The 5 Most Depressing Songs Ever

Are you happy? Do you smile all the time? Optimism and generosity are your middle names? Well maybe you should listen to some depressing music for a change. It’s summer, it’s hot, and it’s way too sunny. Here are the 5 most depressing songs ever. Take a look at these people and consider yourself lucky for a change. Or, you could even join in all of “the fun.”

# 5. Gloomy Sunday – Billie Holiday

The 5 Most Depressing Songs Ever

This song is also known as the ‘Hungarian Suicide Song’. Gloomy Sunday was written by a Hungarian composer called Rezso Seress while he was living in Paris in 1932. It has reportedly led to a suicide phenomenon, especially in Hungary. People would jump into the Danube carrying the sheet music. Afterwards it was banned from public performances.

The most popular version of the song belongs to Billie Holiday, and it dates back to 1941: “Angels have no thought of ever returning you. Would they be angry if I thought of joining you?”  It was translated into Russian, French and Japanese. I bet the latter version sounds interesting…

# 4. Vincent/ Starry Starry Night – Don McLean

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Don McLean wrote this song as well as its lyrics as a tribute to the famous Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh. Its title is a reference to Van Gogh’s famous painting The Starry Night. McLean pays tribute to Van Gogh throughout the whole song by mentioning his best known creations. He also reflects upon his lack of recognition: “They would not listen / they did not know how / perhaps they’ll listen now.” In the final chorus, McLean says “They would not listen / they’re not listening still / perhaps they never will.” This is the true story of Van Gogh’s life: unrecognized as an artist and treated like a weirdo until after his death.

# 3. Everybody knows – Leonard Cohen

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Everybody Knows was first released on Cohen’s album I’m Your Man, February 1988. Featuring phrases such as “Everybody knows that the dice are loaded” and “Everybody knows that the good guys lost,” the song absolutely bursts with pessimism delivered in Cohen’s cynical manner. According to critics, it’s a “bleak prophecy about the end of the world as we know it.” Here’s a small sample: And everybody knows that you’re in trouble / Everybody knows what you’ve been through / From the bloody cross on top of Calvary / To the beach of Malibu  / Everybody knows it’s coming apart / Take one last look at this Sacred Heart / Before it blows / And everybody knows.”

# 2. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley Version


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This song actually belongs to Leonard Cohen as well. But, I find this particular version more depressing than the original. Well the guy who sings it passed away in 1997. When I hear him sing this particular song, I really just want to cry. The lyrics are incredible. Cohen’s writing skills again! Maybe there’s a God above / But all I’ve ever learned from love / Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you / It’s not a cry you can hear at night / It’s not somebody who has seen the light / It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah.”

# 1. She’s Lost Control – Joy Division

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This one has a different story. The title of the song was referred to in the film biopic of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis, which was entitled Control. This song is actually about a young woman having an epileptic fit. It refers to how desperate and powerless she feels during her seizure. Curtis himself suffered from this terrible illness and lived with the fear of the attacks. She’s Lost Control is a dark and trance-like song. It certainly reflects the way Curtis himself felt about epilepsy. Well I had to phone her friend to state my case, / And say she’s lost control again. / And she showed up all the errors and mistakes, / And said I’ve lost control again. / But she expressed herself in many different ways, / Until she lost control again. / And walked upon the edge of no escape, / And laughed I’ve lost control. / She’s lost control again. / She’s lost control. / She’s lost control again. / She’s lost control.

Feeling better? No? Now that the list is complete, it’s time to go out and enjoy that beautiful sunlight. Smile once in awhile!

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