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Another 10 Depressing Rock Songs

F. McClure . . . Comments

Some of you may remember the very popular top 10 depressing rock songs. This is our sequel! In the words of our submitter: Burn the incense, slip out the razor and get ready to cry your favorite shade of mascara–here are the real odes to frustration, depression, and subliminal agony.


Jeff Buckley
Lover, You Should Have Come Over

A brilliant song. A beautiful voice. A genius set of lyrics. The most tender subject matter. Unless you commit suicide before it’s even over, this ultimate song of breakdown is the definite breakup song. And it’s pretty too.


Pink Floyd
Comfortably Numb

For those still with us after depressing song number 10, this song is one of the most beautifully sad songs of all time on the subject of being filled with apathy towards the world around you.


Joy Division

Ian Curtis and his suicidal tendencies never had as much effect on any song as it did in this ode: “Here are the young men, a weight on their shoulders/here are the young men, well where have they been? We knocked on the doors of hell’s darkest chambers/Pushed to the limit we dragged ourselves in.”


Manic Street Preachers

You want alienation, mutilation, deprecation and annihilation? Look no further than Richey James Edward’s stream of consciousness tale about voyeurs and exhibitionists who “conceive a god on video” and “everyone I love or hated always seems to leave.” For further heartache, listen to the entire album, The Holy Bible.


Stella Was A Diver And She Was Always Down

The surreal, fantastic tale of a woman submerged in society’s darkness and her eventual, deliberate drowning to escape. Interpol’s dark atmosphere and esoteric lyrics have cemented their place as the new kings of goth pop. This song is part of the reason why.



“I am just a restless liar/I am just an imbecile/I will only complicate you/Trust in me and fall as well.” Guitars wail through this song. Maynard Keenan’s voice whispers of sullen depravity and then shouting in a merciful plea. This is all the metal paranoia one could ever possibly endure. And it is awesome.


The Cure
One Hundred Years

The Cure have to be one this list. But of all their self-deprecating songs, this is the one that makes you sick to your stomach with anxiety about the future. “Over and over we die, one after the other.” And that’s not even the half of it. Any song that begins “It doesn’t matter if we all die!” isn’t going to be an inspirational hymn of any sorts. Listen without sharp objects in hand’s reach.


The Smiths
I Know It’s Over

Teen love eventually equals teen angst, and no one ever got this more than Morrissey. The feeling of being buried in the rejection of a lover you never had is a tale wonderfully told all through its six minutes of sorrow. “Love is natural and real…but not for such as you and I, my lover.” Morrissey’s voice was never so pure and so submissive.


The Velvet Underground

Lou Reed was never a subtle person, but on no song did he so emulate the pathetic beauty of Baudelaire than on this spiral into sweet addiction. Personal note: the first time I heard this song, I literally felt sickened. Oh, the power of confessional writing.


Nine Inch Nails
And All That Could Have Been

Trent Reznor, who has possibly the most bitter and horrendously fragile heart in rock, composed this farewell to the aspects of Love during the Fragile sessions, and was so personal and remorseful it wasn’t even released until a few years later on an Internet-only compilation. The music is faux-blissfully enchanting and allows itself to take you distantly to hell and back. The lyrics speak for themselves: “Please/take this/and run far away/far as you can see/I am tainted/and happiness and peace of mind/were never meant for me…in my nothing/you meant everything/everything to me.”

Contributor: F. McClure

  • Bex

    I adore all of these bands except Interpol… and I’m not a morbid person, honest…

  • Eve

    Wow! Great list!
    Just one thing-it is spelt “imbecile” , isn’t it?

  • downhighway61

    Pretty much all of The Fragile makes me want to whip out the razors, especially the first song.
    Thanks, Trent.

    F. McClure, you have set the tone for my day.
    I liked your list.

  • fauxhaux

    i’m glad that jeff buckley made it on both lists, but i think that an elliott smith song deserves a place here somewhere, like “condor ave” or “last call”. nothing says downer like elliott smith acoustic

  • eve – thanks for the correction – fixed :)

  • emmstein

    These songs are depressing, but does it mean that they are emo? emo as in the make up wearing, wrist slitting, gay type.

  • Denzell

    WHAT? No Welcome to the Black Parade!? (My Chemical Romance)

    emo as in the make up wearing, wrist slitting, gay type.
    You callin’ me a fag!?

  • Arkz_Archduke_of_Geeks

    hmm floyd nice, well in all truth the whole album The Wall is actually rather depressing some more so then
    Comfortably Numb

  • Jimmy K

    Tool has a lot of really depressing songs if you listen to the words. “Pushit” might be the most of all. Of theirs, anyway…

  • romerozombie

    7. Denzell – WTTBP? Are you serious?! That songs about hope and isn’t even worthy of this list anyway.

    Great that you included Interpol. Love them. But for a NIN song, I personally would’ve made number one ‘Something I Can Never Have’ or ‘A Warm Place’.

  • Lu_pazz

    Were is Frankie Teardrop from suicide??? it is the most depressing, disturbing and scary song ever made and it is not in none of the lists. Please listen if you can.

  • astraya

    The related lists section is showing “Top 10 British comedy songs”! A British comedy song is obviously no laughing matter.
    Otherwise I can’t comment, because I don’t know any of these songs, and I don’t want to find out the hard way.

  • Dawn Bearer

    A Tout Le Monde by Megadeth would have been a great addition to the list.

  • Iain

    Try ‘Casimir Pulaski Day’ (from ‘Come on Feel the Illinoise’) by Sufjan Stevens about the death of a childhood sweatheart and a subsequent crisis of religious faith…
    It starts like this…
    “Goldenrod and the 4H dome/
    Are what I brought you/
    When I found out you had cancer of the bone…”

  • Iain

    I’m not in total agreement with calling these songs ‘depressing’ – they’re sad and that can be a good thing.

