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Best Melancholy Songs?

I'm in a mood and I want to make an iTunes playlist to reflect it. I'm looking for suggestions for your favorite melancholy songs, songs that ring true and press that emotion button. The Beatles' Eleanore Rigby covers that ground beautifully for me. Tracy Chapman's Fast Car is another in the right vein, the Pretenders' My City Was Gone, Simon & Garfunkel (The Boxer, Homeward Bound), Father and Son by Cat Stevens, Between the Bars by Elliott Smith, It Won't Be Long by Alison Moyet, A New England by Billy Bragg, The Boat Dreams from the Hill from Jawbreaker, Johnny Cash's cover of Hurt. Can be a little tricky because I'm shooting for melancholy but not maudlin. Doesn't have to be slow and ballady either. The Kinks' Come Dancing evokes that sense of nostalgia, or (showing my 12-year-old fan girl) even Rick Springfield's Jesse's Girl.

I'm casting a pretty wide net and I'm open to anything. Suggestions?



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Blogger Pagan Says:

How do you get that Lonely -By Blaine Larson
Hello Mr. Heartache by the Dixie Chicks
I Wish It Would Rain by Temptations
Inner City Blues (Make me want to Holler) by Marvin Gaye
Every Rose has its Thorn and Something to believe in by Poison
Danny Boy pick your artist (a lot of Celtic Music is melancholy)
I heard it Through the Grape Vine by Marvin Gaye and Gladys Night and the Pips
Stop in the name of Love by the Supremes
One and Easy to be Hard by 3 Dog Night
Holy Water by Big and Rich
Private Dancer by Tina Turner

Blogger Evan Says:

Here are a few songs that move me for one reason or another, chosen from no particular genre.

Billy Bragg" "The Saturday Boy"
Björk: "Hyper-Ballad"
Bobby McFerrin: "Invocation"
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: "In This Home on Ice"
Death Cab For Cutie: "I Will Follow You Into the Dark"
Elvis Costello: "God's Comic"
King Crimson: "Matte Kudasai"
Pixies: "Where Is My Mind?"
Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble: "Little Wing" or "Lenny"
Talking Heads: "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)" or "Dream Operator"
The Police: "Bring On The Night"
Weezer: "Island In the Sun"
Wynton Marsalis: "For Wee Folks" or "Sister Cheryl"
Frank Zappa: "Peaches in Regalia"

Anonymous Anonymous Says:

Oh my. I started flipping through my iTunes waiting for John to come home from work last night. Needless to say, he was rather late:

Saudade, Love and Rockets (incidentally my most-used song for melancholy mix tapes, 80s vintage)
Elsewhere, Sarah McLachlan (most-used song for melancholy mix CDs, 90s vintage)
The entire soundtrack of Amélie
Trouble, Kristen Hirsch version
Waltz #1, Elliott Smith
Oscillate Wildly, Smiths
Needles in the Camel's Eye, Brian Eno
Wild Horses, Sundays version
Here's Where the Story Ends, Sundays
Missing, Everything But the Girl
Pretty much anything by Nick Drake
Venus in Furs, Velvet Underground
While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Beatles
Martha, My Dear, Beatles
Mother Nature's Son (any version)
Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth), George Harrison
Hunting High and Low, A-Ha
Wuthering Heights, Kate Bush
California Dreamin', Mamas and the Papas
Life on Mars, Seu Jorge
Save It for Later, English Beat
Gynompedes, Erik Satie
The Swan, Camille Saint-Saens
Me and Bobby McGee, Janis Joplin
I'll Be Alright, Voices on the Verge
Blue Jean Baby, Elton John
Only You, Yazoo
Land Slide, Dixie Chicks
It's My Life, Talk Talk version
Carol of the Bells, George Winston
She Still Loves You, Lilac Time
Good Riddance, Green Day
Silent All These Years, Tori Amos
But Not for Me, anybody's version
Rattlesnakes, Lloyd Cole and the Commotions
Falling in Love Again, Marlene Dietrich
Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want, Dream Academy version
Just Like Me, Holly Beth Vincent
Smalltown Boy, Bronski Beat
So. Central Rain, R.E.M.
Most of Supertramp's Breakfast in America
Left of Center, Suzanne Vega
Queen and the Soldier, Suzanne Vega
Save Me, Aimee Mann
You Could Make a Killing, Aimee Mann
Coming Up Close, Til Tuesday
Twin Peaks theme song
Under the Milky Way, Church
Better Man, Pearl Jam

Anonymous Christine Says:

What, no Total Eclipse of the Heart?

I'm going to date myself, but I don't care.

Elton John: Empty Garden, Someone Saved My Life Tonight, Levon
John Lennon: Just Like Starting Over
Bob Dylan: Tangled Up In Blue
Rolling Stones: Sweet Virginia
Kermit The Frog: The Rainbow Connection

Blogger BeK Says:

Well, aside from just about every song Nick Drake has ever written, here's a list composed entirely of songs written by American Music Club/Mark Eitzel:

American Music Club:
The Thorn in My Side is Gone
I Broke My Promise
I've Been a Mess
Will You Find Me?
Why Won't You Stay

When My Plane Finally Goes Down
Wild Sea
Sun Smog Seahorse

And, of course, I would be remiss if I didn't recommend at least one ambient album. Despite the genre, I think you'll find that The Pearl by Eno and Harold Budd fits your needs to a "t".

No, really.

Anonymous Anonymous Says:

hide and seek - imogen heap
honey and the moon - joeseph arthur
finley quaye - dice

Anonymous Anonymous Says:

I know this post is old, but I certainly love melancholy music. While some great ones have been mentioned (Death Cab for Cutie: I will follow you into the dark, Bob Dylan: Tangled up in Blue) so many great tracks have been left out. Here's my humble opinion of some great melancholy music. While some may be a little "heavy" or obscure for some's taste, I believe they are great songs for the mood:

Bob Dylan: "Knockin' on Heaven's door"

Duran Duran: "Ordinary World"

Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals: "In the colors", "Fool for a Lonesome Train"

Cowboy Junkies: "Sweet Jane", "Miles From our Home"

Creed: "What's this life for"

Guster: "One man wrecking machine"

Godflesh: "Cold World"

Kenny Wayne Shepherd: "Blue on Black"

Natalie Merchant: "San Andreas Fault"

Nirvana (Unplugged): "Dumb", "The Man Who Sold The World"

Pink Floyd (Dark Side of the Moon): "Time", "The Great Gig in the Sky"
"Us and Them"
(The Wall): "Mother", "Good Bye Blue Sky", "One of my Turns", "Don't Leave me now", "Hey You", "Nobody Home", "Comfortably Numb"
(Meddle): "A Pillow of Winds"

So many more could be mentioned, but these are certainly some of my favorites.


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