Words of Advice:

"We have it totally under control. It's one person coming from China. It's going to be just fine." -- Donald Trump, 1/22/2020

“We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here..and isn't it refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama."
-- Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, 2/25/20

"I don't take responsibility for anything." --Donald Trump, 3/13/20

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Song to Help You Off Yourself

I live in a condo complex. On a warm summer's evening, when it's not too hot, most people have their windows and front doors open (it's a "garden complex", which means that everyone's front door opens to the outdoors).

So I could hear a neighbor's music. They had a CD on and were having dinner or socializing or something. The CD was by Gilbert O'Sullivan. The song which caught my attention was "Alone Again (Naturally)", which was a top-of-the-chart hit nearly forty years ago.[1]

It has to be one of the most depressing songs around. In comparison, "Paint it Black" is an uplifting tune.[2] And yet, the family in the apartment was enthusiastically singing along with it. Besides being a totally depressing song, it's almost an ear worm that can get stuck in your brain. You almost have to go listen to this song to get it out.

I don't know if the suicide rate increased when that song was out. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it had. Supposedly O'Sullivan is still very popular in Japan, where killing yourself is almost a national sport.

______________________
[1] I'm not going to embed this one, but if you want to hear it, click on this link.
[2] "Paint it Black" was used as the theme song for "Tour of Duty", a show that started out great, but that CBS managed to fuck up.

5 comments:

Sarah said...

Personally, when I want a depressing song I go for September song

( not Frank Sinatra )

Mark Rossmore said...

My favorite depressing song is "Hurt" by NIN, but as performed by Johnny Cash. The song was beautiful when Trent Reznor first performed it, but the Cash version elevates to another plane of meaning entirely.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmVAWKfJ4Go

NIN of course is built upon depressing, poignant songs. For instance, "What I Get" off their first album really nails the emotional wreck of a "first breakup".

Why does it come as a surprise /
To think that I was so naive /
Maybe it didn't mean so much /
But it meant everything to me

Miss Kitty said...

I'm not even going to click on that link, because I'm very susceptible to earworms.

And I agree with Wicked Penguin: Johnny Cash took "Hurt" and transformed it into something completely different from NIN's original version. In the country music course I sometimes teach, students are always blown away by what a great artist can do with a remake when we study Cash's cover of the song. And the video is a masterpiece (rare for music videos in general, and specifically country/western music videos, which tend to be schlock.)

Sarah said...

Yes, Wicked Penguin. The video for Cash's "Hurt" is absolutely heart breaking. And they all... go away... in the end.

IllanoyGal said...

Thanks for saying that. Such a beautiful melody burdened with such horrible words.

Whenever I'd say anything about "the suicide song", friends would look at me as though I was the crazy one. I'd point out that the singer was going to throw himself off "a nearby tower", they would then say, "Oh, yeah, guess you're right." I hate that song.