    Now the Jonas Brothers – that’s depressing.

  • JB

    the images of the And All That Could Have Been clip are actually from The Perfect Drug. But’s funny how well it fits.

    It’s also funny that Trent Reznor appears in every depressing song list. This with Hurt itself (in the original list) and the Great Below are good examples of this kind of lyrics.

    Nice list.

  • F. McClure

    Thanks for the support, guys. I forgot the Elliot Smith song Waltz No.2(X/O) which is equally depressing and beautiful as the rest, but these 10 are the ones that made me weep consistently for days.
    Yes, it is imbecile. I was in a hurry, the bell was about to ring.
    The best And All That Could Have Been clip is the one featuring Requiem for a Dream.
    Oh yeah, and it’s “witless liar.” My bad.

  • Kanaka Dee

    I used to lover her, but i had to kill her – Guns N Roses

  • ep_gun

    By the way…. isnt it ” Im just a worthless liar” in sober??? and what about these songs???
    3libras – APC
    Snuff – Slipknot ( really powerful song )
    Passive – APC
    Severed – Mudvayne
    world so cold – Mudvayne

  • Randall

    Wonderful list. Excellent work. I would have thought The Jesus and Mary Chain should be here, along with Mazzy Star, but I don’t feel like quibbling today. Manic Street Preachers was a great choice, as was the ever-depressing Joy Division (but I was a fan of both bands back in the day).

  • F. McClure

    Some Candy Talking? Yeah, I should have used that.
    Mudvayne is only depressing for people forced to listen to that kind of muck.
    For the last time, it’s “witless liar.”

  • Anna

    A really depressing song I have heard recently is The Herb Girls of Birkenau by Rasputina. It contains everything that there should be in a sad song: wailing cellos, no solution and *sigh* just sadness:( But the subject matter is important. We must not forget history.

  • Mr. Plow

    Faces In Disguise

    Both by Sunny Day Real Estate.

    Fantastic list, the music lists on LV are always great!

  • downhighway61

    Most of Rasputina is pretty depressing.
    My Little Shirtwaist Fire is about girls burning to death.
    They have an entire album called Oh Perilous World… you can imagine how happy it is.

  • caboose

    Brilliant list, There’s not much I could change but may I suggest just one song: Something in the way – Nirvana.

  • ringtailroxy

    I was thinking the exact same thing about J&MC. thought I was the only one who truly enjoyed them…

    what about Concrete Blonde or Poe? a depressing song doesn’t have to just have mournful riffs, you know.

    like these lyrics from a fave Poe song…

    “I dreamt tomorrow had a prettier face
    I dreamt tomorrow would have better things to say
    Than, “You look like shit, what’s your problem, bitch?
    You’re legs feel like sandpaper, you can’t do anything right.”
    ‘Cause that day never should have taken place
    ‘Cause this day in my life still cannot explain
    Why I listened in the first place
    to you”

    ouch. makes me want to go key some jerk-off ex-boyfriends car right now!(not that I would have, or ever have, committed blatant acts of vandalism… I’m far to conniving for that. I’m the gal who would just mail those picture we took of you in my underwear to your boss…)


  • londonafter

    Denzell is right, where are the emo bands?? they’re famous for being depressive assholes, you’d make a list of the worst emo songs, that’d be hillarious.

  • dustin

    great lists.. some other songs i find depressing

    the end- the doors
    november rain- g&r
    changes- 2-pac
    the calender hung itself…- bright eyes
    and pretty much most songs by bright eyes, their still amazing though

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  • Bobby

    Manics rule!

  • canute

    what about no surprises of radiohead? or pyraimd song?
    or how about “untitled 1 the vaka song” from sigur ros?

    great list

  • MiSaNtHrOpE

    Evanescence (aka The Amy Lee Show lol), semi-emo as they are, are really depressing. Tourniquet i can’t even listen to. “Hello”, also on the album, though not a rock song, is the most haunting piano song I’ve ever heard.

  • Becca

    Most Interpol fans know that Stella Was A Diver is about a blow job.

  • cribbage427

    During my recent move, I rediscovered Jeff Buckley’s Grace album. Such a beautiful voice!

    I came across Eric Clapton’s 2005 live release with the most emotional song I have heard, and equally sad. “River Of Tears” has this epic ending where he just screams “How long, how long, how long is th…(unitelligible)”

    He can’t even get out the words! Amazing.

  • Amanda

    I can think of several other Nine Inch Nails songs that would qualify for this list, And All That Could Have Been wasn’t even one that I was thinking of! Something I Can Never Have would have been a good choice. Great job, Tool’s Sober was a good choice also.

  • TimB35

    Heroin is one of my all time favorite songs. A true masterpiece by Lou Reed and the Velvets. “River of Tears” is a heartbreaker by Clapton, but “Tears in Heaven” and “Layla” should also get some consideration for most depressing songs. Not only does Layla have some of the best guitar work ever to be laid down, it has some of the most depressing lyrics you could ever hear in a love song. He’s essentially baring his soul for Patti Boyd Harrison for 7 wailing minutes with nothing to protect him except for is shredding guitar. Possibly the greatest and most depressing song of all time.

  • scrumpy

    Yay! One Hundred Years by The Cure.

    That was my favourite song when I was 18. Happy days! :)

  • Carrie

    How about cheesy depressing?

    Alone Again, Naturally – Gilbert O’Sullivan

    Well, it made me cry when I was a teenager and I played that damn 45 over and over.

