Thought Catalog
December 18, 2013

8 Sad Songs & Why You Keep Listening To Them

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Life is nothing but one experimental music phase after the other. I sit with a cup of coffee and listen to Damien Rice whisper-sing about his personal life at least twice a week. I find this phase a little better than the loud and angry Atreyu/As I Lay Dying/Black Dahlia Murder kick I rode out the majority of first two years of high school (RIP to the girl you used to see), but to each his own.

Here are a few songs that really get me going emotionally and what it means for you to enjoy listening to them. This article really could be titled, Different Damien Rice Songs and what they say about your mood, but I’ve stopped myself and attempted to provide variety (if only slightly).

9 Crimes by Damien Rice

YOU ARE SO SAD, SO REALLY SAD. Stay away from all things sharp and with a short ledge. Any song with a bullet metaphor is a recipe for tears and an off-key belting of the bridge from anyone feeling in-tune with their inner being, and if you are listening to Damien Rice, chances are THAT’S YOU RIGHT NOW. Take a deep breath, and turn it up a little louder so your neighbors don’t have to hear you screech. You need to get it out.

The Last Time by Taylor Swift & Gary Lightbody

This is what I call successful duet, y’all. If this is your choice of sad song, it tells me you really mean it this time. Go ahead and send your ex that text that says, “Stay away, you ex-lover- you.” You’re so done with the hurt of cleaning up the emotional vomit every time you ask him to put on a clean shirt, and begging him to call you back within a four hour window. Is it that hard, man?

Lonelily by Damien Rice

Perfect for when you want to be really confused about whether or not you like your significant other. She just dismissed the brilliant comedy pitch that you came up with two seconds ago, or you guys fought over which pizza toppings you wanted again, which morphed into  “is she even the right girl for me?” inner-monologue-like sinking thoughts before bedtime. For the billionth time, she knows you don’t like pineapple, she just wants to see how willing you are to bend over.

Poison & Wine by The Civil Wars

Oh, I don’t love you but I always will. These lyrics are tormenting, yet ring so true to 99.9% of the adult population. While it may seem like a good idea tweet a line from this quiet, melancholy tune, think twice, lest be prepared to answer questions from a range of followers in various stages of personal closeness. A concerned acquaintance will mention you in an encouraging tweet,  your current boyfriend will pensively, underhandedly send a text asking if you feel alright tonight, all the way to your last ex, who will take this opportunity to profess his unrequited love for the 57th time. Don’t open that door.

Delicate by Damien Rice

This is the sweetest of the sad songs. Besides being my personal favorite for self-wallowing, it leaves us with possibly the most emotionally potent lyric included in this list. Why do ya sing hallelujah if it means nothing to ya? Just tell me why.

I Don’t Care What You Call Me  by David Ford

Sometimes you need to hear a long harmonica solo to make it through the night. You can call me cultured. Not that I couldn’t step out on my stoop and hear sounds  very  similar produced by the city hobos. JOKING, I don’t have a stoop hobo; that is actually my worst, most current nightmare.

The Animals Are Gone by Damien Rice

He’s gone. She’s gone. They are all gone. She took the cat, Keith Urban style, leaving you with a sweater and an emptiness you can’t quite deal with. This little mixture of words and rhythm will soothe your hurt, if only for 5 minutes and 42 seconds in a way that nothing else will for up to 6 months. Just keep the YouTube link saved in your favorites, baby. You’ll get through this.

The Scientist by Coldplay

We will end on a classic. And my parting advice goes like this: We’ve all just got to love the road we’re travelling on, regardless of who we’re with, and the direction we’re going. There are times in life where you need to put a stop to the wallowing, sniffling, and general self-loathing, realize he isn’t coming back, or you didn’t like her that much anyway. But maybe, you need to realize that you were wrong all along, and you should fight for the one you love because they’re the only one.  Nobody said it was easy/ No one ever said it would be so hard/ I’m going back to the start. TC Mark

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