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Thread: The saddest song ever

  1. #376
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    Default Re: The saddest song ever

    Without reading all of the pages: "Mothers not dead, she`s only a sleeping", "Bed by the window" also pretty sad

    All of them that I play sound sad....

    Willie

  2. #377
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: The saddest song ever

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny A View Post
    In my opinion (as if that carries any weight), the country song by George Jones, he stopped loving her today, is no doubt the saddest damn song I ever heard.
    Not only one of the saddest songs ever written but one of the best songs ever written. IMHO
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  3. #378
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: The saddest song ever



    Crusher song. I've been playing it on mandolin and accordion lately. Not sure which one I prefer.

    Mick
    Last edited by brunello97; Jan-18-2017 at 12:14am.
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  4. #379

    Default Re: The saddest song ever

    Andy Statman's "Flatbush Waltz" has a very sad feel;but,in an uplifting way. Sorta.
    I play it in Gm on mando. Dm would,obviously,just be too sad I reckon.

    Some that were mentioned that jogged my memory:
    "Sweet Old World"(I am most familiar with Emmylou's version).
    "Time To Learn" Tim O'Brien
    "Ghost In This House" A.Krouse nails that one.

    Jessie Winchester's "Sham-A-Ling-Dong-Ding" gets me;and several others of his too like "Lullaby For The First Born".

    I've only read 12 pages of this stuff. Am I too blue?

  5. #380

    Default Re: The saddest song ever

    In the "sad mining songs" subsection I'll nominate Utah Phillips's "Miners Lullaby" to go along with Darrell Scott's "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive", that was mentioned previously

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  7. #381
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    Default Re: The saddest song ever

    Here are several I think are sad:

    Chet Atkins -- I Still Can't Say Goodbye
    Reba McEntire -- The Greatest Man I Never Knew
    Ralph McTell -- Streets of London
    David Bromberg -- Mister Blue
    Don McLean -- Empty Chairs


    And some orchestral music that plumbs the deepest regions of sadness:

    - Soundtrack Music from Schindler's List
    - Samuel Barber, Adagio for Strings
    - Henryk Gorecki, Symphony of Sorrowful Songs
    - Tchaikovsky, Sixth Symphony, Adagio Lamentoso, Andante
    - Elgar, Cello Concerto, 1st movement

  8. #382

    Default Re: The saddest song ever

    mick maloney;s "killkelly ireland", a song about generations of exile, starvation and lost family.

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  10. #383
    F5G & MD305 Astro's Avatar
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    Default Re: The saddest song ever

    I'm So Lonesome I could Cry.

    Elvis said this Hank Williams song that was the saddest ever written. (Especially when I do it but for a different reason )

    This recording was from several years ago. I do it one step higher now and have it down a little smoother and fragile ego alert--please dont judge. Anyway my apogee wont sync with my new lap top so I cant record anymore to redo it.

    https://soundcloud.com/bill-seasharp...lonesome-edit3
    Last edited by Astro; Jan-18-2017 at 8:34am.
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  12. #384
    Registered User Steve VandeWater's Avatar
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    Default Re: The saddest song ever

    Quote Originally Posted by ollaimh View Post
    mick maloney;s "killkelly ireland", a song about generations of exile, starvation and lost family.
    I second this one, and everyone who mentioned Sam Stone and Hello In There by John Prine. Also, if they haven't been mentioned yet...
    Doc Watson's "Little Orphan Girl" where she freezes to death on the rich man's doorstep and Nickel Creek's version of "The Lighthouse's Tale"
    It ain't gotta be perfect, as long as it's perfect enough!

  13. #385

    Default Re: The saddest song ever

    CAUTION, if you're feeling mildly sad, you might not want to listen to these, it might make it worse. But if you're seriously depressed, sometimes this kind of stuff helps. To quote a blues guitarist I used to know, "Don't listen to the blues if you're happy, it'll bring you down. But if you're totally sad, it can cheer you up".

    1. "Sweet Sunny South", covered c. 1962 by New Lost City Ramblers, think it's Mike Seeger singing:


    (or direct link)

    2. "Country Bumpkin", Cal Smith, 1974. I can't stand this song!!! Too sad!

    3. "You Win Again", Hank Williams Sr.