  • Eve

    Someone has mentioned My Chemical Romance. Their songs “Helena” and “Mama” are very depressing indeed-but I love them :)

  • scrumpy

    For real misery try the album it’s from. Pornography….

    one more day like today and i’ll kill you
    a desire for flesh
    and real blood
    i’ll watch you drown in the shower
    push my life through your open eyes

    i must fight this sickness
    find a cure
    i must fight this sickness…

  • F. McClure

    I like the idea of a Top 10 Worst Emo Songs. Anyone else interested comment now. I’m working on one anyway…

  • JabberingJanet

    “Dancing with Mr Brownstone” from Guns and Roses(heroin addiction)
    “Hit me with your best shot” from Pat Benetar
    “Im goin to leave you” from Led Zepplin
    “Janeys got a gun” from Aerosmith
    They are all kick ass songs though except the first one!!!!

  • dustin

    i agree with tears in heaven.. after all its about his son dying

  • JB

    @40. F. McClure

    I can’t help you, but go on.
    I saw an emo clip in a bar few days ago, of a song called “The Worst is still to Come”. I left the bar after reading that menace.

  • deepthinker

    Great list! I had to go 3 days without lists because of Hurricane Ike… man, I take you guys for granted! But, luckily I have my power back, and I can get my daily fix!

  • Grace

    Gotta love a bit of The Smiths – there’s a song for every variant of “moody” on every album – Strangeways being my favourite.

  • TimB35

    Hey JabberingJanet-
    If you’re going to suggest songs, at least get the titles right. It’s “Mr. Brownstone” by G&R, “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” by Zeppelin, and “Jamie’s Got a Gun” by Aerosmith. And Pat Benetar sucks so her song shouldn’t be included anyway.

  • ard
  • Suskis

    Listen to “Vedrai, vedrai” (“You’ll see”) by Luigi Tenco
    he sang it at sanremo around 40 years ago, then committed suicide!

  • billyrules!

    this list made me think of “black” by pearl jam.

  • Mark

    And not a single Opeth song…
    What kind of list is this without Opeth!?

  • vodkagecko

    i read number seven wrong and thought it was made by the band Yes

  • Mark

    lol me too XD

  • Tim

    1000 Oceans by Tori Amos always gets me.

  • s.

    i agree about “all that could have been”. so sad yet so beautiful.

  • i like some of these songs

  • Hillery

    Sodom South Georgia & Upward Over the Mountain by Iron and Wine both make me cry like a baby (You know, flail my arms, scream, poop my pants… sorry)

    Also, although it’s on the other list, I think How to Disappear Completely by Radiohead should be on every incarnation of this list as number one. My best friend has had about five friends kill themselves, and she says she listened to that one song over and over every time, it was the song that most resembled how she felt. Now that’s depressing.

  • Bytedragon

    Hey didn´t you promise last week that you wouldn´t post depressing lists on mondays?

    And the list is missing Mad World (REM version)

  • nimitz

    did you guys all here about Pink Floyd’s keyboardist dieing?
    it apparently only happened an hour ago.

  • Heroajax

    Wow, I seriously wonder what happened to Trent Reznor in his life. The Smiths were the kings of depression songs until NIN’s Hurt came out. He snatched that title and has never given it up. I’m kind of going through a crap and depressing time in my life, but after listening to #1 (which is an amazingly beautiful song, I’d never heard before, tyvm), I seem amazingly joyous compared to him. I’m constantly amazed at how beautifully he captures pain in his lyrics, videos and how clearly his emotions come across through his music. Thanks for this list.

  • Cedestra

    25. caboose: Agreed- at least the Unplugged in New York version (is that the only one they did?)
    53. Tim: “Me and a Gun” is even more depressing. It’s about Tori choosing whether or not to kill herself after she was raped.
    I forget if I mentioned it on the other list (or even if it’s there- I’m being lazy) but the most depressing song I ever heard was “Flight Recorder from Viking 7” by the Matthew Good Band. It’s basically the same concept as “Ground Control to Major Tom” by David Bowie, only very, very depressing. is the song on youtube with a still picture (hard to find song).

  • bigski

    Creep by Radiohead dont get much sadder. Also check out the cover version by Korn on MTV unplugged it will almost make you cry

  • mike

    OMG! These songs make me wanna slit my wrists!!!!1one

  • weebo

    Joy Division is probably my favorite band of all time, glad to see them here. I know this is a list about rock songs, but Never Be Friends by the Game is pretty damn moving.

  • Vera Lynn

    nimitz (58)What ??? Are you kidding me ? Richard Wright?? WTF Happened. I hadn’t heard at all

  • deziner

    Don’t forget that “Anthem of Angst” from the baby boomer era

    Janis Ian’s–At Seventeen

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  • dustin

    also how about adam’s song by blink 182?

  • 2worlds

    one of pink’s floyd member’s died D:.
    Nice list.

  • JokersAce

    Although for a few songs I would have to comment:

    Comfortably Numb: I never thought of it as a sad song. Just a really good tune to relax to.

    I know it’s over: Sometimes it makes me a bit happier that I’m not the only one. lol

    Heroin: Never was a sad song to me. But an extremely motivational one. It gave me the feeling that whatever stresses you were going through at the moment wouldn’t matter in the end. Hell, the drum beat made me wreck my house.

    My sad songs:

    Disorder by Joy Division

    Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division – I actually cried listening to this one.

    Asleep by The Smiths – The first time you listen to it – it hits you. but to me it sadly lost effect over time.

  • Muttley

    Neither list mentioned:

    Tears In Heaven; Eric Clapton

    One More Suicide: Marcy Playground

    The Needle & The Damage Done: Neil Young
    “cos ev’ry Junkie’s like a setting sun…..”

