Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sunday is gloomy, the hours are slumberless

I don't really want to kill myself. At least, not yet. But we have all thought what it would be like; the morbid mind game of choosing an end for oneself. And we all probably know someone that, if not succeeded, has at least attempted it; surely it is not a joking matter.

We all have that dark place. When I go to that dark place, I listen to the music that reflects my inner gloom. Only some of these song are about suicide, but they are all songs that I gravitate towards when I'm low; they are the ones with the most impact for me. A few might be cliche—hell, one is even straight up cheesy—but they all touch something in me, something that I rarely let anyone else see, much less touch. I let this music touch me so that I don't feel so alone in that dark place. So that I can feel like life is worth living.

Gloomy Sunday (Reszo Seress), covered by Bjork
Bjork can really tear me to pieces (see Dancer in the Dark). Hearing her sing these lyrics with that passionate pain behind her voice, I imagine that she feels every word; they aren't just lyrics for her, she lives the words as they emit from her soul.

Fade to Black (Metallica), covered by Apocalyptica
The cello is by far my favorite instrument for its ability to pull from me a feeling of loss. It's tone vibrates deep within, and when you combine this resonant sound with Metallica, well, it's an amazing product of raw emotion.

Hurt (Trent Reznor), covered by Johnny Cash
Oh Jesus. Just watching this video puts me on the edge. Cash's eyes are filled with memory, loss, and pain. If you can't relate to this song, then you have had a far happier life than 99% of the rest of the world.

Needle in the Hay (Elliott Smith), covered by Kermit the Frog
It is almost too much for me to listen to Elliott sing this song, especially considering that he did commit suicide, and in a way far too brutal for me to imagine. So I give you Sad Kermit, which in all honestly isn't that much better. But at least he's just a puppet.

Fire and Rain James Taylor
If I need to have a good cry, I start singing this song. Inevitably, I break down through the second line.

Mad World (Tears for Fears), covered by Gary Jules
This heartbreaking rendition reaches directly to the emotion that I believe the original writers were seeking, but couldn't quite attain with their style.

Everybody Hurts R.E.M
Granted, a cliche. But it is a cliche for a reason. Everybody does hurt.

At Least That's What You Said Wilco
Not quite a typically sad, suicidal song, but I hear such pain when I hear this. It is almost an anthem.

Lived In Bars Cat Power
This video brightens the tone of this song tremendously, because I feel it much more strongly with my earphones on and my eyes closed.

Roads Portishead
Ah, I can't begin to express what this song does to me. I love it so so so much. But again, if I need to cry, I just start singing it.

Fly Away Poe
This is pretty much the dedicated song to anyone that dies. Enough said.

Trouble Cat Stevens
A sad enough song if you have seen Harold and Maude, and an excellent song to listen to while driving around at night with nowhere to go.

Other songs for when I'm down:

Everything is Free, Gillian Welch
With or Without You, U2
Angel, Sarah McLaughlin (cheese, I know)
Wild is the Wind, Nina Simone
I Don't Like Mondays, Tori Amos
Comfortably Numb, Pink Floyd
Bang Bang, Nancy Sinatra
Yesterday, The Beatles
Disarm, Smashing Pumpkins
Wanting Memories, Sweet Honey in the Rock
I See a Darkness, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
Back to Black, Amy Winehouse
Are You There, Anathema
Another Little Hole, Aqualung
Cup of Coffee, Garbage
Danny Boy


rayray said...

We might be soulmates. Or just two of a kind when it comes to music to off yourself too.

Funny that I was just listening to Tori Amos' "I Don't Like Mondays" last night in an effort to stave off the inevitable. And, Bonnie Prince Billy! WHAT??!! Very good. Cash, Poe, etc.

Suggestion: Ani DiFranco "So What".

greebo said...

McLACHLAN, damnit! :D (and my downer of choice from that tap is "Full of Grace")

As for Garbage - "Stroke of Luck" is one of my absolute nadir favs, though it's more of a dull, bleak sadness thing, rather than an acute one, like Portishead's "Roads". IF that makes any sense.

And yay, Poe.

Good stuff, good stuff.

Some suggestions: Moloko "Statues", Suzanne Vega "China Doll", k.d. lang "Barefoot"

that bees chick said...

Am I enjoying my bleak sadness? Because if I am, then I'm listening to "Now My Heart is Full," by Morissey, and "Sway" by Bic Runga. If I want to get past it and the only way to do it is to bawl uncontrollably, then it's "Rainbow Connection" by an aforementioned artist.


Weighted Down (The Prison Song); Alexander "Skip" Spence

Cursed Sleep: Bonnie Prince Billy

Tears of Rage; The Band

Sylvia Plath; Ryan Adams

These Days; Nico

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun; Greg Caswell (& goes well with the "Mad World" cover!)

