What is the saddest song?
Well, apparently it’s Brian McKnight’s “One Last Cry”.
Nice song, sure… but the saddest ever? Hmm. I’m not so sure. What do you think – is it really the saddest song ever?
For sad, I usually turn to orchestral then in turn to country.
However. for sheer Mutterseelinallein, you have to turn to Paul Buchanan’s voice – especially with the Blue Nile.
But where to start?
“Let’s Go Out Tonight” is a good start… from the title on, it describes loneliness mixed with boredom, listlessness, anxiety, longing, love, insecurity and everything teenagery…
But when you are full grown and settled – why does this still connect? Why is there still that connection? Is it hypnotically induced by the slow march? the relentlessness?
Is it when Paul goes falsetto? Is it because the music is perfectly claustrophobic?
“The Downtown Lights” is a different thing – more up-tempo, but the claustrophobic hypnosis remains – as does Paul’s voice, singing those plaintive lyrics. Yep, again, it’s a killer. Then add in harmony and pizzicato plucks, and it’s getting melancholy. Again.
It will be alright, it will be alright.
Sad but reassuring. What a band.
Then you hear stuff like Can’t Get Over (unreleased) by Paul Buchanan – and then you realise it is the voice most of all.
This is confirmed by the pared-down acoustic version of “A Walk across The Rooftops”
Depending on where your “heads at”, any track on any Blue Nile album will be the saddest song ever.
Having said that, there are times when country will be necessary. Country music is more specific, it’s about the situation and the story or lyrics…
One example might be the old Nobody’s Child…
Another example applies to Dads everywhere – it’s a killer for me as I always break down for the chorus.
There are loads of sad songs and love songs, but what makes a truly sad song is when it strikes when you are actually happy, content, fulfilled and at ease. That’s the thing with the Blue Nile – they can creep up and get ya when you’re not expecting it. What’s your sad stuff? Do tell?