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Sad Songs For Sad Times

Updated on December 10, 2014
Olympia after a rainstorm
Olympia after a rainstorm | Source

As I sit here in Olympia, Washington, watching the rain fall during what is now a thirty-hour rainstorm, my mind drifts to sad songs from the past. Welcome to the mind of an alcoholic! No, I’m not sad, but that’s where my mind naturally went as I watched the puddles forming into ponds in the backyard.

So why not write about those songs? Maybe you will enjoy these timeless classics; hopefully you will not slip into a depression from which you can’t return. So sit back, give it a read and pass the time with this rain-soaked writer.


Between an Old Memory and Me

This one is probably my favorite drinking song and believe me when I tell you I know a whole bunch of drinking songs. Travis Tritt delivers a perfect message to anyone suffering from the breakup with a lost love. Is there anyone out there who can’t relate to the feelings portrayed in this great tune? Sitting in a dark tavern soaking up the tragic beauty of old memories of loving and losing; it just doesn’t get any more miserable than that!


ANGEL

Sarah McLachlan delivers a song that will make me cry each and every time I hear it. This song was played at the funeral of my fiancé in 1997 and fifteen years later I can still feel the depths of depression when I hear this song. I think I’ll let you listen to it while I go have lunch.

In truth this is what music should be all about. This lady, with the voice of an angel, delivers a song so beautiful, so powerful, so perfectly presented that she grabs you in the guts and wrings out every ounce of emotion inside of you.


Whiskey Lullaby

Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss deliver a haunting melody about alcoholic deaths. These two artists are perfect together in the tale of a tragic love affair that was destined for the ultimate failure. There is great sadness in this song and rightfully so considering the subject matter, but lesser performers could never have made it sound this good.


VINCENT

Many of you may not have heard this great song by the artist who gave us “American Pie” but in its own way it is every bit a classic. Was there a creative genius more tragic than Van Gogh? If there was I don’t want to meet them….or maybe I do! McLean did his best work in this rarely heard song.


Eleanor Rigby

The Beatles gave us this dire look at the feelings associated with futility in life. Eleanor was buried along with her name and nobody bothered to show up at her funeral. What a classic look at the lonely people around us. Hard to believe that the boys who gave us “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road” could switch gears so smoothly and hand us such poetic beauty.


Tears in Heaven

Oh my goodness! Eric Clapton loses his son tragically then writes a damn song about it. How’s that for setting the stage for instant tears? “Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven”? Yep, instant tears while listening to this one.


Alone Again, Naturally

Gilbert O’Sullivan, he of the one hit and gone variety, pretty well summed up what it feels like to be a dweeb, a nerd and alone. Heck, he even looks like a dweeb and a nerd, so this song was perfect for him….and for me. There was a time when I knew every word of this song and sang it with such conviction, for I knew exactly what he was talking about.


Are You Okay? Do You Need a Tissue?

Well I certainly do! Maybe I shouldn’t have written this while Bev was gone and I was feeling lonely. The nice thing about coming back from the brink of death, as I did, is that I can now listen to songs like these and NOT get depressed. I can just listen to them and enjoy the music; yes, I may still get emotional when I hear them but it is a good set of emotions rather than a dark set of emotion and that, my friends, is a huge victory for this man.

2012 Bill Holland (aka billybuc)

Do you listen to sad songs when you are down?

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    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Bill....You needn't ever welcome me into the mind of an alcoholic, again, Thank you. Or, I ask that you'd at least warn me that is where we're going, so I may opt out. Thanks buddy.

      I will not listen to sad songs while in ANY mood. I quickly turn them off. I suppose that's telling in itself, but so be it.

      When someone is "under the influence," this is the music I refer to as "music to commit suicide by." I've witnessed this and thought to myself, "Geeze, Dude, why don't you just go and slam your head in a car door and get it over with?" All your hubs are Fabulous....I'll pass on the music.....

    • Sonya L Morley profile image

      Sonya L Morley 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      Great songs billybuc, I was just listening to 'Vincent' yesterday! There is nothing like indulging in an hour or two or sad songs while the rain hits the window... Another inspiring article, thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, even when talking about music to commit suicide by you have me laughing. That, my friend, is a rare gift. However, you are spot on about listening to this stuff while drinking and I can attest to that with firsthand knowledge. Thank you my dear; I hope you folks in New York are enjoying better weather than we are in Washington.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sonya, I knew you would understand. Just as I oftentimes have to follow a serious articles with something lighthearted, I also change my music when one genre becomes too much or when the mood suits a different kind of music. I no longer am worried about not being able to come out of a down mood, so it is fine for me to listen to sadness once in a while. I hope you are well my dear, wherever you are across the pond.

