Sad Songs Say So Much

Every now and then I like to go to this site: songmeanings.net . It’s fun… basically every song is there and it includes the lyrics and also, the  individual people’s take on the meanings of the song and other assorted commentary. Check it Out!

So I was looking up this Ryan Adams song (and for whom of you who have never met me, might be my favorite artist ever) entitled “Dean John”, a duet with Norah Jones. And it’s a sad song. A Very Sad Song.  I have this bootleg of Ryan Adams (solo with an acoustic guitar), and he basically says after playing 12 slow, sad songs, about un-requitted love and other depressing topics, “Here’s another sad song, cause this guy, this machine… does not write happy song.”  and I could not have been happier!

So I started thinking about the times we need sad songs: After a break up is definitely one of the times, I mean isn’t that really what half of music is about… love you lose, or love you want! I once heard Bruce Springsteen (solo with an acoustic guitar) do his song, “Dancing In The Dark” slow and sad… and I listened to the lyrics… I guess it would be better to say, I thought about the lyrics. Hey everyone… It’s not a happy song!!! here’s a sampling of the lyrics…Let’s listen together shall we?

“I’m just living in a dump like this.”

“man I’m getting nowhere”

“wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face”

Believe me, it’s a sad song, there’s hope, but not much… Bruce doesn’t write happy songs… yeah, yeah, I am sure there are 1 or 2, but as a body of work there are not many… seriously, find me one on “The River” or “Nebraska” albums. Look at the lyrics for “Brilliant Disguise.” ‘Nuff said

But sometimes we need those sad songs, we need the house/apartment/room/car/what-be-it  alone and we need the volume loud, and we need those moments of melancholy that a sad song makes you feel, and imagine, and reflect and most importantly, reaffirm the desire to feel that way again…. Because if we lose the ability to feel it … we lose what was important and what we loved about it in the fist place.

Here’s a couple of sad songs for you:

Highway Patrolman - Bruce Springsteen

How Do You Keep Love Alive  – Ryan Adams & the Cardinals

Lost Cause  – Beck

Nothing Compares 2 U  – Sinead O’Connor

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