    Mother and Child Reunion: Paul Simon

    maybe another list to come?

  • frey

    where are all the placebo songs?? they have got to be one of the most beautiful depressing bands i’ve heard.

    also, Adam’s Song – Blink 182. very very sad and depressing.

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  • reppahhh

    I think…
    Adams Song by Blink 182
    Black Dress by Kisschasy
    Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division
    Tears In Heaven by Eric Clapton
    Mad World by Gary Jules
    The Nobodies by Marilyn Manson
    Daddy by Korn
    No, It Isnt by +44

  • Adriana

    What??? No Nick Cave?

  • happy campyr

    listen to the second half of big stars third/sister lovers, you’ll be filling the bath and getting out the razor blades before the final song

  • Edu

    I miss “Lost control”, from Anathema´s “Alternative 4” album. There´s nothing more depressive.

  • F McClure

    Bands I forgot to mention: The Birthday Party, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Glove, Radiohead, REM…and “Dirt” by the Stooges was a close No.11.
    Maybe I’ll get to them in another list if this one doesn’t cause a mass suicide.

    Would a Worst Emo Songs or Best Emo Songs list be funnier?

  • Jes

    Nick Drake?

  • Wally

    What a fantastic list F Mac. I love nearly all these songs (never knew I was so morbid!) and there is something about a sad song. There are so many more… so dont worry if people are throwing around their own choices, because these are yours and you took the time to make it. I know how long a list can take to make so be happy (not depressed) that we can all enjoy it.

  • MT

    I loved the first list of depressing songs, but not this second list. With the exception of Pink Floyd, all these songs are more boring than depressing. However, it is early in the morning and I’ve only been drinking coffee. I’ll listen againg tonight after a few drinks.

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  • CathL

    Wow, I love this list, and the majority of the bands on it! holy bible and downward spiral are defs my top depressing albums, though if Something i can never have by NIN ever comes on at a party everyone tends to shut up and sink into catatonic depair…
    I’d probably have a tune by Elliot Smith on my list, maybe needle in the hay, it rarely fails to bring on a bout of good ol introspective morbidity!

  • Robert

    I never thought of Heroin as a sad song. Actually the first time I heard it, it was in a music history class and the rest of the class responded they thought it was the worst piece of shit they ever heard while I was the only one who was excited and really liked it.

  • Blacknimbus

    Ok, these aren’t ‘rock’ songs, but when I think of depressing tunes that I like I think of:

    “He’ll have to go” by Jim Reeves


    “Where have all the flowers gone” by the Kingston Trio

  • carpe

    What about “I Want To Be Alone (Dialogue)” by Jackson C. Frank?

  • Tim

    60. Cedestra, hey there. I think of “Me and a Gun” as more of a tragic song, more than a sad one (although the two are not mutually exclusive). Also a minor correction. It’s not about Tori thinking about killing herself after being raped. The “gun” part was a metaphore for a knife (she was raped at knife point). I guess “Me and a Knife” didn’t sound as effective. But I agree it is a very powerful song. Sorry it took so long to get back to you…cheers!

  • heiko

    Any list of depressive rock songs that doesn’t include Anathema can’t be taken seriously.

  • macabresoren

    Half the songs people are suggesting don’t even fall under the category of “rock”… Good list, I liked the first one, too. But I definitely agree that “Tears In Heaven” should’ve been on.

    And the people who call My Chemical Romance whiny emo music… Have obviously never actually listened to a My Chemical Romance song in their lives. They MAKE FUN of whiny emo kids, actually, and I’ve never heard a single song of theirs that has the message of, “my life sucks, I’m gonna kill myself.” In fact, they have a very anti-suicide message, as their songs about death are about illness or the people left behind. The only SELF-destructive songs they have are about drugs–just like all your “cool” bands.

  • camm

    i agree with “EP_GUN” –

    Mudvayne’s – A World So Cold, should be on the list somewhere.

    or my personal pick for number one which would have to be “whats in a Dream” by the River City Rebels

  • Coop

    Perfect number one choice! And All that Could Have Been is a fantastically depressing song. Great list!

  • KenManiac

    the whole of Lou Reed’s ‘Berlin’ is bloody bathtub-depressing. listen to it on a bright happy spring morning, not a grey fall night. seriously character-building.

  • ZedroZ

    Gotta say, I always thought “Love will tear us apart” by Joy Division was more depressing than “Decades”… Don’t get me wrong Joy Division were fantastic and Ian Curtis had a great voice, but there was something about the moaning / slurring in that song… O_o

  • littlemissrock

    Every single song written by emo bands would qualify.

  • Hostile In Bedlam 2.0

    Emo isn’t depressing. Just nausceating. And metal songs from Mudvayne and such are more depressingly awful than tragic. If you guys weren’t even remotely oblivious to what makes a song truthfully sad you wouldn’t be whining about the list. You’d be making your own.

  • jensen87

    I’ve seen NIN twice (three times this November!) and yeah, he has some of the most gut wrenching lyrics, but that’s what we love about him, right? :-)

  • ryno68

    Lucinda Williams – Sweet Old World

    Nothing like a beatiful song about a friend wondering why another commited suicide.

    “Didn’t you think anyone loved you?”

  • The_Patient

    YYEESSSSS!!!! This is a list that has actually mentioned Tool! Nicely done. I love Tool, and also Jeff Buckley (great music)
    Tools videos you should check out if you want weird!
    Nice list overall, Ive heard quite a few of these, hmm, what does that say about me…? :/

  • dustin

    goodbye my lover- by james blunt lol

  • nick13

    what about metallica fade to black

  • kofeelite

    REM-“Everybody Hurts”

  • tom

    Half of Pink Floyd’s catalogue.

