Playlist: Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers

First thing, you may have noticed the change in blog name, or rather, the reversion back to the original name. Now that my first (but definitely not my last, I’m completely hooked!) MS 150 ride is in the books, I didn’t think the cycling centric title was totally representative, so I am back to the original, which I was always rather fond of anyway.

Two quick music thoughts for you.

The first is a song so monumentally good, so important, as to render everything that has been done or will be done in the future irrelevant. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Come On by The Hives. What I wouldn’t give to have a writing credit for the “lyric” to this tune. Take a bow gentlemen.

Just tremendous.

Secondly, I dug up one of my very favorite playlists last night for a friend who was looking for some music that she could kick back and have a good old fashioned wallow with. I’ve written before about the cathartic pleasure of wallowing around and embracing the sad through music, so I won’t repeat myself here except to say that if I’m feeling down or depressed, the last I want to do is listen to a punch of peppy, happy songs and try to forget what’s happening. Instead, I’d rather embrace the sadness head on, wallow around in a bit, and then move on. What better to do that than with some sad songs about heartbreak, loss, and alienation? Most great music (or any art for that matter) comes from a bad, dark place. Besides, without the lows how are you supposed to know how good the highs are supposed to be?

Don’t believe me, take this simple test. Take your favorite band, and think of their best “depressing” song. Got it? It’s probably pretty stellar. Now, do the same with their best “happy” song. If you are me you have REM and the answer to the first question is the amazing Sweetness Follows (which is on the playlist below). The answer to the second is Shiny Happy People. Case closed.

Anyway, here’s the playlist, Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers (name very lovingly borrowed from the excellent National album that provides the opening track) which you can listen to in full by clicking that Spotify banner on the right. Enjoy, and take some time to embrace the sad every now and then. It’s good for your soul.


Lucky You – The National

Pale Blue Eyes – The Velvet Underground

I Wish I Was the Moon – Neko Case

Black – Pearl Jam

How to Disappear Completely – Radiohead

I’m Not the Man – 10,000 Maniacs

Atlantic City – Bruce Springsteen

In the Sun – Joseph Arthur

My Last Song to Jenny – The Avett Brothers

Making Believe – Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons

If You See Her, Say Hello – Bob Dylan

The Winner Takes it All – Abba

Reel Around the Fountain – The Smiths

Crucifixion Cruise – The Hold Steady

Act Naturally – Buck Owens

I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times – The Beach Boys

Let Down – Radiohead

I Still Miss Someone – Johnny Cash

Divorce Song – Liz Phair

It Could Have Been a Brilliant Career – Belle and Sebastian

I Know It’s Over – The Smiths

Gloomy Sunday – Billie Holiday

It Won’t Hurt – Dwight Yoakam

The Mess We’re In – PJ Harvey

So Cruel – U2

Can’t Hardly Wait – The Replacements

Everyday is Like Sunday – Morrissey

She’s a Jar – Wilco

Sweetness Follows – REM

Love Hurts – Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons

Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down – Johnny Cash

Street Spirit – Radiohead

About Today – The National


Posted on June 6, 2012, in Music and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. “Divorce Song” is effing amazing and still has some of the best lines in any song, ever:

    And the license said / you had to stick around until I was dead
    But if you’re tired of looking at my face / I guess I already am

    • Liz is such an enigma. How can you write something as great as Exile in Guyville and then just plummet off the edge of the world musically like that? Oh well. Nothing can tarnish how good that entire record is.

  2. Parker Burden

    Street Spirit (Fade Out) is probably the only song I could listen to on repeat for an entire day and never tire of it.

    • They closed with that song when we saw them in Tampa a few weeks back. Was a quasi-religious experience. The only Radiohead song I like more is Let Down, if only for the moment at 3:40 when it all comes together. That still makes the hair on my arms standup after a few thousands listens.

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