10 Songs for Getting Overemotional

10 songs to bring you down.

At first, snow is wonderful. It sprinkles down from the sky like sugar, turning everything into a freshly iced cake (sorry – writing while hungry). But then it melts into slush, reminding us that all that is beautiful will eventually become hideous and ruin our shoes. It’s hard not to be a little depressed by that. Although it’s technically healthier to be happy, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional angst-jag. What’s the fun in being happy all the time? You’ll never get to stare soulfully out of a rain-soaked window. You’ll never perfect the art of sighing. So here are some songs to bring you down:

Everything Means Nothing To Me- Elliott Smith




I can’t help but picture this as a perversion of the song ‘Zip-a-dee-doo-da’ from that old Disney movie (Song of the South, 1946, to be exact- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcxYwwIL5zQ): ‘Mr Bluebird on my shoulder… who keeps singing over everything; everything means nothing to me… Wonderful feeling, wonderful day!’ You know what Disney movies are often missing? Nihilism.


Six Days at the Bottom of the Ocean- Explosions in the Sky



No lyrics. Just emotions. This song is apparently about a submarine that sank to the ocean floor with everyone trapped inside and a dwindling supply of oxygen. Too much.


Re: Stacks- Bon Iver



For those times when a sadistic crow has taken your door keys.


Not One of Us- Lion King II Soundtrack



Maybe there’s still not enough nihilism in this more recent Disney epic, but there sure is political exile. I learned a lot from this movie, namely that zebras are highly judgemental.  The link is the clip from the film rather than the soundtrack version, just so you can see those zebras.


Crowd Surf off a Cliff- Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton



This is Emily Haines’ side project from the band Metric, and the whole album (’Knives Don’t Have Your Back) can be a beautiful downer.

High and Dry- Radiohead



Seemingly about the tragic life of a daredevil motorcyclist. If you want to get even lower, read the comments on the video. In fact, read the comments on any YouTube video.


Dreams- Sebadoh



Mid 80’s Grunge for gazing at shoes to. The kind of thing I listened to at age 12 when I had a misguided appreciation for flared jeans. Unlike Avril Lavigne, however, this still sounds pretty good to me. That’s a lie, Lavigne’s ‘Under My Skin’ album is still gold.


Heaven- Talking Heads



Strangely heart breaking, and unintentionally hilarious when you imagine it’s about the bar in Soho of the same name.


God Bless the Child- Billie Holiday



Well, everything Billie Holiday does is a little depressing. This song suggests that money is more important than religion and caring for our fellow man in the eyes of society. Even for a Fundamentalist Agnostic like myself that’s a little upsetting.


Sickbed Blues- Skip James



Blues: the original genre for sound tracking emotional breakdowns (ok, that’s debatable. Opera probably takes that title). There’s another version on YouTube where he sings this about an octave higher. I prefer this one, but everyone likes their angst in different places on the stave.