    Suicidal Tendencies: “How will I laugh tomorrow, when I can’t even smile today?”

    P.S. Avoid the IQ test link with the Einstein graphic and the text “the average IQ is 100.” I took this a while ago. Probably inaccurate and you’ll start to get around a hundred spam messages a day to your email. There are better more accurate tests on the web for the curious, and you won’t have to purge your spam box twice a day. be forewarned.

  • Drogo

    I heard “Daniel” by Elton John a few hours ago and it made me feel like throwing myself down the stairs….. O.K. not really, but it isn’t exactly a party tune. :)

  • Miss Destiny

    Yeah, Goodbye My Lover by James Blunt makes me cry just about every time I hear it.

  • Gravy

    25. caboose – September 15th, 2008 at 7:40 am
    Brilliant list, There’s not much I could change but may I suggest just one song: Something in the way – Nirvana.


    and also, you should put the entire album of the wall on this list, cuz its a major downer, (however still musically brilliant and conseptually perfect) but sad.

  • Crêpe

    Matthew Good has a lot of sad songs. Go listen to his Underdogs album.

  • Vera Lynn

    Pink Floyd: When the Tigers Broke Free

    KenManiac (88) “Cancer in April” but I wouldn’t call anything by Lou Reed “rock” Maybe “blues”

  • jamesw

    blink 182 – Adam’s Song

    asked for about 3 times on this list, about 7 times on the first depressing song list lol

    while blinks one of my favorite bands, and while adams song is very depressing, the last chorus is so filled with hope it turns the song around so i dont know if it should be included on here lol

    stay together for the kids by blink is sad though

  • Johnny H

    Why are all of these songs so God Damn long….

    And if you want to talk about depressing….take any track from Lennon’s ‘Primal Scream’ album.

  • Grubbanax

    Another list omitting CURRENT 93,
    SUICIDE (Frankie Teardrop),
    TISM (Life Kills, Kill Yourself Now And Avoid The Rush),
    DEATH IN JUNE (All Pigs Must Die)
    SWANS (Raping A Slave, Failure, Turn TO Stone)!!

    I agree with One Hundred Years. Why do you think this was their opening song for Live 8?? Particularly with that said opening line! More disturbing. This song isn’t as disturbing as their “Easy Cure” song ‘See The Children’. Look that one up!

  • dischuker

    i just noticed this from playing guitar hero, what about “paint it black” by the stones. sounds like mick had a pretty bad thing happen.

  • diver

    having not read the whole series of comments , i must submit neil young’s “the needle and the damage done”..a song of anguish ,sorrow and a terminal hunger very rarely matched..also listen to the whole “tonight;s the night ” cd..the slow descent continued

  • tiapan

    I would rather drown in a bath full of stale piss than listen to them again, truly awful rubbish….

  • I think “Candidate” would have been a better Joy Division choice.

    Choosing 1 excerpt was difficult, as the entire song is so tragically sad. But here’s a snippet:

    Corrupted from memory,
    No longer the power,
    It’s creeping up slowly,
    The last fatal hour.

    The orchestration is pretty dark too, it just creeps in and is filled with lows and undertones.

    Clip here:

  • To Grubbanax:

    I’d say a good 90% of Swans songs would qualify as depressing. At least, whenever Michael Gira sings. It sounds like he’s about to slip a rope around his neck at any given moment.

  • Brosiusjb

    Grateful Dead’s Friend of the Devil is a poignantly sad song. I love the Counting Crow’s rendition more than The Dead’s to be honest: “got a wife in chino, babe, and one in Cherokee/The first one says she’s got my child but it don’t look like me.”

  • Brosiusjb

    I “like” the Counting Crow’s rendition more than The Dead’s, to be honest.

  • skeev

    As much as I love the song Decades, I’d say that Atmosphere or The Eternal is a little sadder.

  • Green Is Good

    A great list, but now I have the urge to throw myself under bus.

    Eh, that requires actual effort. I’ll just climb back into bed and hide under the covers until the urge passes.

  • KirstyMarmite

    I love the fact that The Cure are on here, but I don’t think One Hundred Years is depressing, and by no means their most depressing song. I’d say it’s more menacing. Try Apart, or To Wish Impossible Things.

  • gunmeen

    one song which should be on top of any depressing songs list has to be “gloomy sunday”.im not sure bout da total history of da song but im sure ppl after hearin it killed demselves and dis song was also banned.i was not originally recorded in english but der r many covers of this song.

  • ad

    lux aeterna ..the requiem for a dream soundtrack..
    now thats depressing

  • wow, i’m seriously impressed by number one. one of my favorite tracks of all time!

  • dallasdre

    Great that you put The Cure up (my favorite band)… that whole album Pornography is quite dark, here are some lyrics from another song on that same album called Siamise Twins
    Leave me to die
    You won’t remember my voice
    I walked away and grew old
    You never talk
    We never smile
    I scream
    Your nothing
    I don’t need you anymore
    Your nothing

  • Kilroy

    Styx’s “As Bad As This” from Serpent is Rising is pretty damn depressing. Maybe a good addition for a third list?

    Another one would be the Monkee’s “Never Enough” from Justus.

