5 saddest songs in the world

saddest songs

Music is the way many people find solace and peace. When we feel happy, sad, or can’t feel anything, there is music that finds relief for any state.

Cheerful music has been talked about and promoted over time, which is normal, but has your curiosity ever led you to find out which songs are considered the saddest in the world?

So, today I invite you to discover together the top 5 of the saddest songs in the world.

1. George Jones – ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today’

There are a lot of sombre country songs, but George Jones’ 1980 hit “He Stopped Loving Her Today” stands above almost all of them. It came out years after Jones’ commercial peak and he even thought it was too sappy, but he recorded it anyway and it shot to the top of the country charts. Simply put, it’s about a guy whose friend holds onto his lost love until the day he dies. She attends his funeral, even though he spent decades pining for her in vain. Other singers would have had difficulty pulling it off, but Jones managed to convey the song without a hint of sap. Alan Jackson sang the song at his funeral earlier this year.

2. Nirvana – ‘Something in the Way’

There’s a lot of competition for the title of saddest Nirvana song, but “Something in the Way” is a very strong candidate. The slow ballad, which recounts Kurt Cobain’s supposed time sleeping under a bridge in Aberdeen, Washington wraps up Nevermind. He recorded the track solo and acoustic, and the rest of the band later cut their parts. Rarely has Kurt sounded this vulnerable and raw. The version on MTV Unplugged is even more intense so this is why it’s one of the saddest song written by Nirvana.

3. Eric Clapton – ‘Tears in Heaven’

Eric Clapton’s son Conor was just four years old when he fell to his death on the 53rd floor of a New York building in 1991. Not long after the tragedy, Clapton and songwriter Will Jennings panned “Tears in Heaven” as a tribute to the child. They never imagined it would become a huge hit, but within months, it was Number Two on the Hot 100 and swept the Grammys. The song first appeared on the soundtrack to the widely forgotten Jason Patric movie Rush, but the version most people remember comes from Clapton’s 1992 Unplugged special. By 2004, Clapton could no longer bear to perform the song at his shows and he dropped it; it returned earlier this year.

4.‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’ by Neil Young

Yes, dance-pop troupe Saint Etienne made a jauntier version in 1991, and yes, it overshadowed the enigmatic Canadian songwriter’s 1970 original. But it shouldn’t have. Young’s beaten-down folky ballad is the saddest sound of someone resigned not just to momentary heartbreak but to a lifetime of sadness – yet somehow there’s still a hint of a ghostly, golden melody in there. It’s also been covered by Natalie Imbruglia, The Corrs, Psychic TV and Jackie De Shannon, to name a few from a very long list. Apparently, misery is something that a lot of people relate to. Who knew?

5. ‘Teardrop’ by Massive Attack

Trip-hop provided the tasteful music fan’s weepy soundtrack of choice for much of the ’90s, with tracks like Portishead’s ‘Roads’ inspiring plenty of late-night saddest bedroom sob-along. ‘Teardrop’ stands above the pack — despite a plague of horrendous cover versions and a weird afterlife as the title song for House — because of the haunting vocals by Elizabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins. The song became deeply personal for her when, on the day of recording, she heard that her ex-lover Jeff Buckley had drowned in Memphis. So this is one of the reasons this song is the saddest.


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