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What is the saddest song?

Related threads:
Saddest Songs, Take Two (23)
The Saddest Song of All (238)
The Saddest Song Ever written (258)
The Saddest Song of All--Part II (78)
Saddest tunes (2)
Search for the saddest song ever. (38)
BS: The saddest read of all (32) (closed)


Elmore 27 Sep 18 - 01:02 PM
GUEST,The Drift Cafe 27 Sep 18 - 09:06 AM
Gordon Jackson 27 Sep 18 - 08:26 AM
Elmore 26 Sep 18 - 08:40 PM
Mo the caller 26 Sep 18 - 07:15 AM
Mo the caller 26 Sep 18 - 07:13 AM
Mr Red 26 Sep 18 - 03:01 AM
Iains 25 Sep 18 - 04:39 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 25 Sep 18 - 03:02 PM
topical tom 25 Sep 18 - 02:42 PM
lefthanded guitar 25 Sep 18 - 01:55 PM
Dave Sutherland 25 Sep 18 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,Knockroe 25 Sep 18 - 11:41 AM
Mr Red 25 Sep 18 - 03:36 AM
Jack Campin 24 Sep 18 - 06:59 PM
JMB 24 Sep 18 - 06:38 PM
JMB 24 Sep 18 - 06:36 PM
GUEST,Jerry 24 Sep 18 - 06:31 PM
Elmore 24 Sep 18 - 01:30 PM
Stewie 23 Sep 18 - 07:58 PM
GUEST,akenaton 23 Sep 18 - 03:52 PM
robomatic 23 Sep 18 - 01:41 PM
David C. Carter 23 Sep 18 - 01:10 PM
Andy7 23 Sep 18 - 12:06 PM
Elmore 23 Sep 18 - 09:59 AM
gillymor 23 Sep 18 - 08:56 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Sep 18 - 08:45 AM
Senoufou 23 Sep 18 - 08:11 AM
GUEST,Henry Piper (of Ottery) 23 Sep 18 - 05:52 AM
Ged Fox 23 Sep 18 - 05:27 AM
GUEST,busker joe 23 Sep 18 - 02:20 AM
GUEST,Strollin' Johnny 08 Aug 02 - 07:37 AM
Genie 08 Aug 02 - 12:35 AM
Genie 07 Aug 02 - 11:38 PM
GUEST,Ian Darby 07 Aug 02 - 10:53 PM
GUEST,Glade 07 Aug 02 - 08:25 PM
GUEST,Keital 07 Aug 02 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 07 Aug 02 - 02:32 PM
GUEST,fran 07 Aug 02 - 02:15 PM
alanabit 07 Aug 02 - 06:26 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 06 Aug 02 - 11:40 PM
GUEST,Opelia 06 Aug 02 - 11:31 PM
GUEST,Just Amy 06 Aug 02 - 08:53 PM
GUEST,julia 06 Aug 02 - 07:46 PM
Little Hawk 06 Aug 02 - 07:00 PM
RoyH (Burl) 06 Aug 02 - 06:30 PM
Joe_F 05 Aug 02 - 07:02 PM
Catherine Jayne 05 Aug 02 - 06:37 PM
Firecat 05 Aug 02 - 06:29 PM
Firecat 05 Aug 02 - 06:27 PM
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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: Elmore
Date: 27 Sep 18 - 01:02 PM

She Sits On The Table by Tom Paxton.


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: GUEST,The Drift Cafe
Date: 27 Sep 18 - 09:06 AM

The saddest song of all time is "Close the Coalhouse Door" by Alex Glasgow, about the hardship and death relating to coal mining, he latter added a verse "Bairns about the Aberfan disaster, it will make you cry, there is no sadder song.


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: Gordon Jackson
Date: 27 Sep 18 - 08:26 AM

In folk music, I'd go for The Trees They Do Grow High. In modern music, I'd say Steve Earle's Lonelier Than This.


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: Elmore
Date: 26 Sep 18 - 08:40 PM

Margarita by Harvey Andrews.


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 26 Sep 18 - 07:15 AM

And the song with the saddest subject and the jolliest singalong tune
Threescore and ten


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 26 Sep 18 - 07:13 AM

The first post asks about the sad song you played over and over when …..

And that is what leaves a song with a 'taste', what was happening in your life at the time you first heard it. For that reason I found 'The Last of the great Whales' unbearable.
The one I played over 'Don't think twice' - and as an antidote 'There ain't no sweet man worth the salt of my tears'


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: Mr Red
Date: 26 Sep 18 - 03:01 AM

call me a pedant,but:
"The Unquiet Grave is a sad lyric, but the tune is not that tear jerking.

call me disrespectful but:
I used to sing it next to one of those dancing flowers and it always got a laugh.