  • rose

    i think johnny cash”s song hurt is so depressing and idc wht genre it is one of the greatest most emotional songs ever written

  • meh

    at least you got number 1 right

  • meh

    122. rose – since you kind of leave the impression of somebody who doesn’t know, Hurt is a cover. Nine Inch Nails was behind the original. no offence if you were aware

    in fact when i think of it.. Nine Inch Nails could fill half of the top 10 in that list.. with songs like Something I Can Never Have, The Great Below, Zero-Sum, Right Where It Belongs

  • whoopee

    reall should have tiny tears by the tindersticks on here. the most gorgeous fcking downer of a song i ever heard

  • whoopee


  • cody

    what about Suicidal Tendencies “Alone”, “Nobody Hears”,”How Will I Laugh Tomorrow the slow version””Feel Like Sh*t/Deja Vu”

    Blood for Blood “Redemption Denied”, The entire “Spit My Last Breath” album, well pretty much everything B4B did was about hate out of such defeat and depression

  • cody

    also knowing what its about The Boom Town Rats “I Don’t Like Mondays”

  • Nietzsche

    35 – TimbB35
    “Not only does Layla have some of the best guitar work ever to be laid down, it has some of the most depressing lyrics you could ever hear in a love song. He’s essentially baring his soul for Patti Boyd Harrison for 7 wailing minutes with nothing to protect him except for is shredding guitar.”

    A lot of that seven minutes of “wailing” is actually what is called pianoforte or simply piano. And shredding would sound absolutely terrible in a song like Layla. Wait, what? This song isn’t even that depressing, WTF are we talking about?

  • These weren’t on the earlier list of ten depressing rong songs but “The End of The Rainbow” by Richard Thompson has always been near the top of my list of most depressing songs.

    “Life seems so rosy in the cradle, / But I’ll be a friend I’ll tell you what’s in store / There’s nothing at the end of the rainbow. / There’s nothing to grow up for anymore.”

    Not one to play for a friend who’s had a particularly bad day. Competing with that is Roy Harper’s “October the 12th” with the cheery verse:

    “Why throw flowers on my grave when I’m dead / Why paint pictures with the blood that I shed / Why try to copy any word of what I said / When I hated you all when I was living”.

  • AMuseInACage

    Why isn’t “Exit Music (For A Film)” on either of these lists? The song is so powerful and sad. It starts out with a slow guitar and slow, heartfelt lyrics, and when the drums kick in and he really starts to belt it out I nearly cry every time:

    “And you can laugh
    A spineless laugh
    We hope your rules and wisdom choke you
    Now we are one
    In everlasting peace
    We hope, that you choke, that you choke…”

    Another few depressing songs, in my opinion, would be “Showbiz” by Muse, “The Noose” by A Perfect Circle, “Sleeping With Ghosts” by Placebo, “Mad World” by Gary Jules (The original version, by Tears for Fears, is actually rather upbeat, which is strange considering one line is “I find it kinda funny, I find it kinda sad, The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had”) “Running up That Hill” by Placebo (Original song by Kate Bush) “No Surprises” by Radiohead (More depressing in subject matter than actual appearance) and “Deathblow” by the Deftones, which is not particularly depressing, but happened to be on the same playlist as the previously mentioned songs.

    Awesome lists by the way!

  • Rag Doll

    This Time Imperfect by AFI used to make me cry, not so much anymore, but it’s still a right depressing song. “Coma Black” “Coma White” “The KKK Took My Baby Away” And (as someone else listed) “The Nobodies” by Marilyn Manson are all good depressing songs. “The KKK Took My Baby Away” is actually by the Ramones, by MM sounds far darker than it’s original.

  • eydie

    there is another song called “100 years” by five for fighting. i don’t think it’s meant necessarily to be depressing, but i can’t even listen to it. “man in the mirror” by michael jackson makes me cry as well.

  • heather

    I ADORE number 1…I love Nine Inch Nails and that was always one of my favorite songs. Its so sad and..just..beautiful in its own twisted way…

  • ARE

    What the.. Sober is on the list?

    Tool-wise, 10 000 days is incredibly depressing, as is part one (Wings). Pushit is also considerably sadder, at least in tone and content.

    But Maynard James Keenan has such a skill for making sorrow and other emotions come through his voice, it’s just amazing.

  • Tyler

    ah come on, where’s the Meat Loaf? Just listen to “Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Then They Are”. Just about makes me cry, and that’s the main reason he never sings it live, because he always gets all choked up due to the story, and how much of it actually applied to him.

    I’m also surprised that “Jamies Got A Gun” and “Little Wing” didn’t make either list. I mean COME ON! Not including Little Wing?

  • nolod1207

    Some good songs on this list but I feel like some songs are taken too much lyrically and not musically. Like to make a song depressing it shouldn’t just have depressing lyrics or be about a depressing topic but like the song should just make u sad totally I feel like Comfortably numb and sober are too upbeat to be considered top of the list depressing. Some I feel were left out:
    Adam’s Song – Blink 182
    Say Hello To Heaven – Temple of the Dog
    Walk Away – Ben Harper
    Linger – Cranberries
    Only God Knows Why – Kid Rock
    Nothingman – Pearl Jam
    Under the Bridge – RHCP

  • Grubbanax

    Yes nolod1207!!
    That’s why I suggested CURRENT 93 and SWANS.
    Have a listen to EARTH COVERS EARTH, TIME TRYETH TRUTH or anything by Current 93. Or TURN TO STONE, FAILURE – SWANS.

    Look ’em up on seeqpod !!

  • Bon

    Had tears in my eyes when I saw LYDHCO as number 10.

    If it isn’t the story of my life, I don’t know what is.

  • KevinSpencer

    I love another depressing song, the Marylin Manson cover of Suicide is painless. It totally make you wanna suicide.

  • Bert

    Damn there are some great suggestions here. Black and Nothingman are two fantastic Pearl Jam examples. And you can’t overlook Mr. Young – not only are “Needle and the Damage Done” and “Tonight’s the Night” great choices, you could easily suggest “Cortez the Killer” as well. The guitar work on that song alone is enough to send shivers down your spine.

