A Song I Listen To When I’m Sad

When I worked at Burger King a million years ago, one of the guys I worked with committed suicide.  He was very good friends with my cousin, and I had gone to grade school with him, back when the entire school had about 100 kids in eight grades.  Small town.  He and I were never friends, not really, but our lives intertwined in many ways – we laughed during our shifts at work, attended the same parties, knew the same people.  I now work for the same company as his father and have even attended the same training seminars as him a few times.  Very small town.

His mother had passed away years before and he never recovered, not that anyone ever fully recovers from the loss of a loved one.  One night, he stepped in front of a train and ended his life.  He wanted to be with his mother again.  At his funeral, the church was filled from pulpit to exit.  The perimeter was filled with mourners standing, the aisles had old classmates and coworkers crouched to the sides, the hallway was lined with those who couldn’t fit inside, but wanted to pay their respects, to hold each other’s hand, to find a shoulder to cry upon.  It seemed as though every single person from our small town was crammed into the church that day.

This song, a song I listen to when I’m sad, is one that has been played at funerals since it was released in 1998.  Angel by Sarah McLachlan was sung by a girl that day.  She was only 15 or 16 and she sang as beautifully and as sweetly as one can while crying mournfully over her dear friend suddenly lost.  As many of you likely have similar associations with this song, you’ll understand how I will never be able to separate Angel from the memory of him or from that day.

day 01 – your favorite song – I’ll Stand By You by The Pretenders
day 02 – your least favorite song – The Motto by Drake featuring Lil Wayne
day 03 – a song that makes you happy – Tightrope by Janelle Monae
day 04 – a song that makes you sad – Jar Of Hearts by Christina Perri
day 05 – a song that reminds you of someone – I Wanna Be A Friend Of Yours by Nat King Cole
day 06 – a song that reminds you of somewhere – Little Bones by The Tragically Hip
day 07 – a song that reminds you of a certain event – Sabotage by Beastie Boys
day 08 – a song that you know all the words to – Loser by Beck
day 09 – a song that you can dance to – Little Talks by Of Monsters And Men
day 10 – a song that makes you fall asleep – Somewhere Over The Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
day 11 – a song from your favorite band – Stadium Love by Metric
day 12 – a song from a band you hate – Can’t Stop by Red Hot Chili Peppers
day 13 – a song that is a guilty pleasure – DJ Got Us Falling In Love and Yeah by Usher
day 14 – a song that no one would expect you to love – Party Up by DMX
day 15 – a song that describes you – Bitch by Meredith Brooks
day 16 – a song that you used to love but now hate – Sour Times by Portishead
day 17 – a song that you hear often on the radio – Little Black Submarines by The Black Keys
day 18 – a song that you wish you heard on the radio – Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings) by Silversun Pickups
day 19 – a song from your favorite album – All Uncovered by The Watchmen
day 20 – a song that you listen to when you’re angry – Stinkfist by Tool
day 21 – a song that you listen to when you’re happy – Littlest Birds by The Be Good Tanyas
day 22 – a song that you listen to when you’re sad – Angel by Sarah McLachlan
day 23 – a song that you want to play at your wedding
day 24 – a song that you want to play at your funeral
day 25 – a song that makes you laugh
day 26 – a song that you can play on an instrument
day 27 – a song that you wish you could play
day 28 – a song that makes you feel guilty
day 29 – a song from your childhood
day 30 – your favorite song at this time last year


8 thoughts on “A Song I Listen To When I’m Sad

  1. I love me some Sarah Mac but they used that song for those abused dog commercials she endorsed and it make me a weird kind of gross sad so I can’t listen to it.

  2. Freaky. This is the song that was played at the funeral of my best friend’s dad my senior year in high school. Their family was very well known and respected in our small community–the dad coached every team, the mom went to every event, the kids were all-star students and athletes–and I swear every last one of the 500 people there was crying when this song was played.

    Plus, now…puppies. Ugh, Sarah!

  3. I’m with Lance on this one, re: Puppies.. I have a similar story about a guy I hung out with in high school, but replace train with tractor-trailer, and the song with Procol Harum’s Whiter Shade of Pale. So, so sad. Worse is that this guy was ostracized by a handful of jackasses in high school, then at his funeral so many people showed up who had just thought he was the nicest, funniest guy going.

  4. This was so beautifully written, it almost had me in tears. It took me back to a funeral I attended as a teen, where the wrong song was sung but I now always think of my friend when I hear that wrong song played. And I will always have the memory to hold onto. Thanks for that reminder. I needed it today.

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