The Saddest Song

Because I’ve been in A Mood lately, I’ve resurrected an old Spotify playlist I made of all the sad songs I could think of.

I chucked everything but the kitchen sink in there, so my playlist ranges from ’80s power ballads (I distinctly remember when I was in preschool crying on the school bus every time I heard Roxette’s ‘It Must Have Been Love’ on Manong’s radio — opo, every time), OPM songs that vividly remind me of my real-life break-ups (Sugarfree’s ‘Kwarto’ — each line was on point, even the dusty jacket in the corner), to indie (‘Your Ex-Lover is Dead’ from Stars is a favourite… “And all of the time you thought I was sad / I was trying to remember your name” …*mic drop*).

Anyway. I’ve been listening to this playlist a lot recently. It got me thinking about what the saddest song ever written could be.

My gloomy playlist certainly had a lot of promising candidates. Who would win the Saddest Song award? Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’ (“I wish I had a river I could skate away on” always gets to me)? Would it be Abba’s heart-rending entry, ‘The Winner Takes It All’? Adele’s painful, plaintive request in ‘All I Ask’? How about Alanis Morissette’s ‘So Unsexy’ (to anxious people like me, this song always struck far too close to heart)? (As you can see, I got stuck on letter A.)

Then my random playlist shuffle landed on ‘A Letter To Elise’ from The Cure.

Don’t get put off by Robert Smith’s goth look and crazy hair. Have a listen with your eyes closed.

From me and you, there are worlds to part
With aching looks and breaking hearts
And all the prayers your hands can make
Oh, I just take as much as you can throw
And then throw it all away
Oh I’ll throw it all away
Like throwing faces at the sky
Like throwing arms round yesterday
I stood and stared
Wide-eyed in front of you
And the face I saw looked back the way I wanted to
But I just can’t hold my tears away the way you do
Elise, believe I never wanted this
I thought this time I’d keep all of my promises
I thought you were the girl I always dreamed about
But I let the dream go
And the promises broke, the make-believe ran out

The quiet, aching resignation in those lines. Hay.

Here’s a soothing, gentle cover version from Goh Nakamura.

How about you? What’s your go-to sad song?

Think critically dear readers,

Featured image by Volkan Olmez on Unsplash

35 thoughts on “The Saddest Song

  1. As for The Cure, most of their songs as sad. I remember singing Just Like Heaven to someone. The line “And found myself alone, alone, alone above a raging sea
    That stole the only girl I loved and drowned her deep inside of me…” Hits a little bit profound now

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  2. LOL – I avoid sad songs. If I am in a sad mood they would make me sadder. Gotta go for happy songs. The other day I went walking and listened to Disney songs on Spotify. Those songs are so cute and funny… Mulan, Frozen, Hercules, Beauty & the Beast, Tangled, Coco…. the list goes on. Put me in good spirits.

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    1. I see what you mean! I have a go-to Disney playlist for singalongs haha.
      But for those days I really need a good cry to let sht out, it’s back to my sad playlist I go 😅

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      1. LOL – I’m Italian, I can cry without the sad playlist. We are super emotional. Last week I cried almost every day. Why – don’t know, maybe because it is Fall? This is a GOOD week. I hope you feel better. COVID has everyone moody.

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  3. Naks may nag-e-emo dito hahaha

    Teka wala akong maisip na malungkot na kanta at the moment…pag kasi malungkot ako lahat ng kanta nagiging malungkot hahaha

    Pero nalulungkot ako tuwing naririnig ko yung Cuida ng Sugarfree

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  4. Ako naman, ang go-to sad song ko recently ay ang うつらない ng never young beach. Hindi ko naiintindihan ang lyrics, hehe, pero tuwing malungkot na malungkot ako, ‘yan talaga ang pinakikinggan ko. Wolo long. 😅

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    1. I was listening to this earlier. Thou nothing beats the line, “once upon a time I was falling in love, now I’m only falling apart” from Total Eclipse. Hahahaha. 🤣🤣🤣

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    1. It’s the repeated “oh no” that gets to me… 😞 I can just imagine a guy saying it over and over again, his face buried in his hands.

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  5. A lot of Eraserheads’ songs make me sad like Huling El Bimbo, Magasin, Para sa Masa. I guess since you mentioned Kwarto, napaisip ako ng OPM and i cant think of anything else 😅

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    1. Hehe! I like that you mention Magasin. 😊 I agree a lot of Eheads songs have a kind of sad undertone to them & it’s not immediately obvious kasi some sound so upbeat.
      Ako naman, I always found Sa Tollgate and Fine Time a little melancholic.

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