Even I don't always agree with my opinion


Sad Songs Say So Much

Posted July 29, 2017 by jim young in Lifestyle

“Music can take you to the highest heights or the lowest depths.” – Joy Guest

According to a reader’s poll in Rolling Stone Magazine this is the list of the “10 Saddest Songs Of All Time”.

  1. Tears In Heaven – Eric Clapton
  2. Hurt – Nine Inch Nails
  3. Everybody Hurts – R.E.M.
  4. Cat’s In The Cradle
  5. Something In The Way – Nirvana
  6. He Stopped Loving Her Today – George Jones
  7. Black – Pearl Jam
  8. Sam Stone – John Prine
  9. Nutshell – Alice In Chains
  10. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry – Hank Williams

I think all of these songs pale in comparison to the two I have included here.

“Gloomy Sunday”, also known as “the Hungarian Suicide Song, and written by Hungarian born Rezso Seress in 1933 is considered by some to be the most depressing song ever written.

The lyrics were written by poet Laszlo Javor with the more popular English lyrics added later by Sam M. Lewis. Lewis’s version included a final verse which ends the song on a slightly less dark tone.

Seress had written the depressing song after his girlfriend left him. When the song became a success, Seress attempted unsuccessfully to reconcile with his girlfriend. She later committed suicide by swallowing poison. The sheet music of the song was found close by.

Then, in 1968, Seress himself jumped to his death from his apartment window.

A teenage girl in Vienna purportedly drowned herself in the Danube, clutching a piece of the sheet music, while a shoemaker who committed suicide, allegedly left a suicide note quoting some of the lyrics. Two people shot themselves while listening to a band play the song and in London a woman supposedly overdosed while listening to a recording of the song over and over.

Urban legend links the song to over 100 suicides.

In the early 1940s, the BBC banned “Gloomy Sunday. A ban that was not lifted until 2002.

The definitive version of “Gloomy Sunday” was recorded by Billie Holiday in 1941 but the song has been covered by many artists over the years including Artie Shaw & Pauline Byrne, Mel Torme, Sarah Vaughn, Lou Rawls, Ray Charles, Elvis Costello, Marianne Faithful, Sinead O’Connor, Sara McLachlan and Herbie Mann just to name a few.

Ironically, what may be the saddest song of all time is a Children’s Christmas Classic that is considered a perfect lullaby for a baby or child.

Toyland was written for the operetta “Babes in Toyland” by Glenn MacDonough and Victor Herbert in 1903.

The essence of the whole song lies in the chorus.

“Toyland, toyland, little girl and boy land.
While you dwell within it, you are ever happy then.
Childhood’s joy-land, mystic merry toyland,
Once you pass its borders, you can ne’er return again.”

Doris Day’s haunting version reminds us of our lost innocence of childhood.

When I slip into my Santa suit I like to think that I make some children happy for that brief time in their lives BEFORE they have to pass across Toyland’s borders.

And I get that feeling more from the Santa Claus parade than I do making personal appearances. During the Santa Claus parade, my interaction with the children is at arm’s length – just like the real Santa.

But at personal appearances, the children sit on my lap and I actually have to talk to them. 99% of the time it’s great but there’s the odd lost soul – the unbelievers – that have passed prematurely over those borders. I wish there was a way to send them back.

Hell – I wish there was a way I could go back with them. It was the happiest time of my life and there’s no way to get it back.

– 30 –



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