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Saddest.Song.EVAH.


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I picked up the album four green fields at the goodwill store because I am a fan of all types of folk music.

No one does heartbreak like the Irish and this song is about as sad as it gets,opening with a poem by Seamus Heaney which was about an Irish rebellion that did not end well.

it took me several listenings to realize that the barley that " grew up out of ( their) graves was the Barley they had in their coat pockets to eat , and it grew after they were "Buried without shroud or coffin" :(

The line " terraced, thousands died shaking scythes at cannon" really stands out to me.

The pockets of our greatcoats full of barley...

No kitchens on the run, no striking camp...

We moved quick and sudden in our own country.

The priest lay behind ditches with the tramp.

A people hardly marching... on the hike...

We found new tactics happening each day:

We'd cut through reins and rider with the pike

And stampede cattle into infantry,

Then retreat through hedges where cavalry must be thrown.

Until... on Vinegar Hill... the final conclave.

Terraced thousands died, shaking scythes at cannon.

The hillside blushed, soaked in our broken wave.

They buried us without shroud or coffin

And in August... the barley grew up out of our grave.

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Have you seen "The Wind That Shakes The Barley"? Excellent flick about the conflict in Northern Ireland and the roots of the IRA. You kind of know from the giddyup that it's not going to end well (because it really hasn't ended).

Haven't seen it, plan to soon. Man it has to rough living where theres almost constant war or on the verge of war.

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This song is 200 years old but was anthemic for the struggle in the early 20th century. I'd put it up against yours as a truly sad folk song. What's up with those freaking Irish, anyway? :(

The Wind That Shakes The Barley

by Robert Dwyer Joyce

I sat within a valley green

I sat me with my true love

My sad heart strove to choose between

The old love and the new love

The old for her, the new that made

Me think on Ireland dearly

While soft the wind blew down the glade

And shook the golden barley

Twas hard the woeful words to frame

To break the ties that bound us

But harder still to bear the shame

Of foreign chains around us

And so I said, "The mountain glen

I'll seek at morning early

And join the bold United Men

While soft winds shake the barley"

While sad I kissed away her tears

My fond arms 'round her flinging

The foeman's shot burst on our ears

From out the wildwood ringing

A bullet pierced my true love's side

In life's young spring so early

And on my breast in blood she died

While soft winds shook the barley

I bore her to some mountain PIRATED VIDEO IS ILLEGAL

And many's the summer blossom

I placed with branches soft and green

About her gore-stained bosom

I wept and kissed her clay-cold corpse

Then rushed o'er vale and valley

My vengeance on the foe to wreak

While soft winds shook the barley

But blood for blood without remorse

I've taken at Oulart Hollow

And laid my true love's clay-cold corpse

Where I full soon may follow

As 'round her grave I wander drear

Noon, night and morning early

With breaking heart when e'er I hear

The wind that shakes the barley

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Yea, those Irish can write some sad stuff man. I just have been Immersing myself in a lot of folk music lately because i want to get my songwriting chops back up and work on my awful singing. :P I have a couple of songs I started with lyrics and I'm stuck so I am trying to jar the muse out of sleep. :P

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Yea, those Irish can write some sad stuff man. I just have been Immersing myself in a lot of folk music lately because i want to get my songwriting chops back up and work on my awful singing. :P I have a couple of songs I started with lyrics and I'm stuck so I am trying to jar the muse out of sleep. :P

You ever listen to Gary Higgins or Bonnie Dobson?
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My knowledge of folk music is certainly LIMITED. However there are a couple of sad songs that I really like quite a bit. The first one below does qualify as folk music, I think. The second one is just a really good song from a great (and underappreciated) American singer/songwriter

I've always liked this one. Not nearly as huge in numbers on the "suffering scale" however, it's still good stuff.

Gordon Lightfoot- The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down

Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee

The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead

When the skies of November turn gloomy.

With a load of iron ore - 26,000 tons more

Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty

That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed

When the gales of November came early

The ship was the pride of the American side

Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin

As the big freighters go it was bigger than most

With a crew and the Captain well seasoned.

Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms

When they left fully loaded for Cleveland

And later that night when the ships bell rang

Could it be the North Wind they'd been feeling.

The wind in the wires made a tattletale sound

And a wave broke over the railing

And every man knew, as the Captain did, too,

T'was the witch of November come stealing.

The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait

When the gales of November came slashing

When afternoon came it was freezing rain

In the face of a hurricane West Wind

When supper time came the old cook came on deck

Saying fellows it's too rough to feed ya

At 7PM a main hatchway caved in

He said fellas it's been good to know ya.

The Captain wired in he had water coming in

And the good ship and crew was in peril

And later that night when his lights went out of sight

Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does anyone know where the love of God goes

When the waves turn the minutes to hours

The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay

If they'd put fifteen more miles behind her.

They might have split up or they might have capsized

They may have broke deep and took water

And all that remains is the faces and the names

Of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings

In the ruins of her ice water mansion

Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams,

The islands and bays are for sportsmen.

And farther below Lake Ontario

Takes in what Lake Erie can send her

And the iron boats go as the mariners all know

With the gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed

In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral

The church bell chimed, 'til it rang 29 times

For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down

Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee

Superior, they say, never gives up her dead

When the gales of November come early.

And then there's the calssic "failed love" type of songs that cover personal suffering.

Bob Seger: Famous Final Scene

Think in terms of bridges burned

Think of seasons that must end

See the rivers rise and fall

They will rise and fall again

Everything must have an end

Like an ocean to a shore

Like a river to a S T R E A M

Like a river to a S T R E A M

It's the famous final scene

And how you tried to make it work

Did you really think it could

How you tried to make it last

Did you really think it would

Like a guest who stayed too long

Now it's finally time to leave

Yes, it's finally time to leave

Take it calmly and serene

It's the famous final scene

It's been coming on so long

You were just the last to know

It's been a long time since you've smiled

Seems like oh so long ago

Now the stage has all been set

And the nights are growing cold

Soon the winter will be here

And there's no one warm to hold

Now the lines have all been read

And you knew them all by heart

Now you move toward the door

Here it comes the hardest part

Try the handle of the road

Feeling different feeling strange

This can never be arranged

As the light fades from the screen

From the famous final scene

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Been listening to a lot of Townes Van Zant lately, too, another guy that was appreciated after he died. Awesome songwriter but he just didn't have the voice to be more well known except by other musicians it seems.

Our Drummer is a big Townes Van Zant fan. He put a bunch on my itunes, but I haven't had time to give in a fair listen yet.

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