Top 10: Depressing Songs That Will Make You Want To Kill Yourself – Don’t Drink The Kool-Aid!

Top 10: Depressing Songs That Will Make You Want To Kill Yourself

No.5 “Runaway Train”

Soul Asylum

My lovely readers are going to have to bear with me with this song, because I can’t even watch the video, that’s how gut-wrenching this song is to me. I’ve probably seen this video maybe once since it was originally aired in the early ’90s. Back then, I didn’t have a child yet, but it still ripped me to shreds every time I heard the song or thought about the video. Now that I do have a child, I can’t even bear to watch it. The song, like many on this list, has multiple meanings, but it’s the video that’s important here, in my opinion. The song is sad, yes, but the video is what makes it depressing.

The video tells three different stories: In the first, a young child watches his grandfather kill his grandmother and then runs from the house in fear. In the second, a young girl is prostituting herself and is eventually picked up by the murderous grandfather in the first story. Later we see her being forced into the back of a van by a gang, and later still, picked up by the paramedics, raped and beaten to death. In the last story, a baby is stolen from a carriage, and the mother chases fruitlessly after the car. The video is interspersed with pictures of people who have been reported missing.

According to both Dave Pirner (lead singer) and Dan Murphy (guitarist) the video has served to reunite many missing children with their families over the years. So yeah, happy ending and all, but still, this video crushes my soul.

Verse that kicks my ass…

“Can you help me remember how to smile/Make it somehow all seem worthwhile/How on Earth did I get so jaded/Life’s mystery seems so faded.”

No.4 “Heroin”

The Velvet Underground

Another song about drug use here, but this one is entirely different as it is sung from the user’s point of view, while on a trip. This is probably one of the most ferocious and savage songs to come out of the burgeoning Punk scene in the late ’60s and early ’70s.

Lou Reed starts our trip off easily, and the accompanying music follows him. The drumming, simulating a heartbeat, starts out normal, but as Lou (our narrative heroin user) starts singing faster, the heartbeat speeds up. This pattern continues throughout the song and builds to a manic and furious crescendo of pounding drums and a screeching viola that kicks you in the teeth and makes you want to cover your ears and hide under the blankets. It’s just such an intense song that you absolutely cannot listen to it without feeling utterly dirty by the end. It symbolizes the ups and downs of a heroin trip, and while the media made giant waves when this song was released, saying it advocated heroin use, I can’t help but feel it had the exact opposite effect. I would never want to feel as out of control as this song.

Verse that kicks my ass…

“‘Cause when the smack begins to flow/Then I really don’t care anymore/Ah, when the heroin is in my blood/And that blood is in my head/Then thank God that I’m as good as dead/Then thank your God that I’m not aware/And thank God that I just don’t care.”

No.3 One


This song, and the one that follows are about the casualties of war; probably the only thing more depressing than drug use, in my opinion. Metallica‘s “One” is based on the 1939 novel (later adapted to film in 1971, scenes from which we see throughout the video) Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo that tells about a young WWI soldier who awoke in a hospital bed to find that his arms, legs, and entire face had been blown off by an artillery shell. He can’t move, can’t even communicate. He’s essentially a prisoner trapped inside himself wishing for a death that won’t be granted. To have to live such a hell is absolutely unfathomable, and it’s this inability to understand that torturous way of not even really living, but simply existing that makes this song and video so fucking depressing. When life gets you down kids, just remember that shit can ALWAYS get worse.

Verse that kicks my ass…

“Fed through the tube that sticks in me/Just like a wartime novelty/Tied to machines that make me be/Cut this life off from me.”

Bonus line that kicks my ass from the movie clips: “If I had arms, I could kill myself. If I had legs, I could run away. If I had a voice, I could talk and be some kind of company for myself. I could yell for help, but nobody’d help me.”

No.2 1916


If you’ve ever had anyone in your family fight in a war, you know the stories. The countless dead young boys, barely old enough to shave. The screaming and crying and blood. My grandfather used to tell me the stories about WWII, and it never got any easier to hear, no matter how often he’d regale the family with his tales. That’s what this song makes me think about. All the friends my grandfather left behind, when he came home alive and well, while those he knew did not. I remember hearing him cry at night, sometimes, when he’d think no one was listening. I imagine it’s like that for all Veterans. I think anyone singing this song would make it sound sad, because the lyrics and the content are sad, but Lemmy’s voice gives it this added air of what I can only describe as total, absolute sorrow. It’s such a mournful tune that you can’t help but feel for the young boy who’s calling out to his mother who’ll never come. You want to go to him, and comfort him. Hold his hand a while, maybe. But you can’t, and that’s what’s so hard to take about it.

Verse that kicks my ass…

“And I lay in the mud and the guts and the blood/And I wept as his body grew colder/And I called for my mother and she never came/Though it wasn’t my fault and I wasn’t to blame/
The day not half over and ten thousand slain/And now there’s nobody remembers our names/And that’s how it is for a soldier.”

And finally, lovies, we reach Number 1. I do hope we haven’t had any casualties of our war on depressing songs.

No.1 “Jonestown Tea”


Before I even begin with this song, I wholeheartedly apologize to everyone for it. I’m so, so sorry. You’ll understand why when you listen to it.

This song was brought to my attention courtesy of my dear friend Evil Argento, who sent me the link without giving me any form of explanation as to what I was walking into. I’m still unsure whether he deserves thanks for that, or some severe lashings from my bull whip. This is the most severely spirit-crushing, mentally and emotionally fucking agonizing song I’ve ever had the (dis)pleasure of listening to, multiple fucking times. If there was ever a song that would make me want to slit my own throat, it’s this one. I really don’t even know how to describe it, honestly. It’s something that must be experienced for yourself.

Otep’s insanity in this song is what rattles you to your very core. Her voice is so powerfully beautiful in one instant, and then cutting and evil the next. She deserves a fucking award for not only being able to write this song, but perform it over and over again without completely breaking. I’m on the edge and I only have to hear it from the confines of my Bat Cave on my laptop. Just listen to the song, kids, and you’ll see what I mean. There are no words that can describe it.

Verse that kicks my ass…

“And I remember him fucking me/and I remember liking it/I didn’t know any better/and I remember the smell, and the pain, and the shame/and I remember being afraid and thinking everyday/every single day that it was my fault…”

So that’s it for my list of songs that make me want to kill myself. Did I miss any of your most depressing favorites? Let me know in the comments. Also, make sure you tell Evil Argento exactly how you feel about him for making us all listen to Number 1, haha.

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