Checkout the below listed latest and best top 10 best Sad songs of all time 2017, What makes a great sad song? It is a song that makes you the saddest? Because that would be a tough thing to listen to when you are feeling good. Or is a great sad song the kind of song that can reach into your soul and produce or stimulate a little bit of sympathy or empathy with the cause of the sadness of the song? This list of the top 10 best sad songs of all time are of the latter sort. These are not the sort of songs that you should avoid when depressed, but rather the kind of songs that can enhance your emotional reaction upon hearing them when things are going well.
- 10. “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M
- 9. “17” by Janis Ian
- 8. “Part of the Your World” by The Little Mermaid
- 7. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Judy Garland
- 6. “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin
- 5. Shivers” by Marie Hoy
- 4. “Up the Junction” by Squeeze
- 3. “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” by Elvis Presley
- 2. “Cold, Cold Heart” by Hank Williams, Sr.
- 1. “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” by Hank Williams, Sr.
Here we present the list of top 10 best Sad songs of all time 2017.
10. “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M
“Everybody Hurts” is one of the ten best sad songs of all time not because it is a sad song. Rather it is one of the best sad songs of all time because it is a bad song. A horrifically bad song, in fact; one so absent of any real emotional value that it achieves its sense of sadness by virtue of exhibiting why you can’t set out to make a song sad simply by stating that you are going to make a sad song. A sad, sad song because it is, paradoxically, not sad at all. Just bad. Really, really, really, REALLY bad.
9. “17” by Janis Ian
One of the biggest solo hits of the early 1970’s, this song by Janis Ian sets forth its very premise in the opening line: “I learned the truth at 17.” The singer then goes on to outline many of the very sad lessons of reality that she learned at that young, tender and emotionally fragile age. She learned that love is meant for beauty queens and then sets about creating a sad template for the reality of what it means to be even slightly unattractive in America: it means you are lonely for much of your life.
8. “Part of the Your World” by The Little Mermaid
From the soundtrack of Disney animated feature The Little Mermaid, to be precise. Ariel, the beautiful little redheaded mermaid sings this song with a wistfulness that somehow manages to be both sad and hopeful at the same time. A perfect mixture of an emotional oppositional state that lends the song the sort of tone capable of making you cry when you hear it one day and lift your spirits high the next time you hear it.
7. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Judy Garland
Before there was “Part of Your World” and The Little Mermaid there was The Wizard of Oz and another wistful song of about wishing. Both these cinematic heroines sing of being stuck in a place and wanting to see what lies beyond the borders of not just their physical geography, but their emotional and intellectual geography. When young Kansas Dorothy Gale wonder what lies over the rainbow, she is asking the same question that Ariel asks when she wonders what a fire is why does it burn. A universal and pervasive sadness permeates throughout songs 7 and 8 because they speak to the sadness of wanting more and seeing obstructions that make it seem impossible to ever get it.
6. “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin
At first glance, the universal sense of sadness seems to have seeped out when we arrive at Harry Chapin’s justly famous song about a father whose boy turns into a man in the blink of an eye because he’s always on the road. The sadness of this song perhaps cannot be appreciated by someone who is not yet a parent, but if you are a parent, the sadness of this song is so profound that it can even make you cry when it is used to provide emotional undercurrent to a sequence in the TV cartoon The Simpsons.
5. Shivers” by Marie Hoy
Written by Nick Cave who, naturally, turns in a great performance of his own songs. The Marie Hoy version stems from the soundtrack of the cult Aussie film Dogs in Space. The song opens with the line “I’ve been contemplating suicide” so you know it is going to be sad, but that line ends with “but it really doesn’t suit my style” so we are not talking an utterly downbeat song. Nevertheless, the lyrics roll forth to prevent an intense emotional state that can only be described as a tsunami of sadness.
4. “Up the Junction” by Squeeze
For most of its running time, “Up the Junction” is one of the most peppy and upbeat sad songs around. Nothing about it seems headed toward sadness unless, of course, you are aware of what “Up the Junction” means. Let’s put it simply: the junction is not a good place to be up. And the last stanza of the song is a classic lesson in turnaround of expectations. The music that was peppy and upbeat transforms into downbeat and plaintive. In an instant, the music indicates that this is a sad song and just in case you can’t reach into the emotional tenor, the lyrics will give the sad quality away.
3. “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” by Elvis Presley
It is not an Elvis Presley song, of course; it is a Hank Williams, Sr. song. We are at the point of this list of the 10 best sad songs of all time when we learn that when it comes to writing sad songs, there may—arguably, of course,–have been none better than Hank Williams. Elvis was the master of singing of other peoples’ songs, and when it comes to reaching into the emotional core of lyrics and drawing them out and displaying them publicly, few were better. Only one was better when it comes to this song, but more on that in just a the briefest of moments.
2. “Cold, Cold Heart” by Hank Williams, Sr.
He was such a master of writing sad songs that he manages to slip two into the list of the top ten. Better than that: he manages to take over the top three with just two songs! “Cold, Cold Heart” is entirely different from “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” as an example of a sad song. The latter is sad because right there in the title is the reason: the singer is lonesome. The singer in “Cold, Cold Heart” is also lonesome, but he’s an angry kind of lonesome. He can’t understand why his woman’s heart has grown so cold. Two songs that show the flip side of the same stimulus for the same raw emotion. Does it get more impressive than that?
1. “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” by Hank Williams, Sr.
Okay, you want to know how sad the versions of “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” by its writer Hank Williams, Sr. is? The third saddest best sad song of all time sits almost right beneath and it is the exact same song with almost the exact same arrangement by arguably the greatest singer in rock history. (Actually, there is no argument; Elvis IS the greatest singer in rock history and one of the greatest singers in country music, but when it comes to this song, he is no Hank Williams, Sr.). Hank Williams, Sr. had a voice that was made for singing all types of songs, but he reached the epitome of his talent when he sang about sadness.
A cursory look over this list of the top 10 best sad songs of all time surely gives some indication of the status of the sad song in the 21st century. The lack of any great sad songs in this century indicates that there is a price to be paid for sacrificing sincerity for the sake of irony. We live in a society where irony is the dominant reaction to all emotional considerations. That makes for some great humor and perhaps the best protection ever against emotional pain. Which, perhaps, also indicates why they do not make sad songs quite the way they used. Everybody hurts, it is assuredly true, but just as R.E.M. made an utterly pompous and emotionally absent hit single of that idea, so has irony distanced the typical music listener of today from truly feeling the sadness and the pain that makes a sad song more than just the result of a few dozen takes and countless hours spent fiddling with technology.