7 Ultimate Sad Songs: Indonesian Male Vocalist Edition

Tuesday, January 17, 2017




There are many sources of sadness. It doesn’t necessarily have to be bad or negative things. People can feel sad because of beautiful things too. You love someone so much that you feel sad for not being able to make them happy. You care so much about someone that you feel sad for not being able to love them in a way that they want you to. You love someone so much that you feel sad for not being able to give them what they really need. You feel grateful so much for the existence of your significant other that you feel sad for not being able to express your gratitude. You care so much about humanity that you feel sad for not being able to stop any violation towards it in all over the world. You love your Mother so much that you feel sad for not being able to repay your debts toward her. There are many sources of sadness, as well as there are so many reasons to feel sad about something. No matter where it comes from, there is nothing we can do as a human being but embracing the sadness. Accepting and embracing; those are hard things to do yet once you do it, there you can find the essence of sadness and its beauty. Here I make the sixth part of Ultimate Sad Songs series: seven saddest songs performed by Indonesian male vocalist.

7. Fatur – Selalu Untuk Selamanya (Always Forever)
First of all, we start with the number seven of the list. Here I have a song performed by Fatur, one of Java Jive’s vocalists, titled “Selalu Untuk Selamanya (Always Forever)”. It was released in 1997 as the title song for the singer’s first solo studio album of the same name. Written by Capung, this ballad track’s lyrics speak about the honest sadness that a man feels toward his significant other upon the doubt and hesitation that are clouding over their relationship. The doubt is leading to a big insecurity about whether there is actually a sincere love for him; whether there is really a love that could last forever and always.



“It is pensive in your forehead; it is wet in your eyes; is it your way to prove your love? Is there any sincere love for me? Is there any never ending love? Is there any sincere love for me? Is there any never ending love always forever? Truthfully, you are in my heart and I am in yours, though there is a fervent doubt; a doubt that you must answer.”

6. Peterpan – Mungkin Nanti (Perhaps Later)
Next, I have a song titled “Mungkin Nanti (Perhaps Later)” by Indonesian band, Peterpan, on number six of the list. It was released in 2004 as the second single taken from the band’s second studio album, “Bintang di Surga”. Written by the band’s front-man, Ariel, this pop rock track’s lyrics allude man’s strong will to move on from his heartbreak past relationship by not bringing up again about the past feeling if perhaps they meet again later in the future. Out of all Peterpan’s melancholic hits, I choose this song to be on list because I have personal experience with it. One time when I was teenager, I was crying out of the blue when I heard this song played on the radio. I don’t know why but at that time, it sounded so sad and heartbreaking.



“It is time for me to say, perhaps for the last time; never mind, let go of all, I believe it is time. Perhaps you’re not the way used to be. Perhaps the feeling has gone. And perhaps if we meet again later, one thing that I ask from you is to not questioning again about the feeling that I’ve left to die; just like yesterday when everything was here.”

5. Kahitna – Takkan Terganti (Won’t Be Replaced)
Up on number five of the list is a song titled “Takkan Terganti (Won’t Be Replaced)”, performed by Indonesian band, Kahitna. It was released in 2003 as a single taken from the band’s fifth studio album, “Cinta Sudah Lewat”. Written by the famous songwriter and composer, as well as the band’s founder, Yovie Widianto, this ballad track has lyrics that tell about a man’s irreplaceable love and his sincere yet hollow sadness for losing the love. Though he understands that the love will never come back to him, he also knows it all too well that it will never be replaced. And even though Kahitna had released many sad songs during their career, I choose this one song because for me personally it is the most heart-wrenching one for both the melody and the lyrics.



“I’ve been alone for a long time in lonely steps. I never thought that in the end, you are not here by my side. Though time comes and goes until you do not endure, all cannot change me; it is you inside my niche. It is only you who could make me fall and love. You aren’t just beautiful; you will never be replaced.”