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

      Well I love almost all these songs especially, and probably nothing to do with alcohol really. The angel song I used with a poem for my mother who had just passed away and if you think Sarah does it good, listen to it by Jackie Evancho. Also did a Vincent poem, loved song better than the story. Either you love music or you don't, it is all about life, good, bad and ugly and misery loves company so what better than Whiskey Lullaby without even a thought of a drink, they are pieces of art, all of these songs and thank you, I will follow at least three through after I vote you up and 3 across.

    • Crazy Mags profile image

      Crazy Mags 5 years ago

      Yup, all good cryin' songs.... I always get sad when I hear Tears in Heaven because you know how much pain he was going through.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pollyanna, thank you and I will check out the Angel version by Evancho. I don't know what it says about me but I could have easily listed fifty songs I like very much. :) I appreciate you visiting once again.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Crazy, thanks for dropping by again. I just thought I would play some songs to match the weather today and these were the first to pop into my head.

    • ziyena profile image

      ziyena 5 years ago from Southern Colorado

      Billy,

      Love Elenor Rigby ... used to sing that one in the high school choir ... thanks for the trip back in time :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ziyena, it's hard to not like Rigby but oh, what a sad song. Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment.

    • profile image

      onlooker 5 years ago

      Silly you. You are contagious. Angel by Sarah McLachlan, I've cried to that song like a million times! OK, well maybe be 20..? =) I have always been able to relate to songs, especially sad songs. It is a wonder how we can relate to music and words at certain situations. Thank you, Bill.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Oh yes Billy you have that knack of writing about sad songs and still bring a smile to my face.

      Hmm it maybe though that this says something about me.

      ha ha ha!! I wouldn't like to say what so don't enlighten me billybuc.

      You are great writer because you write in this natural style of yours and when you have drawn me in (immediately) then there we are right up to that final word.

      Up up and away billybuc

      I have to award you again.

      And again and again and again

      Sop I'll end by saying Amen!!!

      Take care my friend and have a wonderful day.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Onlooker, if I'm contagious I'm hoping that's a good thing. :) I'd hate to be one of those little bugs that don't go away. Thank you so much for your kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, I'm not sure I want to know anyone who isn't affected by sad songs now and then. You are way too kind to me for I believe there to be many great writers and I'm not on that list, but thank you. I'll just keep writing and be thankful that you care so much.

    • profile image

      KatrineDalMonte 5 years ago

      Hi Billy, thanks for the wonderful collection of emotional masterpieces.

      In fact, on a rainy day somehow I find myself that more thoughts and inspiration come my way than any other days.

      Luckily here in England we cannot complain for lack of rain :-)

      By now you probably know that I'm into the production music, so the kind of 'sad' songs I listen to would be something like this:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdraDdee57E&fea...

      Thank you for the great post. Sun will come up soon :-)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Katrine, thank you for sharing that. I actually did not know you were in production music but in a way it makes sense. Anyone who is as talented as you are surely bridges the gap between the Arts.

    • LadyWriter profile image

      LadyWriter 5 years ago from UK

      "Vincent" is one of my favourite songs. I heard Gilbert O'Sullivan on Woman's Hour the other morning, he's currently touring Great Britain (sadly not coming over to NI) and has a greatest hits CD out, which I've dropped as a hint for Mother's Day this Sunday.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lady, I'm happy he is still performing. He kind of dropped off the music map for quite awhile. Thanks for the update and I appreciate you taking the time to visit my site.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

      Great hub my friend and great music selections. My two favorites you mentioned were: Vincent and Whiskey Lullaby. If those get pull on your heartstrings, something is Very wrong with you. I hit every button on this great hub. I hope the rain lets up soon for you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Minnetonka, that rain finally did stop but not until it dropped three inches on us. I'm glad you liked my selections; your two favorites are classics to be sure. Thank you for stopping by and sharing!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      You listed one of my favorites, Eric Clapton..I don't listen to sad songs, they only bring you down. If you 'wanna listen to a real tear jerker, listen to George Jones, he's the best..Enjoyed your selection....

