But my first favorite sad song was far from screamo. It was actually in a genre of music I wouldn't be caught dead listening to anymore. It was a song called "Roses For Mama" by C.W. McCall. It's this country song from the 1970s that I would walk around listening to on my little cassette player with a built-in mic.
A friend introduced me to it when I was 6 or 7. It's this song about a guy who is going on vacation but decides to go to Florida to party instead of visiting his mom. As he's driving, he remembers that it's her birthday, so he stops at a flower shop to "wire" her some flowers. While he's there, he sees this boy crying and the boy tells him he wants to buy roses for his mom for her birthday, but he doesn't have any money. So the guy tells the flower shop owner to give the boy whatever he wants and that he'll pay for it. So the boy thanks him and runs out of the shop. As the guy drives out of town, he's sees the boy kneeling by a grave and realizes that the boy wanted roses for his dead mom. So the guy turns around, goes back to the flower shop and tells the lady he'll take the flowers to his mom himself.
It's a pretty sappy song, sure, but something about it hit me pretty hard even at a young age. Here's the song if you can stand to listen to it (I can't anymore, it's pretty awful):
And while my musical taste has moved about as far away from country as it possibly can, I still find myself connecting to these sad, even depressing, songs more than any others. I like sad lyrics. I like sad instrumentals. I like emotional singing.
I think it's because I find sadness to be my most genuine emotion. Most of the songs I've written myself have been the result of some sort of sadness or depression I was experiencing at the time. I've written some happy songs, but they even have some element of sadness to them.
I used to think that was a little weird, but I've begun to realize that maybe it's normal. Maybe it's weird NOT to be sad. Maybe it's weird to LOVE being a part of this world.
I think God wired us to not be happy with the way the world is. He wired us to desire and long for something different; for something more than we'll be able to find in this world.
I'm not sad all the time. There are tons of things in life that bring me joy. I've found that God has made a way for us to be content within the world and experience the joy in the things He created, but He purposely left that hole in us that only He can fill. A happiness that we will only experience with Him.
Sad songs remind me of that hole. And they remind me that one day, I'll be in a place where that hole won't exist.