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The Saddest Song of All

Related threads:
What is the saddest song? (121)
Saddest Songs, Take Two (23)
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)


Shack 18 Jul 99 - 05:58 PM
Llanfair 18 Jul 99 - 06:05 PM
WyoWoman 18 Jul 99 - 06:49 PM
Pete Curry 18 Jul 99 - 07:25 PM
emily rain 18 Jul 99 - 07:39 PM
mountain tyme 18 Jul 99 - 07:44 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 18 Jul 99 - 08:00 PM
jbrandberg 18 Jul 99 - 08:07 PM
WyoWoman 18 Jul 99 - 09:12 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 18 Jul 99 - 09:43 PM
Gene 18 Jul 99 - 09:51 PM
Rick Fielding 18 Jul 99 - 09:53 PM
campfire 18 Jul 99 - 10:07 PM
Lonesome EJ 18 Jul 99 - 10:24 PM
mountain tyme 18 Jul 99 - 10:42 PM
Jeri 18 Jul 99 - 10:56 PM
Art Thieme 18 Jul 99 - 11:10 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 18 Jul 99 - 11:35 PM
Dale Rose 18 Jul 99 - 11:54 PM
Margo 19 Jul 99 - 01:18 AM
Animaterra 19 Jul 99 - 09:12 AM
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Subject: The Saddest Song of All
From: Shack
Date: 18 Jul 99 - 05:58 PM

I think the saddest song I ever heard is "I Heard a Heart Break Last Night." I heard it on a jukebox in an old honkey tonk and don't know the artist. The final verse goes like this: "I heard the mournful sobbing/ Of the wind in the pines;/ I felt the cold icey (eye-see) fingers (fangers)/ Of fear in my spine,/ For I knew in my heart/ You'd never be mine,/ And I heard a heart break last night." What is the saddest song you ever heard?


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Llanfair
Date: 18 Jul 99 - 06:05 PM

There's two. The first is "Who Knows Where the Time Goes" Sandy Denny, of course, and the other is "Beautiful Boy" John Lennon. Both are so sad because the creators died so young. Lennon could "Hardly wait, to see you come of age" but he never did. Hwyl, Bron.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: WyoWoman
Date: 18 Jul 99 - 06:49 PM

Too many to name. I LOVE a good melancholy song -- must be the Irish in me (sorry, all '-} )

One version of "Geordie," in which the judge tells her, "sorry about you bein' pregnant with his child and all, but it's off to the gallows with 'im." Some versions have a very uppity wife reacting in various ways, but the one I learned years ago and still love ends with him being hanged for killing one of the King's deer.

"I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry"

One by Malvina Reynolds, of "Little Boxes" fame, called "The Girl on the Rim of the World," written about a homeless girl she kept seeing out the window of her apartment in San Francisco.

One by Dave van Ronk, which I think is called "In a Mood for Going," and which is just wonderful for when you're really morose and just need a song as sad as you are.

"Waltzing Matilda," by Tom Waits.

And ... oh, heavens. I could keep this up all day. What does it say about me (whom most people would describe as having a downright *merry* disposition) that I love really, really sad songs so much?

WW


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Pete Curry
Date: 18 Jul 99 - 07:25 PM

This topic should be a Web site all its own! Some of my favorites have already been mentioned (eg. "Who Knows Where The Time Goes," "Waltzing Matilda"). Others include: "The Grand Tour" by George Jones (which ends, "When you leave you'll see the nursery/She left me, without mercy/Taking nothing but my baby and my mind"); "Sad Songs & Waltzes" by Willie Nelson; "Yesterday Just Passed My Way Again" and "My Wishing Room" by Lefty Frizzell; "Swiss Cottage Place" by Mickey Newburry; "No One Will Ever Know" by Ronnie Milsap or Hank Snow; "Mexican Divorce" by Ry Cooder (written by Burt Bacharach & Bob Hillard, orig. recorded by The Drifters); "Afraid to Care" by Jack Green; "The Gypsy" and "Time Out For Tears" by The Ink Spots; and last, because I'm basically a child of the 1950s, the following by Lee Andrews & The Hearts never fail to choke me up--"Why Do I," "I'm Sorry Pillow," and "Try The Impossible." Phew... I feel better now.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: emily rain
Date: 18 Jul 99 - 07:39 PM

the saddest song i know is a ladino (sephardic) song with a haunting, east-meets-west melody. the translations goes like this:

here comes the captive
with all the captive women
among them
is the white girl

it was not dawn,
neither was it daylight
when the white girl
sang her sorrow:

oh green fields,
fields of olive trees
where my mother, grace,
washed and hung out the clothes

oh beautiful pine
where, with my husband,
under its shade,
we slept with pleasure

oh white tombs
tombs of the grandfathers
i pass over them
like a bird in flight

it was not dawn,
nor was it daylight
when the white girl
sang her sorrow, thus.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: mountain tyme
Date: 18 Jul 99 - 07:44 PM

One song we perform that always wets the floor.... Jack & May (sweethearts were they) (Stanley Brothers) Dozens of others that bring tears I could list as well but two that stand out in my memory that are fitting to list on this thread are... The Little Old Log Cabin In The Lane (Albert E. Brumley) and He Stopped Loving Her Today (George Jones) Great thread idea/subject..may it become the longest on the "Cat" Thanks Shack


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Subject: Lyr Add: SOMEBODY MUST LEAVE (Reba McIntire)
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 18 Jul 99 - 08:00 PM

Impressive list, Pete--but I'd have a hard time keeping a straight face rhyming mercy with nursery. Another George Jones tearjerker is "He Stopped Loving Her Today." Reba McIntire's "Somebody Must Leave" is one that always gets me:

It sure gets quiet when the kids go to bed;
We sit here in the silence putting off what must be said.
I read a book, you watch TV, as our love dies quietly:
I'm so sad I don't know what I just read.
(chorus)
Somebody should leave, but which one should it be?
You need the kids, and they need me.
Somebody should leave, but we hate to give in;--
We keep hopin' somehow we might need each other again.

You say goodnight and turn and face the wall;
We lie here in the darkness and the tears start to fall.
If it was only you and me, goodbye might come more easily,
But what about those babies down the hall?

chorus, chorus repeated with "We just keep hopin' we might need each other again," spoken.

Of course, Reba is a great interpreter of sad songs.

--seed


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: jbrandberg
Date: 18 Jul 99 - 08:07 PM

There are so many good sad songs, but one of them that always gets to me is THERE WERE ROSES by Tommy Sands.

Unfortunately, it may become more topical again if the situation in Northern Ireland continues to deteriorate.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: WyoWoman
Date: 18 Jul 99 - 09:12 PM

Oh, Pete. That was a really, really good sad one..."taking nothing but my baby and my mind..."

Emily, where could I hear the melody to that one?

I need a sad song today. I went to see the traveling exhibit for The Wall That Heals, the replica of the Vietnam memorial wall. Found the name of a boy I grew up with. Drafted in late May, dead October 1. What's a song for that? I need to do some sobbing.

WW


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 18 Jul 99 - 09:43 PM

"First Christmas" by Stan Rogers, the most depressing Christmas song written since "The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot".

I think "Dark-Eyed Molly" by Archie Fisher a quite sad love song, but a very beautiful one.

Kate Rusby from England seems to specialize in melancholy songs, like "Annan Water." Indeed I am worried when one so young specializes in such tunes.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Gene
Date: 18 Jul 99 - 09:51 PM

Three of my favorite SAD SONGS...
1/Sing Me A Sad Song Hank Williams and
2/When *He Sang [*Hank Williams]and
3/Hank Williams Sings The Blues No More


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 18 Jul 99 - 09:53 PM

Un Bel Dia, from "Butterfly", sung by Lucretzia Bori, some time in the 1920s. I've been playing it every few months for many years now and I still cry, cry, cry my little eyes out. I'm just a big Wuzzum!
rick


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: campfire
Date: 18 Jul 99 - 10:07 PM

I'd like to add "Lying To the Moon" to the list, written by Matraca Berg. The version that "gets" me is by Robin and Linda Williams.

campfire


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 18 Jul 99 - 10:24 PM

Vincent by Don McLean has always brought tears to my eyes.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: mountain tyme
Date: 18 Jul 99 - 10:42 PM

WyoWoman..."A Soldiers Grave" by the Stanley Brothers. Always wets the floor when we do it on the various Memorial days.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Jeri
Date: 18 Jul 99 - 10:56 PM

I second many of the above contributions. Nobody's mentioned 'Kilkelly' yet. I don't know how many times I heard that song before I quit getting choked up.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Art Thieme
Date: 18 Jul 99 - 11:10 PM

"Waltzing With Bears"

Art


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 18 Jul 99 - 11:35 PM

"Waltzing With Bears"?


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Subject: Lyr Add: HOME FROM THE FOREST (Gordon Lightfoot)
From: Dale Rose
Date: 18 Jul 99 - 11:54 PM

Home from the forest
Gordon Lightfoot, 1967.

Oh, the neon lights were flashin' and the icy wind did blow
The water seeped into his shoes and the drizzle turned to snow
His eyes were red, his hopes were dead and the wine was runnin' low
And the old man came home from the forest

His tears fell on the sidewalk as he stumbled in the street
A dozen faces stopped to stare but no one stopped to speak
For his castle was a hallway and a bottle was his friend
And the old man stumbled in from the forest

Up a dark and dingy staircase the old man made his way
His ragged coat around him as upon his cot he lay
And he wondered how it happened that he ended up this way
Getting lost like a fool in the forest

And as he lay there sleeping, a vision did appear
Upon his mantle shining the face of one so dear
Who'd loved him in the springtime of a long forgotten year
When the wildflowers did bloom in the forest

She touched his grizzled fingers and she called him by his name
And then he heard the joyful sound of children at their games
In an old house on a hillside in some forgotten town
Where the river runs down from the forest

With a mighty roar the big jet soars above the canyon streets
And the con men con but life goes on for the city never sleeps
And to an old forgotten soldier the dawn will come no more
For the old man has come home from the forest


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Margo
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 01:18 AM

Lot's of civil war songs, but in particular, "The Vacant Chair". I get real choked up on that one. Plus, it has a wonderful melody.

Then there is the "Kindertotenlieder" by Mahler which means Children's Death Songs. Written when it was all to common for one or more children in a family to die from illness, the songs talk about missing the little footsteps and such. I can't listen to them.

Ah, Rick. Madama Butterfly. Of course, always touching.

Margarita


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Animaterra
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 09:12 AM

I know it's hardly folk, but Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven" does me in every time, thinking about his little boy who died.
Other than that, "There were roses," and a Yiddish song, "S'dremlen feygl" which was a poem written by Leah Rudzinski after a Polish ghetto was "cleansed"- there were few survivors, among them a 3-year old for whom the lullabye was written. Rudzinski later disappeared before WWII was over.
Allison


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: NSC
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 09:23 AM

The saddest song I have ever come across is a very new one written by Deidre Scanlan and included on her inaugural and just released CD.

The song is titled Dunblane and is about the tragic occurrence of chldren and teachers who were shot in Scotland a couple of years ago.

American catters will relate to the many similar occurrences in the USA.

When Deirdre performed this song in Dublin about 3 weeks ago, at the Goílín Singers Club, there was a stunned silence. It was the last song of the night and people had difficulty getting up to leave.

See her Web site or contact Nenagh Singers Circle for details of how to obtain this unique CD.

George Henderson


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: MudGuard
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 09:24 AM

Two Little Orphans a.k.a. The Orphan's Lament


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Mr. D.
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 09:42 AM

This is really a good thread. I get tear-jerked just reading ABOUT these songs. One of the saddest songs to me is "Lullabye Blues" by Jimmie Rodgers. Another heart-wrencher, especially the way it is sung, is Travis Tritt's "Nobody Answers When I Call Your Name."


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Mike Regenstreif
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 10:03 AM

One of the saddest songs I've heard in recent years is David Massengill's "Rider On An Orphan Train."

It's also performed by Tom Russell.

Mike Regenstreif


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Allan C.
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 10:14 AM

Last night I heard the cry
Of my last companion.
A blast from a harpoon gun
And I was alone...

I arose for to take a breath
It was my last one.
From a gun came the roar of death
And I am undone...

from "The Last Leviathan" as I have heard it by Golden Bough

It brings me to tears nearly every time.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Art Thieme
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 12:06 PM

"The Death Of Queen Jane"

Art


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 01:20 PM

Well this is quite a list. Personally, I dunno'.......

It seems that most of the songs I do are sad songs. At least that's what I'm told. Every time I finish one, someone says, "Jesus, that was really sad."

catspaw


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Cara
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 02:11 PM

Sad sons are my favorite. One of my favorite performers used to call the songs that my friends and I requested "the wrist-slasher set". I love "Waltzing Matilda" by Tom Waites, a good interpretation of "Where have all the Flowers Gone?", that Reba McIntyre song about the little boy whose father killed his mother, "Daniel" by Elton John, and, I shamefacedly admit that I wwas in my twenties before I could sing "Puff the Magic Dragon" to my little cousins without choking up (I'm still in my twentiesw, so it wasn't long ago). Also "You are My Sunshine"; that damn Oscar Mayer commercial song makes it look so cute, then you hear the second verse ahnd it's just wrenching.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BOB DYLAN'S DREAM
From: Jack (who is called Jack)
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 02:11 PM

BOB DYLAN'S DREAM as sung by PP&M always gets me.

