five or six incredibly happy sad songs

Few things in life are better than an incredibly happy song that you sing in your happiest moments, only to find out it’s about something terribly sad. Belle & Sebastian is really good at that–their song “Jonathan David” is as lively as it is heartbreaking. Ultimately, these songs all share in common an upbeat and cheerful tone that contrasts with the sometimes haunting, sometimes very unhappy lyrics. Dance, sing along, just don’t think about what you’re singing. Holocaust metaphors, bad break ups, lost people, and comatose girlfriends galore!


Belle & Sebastian – “Jonathan David”
“Visions of love recollected / Have we ever been true”


God Help the Girl – “God Help the Girl”
“God help the girl, she needs all the help she can get”


Neutral Milk Hotel – “Holland, 1945”
“The only girl I’ve ever loved /Was born with roses in her eyes
But then they buried her alive / One evening, 1945”


David Byrne & St. Vincent – “Who”
“Who is an honest man
Who is an honest man”


The Smiths – “Girlfriend in a Coma”
“Do you really think / She’ll pull through?”

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