7 Ultimate Sad Songs: Western Female Vocalist Edition

Some people say that when you spend your New Year’s Eve happily, then it is a bad omen that you would spend the entire year mostly in suffers. However, when you spend your new year’s eve in a distress, then you would spend the whole year mostly in joy. Well, it is just a superstitious thing to do with New Year’s Eve. Anyway, don’t know exactly why but I would like to start this New Year by writing down some sad songs that I just fond of to listen. And somehow, lately I find myself having this feeling of constant sadness that I cannot even explain the reason why I feel that way. I know that I should be happy with all that I have now; that I should be grateful and count my blessings. Anyhow, what is happiness anyway? Can’t someone be happy and sad at the same time? I guess there is no such thing as an absolute happiness or sadness; as well as there is no ideal condition where someone must be happy and not allowed to feel sad. Things are always in between. Just because you’re living a good life with your significant other beside you, it doesn’t mean that you’re not crying out of nowhere in the middle of the night. Even listening to these songs can make me shedding tears out of the blue. So here is the first part of Ultimate Sad Songs series, where I would make a list of seven saddest songs from Western female vocalist. And of course, this is my version.

7. Destiny’s Child – Emotion

"Emotion" single cover by Destiny's Child | source: en.wikipedia.org

Destiny’s Child’s remake of Samantha Sang’s “Emotion” opens the list on number seven. It was written by Barry and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees. Destiny’s Child recorded this song in 2001 for their third studio album, “Survivor”. The song was reborn as a soul R n’ B track. Since the intro part, it could drain your heart out just by listening to it. The lyrics tell about the woman who is being left by her significant other for another woman. As she is being left alone, she’s being drowned in a deep emotion by picturing her man lying down somewhere with the other woman. In her hollow loneliness, she cannot help but keep missing the man since she got no one else to lean on. Just like that, she is all alone with her heart broken and her world fallen apart.

“And where are you now that I need you? Tears on my pillow, wherever you go. I’ll cry me a river that leads to your ocean. You never see me fall apart. In the words of a broken heart, it’s just emotion taking me over; caught up in sorrow, lost in the song. But if you don’t come back, come home to me, darling. Don’t you know there’s nobody left in this world to hold me tight. Nobody left in this world to kiss goodnight.”

6. Mariah Carey – My All

"My All" single cover by Mariah Carey | source: en.wikipedia.org

The American diva, Mariah Carey, is up next on number six of the list with her hits called “My All”. It was released in 1998 taken from her sixth studio album, “Butterfly”, and served as the final single for the album. This song is an R n’ B latin pop track with Carey’s heart-wrenching voice as the highlight of the song. You could be left speechless when she hits the high notes as she is crying her heart out. Lyrically, it speaks about the woman who cries her heart out in a desperate calling for her significant other. Though she knows that separation is coming closer, she cannot help but hoping for one more night with him; and she’s willing to give her all to get that. Since she understands that her world would fall apart without him beside her. She would throw away everything she has if that would make him stay. It’s a sincere wailing from the deep of her heart.

“I am thinking of you in my sleepless solitude tonight. If it’s wrong to love you, then my heart just won’t let me be right. ‘Cause I’ve drowned in you, and I won’t pull through without you by my side. I’d give my all to have just one more night with you. I’d risk my life to feel your body next to mine. ‘Cause I can’t go on living in the memory of our song. I’d give my all for your love tonight.”

5. Evanescence – My Immortal

"My Immortal" single cover by Evanescence | source: en.wikipedia.org

Next on number five I have “My Immortal”, performed by American rock band Evanescence for their debut studio album, “Fallen”. It was written by Ben Moody, Amy Lee, and David Hodges and was released as a single in 2003. This song is a rock ballad with a mourning sensation whenever you listen to it. Lee’s melancholic vocal could pierce your heart and tear it into pieces. The lyrics speak about the immortal pain of a woman that she got from being separated with her significant other. The presence of her beloved one still lingers. And living this life without him beside her is unbearable. It feels like time won’t erase any of the pain no matter how long it will pass.

“I’m so tired of being here, suppressed by all my childish fears. And if you have to leave, I wish that you would just leave. ‘Cause your presence still lingers here, and it won’t leave me alone. These wounds won’t seem to heal. This pain is just too real. There’s just too much that time cannot erase. When you cried I’d wipe away all of your tears. When you’d scream I’d fight away all of your fears. And I held your hand through all of these years, but you still have all of me.”

