And “Bridge Over Troubled Water”

God—now I need to go discover one thing to snigger at!

Posted by: annette on April 27, 2007 10:49 AM

Agree concerning the Willie songs. Apart from these, “Previous Shep” (esp. sung by Elvis) and “Daddy’s Little Lady” (at weddings) will get to me each time.

Posted by: susan on April 27, 2007 10:53 AM

“This Previous Porch” sung by Lyle Lovett.
For some cause, the dwell model of Bob Seger’s “Primary Avenue.”

Posted by: beloml on April 27, 2007 11:01 AM

Actually unsentimental, although extra miserable than unhappy: something from Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”.

Posted by: PA on April 27, 2007 11:17 AM

Bobbie Cryner, sadly virtually forgotten now as a performer (although she nonetheless writes songs for different singers), did some peerlessly unhappy songs on her album of a decade in the past “Lady of Your Goals,” together with the title monitor, which at all times breaks me up. Her singing is fantastically easy and unsentimental, and her songs are at all times about advanced, grownup conditions and feelings.

Posted by: Steve on April 27, 2007 11:21 AM

yahmdallah: And, after all, all of “Blood on the Tracks” by Bob Dylan, maybe essentially the most lucid doc of ache ever laid down. There are few issues {that a} six pack and a spin of this disc cannot repair.

Bob’s current tune Nettie Moore is a masterpiece of unhappiness. Sheetmusic for the track he primarily based it on is right here.

Posted by: Brian on April 27, 2007 11:40 AM

(Hipsters outline unhappiness as “graduating from nursery college”.)

Good one. I used to be reminded of the everlasting maudlin adolescent a few yr in the past, after I bought Dying Cab For Cutie’s “Plans” and heard this:

“Love of mine, sometime you’ll die,
however I will be proper behind,
and observe you into the darkish.”

An excessive amount of like an SNL parody.

However distinction this with Sufjan Stevens’ “Casimir Pulaski Day” (does he rely as “hipster” music? — Illinois was actually acclaimed by younger music snobs). That one actually packs a punch.

Posted by: J. Goard on April 27, 2007 2:55 PM

Lengthy Black Veil Johnny Money

Posted by: Matt on April 27, 2007 4:38 PM

From the primary wave of Boomers:

For No One (Lennon & McCartney)
How Can You Mend a Damaged Coronary heart (Al Inexperienced)
I Had A King, River, Each Sides Now (Joni Mitchell)
As soon as I Was (Tim Buckley)
Lonely Ladies (Laura Nyro)

Cult determine Robin Holcomb’s “After I Cease Crying”

The Daughter Unit talked about Amiee Mann’s “Humpty Dumpty”
she could not bear in mind track title4s, however stated her Soooo Unhappy ipod combine consists of Tori Amos & Sarah McLachlin

So many unhappy songs, so little time.

Posted by: Chris White on April 27, 2007 4:53 PM

“Pancho and Lefty”.

Townes van Zandt’s personal model, and the model by Emmylou Harris.

“Broke” and “Nugatory” by Lisa Marr.

“Light Love” by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.

Posted by: Lexington Inexperienced on April 27, 2007 5:09 PM

Weekend in New England (Barry Manilow)
Crowd of Drifters (The Magnetic Fields)

No weepers, huh? I assume that guidelines out the songs my dad used to sing to us women, simply to make us cry: “The Image Turned Towards the Wall” and particularly “The Baggage Coach Forward.”

Posted by: Romy on April 27, 2007 5:24 PM

PA: huge + from me.

Posted by: Tatyana on April 29, 2007 10:00 AM

Blue Moon with Heartache by Roseanne Money

and the Frank Sinatra basic One for my Child.

seven yr ache by Roseanne is nice too, however possibly not fairly a tragic track.

Posted by: Pat on April 29, 2007 8:06 PM

It is best to actually have one class for Hank songs and one other for all the pieces else. Others simply cannot compete.