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: Iains
Date: 25 Sep 18 - 04:39 PM

I would   nominate the unquiet grave.


https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=the+unquiet+grave+luke+kelly+


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 25 Sep 18 - 03:02 PM

I don't know if "sad" is the correct word to describe Robert Cray's " Right Next Door" but it's a very moving song.

Robert Cray Youtube


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: topical tom
Date: 25 Sep 18 - 02:42 PM

One of the saddest songs I have heard is "The Leaves They Mustn't Fall."I do not recall who sang it nor do I recall most of the lyrics.Some of the lyrics following that line are
                  Oh no, they mustn't fall.
                  Please tie them on so they will stay.
                  I've lost my mom and dad,.now my sister's all I have.
                  Don't let the falling leaves take her away.


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: lefthanded guitar
Date: 25 Sep 18 - 01:55 PM

I like sad songs, they often tell a story, have a depth of meaning, and can serve as a catharsis for both singer and listener. Some great examples already listed here - from Clapton to Gordon Bok- , but I will
add a few that I find to be the saddest
heartbreakers: .


I think it's going to rain today - Randy Newman

Tecumseh Valley - Townes Van Zandt

Streets of London - Ralph McTell

Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie

Who Knows Where the Time Goes -Judy Collins

Charlie Darwin - Low Anthem


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 25 Sep 18 - 11:57 AM

"Needle of Death" Bert Jansch


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: GUEST,Knockroe
Date: 25 Sep 18 - 11:41 AM

The Death of Queen Jane - Mícheál Domhnail

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aeNwpU19pA


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: Mr Red
Date: 25 Sep 18 - 03:36 AM

Gentle Annie

If you knew the inspiration for the lyric.


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Sep 18 - 06:59 PM

The mediæval English "Worldes Blis" is so comprehensively black and despairing about every aspect of human existence it never fails to cheers me up.

"Frenet Ha'" is a good Scottish contender - the surviving fragment breaks off in mid-verse with the hero about to kill himself in despair at the death of the love of his life.


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: JMB
Date: 24 Sep 18 - 06:38 PM

To continue: In regards to writing songs, I have written songs such as one called Red and Silver that has stuck with me ever since I wrote it fourteen years ago. I'll probably share sometime.


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: JMB
Date: 24 Sep 18 - 06:36 PM

I find it ever so difficult to choose what I feel is the saddest song at this moment, given that I have either written, covered or collected a mass amount of sad songs.

I listen to sad songs when I'm feeling depressed, as I see it as a comfort that someone else has created such a beautifully written song expressing their sorrow to which I can relate at the time.


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 24 Sep 18 - 06:31 PM

My Father by Judy Collins always struck me as sad, probably because we all have the same thing to look forward to, slowly watching your dreams fade away. In the same vein, we have Phil Och’s Changes and When I’m Gone, more poignant than wrist slitters though.


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: Elmore
Date: 24 Sep 18 - 01:30 PM

Do You Think That I Do Not Know? sung by Priscilla Herdman. Words by Henry Lawson. Tune by Slim Dusty.{I think}


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: Stewie
Date: 23 Sep 18 - 07:58 PM

Another entrant via Bok. Steven Sellors poignant song of an adoptee to birth mother.

Mourning Dove

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 23 Sep 18 - 03:52 PM

Mary Chapin Carpenter ......Take your pick.
"Goodbye again"
"John Doe number 24"


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: robomatic
Date: 23 Sep 18 - 01:41 PM

Gordon Bok from the Bay of Fundy Album


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: David C. Carter
Date: 23 Sep 18 - 01:10 PM

Strange Fruit.Billie Holiday.

Heart Like a Wheel.Kate & Anna McGarrigle.


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: Andy7
Date: 23 Sep 18 - 12:06 PM

A friend maintains that the saddest song ever is 'Puff the Magic Dragon'.

Difficult to disagree with that!


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: Elmore
Date: 23 Sep 18 - 09:59 AM

California Snow by Tom Russell.


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: gillymor
Date: 23 Sep 18 - 08:56 AM

Victor Jara always makes me cry.


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Sep 18 - 08:45 AM

THIS HAS TO BE A CONTENDER
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: Senoufou
Date: 23 Sep 18 - 08:11 AM

Saddest songs:-

'Na Laetha Geal M'Oige' by Enya. (I've decided on this for my funeral)
The words in Gaelic are to the effect that 'when we were young we never thought our lives would end up as they have. Now I'm old, I see that those brighter days only led to sorrow'

and

'Justju Jis Ki Thi' sung by Asha Bosle in the film Umrao Jahn.
The words (in Hindi) mean 'I never found what I was looking for, but during the search I have learned much about the world.'