While riding on a train goin' west,
I fell asleep for to take my rest.
I dreamed a dream that made me sad,
Concerning myself and the first few friends I had.

With half-damp eyes I stared to the room
Where my friends and I spent many an afternoon,
Where we together weathered many a storm,
Laughin' and singin' till the early hours of the morn.

By the old wooden stove where our hats was hung,
Our words were told, our songs were sung,
Where we longed for nothin' and were quite satisfied
Talkin' and a-jokin' about the world outside.

With haunted hearts through the heat and cold,
We never thought we could ever get old.
We thought we could sit forever in fun
But our chances really was a million to one.

As easy it was to tell black from white,
It was all that easy to tell wrong from right.
And our choices were few and the thought never hit
That the one road we traveled would ever shatter and split.

How many a year has passed and gone,
And many a gamble has been lost and won,
And many a road taken by many a first friend,
And each one of them I've never seen again.

I wish, I wish, I wish in vain,
That we could sit simply in that room once again.
Ten thousand dollars at the drop of a hat,
I'd give it all gladly if our lives could be like that.

HTML line breaks added in place of double spacing. --JoeClone, 6-Oct-02.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 02:20 PM

And on a serious note (C#)......Sorry, but seriously, I'm totally with you Jack. Way too strong, too true, forme to get through that one anymore.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: PattyG
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 02:32 PM

Is this some form of mashochism, or what?! Love it!..........

//For the Vietnam memorial: "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" and "Danny Boy" and, in general, "Sonny Boy."

"First Christmas" by Stan Rogers, the most depressing Christmas song written since "The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot".

//Heard the former on a t.v. special and about lost it. I have two sons and my oldest has a terminal illness...... But this also reminds me of a thread some time back about Sad Christmas Songs - someone was going to make a CD of melancholy holiday music.......ever accomplished?

I think Kevin Sharp singing, "Nobody Knows" is pretty darned sad too.

Hate to admit this, but I guess I've never paid much attention to "Waltzing Matilda" - didn't realize it was sad! (I shouldn't admit this, but now I'd like to know the lyrics!)


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Bryant
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 03:40 PM

Glad I'm not the only one who love sad tunes.

I think Leonard Cohen does sad better than almost anyone I can think of. "It Seems so Long Ago, Nancy" "Famous Blue Raincoat". And then there's one called "Dress Rehersal Rag" where some washed-up, junky, entertainer has a long conversation with his reflection in a mirror just before offing himself. Maybe more scary than sad. . .

Bryant


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Tiger
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 04:36 PM

For me, the answer changes as I hear new ones. Right now, it's a Civil War song:


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Tiger
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 04:39 PM

Sorry, that last msg got scrambled by a fat finger error.

My current saddest nominee is "The Faded Coat of Blue"

BTW, that Dave Van Ronk song mentioned earlier is "Need for Going" by Joni Mitchell, and I agree wholeheartedly. It's also done beautifully by Tom Rush.

....Tiger


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: LEJ
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 04:49 PM

Does Those were the Days my Friend conjure up nostalgic tears from any of you aging 60's revolutionaries? Especially the lines "Just last night I saw you in the tavern
I saw your face, and heard you call my name
Yes my friend, we're older but no wiser
For in our hearts the dream is still the same"

LEJ


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Lowcountry
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 05:19 PM

Someone did a thread about an alleged third verse to The Rose of Tralee, and it turned out to be a gut wrencher: In the far fields of Africa, midst war's dreadful thunder,/ Her voice was a comfort and solace to me;/ The cold hand of death has now rent us asunder; /Tonight I am missing the Rose of Tralee. For such a beautiful and emotional love song, that really is a rough ending.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Mike Regenstreif
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 05:23 PM

Not to be picky, but in the interest of accuracy, the song reffered to as "In a Mood for Going" and "Need for Going," is actually called "Urge for Going." As noted, it was written by Joni Mitchell.

And the Tom Waits song identified as "Waltzing Matilda," is actually called "Tom Traubert's Blues."

Mike Regenstreif


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Mbo
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 07:41 PM

I agree that sad songs are probably my favorite kinds of songs. As a fan of many kinds of music, I draw on a large range of styles and genres. Here are some of my favorites (all work well in a folk setting, too):

- "The Wall" by The Statler Brothers (for the Vietnam Memorial.) - "I Go To Pieces" by Peter & Gordon - "Norland Wind" by Battlefield Band - "Bridget O' Malley" (Altan's version) - "What's the Use of Wings?" (John Wright Band version) - "Ae Fond Kiss" - "The Boys of Barr Na Sraide" - "The Massacre of Glencoe" - "The Rain Song" by Led Zeppelin - And the ultimate sad song "Carrickfergus"


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Peter bugden - Bugden@primus.com.au
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 10:59 PM

Definitely "First Christmas" - Stan Rogers, but what about "The Enigma" or "Gift of Years" - Eric Bogle (lyrics available on request) or "Absent Friends" as recorded by Vin Garbutt?


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Groundhog@webtv.net
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 11:02 PM

One of the saddest songs I know is "Poor Kitty Popcorn" by Henry Clay Work. We have tried to sing it on one or two occasions and it has'nt gone over wery well. -John Haigis P.S. Does anyone know the words to "In the Town of Adleypool" about a pet monkey being washed overboard and hung in the town square as a spy?


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: peter bugden
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 11:05 PM

the song you are after is called the Hartleypool Monkey and was recorded by Vin Garbutt back in the seventies. I think it's on his album "Eston California".


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LAST LEVIATHAN (from Rory Block)
From: WyoWoman
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 11:12 PM

Allan -- I'm learning "The Last Leviathan" from a Rory Block CD I have. It is so sad I just feel like MY soul has been torn from me. But I think it's an important song to do, so I'm learning it.

Here are the lyrics:
(It has this beautiful drone in the bass line, which on the CD is done with an organ, I think, but could be done with voices. A friend of mine did this part with his accordian...)

THE LAST LEVIATHAN

My soul has been torn from me
And I am bleeding.
My heart it has been rent,
And I am crying.

All beauty around me fades,
And I am screaming.
I am the last of the great whales.
And I am dying.

Last night I heard the cry
Of my last companion.
The roar of the harpoon gun
And I was alone.

I reflect on the days gone by
When we were thousands.
And I know that I soon shall die.
The last leviathan.

This morning the sun arose
Crimson in the sky.
The ice was the color of blood
And the wind it did sigh.

I rose up to take a breath.
It was my last one.
From the berm came the roar of death.
And now I am done.

Now that we're all gone,
And there's no more hunting.
The big fellow is no more,
And there's no use lamenting.

Which race will be next in line
For the slaughter?
The elephant or the seal?
Or your sons and daughters?

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 6-Oct-02.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Alice
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 11:17 PM

Give My Love To Nell, Kilkelly, There Were Roses, Skibbereen, The Town I Loved So Well.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Mike Regenstreif
Date: 20 Jul 99 - 09:30 AM

I'd also add all of Eric Bogle's WWI songs: "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda," "No Man's Land (Willie McBride," etc.

Mike Regenstreif


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Peter T.
Date: 20 Jul 99 - 11:18 AM

I am not sure about whether this is a wallowing around thread or not (I can do that with the best of them!), but this is the saddest/hardest poem I know. I used to use it as an audition piece, but had to give it up, because I could never get all the way through it without breaking down. It is from Ariel Dorfman's poem, Missing, about the people who were taken away during Pinochet's rule in Chile.

my son has been
missing
since May 8
of last year.

They took him
just for a few hourse
they said
just for some routine
questioning.

After the car left,
the car with no licence plate,
we couldn't
find out
anything else about him.

But now things have changed.
We have heard from a companero
who just got out
that five months later
they were torturing him
in Villa Grimaldi.
He says he recognised
his voice
his screams
he says.

Somebody tell me
what times are these
what kind of world
what country?
What I am asking is
how can it be
that a father's
joy
is knowing
that they
that they are still
torturing my son?
Which means that he was alive
five months after he
disappeared
and that my greatest
hope
can only be to find out
next year
that they are still
torturing him
and so he is still
maybe
maybe
alive.


yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: JSTPLNFOLK
Date: 20 Jul 99 - 09:09 PM

Of course certain songs are sadder to certain people. Life experiences,age,etc. are all important factors. One of my favorites, because it touches several aspects of my life is 'This Old House' by the Rice brothers. I swear I tear up just thinking about it. Great song.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: emily rain
Date: 20 Jul 99 - 10:23 PM

WyoWoman ----

i'll post a wav file of that song on my webpage... won't be a minute...

emily


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: annamill
Date: 20 Jul 99 - 11:30 PM

My Old Man by Furies. I heard it by our own Bill Sables. There wasn't a dry eye in the house...or on the gazebo. Even the rowdies stopped being rowdy and were hit between the eyes. Everything was quiet for Bill. He had the house. Glenn's Dad died at the tender age of 45, when Glenn was quite young. He was particularly hit hard.

Love, annap


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Barry Finn
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 12:59 AM

I'll toss in:

Flowers of the Forest, the loss of that battle was nothing to the countryside losing most of the male popular from the young boys to the old men. No pollination, no flowers left a lonely, sad, barren countryside with no chance to recoupe.

Dave Van Ronk's "Another Time & Place" & Robert Burn's "One Fond Kiss" two of a kind

"Stor Ma Chroi" (sp?)

"The Shearing's Not For You"

"Will You Go To Flanders"

the slow slave version of "Shallow Brown"

a prison hollar sung alone at night from behind bars called "Edie" or "Go away Edie"
Go away Edie quit worrying my mind, go away Edie go away (2x)
Can't sleep for dreaming, can't dream for crying, go away Edie go away

"Another Man Done Gone"

"Take This Hammer"

a sad upbeat slave song "Through My Body Anywhere"

but Art's suggestion of "Waltzing With Bears" takes the cake. Barry


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: PattyG
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 11:50 AM

(Peter wrote) but what about "The Enigma" or "Gift of Years" - Eric Bogle (lyrics available on request) or "Absent Friends" as recorded by Vin Garbutt?

///I would love to have the lyrics to these songs.

My Old Man by Furies.

///I'd love to have the lyrics to this as well!


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: DougR
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 12:38 PM

An old WWI song gets my vote, "My Buddy." "Danny Boy," is a close second though.

DougR


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Mike Strobel
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 01:20 PM

From Clare to Here............By Ralph McTell


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Tiger
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 01:36 PM

Streets of London - Ralph McTell


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 01:52 PM

Just read this from a link by Wolfgang Hell, in another thread and it has got to be one of the saddest I've ever read: THERE WERE ROSES


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Bert
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 03:32 PM

You can't talk about sad songs without mentioning this one by 'ghing That's Not My Colorado


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: annamill
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 03:37 PM

Kat, Bert sang this at the gathering at my house this weekend.

Annap


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Allan C.
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 03:56 PM

Damn! How'd I miss that?


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 05:21 PM

Wow, you guys! Thanks, again, esp. you, Bert!

'ghing!


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Harald Schmidt
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 05:28 PM

No, one of the sadest song for me is: "The wind that shake the barley"


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Jeri
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 06:09 PM

Four people so far have mentioned "There Were Roses." The first time I heard it was in a session. This guy who I'd never met before was there and had to leave, so he asked if he could do a song. I expected a decent song from a decent singer. He stood up and started singing this song, and it wasn't long before it was so quiet, you could hear people breathe. He finished, and it was a good long while before anyone started playing again. I was trying to discretely wipe the tears away. Then I looked around and saw a few other people doing the same thing.

Kat, where did Wolfgang put the link?


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE OLD HOUSE (George Jones)
From: Mark Clark
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 06:47 PM

I think George Jones wrote a song that Bill Monroe recorded caled "The Old House." Went kindly like this...


There's an old, old house that once was a mansion,
On a hill overlooking the town,
But time had made a wreckage where once there was beauty,
And soon the old house would tumble down.

(chorus)
But when the leaves start to fall in the autumn,
And the rain starts to drip from the trees,
There's an old old man who walks in the garden,
And his head it is bowed in memory.

They say he built the mansion for the love of a woman,
And they planned to be married in the fall,
But her love wilted in the last days of summer,
And the house stood empty after all.

(chorus)
But when the leaves start to fall in the autumn,
And the rain starts to drip from the trees,
There's an old old man who walks in the garden,
And his head it is bowed in memory.

Hope you like it as much as I do. It's hard to do that one with dry eyes.

- Mark


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: SueH
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 06:58 PM

I'll go along with 'Ae Fond Kiss', and 'From Clare To Here'. 'Do You think I Do Not Know', written by Henry Lawson. Also, although it isn't a folk song, Paul Simon's 'Slip Sliding Away'.

And Alan says his are 'The Water Lily', sung by Martin Wyndham Read, & 'The Moon Was A-Waning', written by James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd.

I'm sure I'll think of some more.

Sue


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Mark Clark
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 07:04 PM

Oh, and let's not forget John Prine's tune "Sam Stone."

(chorus) There's a hole in Daddy's arm where all the money goes,
And Jesus Christ died for nothin' I suppose,
Little pitchers have big ears,
Don't stop to count the years,
Sad songs never last too long on broken radios.

That one will really bring you down.

