Cynics for a Better Tomorrow

Music for Cynics

The most obvious choice of music for cynics is, of course, blues. The blues lifestyle or the more modern blues lifestyle is cynical by its very nature, concerning issues like you're stuck in a ditch, you're stuck in a ditch, and there's no way out. Or, getting the electric chair for a crime you didn't commit and fixin' to die.

Blues is not all completely downbeat. For intstance, the Hesitation Blues is about lonliness, but trying to do something about it. Then, Handy Man is about a woman who has found a good man who pleases her greatly, and full of double entendres. Even the more depressing blues songs, such as Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out can be viewed as a reality of life and society, where those who are depressed or otherwise having a difficult time are often isolated and abandoned. The good side of this though is that one learns who their true friends are, and who are the "Polyanas" and who are clinging to you because of what you can do for them, rather than it being a two way street. "Nobody can use you when you're down and out", is the line from the song.

Other forms of music have cynical fans. Country music is infamous for the songs they have about substance abuse, rain, cheating, and death. Some folk also has similar types of lyrics, as does some rock. There are crossover tunes, some very popular, such as Everybody Has the Blues by James Taylor. The lyrics are quite downbeat, but the mood of the music is almost party-like. James Taylor had a number of blues-influenced songs which are very popular. Leonard Cohen also wrote and performed many popular blues tunes such as "Ain't No Cure For Love", "Heart With No Companion", and "Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye".


Depressive Love Songs, or He/She done Him/Her wrong songs

I originally put this up for Valentines Day, but these songs apply to people all year long. This list can otherwise be known as "The St. Valentine's Day Massacre List", in honor of Bugzy Malone. Cynics for a Better Tomorrow take no responsibility for the Youtube videos. Use at your own risk.

Title Artist Link
--- We'll start with the ultimate payback song for getting caught! Don't let this happen to you!
My Wife Met My Girlfriend Rodney Carrington
--- (6:34) starts "Sequel" - 10 years later, the situation in Taxi is reversed!-
Taxi and Sequel Harry Chapin
She Got The Goldmine (I Got The Shaft) Jerry Reed
Careless Love Blues (1925) Bessie Smith
After You've Gone Away (1927) Bessie Smith
You Did Me Wrong Big Mama Thornton
Yes, I Cried Big Mama Thornton
When You Break a Young Girl's Heart Floyd Lee
I Cried Last Night Charles Brown
Why Must I Plead Richard Thompson
I Feel So Good Richard Thompson
Waltzing's for Dreamers Richard Thompson
Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song B. J. Thomas
Nobody Sylvia
The Dickhead Song (original REVENGE song) Miles Betterman
Let Me Rest In Peace Spike
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
"Once More With Feeling"
The Ultimate Divorce Song unknown
It's a Heartache Bonnie Tyler
Gettin' Used to Leavin' Christine Lavin
Carefree Highway Gordon Lightfoot
Operator Jim Croce
Photographs and Memories Jim Croce
Lost the Lovin' Feeling Righteous Brothers
Like a Rollin' Stone Bob Dylan
Crying Roy Orbison
Heartbreak Hotel Elvis Presley
If You Go Away Neil Diamond
If You Go Away Cyndi Lauper
- Or, the original French by the original artist-
Ne Me Quitte Pas Jacques Brel
Crying in the Rain Art Garfunkel
and James Taylor
- The following has subtitles in Polish-
Love Hurts Nazareth
You Keep Me Hanging On Diana Ross &
The Supremes
The Kind of Love You Never Recover From Cover by
Dar Williams and
Hugh Blumenfeld
song by
Christine Lavin
These Dreams Jim Croce
Lost Without Your Love Bread
Sad Eyes Robert John
WOLD Harry Chapin
Don't Close Your Eyes Tonight John Denver
If You Could Read My Mind Gordon Lightfoot
In The Early Morning Morning Rain Gordon Lightfoot
Why have you left the one you left me for? Crystal Gayle
I'll Get Over You Crystal Gayle
Baby Can I Hold You Tracy Chapman
Be Careful of My Heart Tracy Chapman
Still I Cry Tracy Chapman
Rainy Day People Gordon Lightfoot
That's What You Get For Lovin' Me Gordon Lightfoot
That's What You Get For Lovin' Me Johnny Cash
Poor Poor Pitiful Me Warren Zevon
Poor Poor Pitiful Me Linda Ronstadt
The Tracks of My Tears Smokey Robinson
The Tracks of My Tears Linda Ronstadt
Love's Been a Little Bit Hard On Me Juice Newton
Flowers On The Wall The Statler Brothers
Seven Year Ache Rosanne Cash
Leftover Wine Melanie
Hurt Nine Inch Nails
Hurt Johnny Cash
Sleeping Single in a Double Bed Barbara Mandrell
Cheater, Cheater Joey & Rory
Your Cheatin' Heart Hank Williams, Sr.
Ring of Fire Johnny Cash
Solitary Man Neil Diamond
Solitary Man Johnny Cash
Love on the Rocks Neil Diamond
Wish She Would Have Left Quicker Rodney Carrington
Baby, Please Don't Go Big Bill Broonzy
Frankie and Johnny Big Bill Broonzy
Frankie and Johnny Jimmie Rodgers
Frankie and Johnny Louis Armstrong
Fire and Rain James Taylor

I'd like to raise awareness of Singles Awareness Day, on February 15th. You may be aware of that if you got through all of these songs.


Thanks, Acknowledgements, and Links

First, I would like to thank Blind Lemming Chiffon for discussing blues, the meaning of blues songs, and the philosophies of depression and cynicism. Finally, I would like to mention that an aunt by marriage, Marilyn Middleton Pollock, is a blues performer in the United Kingdom.


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