Both songs mean a lot to me and bring a tear to my eye every time I hear them.


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: GUEST,Henry Piper (of Ottery)
Date: 23 Sep 18 - 05:52 AM

Saddest song:-
Country Joe McDonalds Here I Go Again. forget the '60's Psychedelic imagery the two verses about a father not returning from a foreign war and a relationship broken by infidelity are just heart rending and must be two of the most universal themes in all song since time began,. the poignancy is all the more as the whole thing is wrapped up in a jolly country style waltz with some gorgeous rippling guitar playing by Barry Melton.


Happiest song:-
Fortunately far too many to name.


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: Ged Fox
Date: 23 Sep 18 - 05:27 AM

"The Flowers of the Forest," with Jeannie Elliot's words, is probably the queen of laments.


But, for both categories, "Morning has Broken."


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: GUEST,busker joe
Date: 23 Sep 18 - 02:20 AM

1) little joe the wrangler's sister nell

2) a picture from life's other side

3) men with broken hearts, by luke the drifter (aka hank williams)

4) kilkelly ireland

5) patrick sheehan


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: GUEST,Strollin' Johnny
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 07:37 AM

Sad - The Rose and The Briar (Allan Taylor) Happy - don't know any


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: Genie
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 12:35 AM

Correction: The poem is "Maud Mullins" (no final "e"), and I made a typo. It's "...the saddest are these..." (not "...of these...". And my initial recollection was correct: it's by John Greenleaf Whittier. But maybe Burns used a similar phrase in one of his works.

Genie


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: Genie
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 11:38 PM

Dunno if there's one "saddest" or one "happiest," but in addition to some that have been nominated here, I'd add:

Really sad:  "Un Canadien Errant"
Really, really sad:  "Empty Chairs and Empty Tables" (from "Les Miserables")

Really happy:  "Oh, What A Beautiful Morning!"
Also really happy:  "Chelsea Morning"  (Joni Mitchell)

And one that just plain makes me feel good:  "In Spite Of Ourselves" (John Prine)
 

BTW, Barnacle, I thought that line was from "Maude Mullins."  "The saddest words of tongue or pen, The saddest of these: "It might have been."  (Whittier?  Wordsworth?  I can't remember for sure.)


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: GUEST,Ian Darby
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 10:53 PM

'We'll Meet Again Sometime' by Dave Cousins.

'From Galway To Graceland', by Richard (Laughing Boy) Thompson.

'Bellman'. Sung by the Watersons.

'Part Of The Room', Sun Also Rises.

'Donald & Lydia', 'Sabu Visits The Twin Cities Alone', 'The Torch Singer', 'The Late John Garfield Blues', 'Clocks And Spoons', from John Prine.

'Have You Ever Loved A Woman' by old 'Slowhand'.


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: GUEST,Glade
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 08:25 PM

A quiet, gentle, devastating song about a Vietnamese mother sending her beloved child off with the boat people to find a better life with his American father. It always leaves me gasping with tears. The child is not accepted in Vietnam and she believes he will be welcomed by his father. I think it's by Judy Small and I can't remember the title. Can anyone help?

Even after a decade, I'm incapable of listening to Bob Franke's 'Holy Ground' and 'A Velveteen Love Song' without becoming sodden. They are beautifully constructed songs and actually are uplifting, as are most of the songs on the CD, 'In This Night.'

John McCutcheon's 'The Great Storm is Over' is always a reason for gladness, as are Gordon Bok's versions of 'My Images Come' and 'All Shall Be Well Again.'


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: GUEST,Keital
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 05:43 PM

Well it doesn't surprise me that Andy M. Stewart gets mentioned so much on this topic! Off the top of my head I thought of "Bridget O'Malley". However, my overall vote goes to the song "Kilkelly, Ireland". When my group used to perform this at the Bristol Faire (albeit a slightly modified version) it was sure to catch a few wet eyes. It has the added attraction of being mostly made up of minor chords, which as Nigel Tufnel said are "the saddest chords".