4. Kelly Clarkson – Because of You

"Because of You" single cover by Kelly Clarkson | source: en.wikipedia.org

One of Kelly Clarkson’s hits, “Because of You”, is up on number four on the list. The pop ballad track was recorded for her second studio album, “Breakaway”, and was released as a single in 2005. Though Clarkson wrote the song when she was 16, it wasn’t until her second album that she was able to finally release it; co-wrote with her producers, David Hodges and Ben Moody. This song is very meaningful for Clarkson, as it was a means of coping with the emotional distress caused by the divorce of her parents. The reason why I put this song on the list is also because I feel related listening to its lyrics, as it tells about the heartbroken of the adult child from a broken-home family. So little they know that a broken-home family isn’t necessarily had to be a divorce; a dysfunctional family itself is indeed a broken-home family. The failure of her parents’ marriage had left a deep scar inside her heart. Because of it, she grew up having this trust and distrust issue, as well as the attachment and detachment issues. She learned it the hard way. And I cannot help but feeling the sorrowful pain every time I listen to this song.

“I watched you die. I heard you cry every night in your sleep. I was so young, you should have known better than to lean on me. You never thought of anyone else. You just saw your pain. And now I cry in the middle of the night for the same damn thing. Because of you, I never stray too far from the sidewalk. Because of you, I learned to play on the safe side so I don’t get hurt. Because of you, I try my hardest just to forget everything. Because of you, I don’t know how to let anyone else in. Because of you, I’m ashamed of my life because it’s empty. Because of you, I am afraid.”

3. Adele – Make You Feel My Love

"Make You Feel My Love" single cover by Adele | source: en.wikipedia.org

Opening the big three of the list is Adele’s remake of Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love” on number three. She recorded her soul ballad version of the song for her debut studio album, “19”, in 2008. Adele was successfully making the song her own with the beautiful yet heartfelt arrangement and her soulful vocal. I choose this song to be on the list since it is so meaningful to me. Back in 2011, I wrote a piece of its lyrics on a hand of a man who now becomes my partner; my significant other. Though it is a romantic song about a sincere love, I cannot help but feeling a little bit of sadness whenever I listen to this song. Just like what I’ve mentioned in the prologue, indeed, someone can feel happy and sad at the same time. It is just like when you shed tears of happiness. It is just you feel the happiness as that much until you cannot help but crying all over it. That is what I feel when I listen to this song; it is so heartwarming until I cannot help but shedding tears. I am so in love until I cannot help but feeling sad, since I want to make him feel my love.

“When the rain is blowing in your face, and the whole world is on your case, I could offer you a warm embrace to make you feel my love. When the evening shadows and the stars appear, and there is no one there to dry your tears, I could hold you for a million years to make you feel my love.”

2. Toni Braxton – Un-break My Heart

"Un-break My Heart" single cover by Toni Braxton | source: en.wikipedia.org

On the runner-up position is the legendary power ballad, “Un-break My Heart” by Toni Braxton. It was released in 1996 for her second studio album, “Secrets”. The pop R n’ B soul track was written by Diane Warren, who is famous for writing ballad hits for many divas at their time. Braxton’s outstanding vocal is the key point of the sadness in this song. Her voice is so heart-wrenching. Lyrically, the song alludes to a blistering heartbreak. It is unbearable that the woman begs her significant other to return and undo the pain he has caused. She cries her heart out as it is breaking piece by piece. The world just feels too cold and harsh without her significant other beside her. And the life feels too cruel and the night feels too unkind since he walked out of it.

“Take back that sad word goodbye. Bring back the joy to my life. Don’t leave me here with these tears. Come and kiss this pain away. I can’t forget the day you left. Time is so unkind. And life is so cruel without you here beside me. Un-break my heart. Say you’ll love me again. Undo this hurt you caused when you walked out the door and walked out of my life. Un-cry these tears I cried so many nights. Un-break my heart.”

1. Lara Fabian – Broken Vow

Lara Fabian's self-titled album cover | source: en.wikipedia.org

Here we come to the top of the list, and this is “Broken Vow” by Belgian diva, Lara Fabian, on number one. The classical ballad track was written by Fabian herself along with Walter Afanasieff for the singer’s self-titled album released in 1999. This song sounds sad since the piano intro part. And it is getting more and more heartbreaking as Fabian sings her heart out throughout the song. Of course I choose this song not only because it is my favorite but also because I feel related to its lyrics. The lyrics follow a story of a woman who is in pain after a painful breakup caused by her significant other’s infidelity. Furthermore, it follows her emotional journey of trying to cope up with her broken heart and try to understand the reason why it all happened to her. She is dealing with her own pain, fears, and insecurities. And in the end, she found that there is more to life than just keeping a broken vow that her significant other had left her with.

“Tell me her name, I want to know, the way she looks and where you go. I need to see her face, I need to understand why you and I came to an end. Tell me again, I want to hear, who broke my faith in all these years. Who lays with you at night when I’m here all alone, remembering when I was your own. I’ll let you go. I’ll let you fly. Why do I keep asking why? I’ll let you go, now that I found a way to keep somehow, more than a broken vow. I close my eyes and dream of you and I and then I realize, there’s more to life than only bitterness and lies, I close my eyes. I’d give away my soul to hold you once again, and never let this promise end.”


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