Then there are all the old dying children songs and children trying to reach dying parents ("The Baggage Car Ahead") or save dying siblings ("The Leaves Mustn't Fall"). Pete Curry was right, this topic could fill a Web site by itself.

- Mark


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Sourdough
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 09:00 PM

One of my favorites is "The Child of the Railroad Engineer". When I get to the part where he goes by his house and his wife lights the green lantern meaning all is well, that the child has passed safely through the crisis, I have a small catharsis of my own.

Actually, I think every song you love has a line, a phrase or maybe even a verse that contains the essence of the song for you. Sometimes listening to a singer I can tell when he or she hoits that phrase. With some people, it is as though it becomes luminescent for a moment.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Pete Curry
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 09:13 PM

Dear BSeed/Charles Kratz: I fail to see what's so funny about rhyming "nursery" with "mercy"? Please explain. And kuddos to all who mentioned Stan Rogers' "First Christmas" and the fellow who pointed out the actual title of Tom Waits' "Waltzing Matilda" ("Tom Traubert's Blues"): the computer was drinking, not me. Do I dare mention Billy Holliday's classic wrist-slasher, "Gloomy Sunday"? Oops, I guess I did. Love and saddness to you all.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Tiger
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 09:20 PM

Mark....

I'll go along with you on "Sam Stone". I didn't think of it off the top, but it really moves.

I have a weakness for this kind of song - my poor wife wonders why I don't sing enough 'happy' songs. Still, I always gravitate to the tear-jerkers. How about:

    "I Wonder if They Ever Think of Me"......Merle Haggard


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: JESTER!
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 09:25 PM

Well, I'm not sure if it's the same song the Furries sing (I'm not familiar with them) but Steve Goodman's "My Old Man" is one that several bandmates have forbid me to perform, on the grounds that it "Bums everyone out". The 2nd verse goes: "And oh, the fights we had when my brother and me got him mad. He'd get all red, and start to shout; we knew what was coming, so we tuned him out. And now the old man is gone And I'd give all I own Just to hear what he was saying when I wasn't listening To my old man".


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Pete Curry
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 09:32 PM

Let's hear it for the song that started this thread: "I Heard A Heart Break Last Night" was a hit for country singer Jim Reeves in 1967. Given that Jim Reeves is noted for his lack of "twang," his was probably not the version Shack heard. The song was written by the great Leon Payne who penned many of George Jones' early hits. It is fitting that someone named "Payne" should trigger such a thread, don't you think?


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Allan C.
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 09:49 PM

"Motherless Child"; "At A High Window" (sung by Garnet Rogers - Stan's son); Ewan McColl's "The Joy of Living"; Nina Simone singing just about anything.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: WyoWoman
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 11:41 PM

Ach, Peter T. Amazing. Holly Near did one some time back, the name of which I can't remember, but it was about the "Disapeared," and the refrain, "And the junta knows... And the junta knows..." just nailed my heart. Have you heard it?

WW


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 11:54 PM

WW- I've got it, the name is "Hay Una Mujer Desaparecida" My Spanish is ltd., but doesn't it mean something about the Desperate Mothers?, I know that she sings out the names of the disappeared in it. It's on her tape called "Imagine My Suprise".

Jeri, I think There Were Roses is in the Republican songs thread. I'll look for it. If it's not in the DT, I'll post it as a LYR ADD thread.

WW- the Leviathan has to be the saddest for me. I feel such kinship with all the critters and they have so little defense. Thanks.

kat


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 11:56 PM

Jeri: it's in the DT here


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Banjer
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 12:05 AM

I haven't seen mentioned an old song I can only recall as "Eastbound Train", about a little girl going to get her old daddy out of prison and the conductor that finds her onthe train without her ticket....Can't even remember who did it, but the voice I associate with it would be similar to Ernest Tubb.....


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Allan C.
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 07:16 AM

Kat, it means "There's A Woman Missing"


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Mike Regenstreif
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 07:24 AM

Garnet Rogers was referred to in one of the posts above as "Stan's son." Stan was Garnet's brother.

Mike Regenstreif


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: WyoWoman
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 08:01 AM

Kat--Yup to that translation. Do you have a copy of"the Last Leviathan?" If not, I'll make you a tape. You should hear it, given your commitment to the critters.

WW


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Peter T.
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 09:12 AM

Dear WyoWoman/kat, I heard the song once, but didn't know its name. I will go and find the Holly Near album. Much appreciated (gracias a todos)
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Lowcountry
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 09:39 AM

I forgot who sang "The Last Cheater's Waltz." In a dark way, that is a very sad song.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Mark Clark
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 01:42 PM

Tiger,

Yes, that's a good one. Merle had a number of really sad songs. "If we make it through December" still gets me whenever I hear it on the raido.

It's funny how a song will get to you even when you don't want it to. The Country Geltlemen's tune (John Duffy?) "Bringing Mary Home" uses every cheap offensive trick in the book to illicit an emotional reaction from the listener and, even though I know I'm being had, it can still get to me once in a while. I guess I'm fundamentally a sap.

- Mark


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 01:57 PM

Lat Cheaters Waltz reminded me of another country one that come out in the 80's, Rose Colored Glasses. Thanks AllanC. for the translation. No, WW, I don't have a copy & would love to hear it. Thanks! Peter, I think you'll really enjoy that Holly Near one. I have another of hers, Sky dances, which has beautiful songs on it, including The Letter,by Ruben Blades, about people dying of AIDS, and Nicaragua Night. Both very sad songs. She also has one on there called "They Are Falling All Around Me" about the people she learned music from. When I have time, I'll try to get the lyrics posted.

kat


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Neil Lowe
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 02:26 PM

"Carmelita," by Warren Zevon (with a nod of gratitude to LEJ for nailing the title and composer for me from a misquoted line or two)


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Blue Jay
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 02:39 PM

JESTER mentions Steve Goodman's "My Old Man", but I think Goodman's "Ballad of Penney Evans" is one of the saddest and most moving songs ever written, detailing the plight, (in a cappella), of a "young widow of the war that's being fought in Vietnam. And I have two infant daughters, I THANK GOD I HAVE NO SONS, now you say the war is over, but I think it's just begun". This song is a real tearjerker.

Another of my favorite "sad songs" is Ian Tyson's BARNEY, about a rancher forced to shoot his old, decrepit horse. The song ranges thru nostalgia, reality, and depression. It's on an old Ian & Sylvia record, and evokes strong emotions: whenever I play it, people either love it or HATE it, ("how could you sing a song about something like that"?) Animal rights people tend to hate it, until they realize the song's not about killing animals, but rather BONDING WITH ANIMALS.

Both of these sad songs bring out exceptionally strong emotional responses, which a REAL sad song should.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Sam
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 02:48 PM

The best thing about a sad song is that it can come at you unexpectedly. I smiled when I read (about sixty emails back) that someone else used to cry at Puff, the Magic Dragon -- I couldn't get through that song as a boy.

Songs that have back-doored me in the last eight years:

George Jones: Good Year for the Roses Jules Shear: First Freeze After the Fall (the album with this song is one sad song after another). Bob Dylan: Lay, Lady, Lay (this is what I'm talking about since most people wouldn't even consider this to BE a sad song -- one time I was listening to this song and the line "I long to see you in the morning light / I long to reach for you, in the night" just struck me as achingly melancholy. I don't think it's ever struck me quite that way again, but I haven't forgotten. Roberta Flack: If Ever I See You Again


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Tiger
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 03:00 PM

I keep getting reminded of these, 'cause I have so many sad songs in my collection. But I'M not sad, really!

How about Woody Guthrie's "Deportees"?


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Allan C.
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 03:05 PM

Or Judy Collins' "Medgar Evers Lullaby"...(I think that is the right title. I lost the record long ago.)


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 07:34 PM

Leonard Cohen is more than sad -- he is into the reach-for-the-Prozac territory. But I agree, Famous Blue Raincoat is a great song.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Pete Curry
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 07:48 PM

For Kat: "Rose Colored Glasses" was by John Conlee. It was a hit (his biggest) in 1978.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 09:38 PM

Thanks, Pete. They used to play it on KVOC Am,, here in Casper, where I used to work. I started there in '79, so was guessing on the date. Really a beautiful song.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: WyoWoman
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 11:24 PM

I adore "Famous Blue Raincoat." It always just splays my little ol' heart. The line that brings me to tears is, "Thanks for the sorrow you took from her eyes. I thought it was there for good, so I never really tried."

The idea that we can take sorrow from each other's eyes... mmmm ... The idea that we take each other's sorrow so much for granted, or fail to notice it altogether.

God, I"m feelin' melancholy right now. (And I mean that in the best possible way... Interesting, isn't it, how we have these feelings that are "good" -- happiness, laughter, joy, etc. -- and all these other feelings that are "bad" -- anger, melancholy, sadness -- and we can't seem to just hang out with them and even indulge them from time to time without someone thinking we need "cheering up," or maybe medication (at least in the U.S.).

I think allowing yourself a good, deep melancholy wallow occasionally is quite healthy.

Ok. Now for a little joke:

What do you get when you breed Lassie with a cantaloupe?

(That's a Melon-collie baby...)

(sorry)

WW


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Roger the zimmer
Date: 23 Jul 99 - 06:15 AM

I always used to cry as a child when my mother sang "Sweet Little Alice Blue Gown". Whether it was the words of the song, her smokers' husky baritone or the clip round the ear she gave me I don't know!
Although it is terribly corny, I , cynic, that I am, always choke when singing "Old Shep" when he has to be (sniff) put down (gulp), and goes to doggy heaven (boo hoo).


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Cairo Waltz
Date: 23 Jul 99 - 06:50 AM

The Cairo Waltz, a triple fiddle tune, made me cry the first several times I heard it. The greatest Man I Ever Knew by Reba used to do me in much more than any George Jones song ever did. My grandson cries when I play fiddle, but that's a different kind of sad.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 23 Jul 99 - 07:59 AM

Roger--

Old Shep always does it for me, too. As a boy, I used to ask Dad to sing it, knowing that I would be in tears well before the end. I still experience tightness in the chest when I perform it; partly because of the content, and partly because it makes me think of Dad and his great tenor voice--now silent for me.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: GeorgeH
Date: 23 Jul 99 - 08:18 AM

A thread about sad songs and not a single mention of June Tabor; do you guys have no taste in melancholy and depression? At least Tim Jaques mentions Kate Rusby, who shows signs of following the same path. (Don't worry, Tim, they're both great fun in real life . . )

Also it strikes me that one or two nominations are "sad by association" . . .

Anyway; saddest song - June's (never recorded) rendition of the McGarrigles' "Heart like a wheel" - perhaps because that's a sadness most of us know. [Hearing the McGarrigles sing it was a distinct anti-climax.] Followed by the Australian song which starts "There's a man in my bed / I used to love him" but whose title I can't remember.

Saddest performance - again from June - is from the hard-to-find recording of the first of the Paschendaele Peace Concerts (a recording of which is still used at the Paschendaele museum); the narative of "Nurse Dorothy Nicol" intercut with "It's a long way to Tipparary" (the first is taken from one of Lynn Gregory (?)'s wonderful "oral history" books of the first world war, "The Roses of No Man's Land"). Indeed, if you want a recording of deeply powerful sad songs which is still uplifting and optimistic then I'd heartily recommend that whole CD. ("We died in hell . . they called it Paschendaele"). It - CD and concert - is about war and armed conflict generally, rather than just the first world war, and its performers and content are international.

George


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Peter T.
Date: 23 Jul 99 - 09:00 AM

The most ridiculous sad song I know is "After The Ball Is Over" which used to send me into a tailspin when I was 12, until one day I heard the lyrics to the verse. If you have never heard it, the guy rejects his beloved because he sees her kissing another man at the ball. He would not listen to her explanations, and many years later he gets a letter from the man, who was her brother! Only two reactions, really: why didn't she just yell out, he's my brother, you jerk! or was she French kissing her own brother, in which case...? Crushed my adolescent wallowing then and there. The famous chorus is still moving, but the rest, ridiculous!! And this is generally regarded as the first modern hit song.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: dwditty
Date: 23 Jul 99 - 09:20 AM

First of all, I would like to thank all the previous posters to this thread for not naming I Am..I Said. Frankly, when Neil starts chatting with the Barcalounger, I just crack up.

The Dave Van Ronk choices are high on my list. Here are two by Oscar Brown, Jr. One is Rags and Old Iron in which the singer is offering to sell his broken heart to the ragman - of course, the ragman declines. The other is A Young Girl - the tragic story of a 15 year old runaway.

Keep your chin down,

DW


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Shimbo
Date: 23 Jul 99 - 11:24 AM

Yes, there is some great stuff listed here. (I get picked on for singing sad songs!) Can't understand the inclusion of "Carrickfergus" - great song, but not a tear-jerker. Guess this shows that sadness is in the ear of the listener.

Now, my second pick for sad would be "Two Brothers", about the American Civil War.

My top pick would be Kris Kristoffersen's "Jody and the Kid".

This is all without going through the long list of songs I know. When I think of the oldies like "I Want a Pardon for Daddy", "Old Faithful", "Bridle on the Wall", "It's Been Lonesome in the Saddle since my Horse Died" (sorry, that last one is a cynical invention of a friend who disliked C&W)I wonder if any new songs can match the oldies for sadness. And what about some of the old English folk songs ( a few already mentioned) "The Four Marys", "The Unquiet Grave". AND I fully agree with the inclusion of Irish songs, particularly several from the various Irish uprisings eg "Kevin Barry".


