Recommend me some sad songs, with lyrics.

I like to imagine that you all follow my threads with a keen interest, so I’m certain that you remember my past request for sad instrumentals. Well, here’s its long overdue sister thread. As should be obvious, I’m searching for sad songs that have lyrics.

Now, I’ll have you know that I’m a picky little monster, so I’ve got to lay down some rules. I’d like these sads to be sad to most people. Basically, I’m heartless–if Raffi’s Banana Phone tears you up because your favourite tape (that you’ve lost) had it on it, that really sucks for you, but most people wouldn’t share your reaction. On the other hand, the plight of all of the folks in Streets of London ought to make anybody a little glum, so it’s a good choice.

Naturally, I thank you all ahead of time for your suggestions.

The Pogues, “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda.”

So they collected the cripples, the wounded, the maimed
And they shipped us back home to Australia
The armless, the legless, the blind, the insane

It’s giving me shivers right now, and I’m not even listening to it–just thinking about it. Listening to it generally brings on the tears.

An additional comment: the song can be sad either for its lyrics or for its sound. Of course, if the lyrics are plainly happy, then a sad melody might not save it. I leave that up to your expert judgement.

Another example is Superman by the Crash Test Dummies. It illustrates a lot more than simply the state of Superman’s life.

Great start! That’s definitely the sort of stuff I’m looking for.

Ghost Town by Huns and Dr. Beeker. You can listen to it, or even watch a video which has it as the sound via a link on this page. Also, Closedown from Disentegration by The Cure.

I find myself always recommending Elliott Smith for a lot of these types of threads, but here he really applies. You can choose from about 75% of his catalog, but here’s part of The Biggest Lie:
You gave everything you had
Wanted everything to
Stop that bad

The music is super duper sad but the lyrics can be interpreted either way:

The Luckiest by Ben Folds

and the classic:

Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley or Rufus Wainright or any of the six thousand people who have done it.

Er, to see the video you will have to look at the page from that site titled “High resolution pictures and videos”. :o I misremembered that the page I linked had both a link with both the song, and also the video. It only has the song.

Coding Fever! Catch It! :smack:

Sting’s “Fields of Gold” as sung by Eva Cassidy, though I’ll admit it might be sadder because of the circumstances of her death–so it might require extra knowledge not inherent in the song.

How about “Eli the Barrow Boy” by the Decemberists?

“Would I could afford to buy my love a fine gown
Made of gold and silk arabian thread
But I am dead and gone and lying in a church ground
But still I push my barrow all the day
Still I push my barrow all the day.”

But, even without the lyrics, I find the melody of the song itself to be beautifully mournful (pardon the oxymoron, but I think you know what I mean) - almost like an old English minstrel lamentation of a dead knight (or something)

No Bravery by james Blunt - sad and depressing.

Has He Got A Friend For Me, Richard Thompson, sung by Maria McKee.
Saturday night and I’m all alone
no ring on the doorbell, no ring on the phone*

Don’t tell anyone, but the Forrester Sisters’ singing Letters Home makes me cry. So does Travellin’ Soldier done by the Dixie Chicks.

Oh! More Richard Thompson: **The Dimming of the Day. **

This old house is falling down around my ears
I’m drowning in the river of my tears

Tom Waits’ Broken Bicycles

Broken bicycles, old busted chains
With rusted handle bars, out in the rain

John Denvers’ song Junk is sad IMO as well. It is from his album Poems Prayers and Promises. It has been performed by other people as well.

A few other thoughts that popped up:

Bad Religion’s “Better Off Dead.” I’m not certain if this is properly considered sad or just angsty, and to be entirely honest, it’s not the Bad Religion original that I’m thinking of when I’m putting it here. Rather, it’s the cover by (former) doom metallers Anathema, which is about as far removed from the punky original as you can imagine.

Nick Cave’s “Where the Wild Roses Grow” and “The Kindness of Strangers” have both been known to get me all choked up if I’m paying attention to them. I’m not sure that the lyrics of either would properly convey the emotion without the accompanying music, so I’ll refrain from quoting here and suggest you go listen to 'em instead! :wink:

**If the Phone Doesn’t Ring, its Me ** by Jimmy Buffett. The title says it all.

**Didn’t Even Know Her Name ** by Bread.

"Should’ve kept on going,
better that than knowing that he made her his wife.
He took her life.
You know, I didn’t even know her name."

OK … I officially dislike the OP for making me think of this one :stuck_out_tongue:

*Feed Jake
Sung by: Pirates Of The Mississippi

I’m standing at the crossroads in life…
And I don’t know which way to go…
You know you’ve got my heart, babe…
But my music’s got my soul…*

Hell, reading the lyrics makes me misty-eyed. And, it’s a time that being one of those people who recalls full arrangements (with vocals) at will really sucks. :smack:

There’s also “Shooting Star” by Bad Company, but I think it’s because I’m an emotional sap. I generally can’t listen to it in the car - when it gets to the lines

Mama came to the door
With a teardrop in her eye
Johnny said, don’t cry, mama
Smile and wave goodbye

I generally lose it.

VNV Nation “Forsaken (Vocal Version)”

And whose life do I lead?
Whose blood do I bleed?

Assemblage 23 “Disappoint” (about his father’s suicide)

And so I ask for one more chance
To understand this senseless circumstance

Assemblage 23 “30KFT”

Hello, if you’re there, pick up the phone
I’m calling from 30,000 feet above you
The captain’s just informed us
That our plane is going down

The last song (“30kft”) is particularly chilling.

I’d like to refer you to my brand new “Staff Recommends” selection at the bookstore.

If you can’t find one you like in there, how about this Joni Mitchell song the author somehow overlooked:

Song for Sharon

"A woman I knew just drowned herself
The well was deep and muddy