I didn't read all the comments, but one of the glaring pieces of information missed is that it's easier to write songs about sadness rather than happiness. This thread really isn't complete until you take that angle.
Every songwriter I've ever talked to about the subject has agreed..
I'm sure there's plenty of songwriters (blue-named sellouts and regular old jawns like myself) who read this, so comment in and prove me right or blow me up. What is the ratio of happy to sad songs you've written?
fun.'s "The Gambler" is the song that always reminds me of my current girlfriend, our relationship, and the kind of love we have. Wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if it became our wedding song - she loves it as much as I do, probably even more.
"Blinded" by Third Eye Blind...I don't know, but this song just makes me feel really human. I can't explain it.
My girlfriend loves "The Gambler" as well, and both of those songs have made it onto mixtapes I've made for her. Love them both.
The Dangerous Summer are my favorite band, but I can't listen to that song. Too much attached to it, too heavy for me. You're spot on with it being sad, but hopeful, but overall it leans toward sad and giving up/moving on.
"Even though we both may not speak, you're the song I wrote that I'll always love, and I will always know."
Makes me so sad.
Yeah, that song rips me apart, but I love it. Listened is so many times last summer.
In a really damaging relationship I was in with a pretty damaged girl. She was kind of an alcoholic and used to drunkenly pour her heart out to me, and she had hinted that there was something really bothering her that she was keeping from people. Well, eventually she tells me she's been cutting herself. The very next day, I heard "Blood Bank" by Bon Iver for the first time. In particular this verse:
That secret that you know, but you don't know how to tell,
It fucks with your honor and it teases your head,
But you know that it's good girl, 'cause it's running you with red.
Those lines just knocked me back when I heard them. Absolutely broke my heart when they made me think about how the person I love's only escape was hurting herself. And the lines about being stuck out in her car as snow started falling hit home for a relationship that started in winter. The rest of it isn't all that relevant, but those few lines and the heartbreaking beauty with which Justin Vernon sung them just crushed me, and still does. It's hard for me to listen to.
Ugh, I can't even imagine that man. What happened to the first girl?
My dad heavily influenced my musical tastes from a young age. His love for Billy Joel ensured that he was the first artist I remember connecting to on a more visceral level than just a simple swaying to a beat. Fast forward about twenty years and I performed, "She's Got A Way" for my wife at the reception to our wedding. When things are tough I find myself listening to "She's Always a Woman" and "And So it Goes" which so beautifully encapsulate my frustration that comes along with any marriage but also has the underlying feeling of having your heart broke and repaired while in a relationship.
In terms of scene based songs, "I Want to Know Your Plans," Anything off Make Yourself at Home and Rocket Summer's "Cross My Heart" were songs that I listened to when falling in love.
Likewise, a lot of Transatlanticism and some of Plans by Death Cab were soundtracks to painful break ups. "Brothers on a Hotel Bed" still chokes me up when I think about that awful slow decay that happened between me and someone I loved so fervently.
Oh konstantine was definitely one that has been a big part of my love lives, mostly in terms of using it as a breakup song and misguided sharing of this song with significant others.
But as of more recently "the temptation of Adam by Josh Ritter might be one of the best lovesongs written and once again I share these with significant others and then proceed to lose them and in the process ruin songs for me haha. Then I get left listening to untitled 01 by Brand New. Kills me everytime
This song really breaks me down. When Tegan says "all you need to say to me"...ugh bring out the tears.
I was going through a very rough patch in my relationship. Things were pretty much in limbo and it seemed like because of the circumstances, we wouldn't be together anymore. I just wanted nothing more than to hear him assure me that everything would be fine. We ended up meeting up for coffee and I usually play something in the background while we're together so when this song came up, he just sat there. Quiet. I didn't want to look over at him because I knew I was going to start crying so I just tried to distract myself with the noise of the barista making drinks. The two minutes of that song felt eternal and he finally got my attention. He said what I needed to hear and hugged me.
For a long time, I didn't want to admit to myself that I actually loved someone. I was content with being alone. In retrospect, I just didn't want to get hurt. I'm glad I gave it a chance. Relationships won't always be happy kisses and hugs. You're going to go through things. You're going to fight but if they're worth it, you'll figure things out. The feeling of being in love can be euphoric. It's a neat feeling.
*three years ago I would've never believed that those words would come out of me. Boy do times change.
My first love and I sang to this each other. Even though the lyrics are sad, for some reason the song resonated with us as something we felt. In fact, I think this whole album can be designated to that first love.
I'm taking a "break" with the girl that this is for, but this song has brought me down to tears before. We've always said that this was our song, despite the countless other songs we've put on mixtapes for each other. The melody brings me right back to her arms.
Taking Back Sunday - Ghost Man on Third (going through deep depression in high school)
Queen - Love of my Life (after having my heart broken)
MCS - The Future Freaks Me Out (when I realized I couldn't relate to popular culture anymore)
Jimmy Eat World - 23 (always forces me to reevaluate my life)
Brand New - Millstone (makes me think of how much I took for granted as a kid)
This list was hard to come up with, but all of these songs have some kind of exterior meaning to me.
Brand New - You Won't Know
Neutral Milk Hotel - O Comely
The Decemberists - The Engine Driver
Tegan and Sara - The Con
Death Cab For Cutie - Tiny Vessels
Foo Fighters - Everlong
Motion City Soundtrack - Shiver
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Free Fallin'