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      George Jones had every reason to sing sad songs...a rather sad life all things told. Thank you, Always, for visiting once again. I truly do appreciate you.

    • raciniwa profile image

      raciniwa 5 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

      yes, celebrating the mood and undergoing it is the best way to get through it...nicely done Billy...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you raciniwa! I no longer worry about down moods; I just celebrate them and move on. The sun is shining right now so it is time to celebrate that as well. I appreciate you as always!

    • emilybee profile image

      emilybee 5 years ago

      Great songs, but I think I'm a little bit too young for some of them. Love listening to Whiskey lullaby...it's a good song to cry your eyes out to. Tears in Heaven is sad too, I play that one on the piano sometimes. Great list of sad songs :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh my goodness Emily, I most certainly agree that you are too young for some of these songs, but they are timeless and I know you will enjoy them if you hear them. Thank you for spending time with me this evening.

    • Tom Koecke profile image

      Tom Koecke 5 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

      Hi billy! Gilbert had a couple other mild hits, but neither was sad. "Alone Again Naturally" is one I listen to occasionally just to see if there is something I can garner from it. Simply sad, I guess.

      "Vincent" is another I love. I cannot fathom the depths of his loneliness. There are some authors who believe he did not shoot himself, which is something I've had trouble believing he could have done unless it was to test God.

      A couple that I could add to your list of sad songs are "The Dance" by Garth Brooks and "If You Could Read My Mind" by Gordon Lightfoot.

      Sometimes I find it valuable to accompany misery with music.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tom, your last line says it all. There are times when nothing will work except a sad song. Thank you for sharing and visiting.

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 5 years ago from Finland

      Beautiful music. It's strange how listening to music can bring back so many memories. I might be strange, but somehow I enjoy listening to sad songs. I like the feeling. Beautiful hub, Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Made, if you are strange then so am I. There is a connection to sad songs for me that I can't deny; they do not depress me but they do allow me to get in touch with those feelings that I was perhaps suppressing?? Anyway, I love them and I'm glad you enjoyed this selection. Thank you!

    • lifeoflata profile image

      lifeoflata 5 years ago from Tacoma Wa

      Love the song Angel when I'm driving in the rain also. Also another good song is Rhythm of the rain by The Cascades. Always puts a smile on my face when I listen to it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lifeoflata, I had forgotten that song. It is a great one and should have been on this list. Thanks for dropping by.

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Would you know my name, If I saw you in heaven..Would you feel the same, If I saw you in heaven..

      Oh my God, i love this song. One of my favorite. Used to be a crazy fanatic sad songs, though after it I always cry!

      This is really sad..especially the story that binds this song.

      xoxo,M.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Spy (M) yes, it truly is a very sad song. I met Clapton once when I was working backstage at a music venue in San Francisco! And yes, that song always brings a lump to my throat.

      I hope you are well my dear and thank you for stopping by.

      bill

    • profile image

      iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

      I like a good set of emotions :)

      Sarah McLachlan is pretty terrific and is on tour now. Angel is lovely.

      I am voting this piece up for its sincerity. You are a beautiful soul Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audra my dear, we are kindred souls and that is just one reason why I respect and like you so much. Thank you my dear friend!

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Bill, 'Alone Again Naturally' was one of the first singles I ever had bought for me. I also had Gilbert's other hits, 'Claire', and'Oooh Wackadoo Wackaday' but 'Alone Again..' had the saddest lyrics - a great choice on a great list.

      Voted up and shared.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I have to admit that I love sad songs! That "Angel" does wring my guts out every time. Tear in Heaven too. Eleanor Rigby has a great rhythm but a sad message. Love it! Great hub. Voted up! Thanks for sharing this one, Jools!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Julie, I still love that song. Such melancholy in that song. Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vickie, you are very welcome and truth be told, I probably prefer sad songs to happy ones. There is just much more emotion in them. Thank you my friend, as always.

    • brenda12lynette profile image

      brenda12lynette 4 years ago from Utah

      30 hours of rain?!? That requires a marathon of joyous proportions!! Send some of that down to Texas!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brenda, if only I could! I do believe summer is about to arrive here; it's been a long wait for us. Thank you for the visit; I hope you get some relief from the heat soon.

    • Koshaugh profile image

      Kara Monterey 4 years ago from Indianapolis

      Great hub and great list of songs! I love them all. Thanks for sharing!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Koshaugh, so nice to see you again! Thank you for the visit.

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