Icy Blue Heart; John Hiatt

Top of the World; Dixie Chicks (I know Patti Griffin wrote it and performed it, but I actually like the Dixie Chicks version better. I know, not cool, whatever!)

House Where Nobody Lives: Tom Waits (this one makes me cry anytime I hear it, including in concert.)

Bravo for not including The Smiths on your list! I loved this band growing up and get tired of their reputation for being "suicide music". That being said...

Back to the Old House: The Smiths

Entire Albums:

Sea Change; Beck

Secrets of the Beehive; David Sylvan

(OK, thanks for another great post and a lovely diversion from work!)

Boo said...

rayray: oooo, i love soulmates! that ani suggestion is totally excellent. I realized moments too late that i neglected to include her, but hope someone would add her in the comments, so kudos, soulmate!

greebo: damn! i knew that. but i'm not changing it on principle, dammit. :) love garbage; all of their music is like suicide music. great suggestions.

that bees chick: rainbow connection! *cue sobbing*

glittergirl: whoa, i totally haven't heard that greg caswell cover; and yes, i didn't include the smiths on purpose for exactly why you said. :)

Erin said...

Evaporated- Ben Folds Five

Missing the War- Ben Folds Five

Long Ride Home- Patty Griffin

Not Alone- Patty Griffin

Those songs always make me choke up. Your list was great. I felt all teary at work. People looked at me weird. It was great.

MelodyLane said...

Oh God... I thought that I was the only person who could not listen to James Taylor's "Fire and Rain" with going into the fetal position.

Apocalyptica is becoming one of my favorite new bands just because I love things that are changed up and what they can do with some cellos. Plus orchestral things are a weakness. It is also why I love Metallica's S&M album.

My sad songs:
Alanis Morrisette - "Tapes" or "That I Would Be Good"
Ben Harper - "Waiting for You"
Eric Clapton - "Tears in Heaven" - Hell, even the back story of that song is depressing.
Fiona Apple - "Never is a Promise"
Joshua Radin - "Winter"
Carol King - "So Far Away"
Pink Floyd - "Wish You Were Here"
Sarah McLachlan - "Dirty Little Secret"
Simon and Garfunkel - "The Sounds of Silence"
U2 -"Sometimes you can't make it on your own"
A Fine Frenzy - "Almost Lover"

dvc said...

Patty Griffin can hit me in so many ways, but I only have to hear the intros to "Nobody's Crying" or "Mary" and I'm a puddle.

Roseanne Cash singing "September When it Comes" with her dad is one of the most beautiful bummers around.

Teddy Thompson "I Don't Want to Say Goodbye"

Erasure "Rock Me Gently"

Isolde's Liebestod from "Tristan und Isolde"

Just Joe said...

Helluva post there, Boo. Anyone who loves Portishead is alright with me. Both Floyd songs suggested are fucking perfect. "Fire and Rain" always hits me pretty hard (so dittos to you, melodylane).

My Sad List:
"Overdue" by The Get Up Kids
"All My Friends" by LCD Soundsystem
"Coming Up Roses" by Elliot Smith
"We Carry On" by Portishead
"Under the Bridge" by Red Hot Chili Peppers
"Casimir Pulaski Day" by Sufjan Stevens
"Motorcycle Drive-by" by Third Eye Blind
"Talking Shit About a Pretty Sunset" by Modest Mouse
"This Place is a Prison" by Death cab for Cutie

But what about those songs that help you kick yourself out of intertia? What about the songs you turn to when you're ready to climb out of the hole, the ones that offer a hand up?

My Getting Back Up List:
"A Better Place/A Better Time" by Streetlight Manifesto
"Come Downstairs and Say Hello" by Guster
"Lives" by Modest Mouse
"Bowl of Oranges" by Bright Eyes
"Gold Soundz" by Pavement (not really sure why, but whatever)
"So Long, Lonesome" by Explosions in the Sky

Anyway, I'll be sorting through the suggestions here looking to try new things, so I'll thank y'all in advance for broadening my horizons.

Lucas said...

I listen to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and make myself feel even worse. That or Pink Floyd.

Anonymous said...

radiohead - how to disappear completely

Groundcat said...

great stuff! i made a list of my 'depression discs' that you can check out here

Sue said...

Someone saved my life tonight..Elton John

It's so depressing and I don't even know what it means but it gives me hope when I'm feeling bad....

Seasons in the Sun...Terry Jacks

Shows my age but even when I was 4 or 5 I remember how I would cry when I would hear this song come on the radio...

Jez said...

Awesome tunes here. I need to check out more Portishead. I totally love the tune they contributed to the Stealing Beauty soundtrack.