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Songs about Mental Health

Snuffy 26 Apr 08 - 03:49 PM
Becca72 26 Apr 08 - 08:27 AM
bankley 26 Apr 08 - 07:54 AM
Greenacres 25 Apr 08 - 09:04 PM
topical tom 25 Apr 08 - 07:04 PM
topical tom 25 Apr 08 - 06:58 PM
Surreysinger 25 Apr 08 - 06:43 PM
Jack Campin 25 Apr 08 - 05:28 PM
Cool Beans 25 Apr 08 - 05:05 PM
GUEST,dribbler 25 Apr 08 - 04:43 PM
Marion 25 Apr 08 - 12:43 PM
bankley 25 Apr 08 - 12:11 PM
peregrina 25 Apr 08 - 12:02 PM
Sir Roger de Beverley 25 Apr 08 - 11:56 AM
Bert 25 Apr 08 - 10:38 AM
Bert 25 Apr 08 - 10:36 AM
Stewie 25 Apr 08 - 10:22 AM
Midchuck 25 Apr 08 - 09:34 AM
katlaughing 25 Apr 08 - 09:05 AM
bankley 25 Apr 08 - 08:43 AM
GUEST,Ian cookieless 25 Apr 08 - 07:49 AM
TonyK 25 Apr 08 - 07:19 AM
topical tom 25 Apr 08 - 07:18 AM
Muttley 25 Apr 08 - 07:11 AM
Big Al Whittle 25 Apr 08 - 06:11 AM
sian, west wales 25 Apr 08 - 04:41 AM
jonm 25 Apr 08 - 03:10 AM
alanabit 25 Apr 08 - 02:05 AM
Bill Hahn//\\ 24 Apr 08 - 09:42 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 24 Apr 08 - 09:25 PM
oldhippie 24 Apr 08 - 09:20 PM
oldhippie 24 Apr 08 - 09:14 PM
oldhippie 24 Apr 08 - 09:03 PM
Ebbie 24 Apr 08 - 08:12 PM
open mike 24 Apr 08 - 07:54 PM
Banjovey 24 Apr 08 - 07:41 PM
Marion 24 Apr 08 - 04:43 PM
TonyK 24 Apr 08 - 07:41 AM
Andy Jackson 24 Apr 08 - 04:37 AM
GUEST,House on the hill 24 Apr 08 - 04:28 AM
GUEST,Confrontation Viper 24 Apr 08 - 04:24 AM
Muttley 24 Apr 08 - 03:09 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 24 Apr 08 - 02:51 AM
Amergin 24 Apr 08 - 02:30 AM
Amergin 24 Apr 08 - 02:12 AM
eddie1 24 Apr 08 - 02:04 AM
GUEST,Gerry 24 Apr 08 - 01:53 AM
Escapee 24 Apr 08 - 01:03 AM
TRUBRIT 24 Apr 08 - 12:51 AM
Barry Finn 24 Apr 08 - 12:40 AM
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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: Snuffy
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 03:49 PM

Angie Baby written by Alan O'Day and sung by Helen Reddy


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: Becca72
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 08:27 AM

"I'm going slightly mad" by Queen


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: bankley
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 07:54 AM

"Petroleum Bonaparte" by Jim Page.... about GW Bush...


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: Greenacres
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 09:04 PM

I saw Show of Hands do a stunning one. It begins with the guy keeping his dead? pet hamster? in the fridge. As I recall, it laments how he is so gentle but ostracised. Sorry, I don't know the title.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: topical tom
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 07:04 PM

Lyrics to Chuck Brodsky's "Radio":

                   Radio

Anderson, South Carolina - TL Hanna High
The people there will tell you - ask any passerby
About the kid who speaks in gibberish - folks'll tell you, "Shoot...
Wasn't nothing but a little love and attention gave voice to a mute"

Who stood with his transistor - pressed against his ear
Picking up certain frequencies that only he could hear
There was this little man inside it - perhaps his only friend
The only one who'd talk to him - the only one back then

Coach Jones barked, "Come here, boy!" to this kid up in the stands
Who was mimicking him loudly - making gestures with his hands
The players on the football team exchanged uneasy glances
You jumped when Coach said to jump - but oh, how slow the boy was advancing

