Your happiest sounding song with the saddest lyrics...

“Girlfriend in a Coma” by the Smiths- but I suspect that’s on purpose.

“Rocky” by the one hit wonder Austin Roberts is another one.

The Cure - Just Like Heaven

Vandals - My Girlfriends Dead

“Excitable Boy” by Warren Zevon automatically comes to mind. A song about rape and murder shouldn’t sound that upbeat.

“Happiest Girl” by Depeche Mode. For some reason, it strikes me as very sad, despite the title and the fairly upbeat lyrics.

An obvious one: ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.’

‘Cause life’s a piece of shit, when you look at it
Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke it’s true…’


However, this song does always cheer me up when I need it, by reminding that yes, life can be shit, but you might as well enoy it anyway. So maybe it’s not so sad after all.

Denia by Manu Chao, if the translation of the lyrics are right. It is a happy and upbeat song, but the lyrics (according to the translation) are more about the political situation in Algeria…

Considering half of the album (Próximas Estación: Esperanza) has happy songs, this one seems much more sadder for me now.

“Daddy’s Song” by the Monkees (written by Harry Nilsson!) from the movie Head. A light, catchy tune about a father walking out on his wife and son.

In the movie, Davy Jones sings this jaunty little pop musical number while doing a song and dance routine with Toni Basil. The true sad meaning of the song sneaks up on you the first time you hear it.

Kang and Kodos, but he’s just an excitable boy…

Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana” about a showgirl’s romance that turns tragic.

*She lost her youth and she lost her Tony
Now she’s lost her mind

Aaaaaat the Copa*

Happy and peppy, as if insanity and murder is just part of the menu of fun for your entertainment.

Almost anything by The Gothic Archies or Belle and Sebastian.

“You Are My Sunshine”

Lots of stuff by Randy Newman. (And that’s why I like it . . .)

“Help!” by the Beatles.

Was truly a cry for help from John, but the studio felt it would sell better if they pepped up the tempo.


Can’t believe nobody’s mentioned it yet.

“No Rain” by Blind Melon

There is a French song that I can’t remember the title of (if anyone knows, PLEASE TELL ME!) but it’s a sort of happy sounding song, la la la… but it’s about a girl who commits suicide by drowning herself.

I think that “soleil” is in the title somewhere, and part of the lyrics at the end involve her hair floating in the water…

I found it!!! I went to babelfish and typed in “and her hair floated on the water” and translated it to french, “et ses cheveux ont flotté sur l’eau” and entered that into Google, and the first hit was the song!!

Just about every other song by The Beautiful South, especially “36D” and “Bell Bottom Tear”.

Feelin’ All Right
by Dave Mason of Traffic
(later made popular by Joe Cocker)

sprightly song
bummer lyrics

“Song for the dumped” by Ben Folds Five has always stuck me as discordant…

You’re all forgetting one of the most obvious - Jack and Diane.

“Song For The Dumped” has angry lyrics (bitter, but not sad), harsh piano pounding, and a fast tempo. To me it’s probably the best break-up song of the rock era. Forget “Love Hurts” or that Ugly Kid Joe crap.