Within the non-Hank class, I’d nominate Dylan’s “I threw is all away.” Ramblin’ Jack Elliot’s interpretation is very, and fantastically, unhappy. (I am sorry, however different interpreters of Dylan do not minimize in in my guide, not even Joan Baez, nearly as good as she may be. However Ramblin’ Jack at all times captures the rawness a Dylan track calls for.)

“Blue Eyes Crying within the Rain” is damned good, too — or is {that a} weeper?

Posted by: Max Goss on April 29, 2007 8:21 PM

“caroline says 2” by lou reed

Posted by: t. j. on April 30, 2007 12:03 AM

Invoice Monroe, “No person Loves Me”
the second line is the dagger: ‘no person cares’

Posted by: joel on April 30, 2007 2:31 AM

Merely Pink: “Holding again the Years”
Billy Joel: “Captain Jack”

Posted by: PA on April 30, 2007 7:29 AM

Good subject.

Not a lot of a Hank fan myself – whereas his songwriting skills have been outstanding, I simply by no means cared for the voice. My dad knew some guys who performed with him semi-regularly not lengthy earlier than his demise, and I do know some nice third-hand tales. . .

Many of the ‘unhappy songs’ that transfer me are primarily based extra on my life’s circumstances surrounding them than the songs themselves. . .loves misplaced, lives altered ceaselessly, good occasions that you just knew have been ending and would by no means go your manner once more – that form of factor.

A couple of exceptions:

“Shedding You” – Elvis Costello, discovered on the “Taking Liberties” assortment. Noticed him open a present in Atlanta’s Fox Theatre in ’81 with this tune, a fairly brave alternative contemplating the viewers, however it labored.

“When She Cherished Me” – Sarah McLachlan, from the “Toy Story 2” soundtrack. Additional proof that Randy Newman is a genius. Strive watching the a part of the film the place this track is featured and NOT really feel that ache of childhood innocence misplaced ceaselessly, made all of the extra painful for those who’re watching it with a younger daughter or two.

Lastly, a little bit suprised nobody has talked about Stephen Merritt and his many incarnations – notably the hauntingly stunning “Busby Berkeley Goals” (which has a better affect if you recognize who Busby Berkeley was), and the bittersweet “All My Little Phrases”, which can be one of many saddest songs within the English language.

Posted by: Brent Lane on April 30, 2007 11:54 PM

Because of your whole for sharing your suggestions. I’ve checked out a number of already and hope to work my manner by way of the remaining over time.

Regardless of the apparent proof of many advantageous modern unhappy songs, there nonetheless appears to me to be a shift in consciousness that has occurred over the previous half-century or so. It is sort of exhausting to explain, however let me at the very least word my very own response when I discovered myself buzzing “Sixteen Tons” a few months in the past and googled the lyrics, as a result of I could not bear in mind them. I discovered them barely surprising of their pungency. The primary verse and chorus go:

Some of us say a person’s made out of mud
A poor man’s made out of muscle and blood
Muscle and blood, pores and skin and bones
A thoughts that is weak and a again that is robust

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
One other day older and deeper in debt
Do not you name me Saint Peter ‘trigger I am unable to go
I owe my soul to the corporate retailer

My response: a track like this merely wouldn’t turn into a significant hit in in the present day’s America, in contrast to the America of 1950. And never simply due to the proletarian sentiments, but additionally as a result of the imagery is just too vividly bodily: e.g., “muscle and blood.”

One thing’s changed–life has gotten awfully conceptual, in comparison with 1950. How odd to note this in a track lyric!

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on Might 2, 2007 12:24 AM

“Unhappy Reminiscence” by Buffalo Springfield
“For Le Ann” by Tony Joe White
“The Final Factor She Mentioned” Ed Bruce
Vern Gosden songs

Posted by: gary cooper on Might 3, 2007 1:02 AM

Harry Chapin – Cats within the Cradle
eric Clapton – Tears in Heaven

Posted by: BigD1980 on Might 3, 2007 7:01 PM

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