Monday, December 11, 2006

Cod science is overfished

We're sceptical about how much science has actually gone into the discovery of the saddest song ever, because while Dr Harry Witchel, an expert in physiology and music, is doubtless a fine man, he's carried out his investigations at the behest of a mobile phone manufacturer to help push the idea that your telephone can function as a record player.

His findings?

Sad tunes lowered heart rate, happy ones rekindled good memories and made test subjects sigh and exhilarating ones made them breathe heavier.

Happy songs remind you of happy times. Whoever would have thought?

Mind you, Witchel claims that Lily Allen's LDN is the "happiest song" of all time - because, after all, who wouldn't have a little smile to themselves hearing of a crack whore and her pimp and an old lady having her wedding ring stolen?

The most "exhilarating" song is Blur's Song 2 - here, we imagine, the well-known Hoffmeister Correlation was brought into play, which states "the more times a song is used to flog dodgy beer or rubbish films, the more exhilarating that song will be."

And the top ten sad songs?

1 The Drugs Don’t Work — The Verve
2 Angels — Robbie Williams
3 Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word — Elton John
4 I Will Always Love You — Whitney Houston
5 Nothing Compares 2 U — Sinead O’Connor
6 Leave Right Now — Will Young
7 Are You Lonesome Tonight? — Elvis Presley
8 Beautiful — Christina Aguilera
9 Goodbye My Lover — James Blunt
10 Fake Plastic Trees — Radiohead

But isn't Beautiful meant to be empowering rather than sad? And how can you have a list like this without Gloomy Sunday on it? Or any Joy Division?


Mikey said...

...or the closing music to The Hulk TV show which has long been acknowledged as the ultimate in sonic sadness?

Anonymous said...

How about "Brighteyes"? The theme tune to Bagpuss always makes me cry too - does that count?

Anonymous said...

Some Fantastic Place by Squeeze - touches both sadness and exhilaration.

Anonymous said...

Why are so many of the saddest songs ever from the last few years? Even if we're actually talking about recordings... I give up.

Cobardon said...

Maybe it's the different definition of 'sad'. Given Robbie's appearance, it's all that makes sense.

The list looks suspiciously like one cobbled together in thirty seconds from the first things that came to some hack's mind. Some hack with a pretty limited knowledge of music too.

I mean, Are You Lonesome Tonight is most famous for Elvis cracking up with laughter while recording it, and Fake Plastic Trees isn't even in the top ten of sad Radiohead songs. Haven't they heard 'Exit Music?'

Whither the Smiths? American Music Club? Lou 'This is the bed where she slashed her wrists when they came to take her babies away' Reed? Streets of Sodding London even?


Anonymous said...

'Why Not Your Baby' by Gene Clark and Doug Dillard is a real heartbreaker.

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