Coach Jones was pulling on the drawstrings on his hood
The kid, he spoke in gibberish -Coach, he understood
Lamb imitating lion - it sure looked like easy prey
But this is not what happened - no, it went the other way

This kid they nicknamed Radio was 18 going on 6
The team needed a water boy - and so the job was his
Coach convinced the principal to bend a couple rules
He'd pick up Radio every day - on his way to school

Everywhere that Coach Jones went his lamb was sure to go
They tried him out in Special Ed but his marks were too low
The kid's now in his 50's - his hair is sprinkled white
For 30 years he's come to school - he cannot read or write

Come Football Fridays - they let Radio be the star
He falls in with the marching band and then with the color guard
He jumps when the cheerleaders jump - with pom poms on his hands
He cusses like the coaches do & he high fives with the fans

They give Radio report cards & they give him varsity letters
They let him wander freely in his TL Hanna sweater
He visits all the classrooms - and whenever there's a test
He whips out his box of crayons - he tries his very best

Everyone knows Radio - the townspeople adore him
The students pat his head just like their parents did before them
Anderson, South Carolina...folks'll tell you, "Shoot...
It wasn't nothing but a little love and attention - gave voice to a mute

______________________________________________________________________


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: topical tom
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 06:58 PM

Many thanks,Cool Beans! I remember liking it very much when I first heard it.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: Surreysinger
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 06:43 PM

How about Ian Bruce's song "Black Fog" which was based on his own experiences of depression - on his Naked Truth Vol 1 CD...


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 05:28 PM

You might try classical music for some different perspectives.

There are several settings of Friedrich Holderlin, most of whose work was written when he was institutionalized with schizophrenia; Britten's set is the best known.

Per Norgard has written several works based on Adolf Wolfli, whose entire output dates from after he developed schizophrenia.

Peter Maxwell Davies did several early works in an updated version of the English "Bedlamite" genre: Eight Songs for a Mad King (on George III), Miss Donnithorne's Maggot (lifelong depression after a failed relationship), Revelation and Fall (Georg Trakl's schizoid-depressive perception of incest and war).

John Dowland's "In Darkness Let Me Dwell" is the greatest evocation of depression ever written.

Ther are also a number of works written under the influence of psychosis, organic brain syndromes or drug and alcohol dependency. The last works of Tchaikovsky are about the only ones you could really say transcended their origins. (Smetana is an example: his first string quartet was written when he first showed symptoms of cerebral syphilis, his second was written when it had damaged him quite badly. The first is brilliant, the second is a mess).


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: Cool Beans
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 05:05 PM

"Radio" is by Chuck Brodsky. It's a good one. He's recorded it. It was the closing song in the movie of the same name.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: GUEST,dribbler
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 04:43 PM

Surprised that dick miles hasn't been mentioned yet.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: Marion
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 12:43 PM

Harry in the Hole (James Gordon, on "Mining for Gold" and "One in Five")

They call him Harry in the hole
You'd see him walk out in the cold
With a sack upon his back in the wintertime
He looks scary, he looks old
For Harry in the hole
That really was his only crime.

You can't talk to Harry in the hole
He just stares and shrugs his shoulders
And shuffles silently along his way
Sometimes with terror in his eyes
You see him scan the northern skies
For an enemy that's stalked him all his days.

Round here stories are still told
How old Harry in the hole
Was a fighter pilot back in the war
They say his plane went down in flames
Harry never was the same
After he returned in 1944.

They say that Harry had survived
Deep behind the German line
By hiding in a hole beneath the wreckage of his plane
Now he lives out at the edge of town
In a hole he dug into the ground
Waiting for a foe he knows will someday come again.

He did not fit into their mould
Folks thought Harry in the hole
Was a stain upon the good name of this town
When his capture finally came
It was not soldiers but his neighbours
Who took him from the safety he had found.

It seems that Harry's enemies
Were real, they were you and me
Though he had eluded us for years
Now he's in the hospital
A hell that's more acceptable
A prisoner of all of our fears.

