Staff Top 10
Top Ten Lines From Sad Songs

By: Ian Mathers
2004-07-09



Posted 07/09/2004 - 03:19:16 AM by Kevin_Worrall:
 "I'm ashamed of the things I've been put through, I'm ashamed of the person I am." (Joy Division - Isolation). A little obvious coming from Ian Curtis, but my personal heartbreaking favorite.
 
Posted 07/09/2004 - 08:52:01 AM by howardcos:
 Mark Eitzel's "Lazarus wasn’t grateful for his second wind" from "I've been a mess" has always done it for me.
 
Posted 07/09/2004 - 10:16:02 AM by clem_bastow:
 "Hello/How are you?/Have you been alright?/Through all those lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely nights": ELO's "Telephone Line".
 
Posted 07/09/2004 - 01:31:20 PM by IanMathers:
 Now this is the sort of response I like. Anyone got any more?
 
Posted 07/09/2004 - 02:01:36 PM by morninghollow:
 "glass on the pavement under my shoe / without you is all my life amounts to" from red house painters, "katy song" ... there's gotta be at least 40 RHP songs that could make this list, but that's always been my favorite. oh yeah, and from grace cathedral park (played live): "why did you hurt me like this?"
 
Posted 07/09/2004 - 02:01:50 PM by AUnterberger:
 "Don't say a word/the last one's still stinging"
 
Posted 07/09/2004 - 02:44:31 PM by verso44:
 Just about every line from Shudder to Think's "The Saddest Day in My life" would have to qualify.
 
Posted 07/09/2004 - 04:38:08 PM by Mman_-:
 "I'm not writing my goodbyes. I submit no excuse. If this is what I have to do I owe you every day I wake. " - Brand New, Guernica
 
Posted 07/09/2004 - 06:34:55 PM by mregan:
 do you really want to hurt me? / do you really want to make me cry? C'mon, let's not take ouselves too seriously.
 
Posted 07/09/2004 - 07:50:14 PM by Nick_S:
 Wow! One of my favourite topics, albeit one that I'd consider a big time guilty pleasure... Oh well can't resist contributing. I heartily agree with whomever mentioned RHP. One that really hits me is in "Trailways" when Kozelek announces "But you were my friend at the turn of my life's events" after a few lines of a typical Kozelek narrative. This to me is so tender. As for Joy Division "24 Hours" is my pet Joy Division heartbreaker... "Just for one moment I thought I'd found my way/ Destiny unfolded I watched it slip away" and that roaring guitarruption occurs. Another real potent one is in the Billy Holliday version of "I Get Along Without You Very Well" from 'Lady In Satin.' The schlocky arrangement coupled with her eeriely decrepit delivery of the story of someone pretending to themselves and the rest of the world that they're over a relationship is devastating to me. It's such an interesting combination. The highlight is probably the opening when she says: "I get along without you very well, of course I do; Except when soft rains fall and drip from leaves, then I recall The thrill of being sheltered in your arms, of course I do; But I get along without you very well." Ouch!
 
Posted 07/10/2004 - 11:07:11 AM by mobygrape:
 walking down a freezing street, scarf goes out behind, you say get them away, please dont say a word get me out of here get me out of here i hate it here get me out of here Big Star Nighttime
 
Posted 07/10/2004 - 11:10:01 AM by mobygrape:
 i have a date with a rich white lady aint life great, give me one reason not to do it.... Kings Road by elliott smith
 
Posted 07/10/2004 - 01:05:00 PM by snowface:
 clem_bastow's ELO reminded me of "Horace,this is it,he asks the girl if maybe they could marry,when she says "gladly." Horace cries. woo hooooo" maybe that's not sad... but it is emotional in the song. Made me tingle first time i really listened to the song. oh yeah the song's by ELO and it's called "Horace Wimp".
 
Posted 07/11/2004 - 02:58:36 AM by deadbody:
 kick ass piece. glad to see 'paint it, black' was listed.
 
Posted 07/12/2004 - 04:20:03 AM by mrleeward:
 "If I didn't no different, living alone'd probably be OK/ I got a long way to go/ getting further away" or "I never really had a problem because of leaving But everything reminds me of her this evening" both from Elliott Smith Figure 8
 
Posted 07/12/2004 - 05:49:30 AM by DomPassantino:
 No I can't forget this evening Or your face as you were leaving But I guess that's just the way The story goes You always smile but in your eyes Your sorrow shows Yes it shows
 
Posted 07/12/2004 - 06:18:39 AM by stagger_lee:
 "and drop them in to the muddy water off the Tallehatchee Bridge"
 
Posted 07/12/2004 - 11:38:37 AM by IanMathers:
 Dom, what's that song? It's on the tip of my tongue but just out of reach for some reason.
 