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Jack (who is called Jack)
Date: 23 Jul 99 - 12:18 PM

There is a song on Emmy Lou Harris' Live at the Ryman album

I can't remember it all, theres a part that goes....

I'm lonesome for my precious children, they are so far away.

Does anyone know it?

We ought to post the lyrics here.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Jul 99 - 12:36 PM

Little Joe the Wrangler & When the Work's All Done This Fall, esp. when my dad sings them.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Ferrara
Date: 23 Jul 99 - 01:35 PM

Wow, a fine thread. I sang "The Faded Coat of Blue" at the Washington Folk Festival. I followed a gut-wrenching song by Joe Hickerson about a guy who was wrongfully hanged, so I introduced it with "This is the LEAST depressing of the songs I have prepared." (I had already done "Tenting Tonight," and had also prepared "All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight," which is a tear-jerker but doesn't really move me, and "The Vacant Chair.") I love "The Vacant Chair," especially because it was written for the family of the boy who was killed.

No one has mentioned "The Heart of the Appaloosa," by ?Frank Small?. I know a woman who said it took her 6 months to learn: 1 month to get the words and tune right, another 5 to get through it without breaking down.

I love "The Death of Queen Jane." To me it's one of the most personal and moving Child ballads. Every time I finish singing it, it takes me about a minute to come out of Queen Jane's funeral procession, with Henry the Eighth walking behind wringing his hands, and back to the 20th century.

Also love the ballad "Sheath and Knife," which is like Queen Jane in that it's a personal tragedy as well as a royal one. ALso love but can hardly bear, "Bonnie Susy Clelie." There, the pride and stubborness of Susy and her parents just tears me up.

Art, I rolled on the floor cackling at your nomination of "Waltzing with Bears" as the saddest song you know. Bill thinks it's pretty sad, too; he made it known, about 6 months after our crowd took it up, that he felt it suffered from over exposure and should be retired until about Y2K.

Darn it, people, I have just got to spend less time on Mudcat, and what happens? I ended up reading every darned post on this thread (and enjoyed every ill-spent minute). - Rita F


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Peter T.
Date: 23 Jul 99 - 01:45 PM

Another Art T. candidate for saddest song might be "Our Hour (The Puppy Love Song)" or "Laura", both by Spike Jones and His Musical Depreciation Revue. "Our Hour" will bring tears to the eyes, and howls from the family, pooch and all.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Walrus
Date: 23 Jul 99 - 02:32 PM

GeorgeH,

Do you have any details of the CD "We Died in Hell..."?

It sounds interesting, is it still available?

By the bye,"Roses of No-Man's-Land" is by Lyn McDonald I have vague memories of my Mother singing the song, "Roses of No Man's Land", I presume that she'd learned it from her father, a Great War veteran.

Regards

Walrus


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Peter T.
Date: 23 Jul 99 - 02:43 PM

"through the War's great curse, Stands the Red Cross nurse -- She's the Rose of No Man's Land!"(my father used to sing this when tipsy)
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 23 Jul 99 - 02:58 PM

Ferrera--I was going to mention "Faded Coat of Blue" and "The Vacant Chair". Much of my solo show includes those great old 1860-era sobbers. I also thought of "Little Joe," "The Orphan Child" and "That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine." My friend Bobby Horton performs "Kennesaw Line" on one of his albums, and it is practically the only non-traditional song he does. I can't remember who wrote it, but it is a powerful (and sad) song based on the experiences of a young Tennesseean in the War Between the States as related in a personal memoir titled *Company Aytch.*


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Peter T.
Date: 23 Jul 99 - 05:01 PM

"Kennesaw Line" is by Don Oja-Dunaway, Floridian.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Legal Eagle
Date: 23 Jul 99 - 06:54 PM

Richard Cory

Annie McElvie

Graveyard Blues

Laszlo Feyer

forgotten name - lament of the woman married to the drinking man she still loves had a heart so warm - ended his days in a rented flat

My youngest son

Close the coal house door

The miner's lament


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Pete Curry
Date: 23 Jul 99 - 08:40 PM

For Cairo Waltz: The actual title of the Reba McEntire song you mentioned is "The Greatest Man I Never Knew."


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: DonMeixner
Date: 25 Jul 99 - 10:05 AM

Eric Bogle's "The Leaving of Nancy" Ralph McTell's(?) "The Setting" Bill Destler's Song, the title I don't know. ."Maybe you'll know when you see my shuttered windows, May be you'll know when no one takes the mail, Come along spring Lord and I'll be in the country, Come along fall and this house will be for sale."

Stan Roger's "Last Watch on The Midlands"


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Snookadive
Date: 25 Jul 99 - 11:11 AM

If you want to squeeze out a few listen to "Bees Wing" by Richard Thompson, "West Coast of Clare" Andy Irvine (Planxtys' first album) or Arlos' rendtion of " Victor Jara" . They always get to me.

Snookadive


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: emily rain
Date: 25 Jul 99 - 06:06 PM

WyoWoman,

hope you're still interested in "ya viene el cativo"... my webhost was bought up by yahoo and i had to go in and re-set my account. therefore, posting the song to my page took considerably longer than a minute! it's there now, at
http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Exhibit/5476/index.html

hope that link works.

happy (sad) singin'
emily


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Jul 99 - 06:51 PM

Emily,

You have an absolutely stunning voice! I just listened to all three of your samples and loved them. Thanks so much for the link. Hope you get over to the Mudcat tavern to give them a sample, too.:-)

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: WyoWoman
Date: 25 Jul 99 - 07:57 PM

Oh, Emily. That was great! Our voices would work beautifully together. Let's do a duet over at the campfire or the tavern.

Any ideas?

WW


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Mark Clark
Date: 25 Jul 99 - 11:18 PM

Katlaughing,

I sure agree with your assessment of Emily's tracks. I'd pay to hear more of that any time. I also agree with your choice of "Little Joe The Wrangler." Getting squashed to a pulp is sad in anyone's book.

- Mark


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 12:24 AM

Mark,

I STILL can't sing it in public! Too many tears. My mom and dad raised us on it and other cowboy "laments", as well as much other music.

Ditto on paying to hear, Emily!

kat


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE ENIGMA (Eric Bogle)
From: Bugsy
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 01:01 AM

Sorry PattyG for not getting back sooner, but I've been away for a few days. I don't know if you are familiar with the song "The Enigma" by Eric Bogle, but it concerns a young man who, at a high point of his life, drove his car to the top of a multistory carpark, locked his car, put the keys in his pocket and walked off the edge. The words to it are as follows:

Andrew had a smile on his face
The day that he resigned from the human race.
The arguments had all been heard. The verdict had been reached.
He turned his back upon his cage and leapt to his release.
Spinning like a carousel,
Andrew made no sound as he fell.

"It's hard to believe," said Andrew's friends,
"We won't be seeing Andy again.
He'd achieved most of the goals that men keep striving for:
Big house, good job, expensive car, a wife that he adored.
He had it made as far as we could tell.
We were his friends, we knew him well."

"I can't believe it's true," said Andrew's wife.
"I can't believe that Andy took his life.
I can't believe the man I love won't be coming home.
I can't believe the man I love would leave me here alone,
Without a word of love or of farewell.
He was my man. I knew him well.

"I don't believe it," Andrew's father said.
"I don't believe my little Andy's dead.
Perhaps we never were what a father and son should be,
But I always loved him - and hoped that he loved me.
Where did I go wrong? Where did I fail?
He was my son. I knew him well."

"I won't believe it," Andrew's mother cried.
"I won't believe that it was suicide.
In the last few years, I know, he may have strayed from the fold,
But he'd never put in jeopardy his own immortal soul.
He must have lost his balance, slipped and fell.
He was my son. I knew him too well."

But Andrew had a smile on his face,
As he tumbled through the fragile space
That links the known with the unknown that bridges life and death.
Time before he crossed the bridge for one final breath.
Time for one last defiant yell.
But Andrew made no sound as he fell.

I have been singing this song for about 10 years and still find it hard to sing. Eric only sings it occasionally when specially requested.

I will get back with the words of "Absent Friends" as soon as I can fish out the Album.

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 6-Oct-02.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: catspaw49
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 11:36 AM

Hey there--JackwhobeJack,

I was reading this long thread when I came across your song/Emmylou request. The song is "Calling My Children Home." You can find the lyrics at Josef Somers Emmylou Harris Dutch Homepage along with about 200 others. I saw her do this onstage with her daughters at one of her "Lilith Fair" appearances. Beautiful and a real tearjerker.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Mark Clark
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 03:18 PM

Kat,

I sometimes wish there had been someone to sing me cowboy songs. My dad collected Harry Lauder records and had me trying to sing from "Carmen" by the time I was three.

Well, I guess I did have someone to sing me cowboy songs. It was Gene Autry. I'd turn on the old wooden Zenith radio after I was supposed to be asleep and listen to Melody Ranch circa 1950. I loved the music even then though it was wasn't considered "real" music at our house.

Needless to say, my own daughters grew up on sad songs, cowboy songs, wobbly songs, and lots of other folk material. I hope someday they will have trouble getting through "Little Joe The Wrangler" for the same reason you have trouble.

- Mark


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Bert C.
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 04:40 PM

I cast my votes for "Love, Me" by Colin Raye, about a boy and his grandfather dealing with the loss of a beloved grandmother.
If you get there before I do,
Don't give up on me.
I'll meet you when my chores are through,
I don't know how long I'll be,
But I'm not gonna let you down --
Darlin' wait and see;
But between now and then
'Til I see you again
I'll be lovin' you
-- Love, me
Also "The Blizzard" by Jim Reeves.
Late that night the storm was gone
And they found him there at dawn.
He'd a made it, but he just couldn't leave ol' Dan.
Yes, they found him there on the plains,
His hands froze to the reins.
He was just 100 yards from Maryann
Geez, I can't even type these out without coming unglued.

Bert C.
 acoffman@easy-pages.com


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Subject: Lyr Add: BLOOD ON THE SADDLE (from Tex Ritter)
From: DougR
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 04:48 PM

Emily:

Great voice, beautiful voice!

I do believe one of the saddest of all cowboy songs has not been mentioned: "BLOOD ON THE SADDLE." I think part of the words are:

There was blood on the saddle, and blood all around,
And a great big puddle of blood on the ground.

A cowboy lay in it, all covered with gore,
And he never will ride any broncos no more.

Oh pity the cowboy, all bloody and red,
For the bronco fell on him, and mashed in his head.

Repeat: First verse.

Recorded by Tex Ritter.

DougR

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 6-Oct-02.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Bert
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 05:42 PM

Ah yes Rita, 'The heart of the Appaloosa' I've got a recording of Allen Damron singing that but I'm not allowed to play it at home so I won't ever get the chance to learn it.

Bert.


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Subject: Lyr Add: UTAH CARROLL
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 08:49 PM

Mark-Clark,

Sheesh! Ya sure know how ta make a gyrl cry! Such sweet sentiments, I am sure your daughters will choke up, just like me! I didn't come along until 53, so the first radio I remember listening to was Gunsmoke, on Saturday nights. The first song I remember learning off the radio was Catch A Falling Star.

We had everything in our house, from opera, classical, folk, cowboy, Girl Scouts, campy/camp, WWII popular, etc. you name, our family was pretty much exposed to it. we all had classical training, mostly in piano & violin. Mom and Dad played for dances and they had an extensive collection of popular sheet music. My sister, bet, is in the process of alphabetising it right now. Somehow, at 82, Dad still remembers more songs than most and I marvel at him still going to entertain the "old folks" at the nursing homes.

Now, to get that bit o'thread creep back in line: two more sad songs runing through my mind are Freddie Fender's "Before the next teardrop falls" and Hank Williams' "House Upon the Hill".

And, what about Utah Carroll:

And as, my friend, you ask me what makes me sad and still
And why my brow is darkened like the clouds upon the hill
Run in your pony closer and I'll tell to you the tale
Of Utah Carroll, my pardner, and his last ride on the trail

then....

As the girl fell from her pony she had dragged the blanket down
And it lay there close beside her as she lay upon the ground.
Utah picked up the blanket, "Lie still," again he said,
Then he raced across the prairie and waved the blanket o'er his head.
(it was red & he was turning the stampede away from her)

and....

When we broke into the circle, upon the ground my pardner lay;
Nevermore to cinch a bronco, nor to give a cattle call.
There he died upon the ranges, though it seemed most awful hard
That I could not make the distance in time to save my pard.

and there's more!

katwhocan'tsinganysadsongswithcowboys,horses,orothercrittersinthem!


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Subject: Lyr Add: THERE'LL BE NO BLIND ONES THERE (Roberts)
From: Mark Clark
Date: 27 Jul 99 - 12:40 AM

Kat,

That was wonderful. Now I'm going to have to learn "Utah Carroll" and sing that one for my daughters (and granddaughters).

Do you know "There'll Be No Blind Ones There" by Pete Roberts (AKA Pete Kuykendall)? There is another really sad song.

They tell me, Father, again tonight,
You'll wed another bride,
And you will hold her in your arms,
Where my poor mother died.

