A Case of the Sads
For when life is being a dick to you
Sometimes elements of your life aren’t going so well. You try and try to find ways to cheer up and you just can’t. I know the feeling. Sometimes, you just WANT to be sad. Just to be left alone for a bit to clear your head and gain some perspective. Oddly enough, it’s the songs that sound the saddest that seem to bring me out of my funk. Today I’m going to show you some sad songs that I use in those times.
STEVEN WILSON (ENGLAND) – THE RAVEN THAT REFUSED TO SING, FROM THE RAVEN THAT REFUSED TO SING (AND OTHER STORIES) (2013)
Jess Cope will be featured twice as an artist in these music videos (both involving Steven Wilson songs) and Steven Wilson will be featured three times in this list because he is just that good at making me feel things that I didn’t intend to feel. This song in particular discusses an old man who is reliving the memories of his sister who died at a very young age and a raven that he feels embodies her spirit.
BIONIC JIVE (UNITED STATES) – BETTER MAN (UNRELEASED OFFICIALLY)
This song speaks to me specifically as a former child of an abusive father. These guys weren’t around for that long but they had some pretty cool songs. This one is about a 12-year-old child who ends up fighting back and standing up to the violence within his house.
ATMOSPHERE (UNITED STATES) – THE RIVER, FROM SAD CLOWN, BAD DUB II (2000)
This is a song about a guy named Brian who Slug knew. Brian died and the song laments that. I wanted to also choose “Flicker”, but decided against it because I want to use it in a later feature. The first time I heard this song, I was listening to a live recording of it and I heard Slug sobbing and unable to really continue. Genius.com quotes “I felt like that song was … [pause.] I could probably play that live again. I just had a bad experience playing that live one night. I broke down and cried one night and that wasn’t tight. It just made me feel very vulnerable in a way that I wasn’t too comfortable with so I just kind of backed off of that” about the experience. It’s a really powerful song and features “Moonlight Sonata” as a sample.
SONATA ARCTICA (FINLAND) – BROKEN, FROM WINTERHEART’S GUILD (2003)
“Fell in love with the weakness within me
Try to force me the Ring and own me
Guess you found what you’d think would oblige me
Little version of me to consume you”
To me, it kind of speaks about the idea of not settling for a possessive partner. But, in standing up for yourself and accepting only what you feel you deserve, you stand the risk of ending up completely alone, which seems to be illustrated here. It also seems to talk about the idea of Heaven and Hell being unwilling to accept to him.
STORM CORROSION (ENGLAND/SWEDEN) – DRAG ROPES, FROM STORM CORROSION (2012)
Jess Cope worked the animation in this video and Steven Wilson teams up with Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth to present a musical piece that was initially anticipated to be a prog supergroup but ended up being quite minimalistic in nature. What you have is a somber, kind or forlorn story about a society that punishes people for religious reasons and the resulting aftermath.
GOJIRA (FRANCE) – THE GIFT OF GUILT, FROM L’ENFANT SAUVAGE (2012)
The lyrics in this song aren’t super sad, but Gojira does this thing with their guitar that just expresses a really sad tone. Plus the idea of guilt being a gift is an interesting concept to me. It’s got some really fast passages throughout the song and it super enjoyable for me in any case.
ANATHEMA (ENGLAND) – VIOLENCE, FROM A NATURAL DISASTER (2004)
This song, completely instrumental, is a masterpiece. Very beautiful piano, and an ominous feeling of something coming. The climax and denouement is superb. One of my favorite songs by them.
DROPKICK MURPHYS (UNITED STATES) – GREEN FIELDS OF FRANCE, FROM THE WARRIOR’S CODE (2005)
This is a song I literally heard for the first time while I was in the planning stages of this week’s post. It was suggested to me while I was picking out songs and I have always been a Dropkick Murphys fan, I felt this was a stark contrast in genre to the stuff I usually talk about. This is an Eric Bogle cover and I intend to follow up and listen to that here soon.
DESSA (UNITED STATES) – CALL OFF YOUR GHOSTS, FROM PARTS OF SPEECH (2013)
This entire album is an exploration into some very personal aspects of Dessa’s life. In this song, she chronicles the side of a relationship that has gone bad, but she isn’t ready to move on, even after finding out that he has found a new woman. It discusses jealousy and holding onto the past. I really enjoyed this song and the rest of the album because it really gets a good look at what her creative process is outside of Doomtree.
STEVEN WILSON (ENGLAND) – ROUTINE, FROM HAND.CANNOT.ERASE (2015)
This one I saved for last. Witnessing this live was heartbreaking. The video at the time was unreleased and this played on a backdrop behind the band. The story of a woman who can’t cope with the death of her husband and children so she continues to go through the motions of her daily routine is one of the saddest things I could ever imagine.
And there you have it. By the way, I’m fine. Hopefully next week I can discuss the Enslaved and Intronaut concert coming up!