Sad Cover Songs


This series is a deep dive into some classic sad songs to determine what makes a song sad so that I can learn how to write a sad song of my own. Grab the tissues, let’s get sad together.


Two days ago I announced that I was not going to continue with my Sad Song Series.  The muses have decided that I am not done yet.  Before abandoning the project, I had been thinking about the sounds of loneliness.  I really enjoy the sound of peace and quiet.  But there is a fine line between solitude and loneliness.  
My step-mom had taken care of her brother for years.  Petey was Down Syndrome and required a lot of extra care.  Petey died last week and he left behind a void.  I was thinking of the grief that exists in the silence he left behind.   	

	I wake up in the night and it’s so quiet
	Listening for that snore
	What I wouldn’t give to hear you breathing
	Nothing sounds like the silence

	Hello darkness, hello my old friend
	I’m talking to myself again
	Reciting all my prayers, I need some noise
	Nothing sounds like the silence

These words are better with the music.  If it is to become a real song, it will need at least one more verse.  Any ideas?

I started a project focused on sad cover songs. I planned to learn a new sad song every month. I intended to release the cover at the beginning of each month and then spend the rest of the month breaking down the song and exploring new, related song ideas. I haven’t even made it through one complete song cycle and I am going to abandon the mission. The first cover was well received but it didn’t spark much conversation or connection. Maybe the sad song journey requires a collective sadness that I wouldn’t wish on anybody else.  Maybe it is a journey that must be traveled alone. Sometimes a sad song can make you feel better in ways that nothing else can.  But maybe the Weird Folk don’t need more sad songs right now.  

For the sake of future research:
What is your favorite sad song?
What is the saddest song of all time?
What is the sad song that never fails to make you feel better?

I’m doing a sad song series where we take a classic sad song and figure out what makes it sad.  I want to learn how to make the most epic sad song of all time.  Our sad song for May is the song called I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry by the legendary Hank Williams.  If you missed my cover, you can check it out here. 

I think the first verse sets the scene for the whole song.  It’s a lonely soundtrack with whippoorwills that are too sad to fly and a train in the distance.  Some sounds evoke an emotional response and a distant train will always sound lonely. 

The second verse is all about a long, lonely night.  It culminates with the miserable moon hiding behind a cloud to cry.  The moon is another universal representation of loneliness.  Everybody has experienced a sensation of loneliness while looking at the moon wondering if that special someone was also looking at the same moon.  

The third verse is about a bird that is crying because it’s time to migrate.  It is time to move on and the bird has lost the will to live. That’s the gut punch. It’s loneliness without hope.  This isn’t the kind of loneliness that thinks it might see you soon.  This is complete despair.  

The last verse serves to wrap up the whole notion.  
	The silence of a falling star
	As I wonder where you are
	I’m so lonesome I could cry
Lost and lonely with no hope of being anything other than lonely.  

That is a sad song.  Grab some tissues and give it a listen.  

If I wanted to write a sad song, it would need a generous portion of loneliness.  This song sets its emotional tone with some lonely sounds.  I need some lonely sounds.  What is the loneliest sound you have ever experienced?  And don’t tell me anything about one hand clapping.  Really, I need your help.  What is the loneliest sound?  

I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry – Sad Covers with Brother Jack


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