They call him Harry in the hole
You'd see him walk out in the cold
With a sack upon his back in the wintertime
He looks scary, he looks old
For Harry in the hole
That really was his only crime.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: bankley
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 12:11 PM

thanks KL...

after Vincent's stay in St. Paul, they continued the art program which he started on his own...they just basically let him paint and he produced dozens of now-famous works.... it's still an important part of the overall treatment of this institution to this day...

"Parkview" was written by J.Cash.... recorded by The Highway Men, recently recorded by the late Porter Wagoner.... a good one

'I've always been crazy, but it's kept me from going insane"
by Waylon Jennings

also maybe 'Fire and Rain' by J.T.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: peregrina
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 12:02 PM

Donna and the Buffalo: Me and Depression (Jeb Puryear)

'Me and depression were running a race/I fell to the ground and it stepped on my face...'

chorus ends: 'I'm gonna stare right into the light/ Know that I'm alive/ And I'm feeling alright.'


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: Sir Roger de Beverley
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 11:56 AM

The Village Fool - Bernie Parry


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: Bert
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 10:38 AM

Then there's Come Inside (No I didn't write it)


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: Bert
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 10:36 AM

There's a previous thread here


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: Stewie
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 10:22 AM

There is also Allan Taylor's 'The Madman' of which Al O'Donnell did a superlative rendition. As far as I recall, it was on Taylor's 'Roll On The Day' album.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: Midchuck
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 09:34 AM

Willie Nelson also did one called "Committed to Parkview," which is good. I don't recall as to whether he wrote it or not, but I would suspect he did.

On the other extreme was Homer and Jethro's "The Funny Farm."

Peter


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 09:05 AM

Well done, bankley!


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: bankley
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 08:43 AM

while hanging out in Arles, France..I wrote something called 'Van Gogh's Other Ear'


the bridge.. (reference to the institution in St. Remy de Provence where Vicent volutarily had himself committed for a year)


             'These bars on my window of the room with a view
             Do they keep the world out while they hold me in too?
             I shuffle through the meanings, pastels of the play
             In the ever-changing shadows of St Paul de Mausolay

chorus:   'Flowers have their auras, there's a halo 'round the moon
               A glow above that yellow house next to the Roman ruins
               There's music in the madness that so few ever hear
               It moves at the speed of colour....
                            to Van Gogh's other ear


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: GUEST,Ian cookieless
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 07:49 AM

Spencer The Rover. Any songs that mention Bedlam, tearing of hair, dying for love, etc.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: TonyK
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 07:19 AM

I'm hoping to highlight the stigma and other unhealthy ways society deals with MH but I'm interested in the good songs as well. Thank you for all the great lyrics. I think the CDs by James Gordon and Katie Lee are ones I need to buy.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: topical tom
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 07:18 AM

There ia a song entitled "Radio" about a mentally-challenged boy, but I don't recall who sang it (John Prine? David Massengill?)nor do I recall any of the lyrics.Probably some Mudcatter knows.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: Muttley
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 07:11 AM

Ozcatter Joybell once told me she believes "Dancing With Bears" was a song alluding to Alzheimer's.

Oh - and 'open mike' you're first choice was the correct one - - -

Well, I could have told you vincent
that the world was never meant for one
as beautiful as you..

Great song too. Should've thought of this one myself - Van Gough is my wife's favourite artist and our youngest son - an Autistic - has Vincent as his second name for that reason.

Muttley


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 06:11 AM

one of mine

The House of Lies

Johnny's got a problem
But he still don't seem to know it
Every time he gets his hands on a chunk of money
Poor Little Johnny's just seems to blow it
Here comes his free burger and coffee
With side order of fries
Oh yes Johnny gets the four star treatment
When he's sitting in the House of Lies

Oh come on in here, my friend John
Man! you're looking like ready for the session
Your favourite machine is free my friend
And man! you know you're always welcome
Alright! Forty in one pound coins my friend – that sound right for a start?
Eighty ? – I like your style, my man
I see, you're gonna tear us apart
But Johnny always loses
No matter how much he tries
And it's far too dark to see the truth
When you're sitting in this House of Lies