4. Chrisye – Merpati Putih (White Dove)
I proudly present the Indonesian legendary singer, the late Chrisye, with one of his hits titled “Merpati Putih (White Dove)” on number four of the list. It was released in 1977 for the original soundtrack album of the Indonesian box office movie, “Badai Pasti Berlalu”. In December 2007, the album was chosen as the number one best album of 150 Best Indonesian Albums listed by Rolling Stone Indonesia magazine. And this ballad track is my favorite in the album especially for its amazing piano intro and the beautifully sad lyrics. Written by the legendary songwriter, Eros Djarot, with Yockie Soerjoprajogo, the song’s lyrics express the deep sadness and sorrowful desperation of saying goodbye to the loved ones. The heartbreaking separation leaves a lingering wonders about when love and happy days will come again. Just like a white dove that flies to the sky and disappears through the clouds, love has just gone like that, and never knows when it will come back.



“Flowers in the arms are already withered. The white doves are marching home, braving the storm, high up among the clouds, and disappearing in the dark sky. Goodbye to the memory of love. Until when do I have to wait for the happy days like the old ones?”

3. Kla Project – Terpuruk Ku Disini (Slumped in Here)
Opening up the big three of the list, I have the legendary Indonesian band, Kla Project, with a song titled “Terpuruk Ku Disini (Slumped in Here)”. It was released in 1994 as the lead single for the band’s fourth studio album, “Ungu”. Written by the band’s front-man, Katon Bagaskara, this melancholic contemporary pop jazz ballad song has lyrics that follow the miserable feeling of man upon the indecisiveness and uncertainness of the woman towards their relationship. It feels like the woman is playing with his heart and sincere love, killing it even before it’s blooming completely. Hence he feels like being slumped in their relationship; and it leaves him frozen. I grew up listening to Kla Project’s classics since both my Mother and Father are big fans of them. This song is not their only melancholic sad song. However, I decide to choose this one because it was the song that helping me to get through my broken heart moment back in 2011. It was the song I feel related to the most at that time. And yes, this is everlasting. The melody, the lyrics, the vocals, the music; it is the saddest song about romance.


“The sun was covered in the sky; shining reluctantly. The wind was piercing the body; shivering soul. I slumped in here; embraced by your indecisive attitude; immeasurably frozen and miserable. It is that you pour the love into the flaming and burning stove. It is that you put out the coals when warmth begins to touch the soul. Crushed by your indecisive attitude, I slumped in here. In the embrace of your uncertain answer; immeasurably frozen and miserable.”

2. Ebiet G. Ade – Berita Kepada Kawan (News for Friend)
On the runner-up position of the list is a classic titled “Berita Kepada Kawan (News for Friend)”, performed by Indonesian legendary folk singer-songwriter, Ebiet G. Ade. It was released in 1979, taken from the legend’s second studio album, “Camellia II”. Written by the legend himself, this folk ballad track was inspired by the disaster happened in Dieng Plateau. The legend wrote the lyrics as if he told the news for his friend about the disaster that happens in a certain land. Since then, this song is famous for being played on television during the disaster news in Indonesia. Hence all generation is familiar with this melancholic song for its heavy airplay on national television channels. Despite that, truthfully it is the saddest song about humanity.


“Dear friend, listen to his answer when I was asking why. He said his Father and Mother have long gone from the disaster in this land. When I got to the sea, I told everything, to the corals, to the waves, to the sun; but everything was silent, but everything was mute. There was only me, all alone frozenly staring at the sky. Perhaps there was an answer why there was disaster in my land.”

1. Iwan Fals – Ibu (Mother)
Last but not least, a classic titled “Ibu (Mother)”, performed by Indonesian legendary rock singer-songwriter, Iwan Fals, is topping the list on number position. It was released in 1988 as a part of the legend’s album, “1910”. Written by the legend himself, this folk rock track was dedicated for his beloved Mother and every Mother everywhere. The lyrics speak the sincere love of a Mother towards her son, her struggles and hardships in life to raise her children, and how her children cannot repay all what she’s done because nothing in this world can be compared to her sincere love and hardships. The song tells it in a heart-wrenching way, with a heartfelt melody and melancholic lyrics; making it the saddest song about Mother, ever.


“Thousands miles of street you’ve walked, through the hurdles, for me, your son. My beloved Mother keeps on walking, though the soles of the feet are full of blood, full of pus. The love you give is like the air; I cannot repay, Mother, Mother.”

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