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 02:32 PM

a work of great sadness and joy is Tom Waits' 'Black Ryder' cd The Black Rider (1993 Studio Cast) [CAST RECORDING] Tom Waits, William Burroughs especially hearbreaking are cuts:

3. November
9. The Briar and the Rose
12. I'll Shoot the Moon
18. Lucky Day
19. The Last Rose of Summer

especially joyous is cut:
10. Russian Dance

I would vote for 'Luck Day' or 'November' as saddest


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: GUEST,fran
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 02:15 PM

"The Mary Stanford of Rye" a tale of a lifeboat disaster in which all 17 hands were lost written by allen maslen of meet on the ledge, I cannot listen to this song without crying! "It was almost noon on that terrible morn And the families and launch crew had waited since dawn When suddenly somebody pointed and cried And there in the surf and the spray The Mary Stanford she lay

Her body was battered Her keel was upright No close-reefed mainsail No crewman in sight They hauled her ashore and they knelt round and prayed Then gazed out again at the main And the tears they ran like the rain

Then one by one the sea gave up her dead First Willie Clark, then young Jimmy Head Then Albert and Rob, the two Cutting boys And three from the Pope family And nine more sons of the sea"


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: alanabit
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 06:26 AM

"For a Dancer" on Jackson Browne's "Late for the Sky" album comes to mind. I think that it's about trying to make sense of his first wife's suicide.


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 11:40 PM

SADDEST SONG

http://www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=61

One of the earliest in the DT collection (based on the number 61) and therefore, I guess it to be one Dick and Susan's original favorites.

It is one of mine also.

However, I know it as a Hoyt Paxton signature piece.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: GUEST,Opelia
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 11:31 PM

There is a song John Prine wrote, can't remenber the name but it has the line "there's a hole in Daddy's arm, where all the money goes.."

Guest, Kevin - That John Prine song is called Sam Stone, and I agree, very sad.

My sad vote goes to "He Fades Away" written by Alastair Hulett whilst he was in Australia from a women's p.o.v. about her husband dying from exposure to asbestos:

v.There's a man in my bed, I used to love him His kisses used to take my breath away There's a man in my bed, I hardly know him I wipe his face and hold his hand And watch him as he slowly fades away.

And he fades away, Not like leaves that fall in autumn turning gold against the grey, He fades away Like the bloodstains on his pillow case that I wash every day, he fades away.


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: GUEST,Just Amy
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 08:53 PM

I am getting so misty. Someone mentioned Harry Chapin and one of the saddest songs I know is His "Mr. Tanner" which is all about lost dreams. Also, "Mail Order Annie" from the same album always makes me cry but I don't really know why.

I originally saw him in concert at University of Illinois - Champaign/Urbana in 1970-71 and we paid 50 cents. Best money I ever spent!


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: GUEST,julia
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 07:46 PM

"There were Roses"by Tommy Sands is the one that really does it for me...


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 07:00 PM

Come to think of it, Jackson Browne wrote a lot of really melancholy stuff in the 70's...all kinds of possibilities in his catalog.

- LH


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 06:30 PM

When I ran a folk show on my local radio I received the McColl/Seeger album that carried his song 'The Joy of Living'. Listening to it as it went on air I realised that Ewan, knowing how ill he was, was saying goodbye. Not just to his family, but to all of us. Nevertheless his words also urged us to taste the joy of living. When that track ended I was too choked up to announce the next one. In addition I find Ewan's 'My Old Man' very moving because the story of his father, told in the song, so closely mirrors my own father whom I still miss twenty years after his death. I love these two songs even though I can't listen to them without tears. Burl.


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: Joe_F
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 07:02 PM

I wish you were here to be underfoot,
I wish you were here to get in my way,
To call me from work, to call me to play --
I wish you were here again.

Oh, what did I do that had to be done,
And what did I read that had to be read,
When I could have turned to watch you instead?
I wish you were here again.

The monuments rise, the monuments fall,
The papers are signed and turn into chaff,
But I can recall the sound of your laugh,
I wish you were here again.

I wish you were here, etc.

-- Malvina Reynolds

Not in the database, it seems.


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 06:37 PM

Good choice Kat!!! I like "In just 7 days......I can make you a man!" From the Rocky Horror Picture Show.....just makes me chuckle!!!

cat


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: Firecat
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 06:29 PM

OOOOPS!! I forgot Bohemian Rhapsody! The first bit "Mama, just killed a man...." sets me off but the middle bit "So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye...." perks me up again!


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Subject: RE: What is the saddest song?
From: Firecat
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 06:27 PM

I can't listen to "Will You Wait For Me?" by Kavana or "On My Own" from Les Miserables because I always end up crying. I've only just managed to desensitise (hope that's spelt right!) myself to "Bring Him Home" from Les Mis as well. AND I've never seen the last quarter of an hour or so of the film version of Evita cos I start crying at "You Must Love Me". George Michael's "You Have Been Loved" sets me off as well. I also heard a song by Keith Donnelly at Warwick called "Two Tall Trees" about September 11. I managed not to cry but it was a VERY close thing. My eyes definitely filled up then.

On a brighter note, for happiest songs, I can't believe noone's mentioned "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life" by the Monty Python lot!!!! I listen to a lot of upbeat music. George Michael's "Faith" has GOT to be up there!


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