Posted 07/12/2004 - 12:56:22 PM by Snorfle:
 "So I told her I loved her/And she told me she loved me/And I mostly believed her/And she mostly believed me" AND "Count it a blessing/That you're such a failure/Your second chance/Might never have come" - Pedro the Lion "Options" & "Winners Never Quit"
 
Posted 07/13/2004 - 12:46:53 PM by UpToPizmo:
 "I thought I'd be singing a different tune by now, but the song about you keeps comin out" - Owen And I agree with morning hollow on just about any RHP song
 
Posted 07/13/2004 - 02:53:49 PM by haroldchasen:
 A few of my favorites..."I remember quiet evenings trembling close to you" (Tom Waits - Martha). "Well, I love you so much/It's all I can do/Just to keep myself from telling you/That I never felt so alone before" (The Band - It Makes No Difference). "And I remember something you once told me/And I'll be damned if it did not come true/20,000 roads I went down, down, down/And they all led me straight back home to you" (Gram Parson - Return of the Grievous Angel). "Broken down and hungry for your love, with no way to feed it" (Jeff Buckley - Lover, You Should've Come Over). "Faith has been broken, tears have been cried/Let's do some living after we die" (Rolling Stones - Wild Horses). But the one I always think of is the obvious..."There's a club if you'd like to go/You could meet somebody who really loves you/So you go and you stand on your own/And you leave on your own/And you go home and you cry and you want to die" (Smiths - How Soon Is Now).
 
Posted 07/13/2004 - 09:39:50 PM by capnandtennile:
 The nice thing about your list is that it isn't about the lyrics but about the lines as they're delivered in the song--as it should be. In the past I've made the mistake of quoting song lyrics to people who have never heard the songs they come from. Obviously, this never works. So in the spirit of the song rather than the written word, I'll offer this one (mainly for originality): "It won't be long/before everyone is gone" -- from the widely-hated and forgotten "Little James"
 
Posted 07/14/2004 - 08:13:17 AM by ninja-bob:
 "she's a jar with a heavy lid, my pop quiz kid. a sleepy kisser, a pretty war with feelings hid. you know she begs me not to hit her." -wilco - she's a jar. that one really hurts. and the "i can't forget that evening etc." tune was "without you", sung by mariah carey, but written by dolly parton, if i'm not mistaken. and when chet baker sings "everything happens to me" there isn't a dry eye in the room.
 
Posted 07/14/2004 - 11:25:30 AM by haroldchasen:
 I believe "Without You" was written by Badfinger, although Harry Nilsson's cover from his Nilsson Schmilsson record was the version that ended up on the radio back in the 70's.
 
Posted 07/14/2004 - 02:03:10 PM by amnesoid:
 "an ambulance can only go so fast" in neil young's ambulance blues. and then the rest of 'on the beach' side B, on worn-out vinyl. but probably, in my wealth of experience, the taker of the prize is the black heart procession's 'the one who has disappeared'. "i am the one who has disappeared, and i'll reap my rewards" ; "when you look through me, i know i'm the one who has disappeared" ; "and when i turn, i turn away" ; "etc" jesus, this one would make vin diesel cry himself to sleep...
 
Posted 07/14/2004 - 04:10:33 PM by IanMathers:
 Thanks, capn, I think you're right (and you've certainly pegged the list). Thanks as well, ninja-bob, for clearing that up (I _knew_ I'd heard it before!), although I must say that "She's A Jar" isn't in my opinion the saddest song about spousal abuse (that'd be Bowie's "Repetition" - watch for the "Lodger" article soon). Harold, I thought of doing those very lines from "How Soon Is Now", but I'm a bit leery of writing about that song (yes, more so than "There Is A Light...") as so much has been said I'm not sure what I'd add. Plus, I've always loved "Back To The Old House" and someone had mentioned it to me via email recently...
 
Posted 07/15/2004 - 10:21:24 PM by clem_bastow:
 You know, a lot of people think "Without You" is actually cursed; after all, think what it did to Nilsson, Badfinger, Mariah Carey...
 
Posted 07/15/2004 - 10:25:04 PM by clem_bastow:
 Oh, and: "Shelter me from the powder and the finger/Cover me with the thought that pulled the trigger/Think of me as one you'd never figured/Would fade away so young/With so much left undone/Remember me to my love,/I know I'll miss her" - WAAAAHHH!
 
Posted 07/17/2004 - 10:26:31 PM by sekaer:
 Good Job, morninghollow--Grace Cathedral was my 1st pick too. Here is the even more devastating full quote: "Tell me why are you like this? // Are you the same with anyone? Save me from my sickness // and tell me why are you like this // why are you like this?" Now that's some sad shit! Also, let's not forget the dean of mope-core Lou Barlow...Brand New Love or It's So Hard to Fall in Love are pretty bleak