    4. "You Take Me For Granted", Merle Haggard.

    5. "Cats in the Cradle", Harry Chapin (already mentioned by "jasona" a few pages back). I have never had cause to identify with it personally but it's still a powerful message.

    The next songs are sad *but* they have at least some signs of hope, in places, kinda-sorta:

    6. "Darling Nellie Gray", 1937 version, Maxine Sullivan. The main character gets to die at the end, I guess that's better than nothing, um...

    7. Cry the Clock Said (lyrics), Gary Numan, 1981. I eventually quit listening to him because his music started creeping me out, but that particular song was helpful at one time.

    8. "Song For Athene" (video below), John Tavener, mixed choir version, this is the same melody that was played at Princess Diana's funeral:


    (or direct link)

    9. "Just Another Day", Caitlin Crosby. No personal experience with the subject matter but it seems like a powerful song anyway.

    10. "Peace in the Valley", Elvis Presley, 1957. I guess it's supposed to be a happy-ending song but it makes me cry. (But then so do a number of other common church hymns.)
    Last edited by JL277z; Jan-18-2017 at 9:28am. Reason: Fix link.

  14. #386
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    Default Re: The saddest song ever

    Quote Originally Posted by Astro View Post
    I'm So Lonesome I could Cry.

    Elvis said this Hank Williams song that was the saddest ever written. (Especially when I do it but for a different reason )

    This recording was from several years ago. I do it one step higher now and have it down a little smoother and fragile ego alert--please dont judge. Anyway my apogee wont sync with my new lap top so I cant record anymore to redo it.

    https://soundcloud.com/bill-seasharp...lonesome-edit3
    "The silence of a falling star lights up a purple sky ... And as I wonder where you are ... I'm so lonesome I could cry..."

    I've long thought that this line was among the most beautiful ever penned, and certainly a mental image that always gives me pause and even chills. It's hard for me to fathom someone writing something so perfect. It's like Shakespeare in a cowboy hat.
    “Never laugh at live dragons.” -Bilbo Baggins

  15. #387
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    Default Re: The saddest song ever

    Caleb, agree totally. If forced to name a "favorite song of all time," that would be my answer, morbid though it may be

    He Stopped Loving Her Today is spectacular as well, but the strings flourish in that one annoys me on occasion for some reason...still, an amazing song, though!
    Chuck

  16. #388
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    Default Re: The saddest song ever

    Warren Zevon: Keep me in your heart

    (I would probably nominate something different tomorrow)
    "Give me a mandolin and I'll play you rock 'n' roll" (Keith Moon)

  17. #389
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    Default Re: The saddest song ever

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb View Post
    "The silence of a falling star lights up a purple sky ... And as I wonder where you are ... I'm so lonesome I could cry..."

    I've long thought that this line was among the most beautiful ever penned, and certainly a mental image that always gives me pause and even chills. It's hard for me to fathom someone writing something so perfect. It's like Shakespeare in a cowboy hat.
    OMG yes. Chilling:

    Did you ever see a robin weep
    When leaves begin to die?
    Like me, he's lost the will to live
    I'm so lonesome I could cry
    Having something to say is highly over rated.

    The entire staff
    funny....

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  19. #390

    Default Re: The saddest song ever

    Many great melancholy tunes listed. I must enjoy being miserable. Been looking up the ones with which I am not familiar.

    Polecat,regarding Warren Z.,of his last songs,"Don't Let Us Get Sick" ,I feel,is his most poignant. Maybe because I have been lucky enough to enjoy a heap of years/more behind me than ahead of me. It's not just a plea for himself but everyone. "Don't let us get stupid...alright?" A solemn prayer from a man who some might consider somewhat a hedonist. (and I just have to say that your avatar of the fat cat on a stick is really something!!! A great cat person once said,"There are no ordinary cats."

  20. #391
    Registered User mtucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: The saddest song ever

    The Beatle's wrote a few back in the day.

    Yesterday

    Long and Winding Road

  21. #392

    Default Re: The saddest song ever

    There is a version of Danny Boy by Roy Orbison easily found on youtube that adds different intro verses and outro verses in addition to the commonly heard "Oh, Danny Boy" portion in the middle. Of course, it is well-done and really great, but very sad, strange, and quite haunting. I've never heard anyone else do this arrangement.