He watches the jackpot's come and go
Like flickering hopes of beauty
As Johnny stands expressionless and pours
All his money into that fruity
But Johnny never wins
No matter how he tries
But sadly he can't see the truth
Cos he's standing in this House of Lies

And then comes those companion thoughts Guilt, self-hate and remorse
Alreay he's got three cards maxed out
And there's a loan of course
Oh! his wife don't know about it
Nor his family either
Its so easy telling lies
To people who wanna believe you
He's on his way to losing folks who love hims
And,, he only reason he don't cry
He thinks he just might win them back
When he's sitting in this House of Lies

And the House of Lies is now on every main street
There in every town
They pay top dollar to be there
And no one's turns their money down.
But oh! the lives these people wreck
And oh the hearts they break
Just a load of rich and ruthless men
Who are simply on the make
And the clarion call is NO Nanny State
Enterprise can't be supressed
We must be allowed to exploit
The young and the depressed
The gullible, the poor, the stupid,
And, the hopelessly naïve
They say
At least we tell these people, they can be winners
What do YOU give them to believe?
What do WE give them to believe?
So that's how we keep on losing
We hold our heads too high
Walking mean streets of dishonesty
Past the shameful house of lies.
And somewhere out there, theres a Johnny
And Johnny always loses
No matter how much he tries
And it's far too dark to see the truth
When you're sitting in this House of Lies


©words and music by Alan Whittle27/08/2007 08:08


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: sian, west wales
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 04:41 AM

Depending on how much you want to read into it, "Willie Moore". It certainly reflects on the grief that follows (what might be?) suicide. Mental illness effects whole families, even whole communities.

sian


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: jonm
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 03:10 AM

Galway to Graceland, RT again.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: alanabit
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 02:05 AM

Someone has already mentioned Kevin Coyne's output. I recall a fine Ralph MacTell song about a mentally handicapped boy. Was it called "Michael"?


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 09:42 PM

One f the greatest and trues lines---and in all its simplicity comes from John Prine in his song--People Putting People Down---"...sometimes you have to lose your mind to keep your sanity".

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 09:25 PM

Katie Lee recorded a whole album of psychoanalytic ditties, "Songs of Couch and Consultation."

"Chloe" has always seemed to me to be mood music for real and psychological danger....Dun da da da Chlooooooeeeee.   Spooky just writing it!


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: oldhippie
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 09:20 PM

and there's also "Father Jones" by Rich Schroder


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: oldhippie
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 09:14 PM

Psycho (aka "Lock Me Up") - Elvis Costello and others

Can Mary fry some fish, mama
I`m as hungry as can be
Oh lord, how I wish, mama
You could stop the baby cryin`
`Cause my head is killing me

I saw my ex again last night mama
She was at the dance at Miller`s store
She was with that Jackie White mama
I killed them both
And they`re buried under Jacob`s sycamore

You think I`m psycho don`t you mama
I didn`t mean to break your cup
You think I`m psycho don`t you mama
You better let `em lock me up

Oh, don`t hand me Johnny`s pup mama
As I might squeeze him too tight
I`m havin` crazy dreams again mama
So let me tell you `bout last night
I woke up in Johnny`s room mama
Standing right there by his bed
With my hands around his throat mama
Wishing both of us were dead

You think I`m psycho don`t you mama
I just killed Johnny`s pup
You think I`m psycho don`t you mama
You`d better let `em lock me up

Oh you recall that little girl mama
I believe her name was Betty Clark
Oh don`t tell me that she`s dead mama
`Cause I just saw her in the park
We were sitting on a bench mama
Thinking of a game to play
Seems I was holding a wrench mama
Then my mind just walked away

You think I`m psycho don`t you mama
I didn`t mean to break your cup
You think I`m psycho don`t you mama
Mama why don`t you get up?


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: oldhippie
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 09:03 PM

"What's He Building In There?" Tom Waits (who's paranoid???)