They say her name is Mary too,
The name my mother wore,
And do you think she'll love me too,
Like the one you loved before.

And is her footstep soft and light,
Her voice so soft and mild,
And do you think she'll love me too,
Your blind and helpless child.

Now Father let us kneel down here,
And to our Savior pray,
That God's right hand will lead you both,
Down life's long weary way.

The prayer was ended, and a song,
I'm weary now, she said,
He picked her up into his arms,
And put her into bed.

And as he turned to leave the room,
A mournful cry was given,
He turned to catch her last sweet smile,
His blind child was in Heaven.

They burried her by her mother's side,
And raised a marble fair,
And on it were these simple words,
There'll be no blind ones there.

Now tell me you can sing that one with dry eyes.

Thanks,

- Mark


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: WyoWoman
Date: 27 Jul 99 - 01:10 AM

OMIGOD!!! Mark, you absolutely got me. I'm simply bereft. What's the tune?

WW


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Subject: Lyr Add: BINGEN ON THE RHINE and NAPOLEON AND...
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Jul 99 - 10:17 AM

Sheesh, Mark! Talk about oneupmanship! I'm gonna bill you for my hankies!**BG**

Have you ever read a couple of old poems: Bingen on the Rhine and Napoleon and the British Soldier? They'd make great ballads:

Bingen On the Rhine

A soldier of the Legion lay dying in Algiers
There was lack of woman's nursing, there was dearth of woman's tears;
But a comrade stood besides him, while his life-blood ebbed away,
And bent, with pitying glanced, to hear whathe might say.
The dying soldier faltered, as he took his comrade's hand,
And he said, "I never more shall see my own, my native land;
Take a message, and a token, to some distant friends of mine,
For I was born at Bingen -- at Bingen on the Rhine.
"Tell my brothers and companions, when they meet and crowd around
To hear my mournful story, in the pleasant vintage ground,
That we fought the battle bravely, and when the day was done,
Full many a corse(sic) lay ghastly pale, beneatht eh setting sun.
And 'midst the dead and dying, were some grown old in wars,
The death-wound on their gallant breasts, the last of many scars;
But some were young -- and suddenly beheld life's morn decline,
And one had come from Bingen -- fair Bingen on the Rhine!

"Tell my mother that her other sons shall comfort her old age,
And I was aye a truant bird, that thought his home a cage;
For my father was a soldier, and even as a child
My heart leapt forth to hear him tell of struggoes, fierce and wild;
And when he died, and left us, to divide his scanty hoard,
I let them take what e'er they would, but kept my father's sword,
And with boyish pride I hung it where the bright light used to shine
On the cottage wall at Bingen -- calm Bingen on the Rhine.

"Tell my sister not to weep for me, and sob with drooping head,
When teh troops are amrching home again, with glad and gallant tread;
But to look upon them proudly, wiht a calm and steadfast eye,
For her brother was a soldier, too, and not afraid to die.
And if a comrade seek her love, I ask her in my name,
To listen to him kindly, without regret or shame;
And to hang the old sword in its place (my father's sword and mine),
For the honor of old Bingen -- dear Bingen on the Rhine.

"There's another -- not a sister; in teh happy days gone by
You'd have known her by the merriment that sparkled in her eye;
Too innocent for coquetry, -- to fond for idle scorning, --
O, friend, I fear the lightest heart sometimes makes heaviest mourning;
Tell her the last night of my life (for ere the moon be risen,
My body will be out of pain, my soul be out of prison),
I dreamed I stood with her, and saw the yellow sunlight shine
On the vine-clad hills of Bingen -- fair Bingen on the Rhine.

"I saw the blue Rhine sweep along -- I heard, or seemed to hear,
The German songs we used ot sing in chorus sweet and clear;
And down the pleasant river, and up the slanting hill,
The echoing chorus sounded, through the evening calm and still;
And her glad blue eyes were on me as we passed, with friendly talk,,br> Down many a path beloved of yore, and well-remembered walk,
And her little hand lay lightly, confidingly in mine;
But we'll meet no more at Bingen -- loved Bingen on the Rhine!

"His voice grew faint and hoarser, -- his grasp was childish weak, --
His eyes put on a dying look -- he sighed, and ceased to speak;
His comrade bent to lift him, but the spark of life had fled, --
The soldier of the Legion, in a foreign land -- was dead!
And the soft moon rose up slowly, adn calmly she looked down
On the red sand of the battle-field, with bloody corpses strewn;
Yea, calmly on the dreadful scene her pale light did shine,
As it shone on distant Bingen -- fair Bingen on the Rhine!
- Hon. Mrs. Norton -

NAPOLEON AND THE BRITISH SOLDIER

I love contemplating - apart
From all his homicidal glory
The traits that soften to our heart
Napoleon's story!

"'Twas when his banners at Boulogne
Arm'd in our island every freeman,
His navy chanced to capture one
Poor British seaman.

They suffer'd him, I know not how,
Unprison'd on the shore to roam;
Ad aye was bent his longing brow
On England's home.

His eye, methinks! pursued the flight
Of birds to Britain halfway over;
With envy they could reach the white
Dear cliffs of Dover.

A stormy, midnight watch, he thought,
Than this sojourn would have been dearer
If but the storm his vessel brought
To England nearer.

At last, when care had banished sleep,
He saw one morning - dreaming - doting,
An empty hogshead from the deep
Come shoreward floating.

He hid it in a cave, and wrought
The live-long day laborious; lurking
Until he launched a tiny boat
By mighty working.

Heaven help us! 'twas such a thing beyond
Description wretched; such a wherry
Perhaps ne'er ventured on a pond,
Or crossed a ferry.

Far ploughing in the salt-sea field,
IT would have made the boldest shudder;
Untarr'd, uncompass'd, and unkeel'd,
No sail, - no rudder.

From neighb'ring woods he interlaced
His sorry skiff with wattled willow;
And thus equipped he would have pass'd
The foaming billows.

But Frenchmen caught him on the beach,
His little Argo sorely jeering;
Tidings of him chanced to reach,
Napoleon's hearing.

With folded arms Napoleon stood,
Serene alike in peace and danger;
And, in his wonted attitude,
Addressed the stranger:-,br>

"Rash man, that would'st yon Channle pass,br> On twigs and staves so rudely fashion'd;
Thy heart with some sweet British lass
Must be impassion'd."

"I have no sweetheart," said the lad;
"But absent long from one another -
Great was my longing that I had
To see my motehr."

"And so thou shalt," Napoleon said;
"Ye've both my favor fairly won;
A noble mother must have bred
So brave a son.

He gave the tar a piece of gold,
And, with a flag of truce commanded,
He should be shipped to Engladn old,
And safely landed.

Our sailor oft could scantly shift
To find a dinner, plain and hearty;
But never changed the coin and gift,
of Bonaparte.
- Thomas Campbell -

Both poems copied from my great-great aunt's book, "Home Book of Poetry" given to her for Christmas in 1882.

kat


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Dan
Date: 27 Jul 99 - 10:33 AM

Whew. This thread is really getting good.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: TW
Date: 27 Jul 99 - 12:43 PM

How 'bout... Unwed Fathers - John Prine or... Something in the Rain - Tish Hinojosa


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: DougR
Date: 27 Jul 99 - 12:49 PM

Kat, I think those two songs are just about the saddest I've ever read! SOB! SNIFF!

DougR


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: The Burren Ranger.
Date: 27 Jul 99 - 01:12 PM

I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry.....Hank Williams. Man Of Constant Sorrow..........The Stanley Bros. A Silent Night(Christmas 1915)..Jerry Lynch. He Stopped Loving her Today.....George Jones. are a few that do it for me.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ONE MORE YEAR OF DADDY'S LITTLE GIRL
From: Tiger
Date: 27 Jul 99 - 06:32 PM

This one gets me every time.....Tiger

One More Year Of Daddy's Little Girl
Performed by Dr. Hook
Written by Hazel Smith

She'd snuggle up and talk to me
Each night as I'd watch TV,
I'd teasingly call her chatterbox.
Then one night she said:
"Don't be scared, I see an angel on the stairs.
Daddy, can you hear the angel talk?"

    CHORUS
    One more year of lollipops,
    Ice cream cones and soda pop,
    One more year of daddy's little girl.
    One more year of crackerjacks,
    Bubble gum and sugar smacks,
    One more year of daddy's little girl.

I took her in my arms upstairs
And as she said her night-time prayers,
I felt a fever burning in her head.
She gave thanks for Mom and me,
And said "I heard my angel speak,
Daddy, this is what he said:

    CHORUS

Her faith grew strong her body weak,
And soon my frightened eyes could see
There was nothing on earth that I could do.
And one year later, to the day,
In her sleep she slipped away,
And I knew what she said and heard was true.

    CHORUS


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Mary Kate
Date: 27 Jul 99 - 09:50 PM

"The Youth of the Heart" and "Connemarra by the Lake"...both songs are about a fellow who goes away to work and save money so he can provide for the woman he wants to marry...in song 1 the female tires of waiting and marries someone coincidentally on the same day her former beau returns...in song 2, the female is told her beau had died and thus after 5 years marries someone else only to find that her former beau has returned...


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Subject: Lyr Add: ME AND A GUN (Tori Amos)
From: Electra
Date: 27 Jul 99 - 10:01 PM

The saddest song is "Me and a Gun" by Tori Amos

She sings it unaccompanied at every concert, and it is the most hauntingly sad yet beautiful song. Not to depress you, but here are the lyrics:

Me And A Gun 5am Friday morning, Thursday night, far from sleep
I'm still up and driving, can't go home obviously
So I'll just change direction cause they'll soon know where I live
And I wanna live Got a full tank and some chips
It was me and a gun and a man on my back
And I sang "holy holy" as he buttoned down his pants
You can laugh, It's kind of funny the things you think times like these
Like I haven't seen Barbados so I must get out of this
Yes I wore a slinky red thing, does that mean I should spread
For you, your friends, your father, Mr. Ed
It was me and a gun and a man on my back
But I haven't seen Barbados so I must get out of this
And I know what this means, me and Jesus a few years back
Used to hang and he said "It's your choice babe, just remember
I don't think that you'll be back in 3 days time so you choose well.”
Tell me what's right, Is it my right to be on my stomach of Fred's Seville
It was me and a gun and a man on my back
But I haven't seen Barbados so I must get out of this
And do you know Carolina where the biscuits are soft and sweet
These things go through you head when there's a man on your back
And you're pushed flat on your stomach; it's not a classic Cadillac
Me and a gun and a man on my back
But I haven't seen Barbados so I must get out of this
I haven't seen Barbados so I must get out of this

HTML line breaks added --JoeClone, 8-Nov-01.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Snookadive
Date: 27 Jul 99 - 10:14 PM

Oh Yeah! Kate Wolf doing "Midnight on the Water".


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: bob schwarer
Date: 28 Jul 99 - 08:59 AM

Those brown eyes I love so well
Those brown eyes I long to see
How I sigh for those brown eyes
Strangers they have turned to me(be?)

Bob S.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: SueH
Date: 28 Jul 99 - 11:55 AM

Good God, Bert C. I haven't heard 'The Blizzard' for about 25 years! Marty Robbins did some real tear-jerkers too, but no titles spring to mind.

A song that used to make me really sad was 'River of No Return' sung by Marilyn Monroe - possibly the theme tune for the film of the same name?

Sue


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Pene Azul
Date: 28 Jul 99 - 01:51 PM

"Death Don't Have No Mercy In This Land" Rev. Gary Davis

It always gets to me, especially when grieving.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Mark Clark
Date: 28 Jul 99 - 05:35 PM

WyoWoman,

Glad you liked it. I have "There'll Be No Blind Ones There" on a couple of different albums. Once in 3/4 time and once in 2/4 but the melody is the same in each case. I'm thinking it might be on a record by Red Allen and the Kentuckians, probably on the County label. I think J.D. Crowe played banjo. The other might have been by the Pinicale Boys. Now I'll have to go home tonight and dig through records to find them. I might be able to create a MIDI file of the tune but it may take some time. Still I think it would be worth the effort.

- Mark


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Mark Clark
Date: 28 Jul 99 - 05:53 PM

Kat,

Those poems are both wonderful! If you can set them to music, perhaps we can get Emily Rain to sing them for us.

"Bingen On the Rhine" reminded me of an old bluegrass tune so I check the DT and, sure enough, It's an ancestor to "The Legend Of The Rebel Soldier" --- a modified version of an Irish varient of the same tune. I have to say the original makes much better poetry.

Thanks,

- Mark


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: WyoWoman
Date: 28 Jul 99 - 09:06 PM

Mark, thanks. I'd say I'd try to get a CD of Red Allen's recording, but I have decided I have to go on a CD fast, or my credit card is going to singe my billfold.

If you can get it on DT, that would be swell. I'll wait patiently...

ww


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Jul 99 - 09:38 PM

Thanks, Mark. Glad you liked them. My bro is more the composer, but if the Muse strikes, I'll let ya know. Emily would do a fine job. I saw the descendants of it in the DT, too, after Dick mentioned them in the ADD-poem thread I posted.