    And just to weigh in – I think both versions of Hurt are fantastic, though the timing of Johnny’s version gives him the edge I think. Coupled that with the video and it’s no wonder Trent Reznor has been quoted as saying “that song isn’t mine anymore”.

    Also – to 60. Cedera – I agree with your Bowie choice, but it’s actually called “Space Oddity”. ;)

  • BloodSuckingLeech

    “My Immortal” by Evanessence

    “Fall to Pieces” by Velvet Revolver

  • Kace Irvine

    Gloomy sunday?

  • tom

    November Rain by GUNS N ROSES

    gloomy sunday has caused so many suicides it was banned by the bbc in britain for over 20 years

  • I4gotmyMANTRA

    comforably is numb is beautiful, tragic, sad, numbing, bitter and total powerful. but i don’t think its exactley depressing.

  • Titanium Black

    O_o iv always partied to NIN. never found them depressing. Always thought Reznor despised the pathetic humanity around him though. As for this tragic love thing. well its just the collective reaction to hormones and brain chemistry. nothing to write a song about. Then again i find humans illogical constructs of flesh and bone. im indifferent. Want depressing. how about the need for homo sapians to follow the latest fad without thinking or reasoning. THATS depressing. Oh and reptile is about my ex-gf.

  • Piyush

    If u r looking for these type of songs then go for ANATHEMA-LOST CONTROL…U WILL KEEP LISTENING IT AGAIN N AGAIN N AGAIN N AGAIN N AGAIN…..

  • em0703

    the number one saddest rock song is got to be radiohead’s ‘how to dissapear completely’.

  • no name

    Everybody is forgetting the poetic and really sad, deppressing music from “the doors”. Songs such as “the end”, “when the music is over”, “Crystal ship”, and many more.

  • Jason S.

    if you don’t like this list go look at LOL

    seriously if they want these lists to be worth anything they need to put someone in charge of them that actually has T A S T E in this thing we love called music

  • MWatson

    “Brick”, by Ben Folds Five. It’s sad too.

  • David

    Stella was a Diver is about a blow job.

  • J Rock

    “Everything Dies” by Type O Negative

  • permaGRIN

    Fade to Black…
    Nick 13 said it best…

    “Life it seems will fade away
    Drifting further every day
    Getting lost within myself
    Nothing matters, no one else

    I have lost the will to live
    Simply nothing more to give
    There is nothing more for me
    Need the end to set me free

    Things not what they used to be
    Missing one inside of me
    Deathly lost, this can’t be real
    Cannot stand this hell I feel

    Emptiness is filling me
    To the point of agony
    Growing darkness taking dawn
    I was me but now he’s gone

    No one but me can save myself
    But it’s too late
    Now I can’t think
    Think why I should even try

    Yesterday seems as though
    It never existed
    Death greets me warm
    Now I will just say goodbye

    The suicide song…yet it really gets you pumped up, because the guitar solo and the drums are one of a kind…one of the best songs ever, even if it is a ballad from a heavy metal band…it is truly a life changing song for me…one that plkays in the soundtrack of the movie about my life…in my own dreams…lol

  • tony

    Right Mark! What kind of list is this without Opeth? Most songs are too mainstream anyway. Glad somebody suggested “Snuff” by Slipknot, “No leaf clover” and “Fade to black” by Metallica are worthy too. How about a list of the most euphoric songs in metal? Like “We are Motorhead”

  • bead

    smashing pumpkins has a few rather depressing songs. check em out, listen and weep:

    bullet with butterfly wings
    once upon a time

    most of their songs actually.

  • 21/12/12

    Knocking On heavens Door – the Gnr cover.

  • jacobrex

    these are all really gr8 songs.

    but there r still other songs w/c i think r mor depressing. try listening to songs of My Chemical Romance specifically of the older albums. my personal favorites r “drowning lessons” and “early sunsets over monroeville”

    let me know if other cool lists lyk this turn up.


  • chadchad

    @jacobrex People like you are why My Chemical Romance fans have a bad name and why we’re all labelled as ’emo’. Monroeville is about the movie Dawn of the Dead, it’s hardly a song that’s meant to make one feel depressed, or anything, really.

  • jacobrex

    @chadchad whoa!!!i never knew that that song was about that movie.thnx for the tip though…

  • blah

    try “sometimes” by sunny day real estate.

  • Miss Kimothy

    No one has even mentioned
    the Doors
    “The End”

    This is the end
    my only friend, the end…

    How can you miss that one????

  • Shelbie

    Padraic My Prince by Bright Eyes.
    You’ll most likely kill yourself afterwards.

  • Enucleator

    great list, indeed
    i will just exchange interpol for any songs of The Sisters of Mercy (three first albums) but hey, we can talk forever about our favorite sad songs ^^

    thanks again for the list…. memoriiiiieeeeessss ^^ i grew up with The Cure, Pink Floyd, Joy Division, The Smith, The Sisters of Mercy,Cocteau Twins, The Virgin Prunes, Einstürzende Neubauten … Hey btw, Armenia is a great incredible sad/scary song… ok ok i stop here, or i’m going to write a novel instead of a comment :D

  • nicky

    I agree with casimir pulaski day. i freakin love that song.

  • Matthew 25:21 by The Mountain Goats is the most heart breaking piece of music ever recorded.

    New Dawn Fades is more depressing, emotionally harrowing, and haunting than Decades, IMO.

    Coward by Vic Chesnutt (and many of his songs, such as Debriefing) is a lot more depressing than most of the stuff on this list.

  • kit kat

    Alice in Chains, to me, is great, but very depressing, like the song “Nutshell” off of Jar of Flies.

  • Qk.

