The 52 Most Depressing Songs You've Ever Heard
by Tom Reynolds

Hyperion/May 2006

What is it about a depressing song that makes a lasting impression on people's minds — the lyrical tugging of the heartstrings, or the melancholy melody? With a heavy heart and a tear in his beer, Tom Reynolds painstakingly attempts to solve this mystery by analyzing 52 of the most depressing songs of all time — from top-ten hits to cultish dirges — that have spawned slavish devotion among fans over the years. Each chapter harps on a category of doomy-gloomy tunes, from 1950s teenage-car-crash songs and she-hates-me-so-I-hate-her songs to I’m-telling-a-story-nobody-wants-to-hear songs. Pining away over musical elements ranging from verses and stanzas, loopy rhymes, and stilted iambics to instrumentation and orchestration, the author digs in to reveal the suicidal heart of each and every song. Artists noted in this compendium of wretched compositions include Bruce Springsteen, Evanescence, Loretta Lynn, The Beatles, Celene Dion, Bobby Darin, Black Sabbath, Frank Sinatra, The Cure, The Doors, and Joy Division.

About the Author
Tom Reynolds started work as a country-western deejay in East Texas. He was fired for being unable to drawl. This made him depressed. He moved to Los Angeles where he worked as technical director for the famed Groundlings Comedy Theater. Four nights a week of sketch comedy made him really depressed. He went on to produce cable documentaries and reality shows featuring drunk 20-somethings making out in bars. He became bi-polar. Word spread and he was asked to write a book about depressing music. This was a cathartic experience and he's currently happy - for now.