Hey, gang, thinking about Alice in Montana going Victorian, how about "She Only A Bird in a Gilded Cage"...pretty sad, huh?

kat


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Pete Curry
Date: 31 Jul 99 - 10:53 PM

Just heard Tony Bennett doing "Poor Butterfly" (including the opening lines that most singers leave out). First time I ever paid attention to that song. It's a real tear-jerker. I checked and it's on his CD, "Here's To The Ladies" (this song is associated with Sarah Vaughan). I believe Bonnie Raitt has recorded it, too.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 12:55 AM

And, I heard "Mr. Lonely", yesterday on our oldies staion, which, yesterday just laid off all of its people from mgmt on down.

Remember? "Lonely, I'm Mr. Lonely, etc." very sad soldier.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Andres Magre
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 05:34 AM

The saddest song I know is "Little Pal" (no other reference) recorded by Paul Robeson circa 1938 and included in CD volume REMEMBER RMB 75024.

Sorry for bringing up Paul Robeson again, if it seems that my knowledge of folk interpreters is very limited, well, oops..it is ! But I admire Robeson !:)

"Little Pal" is the farewell of a man who parts, perhaps to prison, or to be executed. He says farewell to a little son. He begs him to be good to his mother, to be a better man than he is himself, and to remember his loving father even when he meets "another Daddy".

I think this is one of the few songs related to family love, and it is a very sad song indeed. I could never sing it.

Best regards - escamillo@ciudad.com.ar


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 03:39 PM

Andres,

That sounds like a really sad one. I was reminded of one the other day which Rex Allen jr. did about a little kid confronting the postman about not bringing any letters to his mom from his dad who has left her. He "holds up" the mailman with his toy pistol and says "today I'm bringin' momma's letter home". It's really pathetic.

kat


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Smeebes
Date: 08 Dec 99 - 08:16 PM

Not knowing Mudcat had done a thread on this, we put together our top twenty sad songs from English Trad Folk. There are lyrics too (probably from digitrad :)

see beta-site at

http://www.sarcon.demon.co.uk/frames/sad.htm

This is a frames site but the above link will work as non-frames. The home page (frames) url is

http://www.sarcon.demon.co.uk/frames/F-reset.htm

and that url requires 1208 X 728 resolution (sorry) and is beta so don't grumble if it's not all working.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: bunkerhill
Date: 08 Dec 99 - 10:14 PM

"Easy's Getting Harder." "Poor Wayfarin' Stranger." And an unrecorded tune, "In Early Spring," by Lucy Sollogub. No lyrics, but if you could listen closely, you'd hear the rock of an empty backyard swing. It is dedicated to Linda Tella, who died at age 4.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Joan
Date: 08 Dec 99 - 10:25 PM

I've read every last post in this thread, and started wondering what it is about some songs that make them so moving and rip-your-heart-out sad. Maybe partings? Leaving home and loved ones not knowing if you'll ever see them again? Separation by death?

Then some songs are sad by special associations...for me it's Coltman's "Lonesome Robin" and "Who Will Sing for Me."

Does asking "why" make this a whole 'nother thread? j


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Sarah-HS
Date: 08 Dec 99 - 10:35 PM

The late Hank Williams sang the saddest songs I've ever heard - I don't know the name of this one, but it says, "I've just told Mama goodbye, and knelt beside her bed, like the flowers of May she whithers away and my white rose has turned to red".

A song I can't sing because it makes me want to cry is "Last Night I had the Strangest Dream" - it gets me feeling sorry for my kids and grandkids growing up in a world that may be destroyed in a nuclear war. I choke up when I reach the part that says - "And the people in the streets below were dancing 'round and 'round, and swords and guns and uniforms were scattered on the ground."


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: doug
Date: 08 Dec 99 - 11:12 PM

old shep only got two votes??

with a hand that was tremblin, i picked up my gun, and i aimed it at shep's faithful head, i shot the best pal, a boy ever had, i wish they had shot me instead.

also he stopped loving her today


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 08 Dec 99 - 11:25 PM

I find Leaving of Nancy hard but the one that really gets to me is Maggie.

Jon


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Clinton Hammond2
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 12:15 AM

James Keelaghans "Captain Torres".. last time I heard him sing this one at The Ark, I wept like a little girl!!!

Garnet ROgers "Row Of Small Trees"

Stan Rogers "The Jeannie C." and "White Squall"

Stephen Fearings "Turn Out The Lights"

Mary Chapin Carpenters "John Doe No.24

I'm also gonna include "Christams in the Trenches", "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda", and "There Were Roses" simply because of what we learn from songs like these... that we don't learn from songs like these at all..

That's the saddest thing of all...


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Stewie
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 04:02 AM

Donal Og and, in a modern context, John Gorka's 'Ballad of Jamie Bee' has an exquisite sadness, as do any number of Cohen songs.

WyoWoman, I agree that 'Famous Blue Raincoat' is a gem, but the line you misquoted refers to taking the 'trouble' from 'her eyes', not 'sadness'. Cohen is a first-rate poet and, as such, would choose his words very carefully.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Deni of Mad Rush
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 05:18 AM

The Banks of Green Willow is the saddest song of all. A young captain takes his pregnant bride to sea, and when she goes into labour, can't break the journey, so she says, '..then tak' me by the fingers, and cast me overboard and have nae pity on me'. He does, and 'see how she swims and see how she swaggers, and she'll no leave off swimming til she comes to safe harbour. When the Captain finally finds her, she is, 'lying there died on the cold sea strand...her babe it was born and lying at her feet'. After that, it actually gets worse, and now they all three lie sleeping on the banks of Green Willow. When I've sung this song, half the audience have been sobbing, although the woemn usually tolerate it more stoically.

Second saddest song for me is one I've heard sung by June Tabor. It concerns childhood and though nothing horrible happens, it has such a yearning, hopeless-but-still-beautiful quality it makes me feel very upset. 'It was a long wet year, and still she looked for summer.'Perhaps someone out there knows the title and songwriter. What skill! Those long wet summers move most of us to tears, but it seems to me that if you can't have a happy childhood then what hope is there.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Greg
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 05:48 AM

I came here to carve my feckless love's name, as she did once, in the driftwood at Shingle Head. The song that echoes in the void she left is Andy Stewart's "Chill Eastern Winds"

"There's none that could blame me for wanting her beauty, But it lies like a snowflake in the hands of a child. When the warmth of my love tried to reach out and hold her, It's then she was gone, to prove she's still wild"


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: bob schwarer
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 07:18 AM

"Orphan Train". Real sad.

Once I rode an orphan train
And my brother did the same
They split us up in misery
James was five and I was three

Bob S.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Blackcat2
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 09:06 AM

The Pub's Got No beer


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Wesley S
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 09:40 AM

Birmingham Sunday - Richard Farina as sung by Joan Baez. I heard it again in Spike Lee's documentary called "Four Little Girls". I was moved by the story of the prosecuting attorney that said he listed to the song every day until he could bring the bombers to trial.

One that always chokes me up is "My Fathers Hat" sung by Chet Atkins. Yes - Chet sings. I don't know the name of the composer. But I challenge anyone to listen to that song without getting misty. Especially if your father has passed on.

I'm sure I can think of more but those two popped into my head right off. Interesting thread.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Bullfrog
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 12:16 PM

There's a film called "The Dead Can't Lie" (or possibly "Gotham" in the U.S.) in which a street singer does the most heart-breakingly beautiful version of "Danny Boy".(Any body know who hte actor/singer was?) And how about The Flying Burrito Brothers'"Hot Burrito #1" When Gram's voice cracks on "I'm your toy, I'm your old boy" it gets me every time.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Midchuck
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 12:26 PM

There's always Garnet Rogers' "Off the Rails."

"He went off the rails at White River Junction....."

But you'd have to have been in White River Junction to know how sad that is.....


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: kendall
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 01:14 PM

the Old Blue Ox, written by Dave Mallett (the Garden song) its about an old man who wandered away from the nursing home looking for his fathers ox. He doesn't realize that 50 years have passed and people he was looking for are dead or moved away.its also a true story. The Band Played Waltzing Matilda.. The Wheel house Door, as sung by Gordon Bok. Utah Phillips' I remember loving you. Lonesome Robin Old Gilbert, Slim Dusty

I cant speak for others, but, these songs tear me up, and, as Joan mentioned, its probably the sense of loss. Oh, hell.. I get all blubbery just writing them down.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 02:01 PM

The saddest songs for me are the ones where there could have been a different ending, and those about bad things happening to people where they have no say - "Death of Queen Jane," and "Victor Jara" (words by ???/tune, Arlo Guthrie). Alice mentioned "There Were Roses." The first time I heard it was from a quiet voiced singer in a loud bar. Everyone quieted down to hear him (a miracle) and I was blubbering by the time he finished. The saddest songs have some sort of happy element (sometimes just a memory of happiness) in them as well - like James Keelaghan's "Kiri's Piano," and someone mentioned Garnet Roger's "Row of Small Trees," Jon's suggestion "Maggie." It adds contrast and makes the sadness even more intense.

They're all songs where you feel what happens instead of just hear about it. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one furtively wiping away tears at the end of a song.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Mark Clark
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 02:56 PM

Doug,

What is the source of your lyrics for "Old Shep"? The verse I use goes...

With hands that were trembling I picked up my gun,
I aimed it at Shep's faithful head,
I just couldn't do it, I wanted to run,
I wished they would shoot me instead.

Just wondering,

- Mark


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Subject: Lyr Add: KUIAMA (Electric Light Orchestra)
From: Mbo
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 06:35 PM

For me, it's the beautifully heart-breaking "Kuiama" by The Electric Light Orchestra

KUIAMA--Electric Light Orchestra

My, my Kuiama, she came in the morning
She smiled but the tears on her little face
Showed the pain that had been in that far off place
So sad, treated so bad.

My, my Kuiama, don't break your heart trying
To say how your ma and your pa passed away
And they left you to wander the ruin and decay
Real mean, that bullet machine.

See here Kuiama, now ten thousand miles
Is a long, long way and you're here today
And you won't go back so you might say
Hello, how do you do.

Kuia stop your crying, there's no bombs a'falling
No horsemen in the night a'riding
Through your dreams and tearing at
Your life, baby goodnight.

No more silver rain will hit your ground
And no more guns will sound
And no more life be drowned
No more trenches where the soldiers lie
And no more people die
Beneath that big black sky.

Wake up Kuiama, I got something to tell you
It's just I mean, well that is to say
That I'm trying to explain but I'll start again
For You, I must be true.

Kuia in this country, they got rules with no reason
They teach you to kill and the send you away
With your gun in your hand you pick up your pay
So cool, that no mercy tool.

Kuia please believe me, I just couldn't help myself
I wanted to run but they gave me a gun
And they told me the duty that I owed to my
Fatherland, I made my stand.

Kuia I just shot them, I just blew their heads open
And I heard them scream in their agony
Kuiama, she waits there for me
True blue, you saw it through


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: bobby's girl
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 06:51 PM

There are just so many - maybe I cry too easily! The version of "My old man" which I know and cry at is the one written by Ewan Mcoll, but then there's also Bonny light Horseman, the Passchendale Suite sung by CBS,and then ther's "Whose Garden was this?" by Tom Paxton, which I used to sing, when I could get to the end without sobbing!


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Fred
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 08:50 PM

Man, I skimmed a long way thru this thread before I found any of the saddest songs I know. "Old Shep" is a Red Foley classic, about a faithful dog the singer nonetheless must kill. Musical melodrama, as he picks up the gun and "aimed it at his curly head/ But I just couldn't do it..." ["so I strangled the f*****r instead."] Seriously, if you want truly suicial songs, you must raid the vaults of mountain music:


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: doug
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 08:55 PM

mark sorry,i don't know my source, i learned that when i was about 14, which was several days ago. still, it's a right sad song. my daughter still cries when i sing it, and she's over 14 herself. but i think i did shoot old shep, cause the next verse i know is:

now sheppie has gone where the good doggies go, and no more with old shep will i roam, but if dogs have a heaven, theres on thing i know, old shep has a wonderful home.

your version? doug


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Fred pt. II
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 08:57 PM

Sorry, I hit the wrong key.

--"Put My Little Shoes Away" a dying child gives away all his toys, but saves his shoes for kid brother --"Little Joe": another dying kid, who worries about how his death will affect his kitten and other concerned parties --"When the Work's All Done This Fall": a dying cowboy realizes he waited just a little too long to go see Mother --"Don't Make Me Go to Bed and I'll Be Good" How would you feel? You just sent your kid to bed, and now he's up there dying --"Teardrops Falling in the Snow" a stalwart mother awaits delivery of her dead son's body --"I'm Just Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail" a stalwart mother retrieves her criminal son --"Mother the Queen of my Heart" a stalwart mother comes back from the dead to spoil her son's poker game


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: doug
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 09:01 PM

i'll still vote for old shep, but what about thank you for calling?

yes operator, i'll hang up the phone. Yes, yes i know, my party is gone, but i'll always love her, i guess til i die, thak you for calling, goodbye.

the tune makes it even sadder.

who is it by?

doug


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Mbo
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 09:19 PM

Reminds me of ELO's "Telephone Line":

Hello--how are you?
Have you been alright, through all those lonely nights?
That's what I'd say, I'd tell you everything
If you'd pick up that telephone

O.K., so no one's answering
Well, can't you just let it ring a little longer?
I'll just sit tight, through the shadows of the night
And let it ring forever more...
So sad.

