Sorry, I don't mean the Elton John song (it's really not a sad song or one of his best either). But there is something to be said for a good, sad tune. Entire genres of music have been built around this emotion: how could we have the blues, honky-tonk, emo or goth otherwise?
This thread started recently on a music list and one of the best responses was a DIY mixtape from Shorefire's Nick Bailey, who came up with:
Ralph Stanley "Rank Strangers To Me"
Bruce Springsteen "Highway Patrolman"
Johnny Cash "One"
Willie Nelson "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain"
Emmylou Harris "Wayfaring Stranger"
The The "Love Is Stronger Than Death"
Willie Nelson "Heartaches of A Fool"
Dolly Parton "Jolene"
B.B. King "How Blue Can You Get?"
The Allman Brothers "Dreams"
Doc Watson "St James' Hospital"
Kathleen Edwards "Copied Keys"
Michelle Shocked "The L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore"
Doc Watson "Omie Wise"
Tony Rice "This Morning At Nine"
Waylon Jennings "Ride Me Down Easy"
Paul Simon "She Moves On"
Neil Young "Running Dry (Requiem For the Rockets)"
Of course, I couldn't help thinking of my own favorites (ably assisted by my boo) so...
Alice in Chains, almost anything from Dirt
Beck "Ramshackle," "Jackass" (both from Odelay
Bobby Blue Bland "I Pity the Fool"
Blind Lemon Jefferson "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" (and covers by Dylan, Dead, etc.)
Captain Beefheart "Love Lies" (from Shiny Beast
Elvis Costello "When I Was Cruel," "Allison"
Everclear "My Sexual Life" (from Sparkle and Fade
Girls Against Boys "Zodiac Love Team" (from House of GVSB
The Feelies "What She Said" (from Time For A Witness
Funkadelic "Maggot Brain" (RIP Eddie Hazel)
Marvin Gaye "Inner City Blues"
Al Green "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" (from Call Me
, plus Hank's original of course)
The Grifters "Pretty Notes" (from Ain't My Lookout
The Handsome Family, anything from The Last Days of Wonder
Hole "Doll Parts" (from Live Through This
Elmore James "It Hurts Me Too"
Skip James "Devil Got My Woman" (basis of a great scene in the comic/film Ghost World
Freedy Johnston "Responsible" (from Can You Fly
The Kinks, most of Face to Face
esp. "Sunny Afternoon" and "Too Much On My Mind"
Left Banke "Walk Away Renee"
Barbara Manning "Sympathy Wreath"
Thelonious Monk "'Round Midnight"
Willie Nelson "Jimmy's Road"
New Order "As It Is When It Was" (from Brotherhood
The Platters "My Prayer," "Harbor Lights" "Only You"
The Residents "Blue Rosebuds" (from Duck Stab/Buster & Glen
Scarface "I Seen A Man Die"
Gil Scott-Heron "Winter in America"
Shangri-Las "Past Present and Future"
Peter Stampfel "Believe Me, If All These Endearing Charms" (from You Must Remember This
Richard and Linda Thompson "Just the Motion" (from Shoot Out the Lights
Tupac "Dear Mama"
Paul Westerberg "Good Day" (a favorite of Lucinda Williams too, from Eventually
Jackie Wilson "Lonely Teardrops"
The Who "Tattoo" (from The Who Sells Out
Lucinda Williams "Lonely Girls" (from Essence
Wire "I Should Have Known Better" (from 154
Robert Wyatt "Shipbuilding"
and my two favorites...
Macy Gray "I Try"
Irma Thomas "It's Raining"
Plus hundreds of others I can't remember right now.
So what's your favorite sad tune? I'll pick the winner and she or he will get a monogrammed handkerchief as a prize (offer not good in Africa, Asia, Australia, Central America, Europe, North America, South America or North Jersey).