    My personal ultra-depressing song is 'My home is your head' from Joseph Arthur, although I don't know if it counts as a 'rock song'.
    Without exaggerating, that song used to give me cardiac dysrhythmia (non-threatening, but scary) and slight panic attacks. My reactions now aren't as strong as they used to be, depends on what mood I'm in.
    Despite the creepy heart-reaction and spontaneous crying and all, I think it's a very good song.

  • Declan

    Matthew Good Band – Running For Home
    It's hauntingly beautiful. It makes me think of my own death. It makes me want to kill myself. I must have this played at my funeral.
    Phil Collins – You Know What I Mean
    Perfect for a post-breakup pity party. The piano background, the sadness in his voice, it perfectly captures the feeling of having your world shattered and having to try to pick up the pieces of your heart.
    Camera – Editors
    Perfect for someone going through a breakup, coming to the utter realization that neither of you are the same anymore.
    Rush – Losing it
    Excellently describes the loss of abilities as the mind and body fade with age, but looking back, remembering how you once were.

  • JustSomeGuy

    Comfortably Numb…the description you post is off base. It's not about apathy to the world around the singer, it's about how "Pink"….the protagonist in the song and on that album, needed drugs to get through his performances…and the doctor(s) that willingly helped him do that.

    Maybe that's sad, but not exactly "most depressing"…or maybe it's just me…

  • Tab

    I think this is a good list, but I would add:

    "Tomorrow, Wendy" by Concrete Blonde
    "True Affection" by The Blow
    "Kid" by The Pretenders
    "Cancer" by My Chemical Romance
    "Last Kiss" by Pearl Jam

  • bassbait

    Although this is Metal, I'd like to add "Hallowed Be Thy Name". I might as well make a list for metal, but anyway – Hallowed Be Thy Name is the most depressing song ever, because it gives hope and misery, happiness and death, all in one. The song is about a man about to be executed, but it affects you in a way that the man dying is a hero of yours, such as if a rock star died. It seems very sad to think of the character in the story as, say, Bruce, but the sadness of a death of a hero (Dio, for example) is perfectly exemplified by Hallowed Be Thy Name. Some of the lyrics in the song you could honestly say could easily apply to a great tragedy of a loved one (or a music legend):

    "Can it be there's been some sort of an error
    Hard to stop the surmounting terror
    Is it really the end not some crazy dream?"

    "Somebody please tell me that I'm dreaming
    It's not easy to stop from screaming
    But words escape me when I try to speak"

    Those lines could sound a lot like the thoughts of someone who is grieving over the death of somebody important to them.

    "Mark my words believe my soul lives on
    Don't worry now that I have gone
    I've gone beyond to see the truth

    When you know that your time is close at hand
    Maybe then you'll begin to understand
    Life down there is just a strange illusion"

    These lines, however, seem to be from the POV of the deceased.

    And then, of course, the great end lyric: "Hallowed be thy name"

    Now, it's obviously not ABOUT the death of a loved one, but the music affects you in a way where you almost feel like the character they are singing about IS someone you love, even if it's just a nameless man who is bracing for death.

    That's why I consider it the most depressing song ever, because it FEELS like a tragic death of someone very important to the listener (me).

  • Any song from Beyoncé or Ke$ha (just kidding….well maybe not!)

    Glenn Danzig has many downbeat songs, such as "Cantspeak" and "Going down to Die" from his Danzig 4 album.
    Alice Cooper has a couple of them too, mostly from his early career….the song "Steven" is a masterpiece its on "Welcome to my Nightmare" album from the 70's.

  • vicoland



  • Some songs I personally find depressing

    1. Hero of War by Rise Against

    A song about a soldier who went to (I assume) Iraq, and what happened there with him. The last of the 3 experiences he details is one of the saddest stanzas in any song I’ve heard. It’s also true. (Not band member person experience though…)

    2. Kristie Are You Doing Ok? by The Offspring

    A song their frontman wrote about a classmate he had who was raped, and everbody (including him) could tell, but chose to look away.

    3. November Rain by Guns N Roses

    If you’ve been alive the past 15 yars you’ll know this.

    4. Cancer by My Chemical Romance

    more of a personal hurt here, having had a family member suffer cancer.

    5. Green Fields Of France by Dropkick Murphys

    A pretty sad look at how meaningless war becomes.

    6. Sorrow by Bad Religion

    The song is intended to be happy, or at least hopeful, but not to me.

    7. Pride and Palor by Bad Religion as well

    A song about family abuse, unfortunatly too common in the world now.

    -NOTE- This is not a list, just songs I think fit.

  • guigby

    I completely agree with fauxhaux, why no elliott smith? Listen to the beautiful accapella song 'i didn't understand' and you'll see why!

  • Somalion

    Disagree with Lover You Should Have Come Over, I actually dont think its that depressing at all!! I’d say Forget Her is much more melancholic! Great list though :)

  • Gutsdozer

    I think “Disintegration” is more depressing than “One Hundred Years”. “I never said I would stay to the end, I knew I would leave you with babies and everything”

  • akAlpendlow

    Rezs? Seress – Gloomy Sunday

    Not rock, but has resulted in many suicides in Hungary and America since its recording in 1933, and the songwriter strangled himself with a wire in a hospital after unsuccessfully committing suicide by jumping out of a window. It’s the granddaddy downer song of em’ all.

  • May

    I will follow you into the dark – Death Cab for cutie
    Sunday Gloomy (Billie Holiday`s version)
    Ce Matin La – Air

  • AlexLyall

    I find it disgusting and I think your are sub human for not liking Interpol

  • Danielle

    I think that perhaps “Asleep” should’ve been on here instead of “I Know It’s Over,” but maybe that’s because I feel connected to that song…

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