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Big Mick
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 09:58 PM

Usually its a song that gets inside my head...At the Getaway I sang a song called "Far from their Homes" that makes me feel the sadness of the coffin ships. I have to be careful singing that one. Another one like this is Bogle's "Leaving Nancy", which is about Eric leaving his mother at the train station. It reminds me so much of when i left my own mother at the bus station as I headed off to Vietnam. I didn't know if I would see her again, nor she if she would see me. He captures the emotion so well, that again I have to be careful.

I am also deeply affected by "Where have All The Flowers Gone". Also a song written by Tim Irvine of Colorado which is called "After The War". Both of these songs make me see faces of comrades from Vietnam. I miss them today, and these songs remind me of them. It takes a lot of control for me not to cry. In fact, I usually do.

All the best,

Big Mick


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: grgptrsn
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 10:13 PM

one that always gives me the chills and that pre-tear feeling in the eyes is "the weaker soldier" by will oldham.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Mbo
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 10:18 PM

For some reason, "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" always makes me want to cry...

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Diego
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 10:21 PM

theres one verse in Tom Waits "A little rain"

She was 15 years old And never seen the ocean She climbed into a van With a vagabond And the last thing she said Was, "I love you mom."

And a little rain Never hurt no one


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: kendall
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 10:40 PM

Old Shep is one of the songs I recorded for Folk Legacy, and, it is the only song my daughter Deb asks me not to sing.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: doug
Date: 10 Dec 99 - 12:06 AM

to mbo' re: he ain't heavy

me too. doug


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Longneck
Date: 10 Dec 99 - 02:14 AM

Pete here from Perth, Australia. I think that Tom Paxton's song 'When I Go To See My Son' has got to be up there with the best of them. Of course 'The Pub With No Beer' strikes a chord here in Oz!!!


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: marcelloblues
Date: 10 Dec 99 - 07:13 PM

I do not know any song by that great soul named Tom Waits which doesn't contain some kind of deep sadness. For more, somewhere in my head a lot of John Coltrane's music, is really filled up by sad kind of blues. More and more: Bob Dylan's BALLAD OF HOLLIS BROWN, traditional (?) ST. JAMES INFIRMRY, Sonny Boy Williamson's DECORATION DAY BLUES. I use to sing the Decoration Day Blues at a local weekly jam session, it always works good not only for me, but for the whole audience and staff. Seems like going so down can create a magic climax, it makes you feel better Thinking of the blues has taken me, now, a little more blue than before Cheers


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 10 Dec 99 - 07:57 PM

Seeing Tom Waits mentioned, Time is a song that I have played over and over when I am feeling sad.

Jon


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: manylodges
Date: 10 Dec 99 - 08:15 PM

my favorite sad song is "ma ma look sharp" a song about a young man who is dieing after a battle, and is aking his mother to find his body.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: TheMuse
Date: 11 Dec 99 - 12:32 AM

Don't know if it's the saddest song, but pretty darned close, "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt always gets me. The main line that says it all is:

"I can't make you love me if you don't, you can't make your heart feel what it won't"

TheMuse


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: James Stanley
Date: 11 Dec 99 - 02:33 PM


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: James Stanley
Date: 11 Dec 99 - 02:36 PM

I accidently posted a blank thread, so the saddest song of all may be no song at all. Two worthy of consideration are "Ballad in plain D" by Bob Dylan, and "The Last Thing on my Mind" by Tom Paxton.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: GUEST,PeterB
Date: 12 Jul 00 - 11:40 AM

to Deni of Mad Rush - The June Tabor Song 'It was a long wet year' is called Seven Summers and was written by Dave Goulder


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: GUEST,Bob Heitz
Date: 04 Feb 01 - 04:39 PM

This is for Bill in Alabama

Do you have Old Shep recorded, and if so, how can I buy it? I have searched the WEB for your recordings. For the other participants, I am trying to collect all of the recordings of Old Shep that I can locate. Most of what I have (48) are in the country genre. Any help would be appreciated.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Mark Clark
Date: 04 Feb 01 - 05:23 PM

GUEST,Bob Heitz, Do you have Elvis' recording in your "Old Shep" collection? It was on the first or second album he ever recorded, one simply titled "Elvis."

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: GUEST,Bob Heitz
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 02:26 AM

Yes Mark, I have Elvis; both the original and an alternate version where he changed only two words. The original version was released as cut B.02 on his first album titled "Elvis"


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: English Jon
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 04:57 AM

At the moment: Any of the songs with

"meeting is a pleasure and parting's a grief but an inconstant lover is worse than a thief for a thief will but rob you, take all that you have but an inconstant lover brings you to your grave"

Subject to change, of course.

Jon


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: mkebenn
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 07:27 AM

Wow, I read it all, late for work, shit, but I got a couple not mentioned."Flying Arrow" Mason Prophet{Talbot bros pre Harvest}, Bo Jangles{'nother dead dog}, and Kristofferson's "Casey's last ride"..he stumbles as he's leavin', and he wonders if the reason is the beer that's in his belly, or the tear that's in his eye..sigh.. Mike


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: GUEST,skarpi at work
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 07:36 AM

Halló all. We got one sad song here in Iceland witch i think its saddest song i ever have heard. It is called " Á Kránni " In English " At the pup " It is about family who are loosing a child and the father drinks his sorrows at the pup, in middle verse the the other kid comes and ask his to home bescouse the little one was asking asking about him. I think i can get an English version of the lyric. It is a great melody but the lyric is sad. Of course we have more songs but think this one is the saddest. skarpi Iceland.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 10:32 AM

Without reading all through this post I wonder if anyone has mentioned 'Gloomy Sunday', a song so sad it was blamed for several suicides. For myself, I find the situations expressed in some songs bring me to tears. The English music hall song 'My Old Dutch' is about a couple married for 40 years, "and it don't seem a day to much" being taken to the workhouse. Albert Chevalier, the artist who popularised the song had a backdrop showing the workhouse gates with seperate entrances for men and women, reminding his audiences that separation of couples was the normal practise at that time. The thought of being parted from my own 'old Dutch' fills me with dread so I find this song unutterably sad. Further to this, two Ewan MacColl songs greatly affect me. 'My Old Man' because it so closely corresponds to the life of MY 'old man', and 'The Joy of Living' because of the circumstances that lead to it being written - Ewan,a life-long hill climber and rambler, found towards the end of his life that a favourite climb was now too much for him, aging and with heart problems. He wrote the song as a farewell to the things he had loved, and, I am sure, to those he loved but hadn't always been able to express this to. In the lyric he calls his wife "Dearest Companion", a most beautiful phrase, and he told his children "Farewell my chicks, now you must fly alone". My wife and I think of our son and his children as 'our chicks' and know that we'll never see the full extent of their flight through life, so we are greatly touched by this phrase. It has been said that the task of a poet is to make clear to us something that we always knew. Those last three songs have that effect in the Burl household. God bless our poets. God bless music


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: cowboypoet
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 11:00 AM

Four Strong Winds, by Ian Tyson

"Still, I wish you'd change your mind if I asked you one more time, but we've been through that a hundred times or more."


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: GUEST,ina
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 01:56 PM

"He fades away " from June Tabor's "Against the streams"(written by Alistair Hulett). It's about a former asbestos miner dying from mesothelioma:

"...And he Fades away not like leaves that fall in autumn turning gold against the grey he fades away like the bloodstaines on the pillow case that I wash every day he fades away..."

A very touching and shocking song!


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: GUEST,jaze
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 02:04 PM

"Brass Buttons"-Poco version--"But the sun comes up without her, it doesn't know she's gone. And it remembers nothing that she said"...

Old Friends--Mary McCaslin

Sing Me Back Home--Joan Baez and Jeffrey Shurtleff


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Subject: Lyr Add: NO MAN'S LAND (Eric Bogle)^^^
From: Nemesis
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 02:28 PM

Dear Wyo,

Saw your post - try this by Eric Bogle

NO MAN'S LAND

1. Well, how do you do, Private William McBride,
Do you mind if I sit down here by your graveside?
And rest for awhile in the warm summer sun,
I've been walking all day, and I'm nearly done.
And I see by your gravestone you were only 19
When you joined the glorious fallen in 1916,
Well, I hope you died quick and I hope you died clean
Or, Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene?

cho: Did they Beat the drum slowly, did the play the pipes lowly?
Did the rifles fir o'er you as they lowered you down?
Did the bugles sound The Last Post in chorus?
Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest?

And did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind
In some loyal heart is your memory enshrined?
And, though you died back in 1916,
To that loyal heart are you always 19?
Or are you a stranger without even a name,
Forever enshrined behind some glass pane,
In an old photograph, torn and tattered and stained,
And fading to yellow in a brown leather frame?

3. The sun's shining down on these green fields of France;
The warm wind blows gently, and the red poppies dance.
The trenches have vanished long under the plow;
No gas and no barbed wire, no guns firing now.
But here in this graveyard that's still No Man's Land
The countless white crosses in mute witness stand
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man.
And a whole generation who were butchered and damned.

4. And I can't help but wonder, no Willie McBride,
Do all those who lie here know why they died?
Did you really believe them when they told you "The Cause?"
Did you really believe that this war would end wars?
Well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame
The killing, the dying, it was all done in vain,
For Willie McBride, it all happened again,
And again, and again, and again, and again.

HTML line breaks added --JoeClone, 8-Nov-01.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 03:00 PM

Strangely enough I've just been looking at a thread about the song I consider to be one of the saddest I've ever heard and that is Grace about Grace Gifford who married Joseph Plunkett in Kilmainham jail on the night before he was executed.
Oh Grace just hold me in your arms ad let this moment linger They'll take me out at dawn and I will die With all my love I place this wedding ring upon your finger There won't be time to share our love for we must say goodbye.
Geoff and I visited Kilmainham jail on our honeymoon and sitting in the chapel I just wept thinking of how happy we were and how desperately sad they must have felt knowing that they could not be together. I want to start singing this song out but am not sure if I can manage to get through it. I've also forgotten the tune to the verses so if anyone can help I would be grateful.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 03:02 PM

Oh Grace just hold me in your arms ad let this moment linger
They'll take me out at dawn and I will die
With all my love I place this wedding ring upon your finger
There won't be time to share our love for we must say goodbye.
Never get the hang of this!


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: richlmo
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 11:15 PM

The one that tears me up when I'm trying to sing it is,Tecumseh Valley, by Townes Van Zandt. Another one is 'All That Glitters, by Dan Seals. Guess you can tell I have a daughter. I am a huge fan of sad songs, I'm sure I will think of several when I go to bed!


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: mcpiper
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 04:58 AM

The song I can't get through the first verse of is "How can I ever be simple again."
The song I can never finish is "The band played waltzing matilda."
strange thing is, I keep trying.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Nemesis
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 06:34 AM

Hi, Mcpiper!

The band played W.M..is another Eric Bogle song (isn't it?) Yeah, that's a heartjerker too. But, tell me - more info on "How can I ever be simple again"? (Sorry, profound simpleton :)


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: harpgirl
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 09:45 AM

This is Kendalls list..not harpgirls.

Killkelly
Old Gilbert... (Slim Dusty)
The Band Played Waltzing Matilda... Eric Bogle
The Blizzard... Jim Reeves
Little Buddy... by Hank Snowe
Golden Guitar
Gently down the stream of time
Ashes on the sea... Utah Phillips
Old Rover... (Hank Snow)
My friend Smokey Green sings one about a father being torn between traditional values and his son dying of AIDS.I t is guaranteed to make you come "all untogether"


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 03:43 PM

Via the other thread I find a recording of Grace by Anthony Kearns so now I have my tune but still can't sing it 'dry'!!


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: GUEST,Arne Langsetmo
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 09:06 PM

Agreed on many, particularly Kilkelly, There Were Roses, Deportees, Streets of London, Sam Stone, This Old House, Who Will Sing For Me, Christmas In The Trenches, and the Stan Rogers ones.

How about:

(not in any particular order or ranking)

Half of everything Eric Bogle ever wrote including: Singing The Spirit Home

Tom Anderson: Da Slockit Light (yeah, I know, it's instrumental)

John McCuthcheon: The Brown's Head Light (no, not the beer, dummy)

John Prine: Paradise

Garnet Rogers: Frankie and Johnny

Jez Lowe: The Bergen Bruce "Utah" Phillips: The Telling Takes Me Home The Goodnight/Loving Trail Nevada Jane Si Kahn Aragon Mill Go To Work On Monday A whole bunch of Fred Small songs as well as "Heart of the Appaloosa"

Nanci Griffith: Just Once In A Very Blue Moon

Steve Gillette: Darcy Farrow

Phil Ochs: The Crucifixion

Desaparacidos(sp?) Ludlow Massacre The Writing of "Tipperary" (Iain Mackintosh version) The 41st Highlanders Farewell to Scotland (Dick Gaughan version) Anachie Gordon The Arbutus Way Down The Line

World Turned Upside Down As I Walked Along The Road The Ballad of Joe Hill A Mother's PArting Words To Her Daughter

- - - - -

I'm sure there's hundreds more that I'm forgetting. Maybe a reason for that. ;-)

Now before you get the idea that I need immediate professional care or even confinement for my own protection, I do know some happy songs as well, e.g.:

Heart of the Appaloosa Nevada Jane Frankie and Johnny (Garnet Rogers version) Christmas in the Trenches Singing The Spirit Home

Take that, Art. ;-)

- - - - -

My _personal_ all-time tearjerker, however, is "Kilkelly". I'm one of the diaspora siblings, all over stateside, of an immigrant family. And I dont' _do_ anything about it. The guilt and loss really gets to me at times when I hear that one. And on the way-too-rare occasions I see my cousins from Norway.

