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".

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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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Sdzs46V4vE
--- (6:34) starts "Sequel" - 10 years later, the situation in Taxi is reversed!-
Taxi and Sequel Harry Chapin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeMX1JfqKuc
She Got The Goldmine (I Got The Shaft) Jerry Reed http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-p0zn3PijY
Careless Love Blues (1925) Bessie Smith http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iympOhiU1o
After You've Gone Away (1927) Bessie Smith http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yD3j12OkEcE
You Did Me Wrong Big Mama Thornton http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQiokpfmQUE
Yes, I Cried Big Mama Thornton http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTQm1Tt65_Q
When You Break a Young Girl's Heart Floyd Lee http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbTH13rKl7k
I Cried Last Night Charles Brown http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yD3j12OkEcE
Why Must I Plead Richard Thompson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBdK1MhU5wY
I Feel So Good Richard Thompson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Tx3Po07iP
Waltzing's for Dreamers Richard Thompson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9-lAOdQrGo
Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song B. J. Thomas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ym_mJokfTQg
Nobody Sylvia http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhrcmDFt02c
The Dickhead Song (original REVENGE song) Miles Betterman http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=my7sxZ0KfHU
Let Me Rest In Peace Spike
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
"Once More With Feeling"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys6hWKX11Aw
The Ultimate Divorce Song unknown http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-CneEFp_FY
It's a Heartache Bonnie Tyler http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0CG4eN8SUQ
Gettin' Used to Leavin' Christine Lavin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ju4phU1zXMs
Carefree Highway Gordon Lightfoot http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbWM2whkVq4
Operator Jim Croce http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3drJnAVG38
Photographs and Memories Jim Croce http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05nSiPyg0yo
Lost the Lovin' Feeling Righteous Brothers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTvU3BELZEob
Like a Rollin' Stone Bob Dylan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk3mAX5xdxo
Crying Roy Orbison http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-l-AxZIdq4E
Heartbreak Hotel Elvis Presley http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efL17ekQZ5k
If You Go Away Neil Diamond http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKXVTywsVPU
If You Go Away Cyndi Lauper http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kF0IVXXg240
- Or, the original French by the original artist-
Ne Me Quitte Pas Jacques Brel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kF0IVXXg240
Crying in the Rain Art Garfunkel
and James Taylor
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBJEdr_CfOw
- The following has subtitles in Polish-
Love Hurts Nazareth http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WISogScYNXA
You Keep Me Hanging On Diana Ross &
The Supremes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKQbcJyVKR0
The Kind of Love You Never Recover From Cover by
Dar Williams and
Hugh Blumenfeld
song by
Christine Lavin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gq9gJCD1UM8
These Dreams Jim Croce http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bA1j8quV64
Lost Without Your Love Bread http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duvUutB_TWU
Sad Eyes Robert John http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtdOpnCBLj8
WOLD Harry Chapin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1l0fH0dRUow
Don't Close Your Eyes Tonight John Denver http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBovS4kAIRI
If You Could Read My Mind Gordon Lightfoot http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-ij_iTQt2w
In The Early Morning Morning Rain Gordon Lightfoot http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ILd1FwEXY
Why have you left the one you left me for? Crystal Gayle http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcUQ89uFrfM
I'll Get Over You Crystal Gayle http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFQwzlJzhG8
Baby Can I Hold You Tracy Chapman http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6C6ISiquuI
Be Careful of My Heart Tracy Chapman http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOw-u-kK-eM
Still I Cry Tracy Chapman http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5iY9-WceHQ
Rainy Day People Gordon Lightfoot http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qZvSqESv3Q
That's What You Get For Lovin' Me Gordon Lightfoot http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpkATS6mjbc
That's What You Get For Lovin' Me Johnny Cash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SE0fha3cUTk
Poor Poor Pitiful Me Warren Zevon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2ke-b8_hHU
Poor Poor Pitiful Me Linda Ronstadt http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srpwqf2MWAw
The Tracks of My Tears Smokey Robinson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNS6D4hSQdA
The Tracks of My Tears Linda Ronstadt http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjmtmk9gpbk
Love's Been a Little Bit Hard On Me Juice Newton http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VioJc1i0vI
Flowers On The Wall The Statler Brothers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1s8nRL2bPCU
Seven Year Ache Rosanne Cash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrUs_FWqj9s
Leftover Wine Melanie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEQzX4AO4X4
Hurt Nine Inch Nails http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvJKVKglIRs
Hurt Johnny Cash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o22eIJDtKho
Sleeping Single in a Double Bed Barbara Mandrell http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lP2Sl9DW3s
Cheater, Cheater Joey & Rory http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLR7RzyUfuo
Your Cheatin' Heart Hank Williams, Sr. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cS4LCoh0VGQ
Ring of Fire Johnny Cash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRlj5vjp3Ko
Solitary Man Neil Diamond http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ool7259xNQ
Solitary Man Johnny Cash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5rVmXyZP5s
Love on the Rocks Neil Diamond http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3LyBaLYOWU
Wish She Would Have Left Quicker Rodney Carrington http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIuO26fwk7k
Baby, Please Don't Go Big Bill Broonzy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JttvoGmGijU
Frankie and Johnny Big Bill Broonzy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsNfUPRNyDI
Frankie and Johnny Jimmie Rodgers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQ_8KUtratw
Frankie and Johnny Louis Armstrong http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2CRwtrko0I
Fire and Rain James Taylor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3uaXCJcRrE


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.

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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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