Published on February 1st, 2012 | by Alan Cross9
And the Most Depressing Song of All Time Is…
According to a (very scientific, I’m sure) study by theatre producer David King, the most depressing song of all time is “Everybody Hurts” by REM.
He says one in five females “often” begin to cry when they hear the song. There doesn’t seem to be any data for dudes.
Second most depressing? Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind.” (I agree, but I get depressed for different reasons upon hearing it.) And in third place, Mike and the Mechanics and “The Living Years.”
To all of the above, I call “bullshit.”
Nothing–and I mean nothing–beats “Gloomy Sunday.”
What? You’ve never heard of it? That’s probably a good thing because it was banned by the BBC for its blow to morale and its rumoured ability to drive people to suicide.
“Gloomy Sunday” was written by a Hungarian pianist named Rezső Seress in 1933 with the first recording appearing in 1935. An English translation came the following year. The most famous rendition is by Billie Holiday in 1941–and that’s when the problems began.
The BBC ban resulted because programmers felt the song was a blow to wartime morale. Meanwhile, urban legends began to circulate that the the song was so depressing that it caused people to kill themselves.
What is true is that Seress himself committed suicide in 1968–on his second attempt. First, he jumped out of a window in Budapest but failed to finish the job. He later ended up choking himself with a wire–while in the hospital.
Here’s the song. Is this or is this not more depressing that “Everybody Hurts?” (WARNING: If you’re feeling emotionally rocky, I’ve buffered things with a picture of some kittens.)