Cheers,

-- Arne Langsetmo


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: GUEST,Frank M
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 09:49 PM

Phil Ochs 'when i'm gone'... it reminds me of the sadness of mortality and the insipitness of time lost


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: longarm
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 11:40 PM

'When I go to see my son' from Tom Paxton's last album called 'Wearing the Time' If this one doesn't get to you nothing will!!


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: mcpiper
Date: 07 Feb 01 - 04:34 AM

Hi Challis,
How can I ever be simple again is by Richard Thompson, I just had a look over at OLGA, the words and chords are there, I don't know where you would find the tune, I got it off a Battlefield Band live video. I can't get past the line "she sang like a child...."
What a great thread, makes me want to find the most mentioned songs, just to see if I can get through them.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Nemesis
Date: 07 Feb 01 - 05:41 AM

Hey, Mcpiper!

Thanks for info - of course, it was only a matter of hours after asking you before my profound ignorance of the great Richard was updated by friends here. Anyway, this a great link! My saddest song? Well, there's a great sighing, bursting with poignancy, Russian Folk song we used to sing at school "The Steppes Song" goes something like "Ah, see, love! Look along the road we've travelled ..." If anyone knows more about that would surely appreciated it.

Regards, Hille


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 07 Feb 01 - 12:48 PM

I didn't add in my last posting on this thread the Scottish song 'Land 'O The Leal'in which a couple nearing the ends of their days look back on their life together and lament the loss of a son. Nothing is more grievious than the loss of a child. I had a grandson who died before he had chance to live. I never even saw him. I find 'Land 'OThe Leal' one of the saddest songs of all.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: GUEST,Geordie
Date: 07 Feb 01 - 04:08 PM

Festival of Friends by Bruce Cockburn, The Parting Glass, The Patriot Game, lass of Loch royale, Spring Hill Mine Disaster, Raglan Road, Davey Lowston by June Tabor and the saddest song of all...Talk To Me of Mindicino..ot really does make me weep.

Geordie


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 07 Feb 01 - 05:39 PM

Townes Van Zandt's Tecumseh Valley, and Steve Earle's tribute to Townes, Fort Worth Blues are grabbers. I also noticed several mentions of Gram Parson's songs or singing in this thread. Hot Burrito #1 definitely a heart-breaker, but his duet with Emmy Lou on the Louvin Bros' Sleepless Nights gets me everytime...especially the soul-harmony on "why did you go? why did you go? don't you know, don't you know I need you?"

The one I've given up on is I Come and Stand at every Door. I love the song, but I choke up about halfway through it.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: GUEST,Guest, Yorkshire
Date: 07 Feb 01 - 06:46 PM

Keith Marsden's terrible/beautiful song "Normandy Orchards." the words include; So many young men come learning to die. Normandy orchards are waiting to welcome new partners for death in the mad dance of war. The tune is a haunting slow waltz.If you don't know it - try to find it. Don't know if it is in the DT


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: GUEST,jofield
Date: 07 Feb 01 - 08:16 PM

I couldn't possibly read this whole thread, but if George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today" isn't in here somewhere, it should be.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: kendall
Date: 07 Feb 01 - 08:24 PM

I must add, for the sailors, THE WHEELHOUSE DOOR, and Dave Malletts Old Blue Ox.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Genie
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 04:30 PM

I opened this old thread trying to find the words to "Poor Kitty Popcorn," which was nominated above as a terribly sad song and mentioned in another thread (about cats).

Does anyone have the words (and tune?)

Genie


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: swirlygirl
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 04:35 PM

Toss up between "Hey Jupiter" and "Putting the Damage On" by Tori Amos...

sniff...sniff...

Or maybe "Playboy Mommy" cos it's all about the loss of her baby...

Quite a lot of Tori songs are sad really...amazing how happy she can make you feel though listening to her...

:)

xxx


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: SINSULL
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 04:37 PM

Genie,
They are in the Digitrad. Type kitty popcorn in the lyrics search and it comes up. I have a wonderful recording of it by Joan Morris. One of my favorites.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of AllM
From: GUEST,Mickey191
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 03:45 PM

I've read them all-great thread. When I mowed Pat Murphy's meadow in the sunny long ago, always brings a tear for me. Lovely melody. Somewhere in this thread it was stated Woody Guthrie wrote Deportees. Is that true? I don't think the words fit the time frame for him.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: breezy
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 04:12 PM

when my now 18 year old son was 6, he was taken 275 miles away to live with his mother and her lover.
The song that I associated was Kenny Rodgers[sp] "I don't Call Him Daddy" -but he looks after me'
My son and I are very close and I am so proud of how well he is doing and done.
It helps to share


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: GUEST,dandylionlover
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 05:11 PM

As a child I listened to my mother's old 78 records. One of the saddest songs I have ever heard was called MOMMY, CAN I TAKE MY DOLL TO HEAVEN WITH ME. Even as a child this song made me cry. Here are a few of the words I can remember.

Oh, she was just a child of three. She loved her little ragged doll with all her heart And as they lifted her from underneath The car that struck her down Her broken hand still held her dolly tight. CHORUS: Mommy, can I take my doll to heaven with me? Mommy, can I take my doll to heaven with me? Will the angels think it's wrong If I bring my doll along? Mommy, can I take my doll to heaven with me?

Another one my mother used to sing was THE LETTER EDGED IN BLACK. This is a song about receiving notice of her husband being killed in war.

The new songs mentioned had sang tones about them but the really old songs could get so grossly sad and depressing.

Anyway...just wanted to share........Sherry


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: tremodt
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 07:49 PM

I say donegal donny


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: tremodt
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 07:51 PM

I say donegal donny


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Desdemona
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 07:56 PM

dandylionlover----you're killing me here! Was there really a SONG like that?!


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Genie
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 02:36 AM

Sinsull, thanks for telling me "Popcorn" is in the DT. I did try a forum and DT search at first and didn't find it. Now that I have found it, I agree, it's really sad.

Mickey, Yes Woody did write it, but he wrote the poem considerably earlier than the copyright date would suggest.


I've been trying unsuccessfully for two days to post THIS LINK To "The Saddest Song II".



PLEASE POST CONTINUING COMMENTS THERE


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Subject: Lyr Add: ANTHEM FOR IRELAND (from Evans & Doherty)
From: GUEST,Carol
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 09:10 AM

I'm new at this forum but I would like to submit a song that I find sad at times, hopeful at others. I have a hard time getting through it at memorial services. I haven't attempted to sing it at a gig in quite a while. Due to the more recent circumstances in Ireland, I think it would be an impossibility.
It's called 'ANTHEM FOR IRELAND' and is sung to the tune of, get this, 'Danny Boy'. I'm not sure who wrote it but Evans & Doherty have recorded it. Maybe if it is song enough it will come true.

O Land of love, we bless thee gentle mother
O Land of light, fair jewel of the sea
O Land of joy, where brother shall meet brother
And all thy souls shall dwell in harmony
And when the clouds of torment and of sorrow
Flee with the dark at the rising of the sun
Hand shall clasp hand in happiness tomorrow
And we will live in peace until His work be done.

Old wounds shall heal, unkindness be forgiven
All hurt forgot as ends our darkest night
No more shall we by war or strife be riven
All Irelands children face a future bright
Where God shall reign in hearts his flame has lighted
And He shall lead our people to the sun
One heart, one soul, one land by love united
There shall we live in peace until His work be done.

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 6-Oct-02.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Genie
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 06:56 AM

Please Do Not Post To This Thread

There is a link to the continuation thread a couple of posts above.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Dec 03 - 05:36 AM

this is the only song that has ever made me cry... its tough to get past the first few lines, but if you really read into it you'll understand what he's saying. enough of the oldies, "walking by" something corporate:

Your grand dad left home for the circus.
He was young just like me, with hope to explore.
He married a girl in Virginia.
She could swing the trapeze; they could sleep on the floor.

Your mother was born in December,
on the one sunny day that winter gave up.
She had warm summer eyes that flickered like fireflies,
when she stared at the world.

So why do you leave these stories unfinished,
my Cheshire cat doorstop with tears in her eyes?
Why do you look when you've already found it?
What did you find that could leave you walking by?

She was raised in a New England village.
Then she moved to LA with her firefly stare,
and you loved sunset strip when it sparkled,
you grew up and you sparkled but why don't you care?

So why do you leave these stories unfinished,
my Cheshire cat doorstop with tears in her eyes?
Why do you look when you've already found me?
What did you find that could leave you walking by?

These nights I get high just from breathing.
When I lie here with you I'm sure that I'm real,
like that firework over the freeway.
I could stay here all day but that's not how you feel.

So why do you leave these questions unanswered?
The circus awaits and you're already gone.
My Cheshire cat doorstop with fear in your smile,
what makes it so easy for you to be walking by?
And what did I do that you can't seem to want me?
Why do we lie here and whisper goodbyes?
Where can I go that your pictures won't haunt me?
What makes it so easy for you to be walking by?


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: GUEST,Heather
Date: 30 Mar 04 - 07:18 PM

the saddest song in the world to me is called "I'll Catch You" by the get up kids...ohh and also "Chicago is so Two Years Ago" by boys night out


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: GUEST,Brenbren
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 09:40 PM

Growing up my grandad always sang "The Lighting Express"...It was so sad. In my teen years I would hear Loretta Lynn singing " Dear Uncle Sam" That was during the VietNam war. It really is extra sad if you lost anyone to that war.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 11 - 09:15 PM

Blood on the Saddle was written by my Grandfather, Everett Cheetham. It is a song of what really happened to his Best Friend. My Grandfather also sang this song he wrote. He traveled across country with Tex Ritter in the 1930's. Everett Cheetham was a Wonderful Cowboy.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Bobert
Date: 13 Aug 11 - 10:42 PM

I would love to hear it, GUEST...

The saddest song I have ever heard (and alos on occasion perform) is "One Kind Favor" by Blind Lemon Jefferson...

"My heart stopped beating and my hands turned cold
my heart stopped beating and my hands turned cold
Now I believe what the Bible told...

B~


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: GUEST,CoriSCapnSkip
Date: 14 Aug 11 - 12:46 AM

Skarpi, a version of the song you mentioned in English is "Father, Dear Father, Come Home With Me Now," one of many songs I could mention. The word is pub, not pup, and could also be barroom--not sure which term is used in this song.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 14 Aug 11 - 04:14 AM

Since this thread is at the top again:

The first sad song to really make an impression on me when I was only 5 or 6 was hearing The Shifting Whispering Sands on the radio. The image of that poor dead miner lying there - it's wasn't just that he had died (of starvation? injury? suicide?) but the fact that he was all alone, left there in the wilds with no one to remember or mourn him, and it was strangers who crossed his hands and buried him. (Something about that line really got me. Still does.) Funny how well I've remembered it through all the years - the bleached bones, the dry well and desolate sand drifting over what was once people's homes and lives.

I have just cheated and checked the words in another thread to see if I was getting any of this wrong, but find I didn't. This song clearly made a strong impression. (That's one reason I love songs so much: their power.)

I was only a little kid at the time, but to my mind this still qualifies as one of the saddest songs of all times, transcending being merely a tear-jerker to touch on our larger fears and unanswered questions.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Desi C
Date: 14 Aug 11 - 09:03 AM

For me Blue Side Of Lonesome does it, others that come very close are, I'm So Lonesome, Cold Cold Heart, I've Just Told Moma goodbye (all Hank Williams)


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Elmore
Date: 14 Aug 11 - 09:49 AM

"Do you think that I do not know?" as sung by Priscilla Herdman.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Musket
Date: 14 Aug 11 - 11:11 AM

Heard a friend sing "The Pub with No Beer" last week.

Frightening...


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: GUEST,Alex Chapla
Date: 09 Nov 11 - 09:14 AM

I agree all of the above, but don't forget these songs of parting:

'Fotheringae' by Sandy Denny: Come the morning I'll be far away, far from these Islands and the far off Fotheringae (Mary Queen of Scots)
'From Boulder to Birmingham' by Emmy Lou Harris
'She Moved through the Fair' by Van Morrison et al
'A Message from Maria' by Joe Simon: Someone said she spoke your name just before she died

Reminds you, relationships are all that matter..


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: Vic Smith
Date: 09 Nov 11 - 09:25 AM

"Strange Fruit" when it is sung by Billie Holiday.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: frogprince
Date: 09 Nov 11 - 12:17 PM

Out of all the great ones mentioned here, Steve Goodman's "The Ballad of Penny Evans" stands out for me. I didn't see a mention of "Touch a Name on the Wall", by Joel Mabus, another one which I can't hear without breaking down.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Nov 11 - 12:22 PM

I have to agree with Ian Mather above. The Pub With No Beer sends shivers down my spine. Dan Sheehan, who wrote the original version, also wrote the second saddest song I know. It's called "When your short of a smoke"


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All
From: kendall
Date: 09 Nov 11 - 12:52 PM

There was no time to say goodbye by Tom Paxton.


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