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: Ebbie
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 08:12 PM

A song I wrote some time back:

The Mists of Time

I remember I once had a family
And I know that I was happy then
for I can see their bright little faces
But I don't know where. Or when

            Memoreis lost in the mists of time
            I don't know much anymore
            The years, the days, the hours all run together
            Memories lost in the mists of time

Yesterday - or was it just this morning?
They gathered 'round my rocking chair
I recall the scent of many candles
But I knew nobody there.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: open mike
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 07:54 PM

Vincent by Don McLean..
Starry, Starry Night,,,

Well, I could have told you vincent
that the world was never meant for one
as (beautiful? sensitive? wonderful?)as you..

I'd say cutting off one's ear is indicative
of mental health issue.,.,.as Van Gough did.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: Banjovey
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 07:41 PM

How about "Through Moorfields", a traditional song about Bedlam Hospital?


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: Marion
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 04:43 PM

Just to clarify, TonyK: are you only interested in songs that DO stigmatize mental illness, for the sake of the discussion? Or do you also want suggestions of songs with a respectful perspective?

If the latter, here are three more suggestions:

John Prine's "Sam Stone" is reasonably well-known and deals with PTSD and addiction.

If you count Alzheimer's as a mental health issue, there's "The Locket" by Mudcatter Jed Marum, who wrote it about his mother.

"Harry in the Hole" by James Gordon (on the CD mentioned above). It talks about a WWII vet with PTSD and delusions of still being pursued, and who is involuntarily hospitalized. It has some fantastic lyrics... "and when his capture finally came, it was not soldiers but his neighbours who took him from the safety he had found..." I could get the words off the CD for you tomorrow if you want them.

Thanks for the interesting thread, Marion


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: TonyK
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 07:41 AM

Thank you, all. Much appreciated. Several suggestions were most helpful, including the link th rhadish.com. The talk is Monday so I'll continue to check back.
Tony


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 04:37 AM

Richard Thompson's "Behind Grey Walls":
does it for me.
Now looking for the tune although I know I could never sing it, too close!


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: GUEST,House on the hill
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 04:28 AM

House on the Hill by Kevin Coyne - in fact any number of his earlier songs where he was fresh from working as a psychiatric social worker - is a good example of non-stigamatising songwriting about mental illness. Also check out the UK organisation 'Mad Pride' and the compilation album they put out a few years back, 'Nutters With Attitude'.

Many (but by no means all of the songs) listed on this thread are using mental distress as a titillating, sensationalist or novelty topic and are in practice contributing to the stigmatisation and social exclusion of people with mental health needs, so should be just what Tony needs for his students. I'd suggest the Kevin Coyne and Mad Pride stuff as an antidote to this in order to cleanse the old mental palate at the end of the session!


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: GUEST,Confrontation Viper
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 04:24 AM

Wot? No Crazy Man Michael?


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: Muttley
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 03:09 AM

Off beat, maybe - and definitely not folk.

"Am I Going Insane" and "Paranoid" - both by Black Sabbath

Muttley


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 02:51 AM

Yes, glad someone nominated Boys of Bedlam. Back it up with Goya's painting of the madhouse.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: Amergin
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 02:30 AM

There is also Grit Laskin's Margins of My Neighbourhood....which Rick Fielding covered fabulously.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: Amergin
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 02:12 AM

Boys of Bedlam

Crazy was actually done by Patsy Cline...


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: eddie1
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 02:04 AM

Have a look at this. Crazy by Gnarls Barkley. Combination song and Rorschach test!

http://www.youtube.com:80/watch?v=bd2B6SjMh_w

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 01:53 AM

Tom Lehrer gave us I Hold Your Hand In Mine, and Masochism Tango.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: Escapee
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 01:03 AM

They're Coming To Take Me Away by Napoleon XXIII
And one from an old issue of " Reprints From Sing Out " that started " O Doctor Freud O Doctor Freud, How I wish you had been otherwise employed "
A song about any human being is going to be about a person with mental health issues, n'est ce pas?
P.S." Factory Girls" by Flogging Molly
Fair winds, SKP


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: TRUBRIT
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 12:51 AM

Oh Barry -- what a song...........what a song.....


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Subject: RE: Songs about Mental Health
From: Barry Finn
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 12:40 AM

Those aren't mental health issues, they're just disfunctional child rearing no-no's

Barry


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