Everyone has their go-to songs for when they are feeling happy, sad or lovesick. These songs encapsulate the exact emotion you are feeling and express it in a way words cannot. I also have a few of those songs that I am going to recommend along with the meaning behind it to help you understand it in a new way and maybe you can listen to it from another perspective, and can better understand the song. The songs chosen are based on my music taste which might not be yours, but I will try to include a variety of genres so that your favourite genre might be in it as well.
Firstly, sadness. We all have come across this feeling. Sometimes more than others. I have heard a saying, “You can’t write a song without a broken heart”, which shows that the passion and emotion that is put into songs are very real and raw and can touch the hearts of anyone who listens to it. When I get sad, the first song that comes to mind is ‘Hurt’ by Johnny Cash. This song is the epitome of someone that feels like he is undeserving of other people’s acceptance or friendship. A verse in that song, “What have I become, my sweetest friend, Everyone I know goes away in the end” shows that the singer feels that everyone he knows is bound to abandon him no matter what he does. Another line, “I will let you down, I will make you hurt” shows that he knows that whatever he does will hurt people. This is a common feeling for depressed people. At some point, they realise how much this illness affects their loved ones and how their behaviour hurts others. Because of this, a depressed person may not even try to have relationships with anybody. The next song is ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ by The Verve. The irony about this song is that shortly after it’s release, it was copyrighted by another company so ‘The Verve’ never got any of their royalties from the song until very recently, around May 2019. The first line in the song “Cause it’s a bitter sweet symphony that’s life” is saying that though life is like a symphony, a rich beautiful thing, it is still complicated. With it comes an internal struggle and lots of tough and bittersweet moments. Another line “I need to hear some sounds that recognize the pain in me, yeah” is saying that he needs to listen to music or songs that are relatable to his life and speaks to himself or he needs to pray to God in hopes that meditation will find him some clarity. Besides that, the line “No change, I can change I can change, I can change” is saying that he cannot be his true self, and has become what he always feared, a robotic occupant in the life he did not want to live. Basically, he has accepted the conformity of society but with a disdain towards it. Next, ‘This Bitter Earth’, by Dinah Washington. This song perfectly expresses the feeling of sadness of a person at how unfair life is. She takes out her anger on the world around her by blaming the world for her problems. The first line of the song, “This bitter earth, what a fruit it bears, what good is love, that no one shares” is showing how she blames the world for the fact that everyone is selfish and will not show love towards each other.
Next, being lovesick. Whether it is by a rejection, unrequited love, or being with the one you love, there are a myriad of songs about this. For the feeling of being happy with the one you love, the first song that comes to mind is ‘Hooked on a Feeling’ by Blue Swede. From its comical starting which sounds like cavemen chanting “Ooga-chaka Ooga Ooga Ooga-chaka”, this song just has a feel-good factor to it that can make anyone listening to it happy. The songs first line, “I can’t stop this feeling deep inside of me, Girl you don’t just realise what you do to me”, shows that the singer can’t get enough of the girl he is with and that he loves that feeling of being with her. The next line, “When you hold me in your arms so tight you let me know everything’s all right”, also emphasises the good feeling he gets when being with her and he feels that everything is alright being with her. The song’s chorus is “I’m hooked on a feeling, I’m high in believing that you’re in love with me.” In slang, hooked refers to being addicted to a drug therefore the singer compares his love to a drug. The singer is ecstatic at the belief that his beloved is in love with him and thus generates a romantic tenderness throughout the song. The next song, ‘Wicked Game’ by Chris Isaak is for the feeling of unrequited love or rejection. This song, originally done by Chris Isaak but frequently covered by others such as Stone Sour, is a haunting melody about unrequited love. The first line of the song “The world was on fire and no one could save me but you” shows that he feels as though the only person that can help him is the unnamed girl. Even though this is probably not true, this is the feeling you get when you are in love with someone and they leave you. The next line, “It’s strange what desire would make foolish people do” also shows that love can make people do things that they would never do and make them feel foolish for doing it. The next line, “I never dreamed that I’d meet somebody like you, and I never dreamed that I’d lose somebody like you” shows that the person that he’s talking about is someone he would never have dreamed would exist. The girl is someone straight out of his dreams. But after they get close and had a very big connection, somehow he loses her as the relationship seems too good to be true. The second verse “What a wicked game to play, to make me feel this way, What a wicked thing to do, to let me dream of you”, shows that he feels that she had led him on or that she was consciously trapping him in a romantic net that he cannot escape from. The word ‘let’ shows that she allowed him to feel all these feelings. The next song is ‘Iris’ by the Goo Goo Dolls. This song is for the feeling of love. The song was written for a Nicolas Cage movie, City of Angels. The first line “And I’d give up forever to touch you ‘cause I know that you feel me somehow” shows that in the movie, Nicolas Cage is willing to give up his immortality for a girl he is in love with. In the chorus, “And I don’t want the world to see me, cause I don’t think that they’d understand, when everything’s made to be broken, I just want you to know who I am” states that even though everything is made to be broken, he is still reaching out for a relationship with her. It also shows that he doesn’t care if anybody else in the world knows he exists, because he is an angel, he only cares about what she thinks. He just wants this one person to know who he really is, what makes him ‘him’, and as long as she knows that’s all that matters.