    I also second, He Stopped Loving Her Today by George Jones -- really hard to beat. (if sadness is your thing!)

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  23. #393
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    Default Re: The saddest song ever

    How about Danny Paisley-Don't throw Mama's Flowers Away
    Play it like you mean it

    Not all the clams are at the beach

    Arrow G
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    00-21 (voiced by Eldon Stutzman)

  24. #394
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    Default Re: The saddest song ever

    One Part Love…. Jeffery Foucault
    Dean Moriarity…. Eric Taylor
    Late in the Day…. Tim O'Brien
    Songbird… Jesse Winchester
    Just about all of Mickey Newberry's catalog…….. Really!!!!

    I can go on and on and on

  25. #395
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: The saddest song ever

    I'm sitting in a hotel room so I read the whole thread, which started a few years before I'd even heard of mandolincafe. I'm a big fan of many of these submissions: Tom Waits, Steve Earle, TVZ, Warren Zevon, Bruce Springsteen and real real big fan of John Prine and Steve Goodman. Here are a few that haven't been mentioned yet:

    Wreck on the Highway - Bruce Springsteen's version
    The Final Trawl - Archie Fisher
    Pay No Attention to Alice - Tom T. Hall. This one really gets me as a vet who saw a lot of this.

    My Father's House - Bruce Springsteen
    Christmas in Prison - John Prine
    Time - Tom Waits

    This last one I heard at a concert I took my daughter to five years ago. Its worth checking out on youtube to hear her introduce it. In a nutshell someone had setup cameras on the Golden Gate bridge to film birds and ended up capturing several successful and unsuccessful suicide attempts. This was made into a documentary that strongly affected Ingrid Michaelson. She performs it live but hasn't recorded it.
    San Francisco - Ingrid Michaelson

  26. #396

    Default Re: The saddest song ever

    Gotta get "Casimir Pulaski Day" by Sufjan Stevens on the list. For a while after my Mom passed, this song was guaranteed waterworks for me


    also honorary mention to Stephin Merritt whose Magnetic Fields song "1,000,000 Fireflies" begins
    "I have a mandolin
    I play it all night long
    It makes me want to kill myself.."
    SAD

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  28. #397
    Registered User fscotte's Avatar
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    Default Re: The saddest song ever

    There's a difference between a sad song and a singer who pulls at your heartstrings. I don't find Eric Clapton's Tears in Heaven sad at all because of the sound of his voice. Now if Keith Whitley sang it, that'd be an entirely different song. Some singers were blessed or cursed, with that kindnof voice. Keith definitely had it.

    And a little tidbit, Go Rest High On That Mountain was written by Vince Gil in honor of Whitley, however it wasn't finished until after Vince's older brother died.
    Last edited by fscotte; Jan-19-2017 at 8:37am.

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  30. #398
    F5G & MD305 Astro's Avatar
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    Default Re: The saddest song ever

    OMG, Tears In Heaven, I forgot that one. I almost had to pull the car off the road the first time I heard that on the radio. I recognized his voice, new what had happened to his son, and almost lost it. Knowing the history and as a Clapton fan knowing his "happy voice, I respectfully disagree with only one detail of the above post. I think it saddest because its his voice. Not as sad when others do it.
    No matter where I go, there I am...Unless I'm running a little late.

  31. #399
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    Default Re: The saddest song ever

    Quote Originally Posted by Astro View Post
    OMG, Tears In Heaven, I forgot that one. I almost had to pull the car off the road the first time I heard that on the radio. I recognized his voice, new what had happened to his son, and almost lost it. Knowing the history and as a Clapton fan knowing his "happy voice, I respectfully disagree with only one detail of the above post. I think it saddest because its his voice. Not as sad when others do it.
    I too can remember the exact moment I heard that song for the first time. I was a business, and it came in over the radio they were playing. I stood there transfixed and listened to the whole song. I also recognized his voice and knew the back story.
    A quarter tone flat and a half a beat behind.

  32. #400
    Registered User fscotte's Avatar
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    Default Re: The saddest song ever

    Don't get me wrong, I think the story behind the song is sad, but I just can't feel it through Clapton's voice.

    With that said, if this isn't a nominee for saddest story behind a song, I don't know what is:


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