What is/are the most depressing song(s) you've ever heard?

Yeah, neutron star, your thread gave me the idea.

I’d have to say Natural Blues by Moby and Hurt by nine inch nails. NB just has a very sad melody to it along with it’s African American Gospel sounding voice, and Hurt sounds like someone pleading their case to the world before suicide.

Easy one: “Untitled,” by The Cure.

easily the saddest most depressing song I know is
“Dinner with Ivan” by Big Head Todd and the Monsters.
It’s on their second album, on their own indie label.

Oh that’s easy: Puff the Magic Dragon,

The kid dies, leaving the Dragon all by himself.

A real bummer if you ask me.

Tori Amos - Me and a Gun

It’s about the time she got raped. No instruments in the song, just her singing. Haunting…

I agree that puff the magic dragon is one of the saddest songs… but i always thought the boy just grew up… leaving the dragon alone in fantasy-world.

“The Gunner’s Final Words” by Pink Floyd, off of The Final Cut.

The dreams and death of an RAF member during World War II. Haunting stuff.

“Epitaph”, by King Crimson. Really depressing. It sounds like a funeral march to a slow rock beat.

“Tears in Heaven”, by Eric Clapton. It teeters on the edge of schmaltz, but it always makes me tear up when I think about why he wrote it.

Anything by Morrisey or his old band, The Smiths

No way man, “Dragons live forever, not so with little boys,” I think it’s pretty implicit the kid kicks off.

Asleep by The Smiths

*Originally posted by brandocet *

as in he’s no longer a little boy…
i admit you might be right and i’m reading too much into it.

Yes that is pretty horrifying, first time I heard it I only got part way through before I had to turn it off.

Richard Thompson is an expert at this genre, they don’t call him the doomwatcher for nothing.

Did she fall or was she pushed

Withered and died

Can’t win

As I listen to too much folk music, I have hundreds. But here’s a short list.

Joan Baez, “San Francisco Mabel Joy” (and indeed, at least half the songs she’s ever sung).

Bob Dylan, “The Ballad of Hollis Brown” and “One Too Many Mornings”

Daniel Lanois, “Jolie Louise” (Half the lyrics are in French so I don’t even understand it all. I expect it would be an even sadder song if I did.)

Jim Malcolm, “Sweet Angela Brown”

Phil Ochs, “There But For Fortune”

Gram Parsons, “Brass Buttons”

Right, I think I’m going to curl up on the floor and cry now. See you later…

Puff was definitely the kicker as a child.

But another really depressing one is “Where I went wrong” by the Poppy Family:
That’s Where I Went Wrong
Poppy Family

This old road
I don’t know where it leads
And I don’t care
Cause it’s not hard for me to see
That when it ends
There’ll be nothing left for me
Cause the only thing I care about
I’ve got to live without

This bus is awful cold
We’ve gone so many miles
God, please help me go to sleep
and forget him for a while
I know it’s not his fault
I’ve known it all along
I was the one that trusted him
That’s where I went wrong

Ah ah ah, ah ah ah ah, ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah…

but maybe that’s just me.

[Edited by slythe on 09-17-2000 at 11:16 AM]

Two choices off the top of my head, both by Cowboy Junkies:
The Last Spike: A woman learns that the small town she lives in is losing its rail line. This means that (a) the town itself is going to close down and (b) her dreams of her husband returning on the train are gone.

“Mornings seem so damn sad these days without the call of the 8:15. Looks like this town is finally going to die away, leaving nothing but broken promises where there once was small town dreams. And I’ve watched the flatcars take away our timber. I’ve watched the coalcars steal our rock. And now that we’ve got nothing left to take we’re told that the TV station will be closing, Main Street windows will be boarded – and that this foolish dream must stop.”

Witches woman hears the call of the witches to come join them. Doesn’t want to go. Turns to her lover for support and finds him asleep.

“But under spell of deep sleep, you moans and turn away; taking your protection and my desire to stay. So I rise to the hills. I ride the night winds. I make love to the darkness and I laugh at man’s sins.”

nothing beats irish folksongs for depression. any of them, top on my list is: she moved through the fair.

for american folksongs: the green, green, grass of home.

Something I can never have - Nine Inch Nails


The line “and freedom, oh, freedom, well that’s just some people talkin’, you’re prison is walkin’ through this world all alone” is among of the saddest lines I’ve heard in a song. Thankfully, though, the song has a positive and truthful message, i.e., that the “queen of hearts is always your best bet”.

“Down from Dover” by Dolly Parton

alansmithee: Desperado-Repriseis even more depressing, I think.

Other depressing songs:

The Highwaymanby Stevie Nicks.

I Never Cryby Alice Cooper.

The Riverby Bruce Springsteen.

And my personal nominee for most depressing song, Sleep’s Dark And Silent Gateby Jackson Browne, which includes the lines:

Sometimes I lie awake at night and wonder
where the years have gone.
They’ve all passed under
sleep’s dark and silent gate.

Browne wrote it about his first wife, who committed suicide.