All Cried Out Mix

Minor chords and melodrama. Stories of heartache and loss. Sad songs require few ingredients to reach full effect, and often less is more (although sweeping string arrangements are always appreciated). I  like my sad songs devastating– the ones that REALLY floor you. Here are 25 of my most heart-wrenching favorites. Unsurprisingly the list leans heavily on the females, although a few men have been thrown in for good measure (couldn’t leave out the Cryin’ Shames “Please Stay,” possibly the saddest song on record). I’ve included Chicago’s “If You Leave Me Now” for its flawless, tear-inducing verse, but I’m always disappointed that it loses its sorrowful way soon after.

I always keep a devastating mix handy, incase the mood turns blue and I really want to immerse myself in sadness. I often did this as a teenager. When I found myself alone at home, I’d grab all my saddest records (Kix “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” Skid Row “Quicksand Jesus,” Ozzy Osbourne “You’re No Different,” metal bands were masters of melodrama!), sit by the window sill and listen in the dark. A few weeks ago a bunch of friends rented a house near Woodstock, and brought in a karaoke machine (Ed Blythe, you are a genius). In the morning I began with Skeeter Davis’ “The End of the World.” Maya followed with “The Rose,” and thus began a session of singing sad songs. Somehow sad songs can tap into unique emotions, and I guess I quite like feeling them. 

I’d love to expand this mix, so please feel free to use the comments section to share your own favorites. 


1. Jody Miller: How Do You Say Goodbye
2. Betty Lavette: Let Me Down Easy
3. The Cryin’ Shames: Please Stay
4. France Gall: J’entends Cette Musique
5. Tina Britt: I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know
6. The Shangri Las: Past, Present And Future
7. Franc?oise Hardy: Ma Jeunesse Fout Le Camp
8. Kiki Dee: Patterns
9. The Flying Burrito Brothers: Hot Burrito, No. 1
10. Evie Sands: Maybe Tomorrow
11. Saint Etienne: Hate Your Drug
12. Sheila Ferguson: Don’t Leave Me Lover
13. Cilla Black: I’ve Been Wrong Before
14. Irma Thomas: I’m Gonna Cry Till My Tears Run Dry
15. Sylvie Vartan: Par Amour, Par Pitié
16. Gwen Stacey: Lonely Girl
17. Chicago: If You Leave Me Now
18. The Bachs Lunch: You Go On
19. Jackie Trent: Either Way I Lose
20. Bessie Banks: Go Now
21. Kim Davis: Tell It Like It Is
22. Romy Schneider & Michel Piccoli: La Chanson D’Helene
23. Miki Nakatani: Kowareta Kokoro
24. The Cardigans: No Sleep
25. Ennio Morricone: Lontano

5 Responses to All Cried Out Mix

  1. Julio Niño says:

    Beautiful Sheila, I love that the song mentioned in the title doesn´t appear in the selection.
    “Please Stay”, is one of my favorite Bacharachs. Bob Hilliard´s lyrics are fabulous.I think my favorite version could be the orginal one, with Rudy Lewis´ voice, but I also love this version by the Crying Shames, which sounds like a morbid psychophony coming from a dead person, still very much in love. It was a very popular song in Jamaica with many beautiful versions, my favs are Slim Smith´s (I call him the emperor of angst) and Horace Andy´s.

    ¿Do you prefer Cilla´s version of “I´ve Been Wrong Before” or Dusty´s? I often find Cilla´s way of singing too assertive, sometimes she sounds to me like a dominatrix housewife, and I think she spoiled a couple of beautiful Italian songs, but I like her in this song.

    “Either way I Lose” is another song with a lot of marvelous versions. It´s almost impossible to choose. Maybe my favorite is Teri Thorton´s, but I´m not sure.

    The end theme, Morri´s “Lontano” is awesome, that soundtrack is one of my favorites by Morricone. Morri has composed so many perfect scores. A couple of weeks ago,in a Spanish chat we disscused about the sad ego affaire between him and Almodovar, related to the score of “Atame”. I think Morri was right.

    So much beautiful songs in this selection. Perfect to sickly delight yourself in sadness, with a nice cocktail, but I don´t want to be a pain in the neck, so I better stop here.
    Julio NIño.

    • admin says:

      Sickly delighting myself in sadness…. that’s exactly it! I haven’t heard any of the Jamaican versions of “Please Stay.” Must check those out!
      I’m with you on Cilla. “I’ve Been Wrong Before” is actually the only record of hers that I like.
      Would love to know of some of your sad favorites.
      Thanks : )
      p.s. Ennio Morricone is playing NYC in March of next year. I CAN’T WAIT.

  2. Julio Niño says:

    I have so many favorite sad songs, Sheila. It would be a never ending list.
    Let´s name just a couple:

    “Don´t Pass Me By”/Big Maybelle.
    “Vous qui passez sans me voir”/ Charles Trenet.
    “Don´t Deceive Me (Don´t Go)”)/Ted Taylor´s version.
    “Un giorno dopo l’altro”/ Luigi Tenco.
    “Indication”/Eddie & Ernie (the slowest,unfinished,version)
    “Eu Disse Adeus”/Roberto Carlos.
    “Looking Back”/John Holt (this song was one of my father´s favorites, He loved Nat K. Cole´s version. There are many versions I love but John Holt´s is very special for me, I also love very much Ruth Brown´s version)
    “Stone Is Very Cold”/Priscilla Paris.

    And so many more, you have awoken a monster, asking me for sad songs, Sheila.
    Julio Niño

  3. Meowdy says:

    I’m playing your DJ set at Meowdy now!! so good <3

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