Help finding a song, please (sad song)

I’m a HUGE fan of sad songs. There is one heartbreaking song about a man, down on his luck. A folk song. In the song, he has a girlfriend, and they scrape by every day, with him trying to find work. At some point in the song, the girlfriend gets knocked up and he tries desperately to stop fucking around and get it together enough to take care of her. He can’t find steady work, though and the girlfriend gets sick and dies. He leaves them on the road for someone to find them and he hops on a train to a new town.

I can barely remember the details, so I may be off on anything in the above paragraph. I think the guy is a famous folk singer, but this song was the first I heard of him. I think the song is set during the depression. Can anyone help?

Oh! One more thing! He has a very distinct voice and singing style…kind of a talky style, with hard to understand enunciation.

I tried to google, but I failed. I also found some great sad song threads here on the SDMB while I was searching, but couldn’t find the song I’m looking for.

I got nothing. That sounds like one heck of a sad song though.

Woody Guthrie might fit, time-frame wise, but I don’t think he was that dark. For a more recent but dark artist, have you tried Townes Van Zandt?

Becky. You did it. You fucking did it. Listen. I was pissed at the whole damn SDMB. I said to myself, “Oh, when Earl Snake-Hips Tucker needs a song ID, everyone is all over it, but when I need one, crickets!”

I tried so hard to google it. I tried, “saddest blues song” “folks song sad girlfriend baby dies” “folksy bluesy song sad girlfriend baby dies” etc. I just couldn’t find it.

Now, Becky casually drops it as an afterthought and makes my fucking day. I need this song so bad right now. Having a tough month (not really, just feeling whiney, white people problems, you know) and really wanted to hear some good sad music. Nina Simone has been holding me down, but I yearned for this song, and here it is, laying in this thread, ready to be all cool and bluesy coming out of my speakers. Thank you. Thank you.

The song is"Maria". The artist is Townes Van Zandt.

And yes indeed, dangermom, it is a deliciously sad song.

ETA: And, Becky, I didn’t mean that the song was made during the depression. I meant, I think the setting of the scene is during the depression.

Marie, not Maria. I was all excited to find one of these I could answer, and the OP found it on her own.

Townes van Zandt has some great songs in that vein. If you like Marie, check out A Song For and Waiting 'Round to Die.

Yes. Marie. My mistake. Gonna Check out these links now.


Ooh, sad songs!Not blues or folk genre, so maybe not up your alley, but here’s a newer one that made me teary, by Kate Miller-Heidke called Sarah. It really got to me because it’s something that totally could have happened to me/my friends back when we were concert-going teens. And the video is cool 'cause it prolly cost about 5 bucks to make.

Myself, as well. Nzinga, I heartily recommend the entirety of Townes’ catalog–he’s one of the triumvirate at the top of my songwriter’s pyramid, along with Dylan and Richard Thompson.

In addition to a hearty “second” of Enginerd’s recommendations, I’d like to link Nothin’ and Tecumseh Valley. The latter is probably his most famous song aside from Pancho & Lefty, and is thematically very similar to Marie.

He’s dark, but not all doom and gloom. He wrote exquisite love songs, too.

He died way too young. It’s difficult to believe it’s been 15 years since the booze took him.

Man, the contributions to this thread are blowing my mind. I’m just giddy with excitement.

I notice that “Nothin’” sounds very different…I mean his voice sounds much younger and his wording much clearer.

Most of Townes’ output was in the 70s, but it’s difficult to find much of that on YouTube. Most stuff online is from late-80s into the 90s, when his voice had dropped an octave from all the booze and cigarettes.

If you’re taken with his music, I would suggest you start with the boxed set Texas Troubadour. For $25 you get 8 albums–7 studio and one live. It’s a steal at twice the price.

ETA: You won’t get Marie or A Song For with that set. Those are both off of “No Deeper Blue,” his last studio album (1994).

Glad I could help. He’s deliciously down. I like Columbine too, even tho it’s not even…suicidal.

If you aren’t familiar with Warren Zevon’s “Carmelita”, you should check it out.

Just played the first three notes of that song, and I want to blow my own head off.