Just how sad are you? You’re about to find out

Two Vanguard editors, one shared feeling. Nicholas Kula and Richard D. Oxley team up for this: a list of songs that will keep you in bed with sadness any time you’re not in class or at work. Enjoy!

Two Vanguard editors, one shared feeling. Nicholas Kula and Richard D. Oxley team up for this: a list of songs that will keep you in bed with sadness any time you’re not in class or at work. Enjoy!

Starscream –

“Kepler’s Star Catalog”

Only a nerd could find deep solace in this dirge filled with slow, mudded-up drum work and NES/Gameboy trills. Yes, it’s a chiptune song, and yes, it’s extremely sad. There’s a time after a breakup when words are hard to find, when nothing that anyone says seems to matter. This is why tunes like this are essential—the lyrical content reflects exactly what’s in your head at the moment. Feelings of numbness can easily be exacerbated at the listener’s will when blared loud through a set of good headphones. While walking by citywide personal monuments in the stinging cold, the first couple minutes of the song will make you cry, if you’re geeky enough. For those of you who are optimistic, the last half of the song is for you. The mood changes quickly without sounding forced, and the last minute or so is enough to keep anyone’s chin up—until the song ends.

Bob Dylan –

“Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright”

Perhaps the break wasn’t weighted too heavily on your end, but rather due to the screw-ups of your former lover. It doesn’t matter if they sit and wonder why, call out your name, or turn on their light for you—you’re well on your way down the road. And while Dylan keeps things polite and civil for this musical break-up, he does include a nice little jab, “you just kind of wasted my precious time/but don’t think twice, it’s alright.” This is the perfect song for when you have packed your stuff in your car and are headed to wherever. It sucks, but it’s time to move on.

Cloud Cult –

“Love You All”

Though the song is over five minutes long, it contains 24 words. They’re so few that I can write them all in this blurb: “I love my mother/I love my father/And when it’s my time to go/I need you to know/I love you all.” Though not meant as a breakup song, it has all the makings of one: strings, organ, electronic swells, bells, acoustic guitar and oboe. Drums make little very little appearance on this track—we don’t need them muddying it up, anyway. This song is best played in the dark right before you go to sleep, as you eye the empty spot in your bed and wrestle with the idea that we’re all unique people, which is why nobody fills out the spot in quite the same way. The poignant melodies and soaring crescendos will bring the tears with the quickness.

The Big Pink –


Finally, this is more like it. Real breakup lyrics, really sad emotive vocals laid over squealy feedback, moody synth and heavy percussion. Singer/guitarist Robbie Furze croons those kinds of crushing lyrics that you’d barely be caught dead digesting if you hadn’t been recently stomped on. Its in the middle, during one of the more surging parts of the song where Furze sings “These arms are mine/Don’t matter who they hold/You’re made for me/and I’ll leave love alone/You call out my name/for the love you need/which you won’t find in me.” Preach on, sir. This song works best played loud through a set of headphones while looking over the edge of an overpass at 3 a.m., or at least that’s what I’ve heard.

Willie Nelson –

“Always On My Mind”

A song that will go down in history as a classic, whether you are listening to it because it is simply amazing or because you desire to torture yourself over all the ways you screwed up in your now-failed love. In a way only Willie can, he puts forth how though we all may hold love in our hearts and minds for our significant others, we sometimes fall short of reminding them of it. Maybe we didn’t tell them we love them, quite as often as we could have. You know, all those little things we should have said and done, but just never took the time. And hey, when you’re on the mend from your broken heart, you can always switch over to the Pet Shop Boys version for a more upbeat, coming-to-terms with things vibe—it’s also really good to dance to.

Honorable mention:

Cee-Lo Green –

“Fuck You”

Let’s face it; sometimes a little angst needs to come out during any break, clean or otherwise. Or sometimes your love just plain did you wrong. Either way, there comes a time when the only accurate and eloquent way to express the nature of the situation is a good old “fuck you.”