Sad Music



“A poet is an unhappy being whose heart is torn by secret sufferings, but whose lips are so strangely formed that when the sighs and the cries escape them, they sound like beautiful music. People crowd around the poet and say to him: ‘Sing for us soon again;’ that is as much to say, ‘May new sufferings torment your soul.’” —SŅren Kierkegaard


“As in all sweetest music, a tinge of sadness was in every note. Nor do we know how much of the pleasures even of life we owe to the intermingled sorrows. Joy cannot unfold the deepest truths, although deepest truth must be deepest joy.” —George MacDonald


“I do not know how to make a distinction between tears and music.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche


“After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own. Music always seems to me to produce that effect. It creates for one a past of which one has been ignorant, and fills one with a sense of sorrows that have been hidden from one’s tears.” ―Oscar Wilde


“It was sad music. But it waved its sadness like a battle flag. It said the universe had done all it could, but you were still alive.” ―Terry Pratchett, Soul Music


“Not for the first time, it occurred to me that sorrow could be purified into song the same way a piece of coal is purified into a diamond.” —Ron Rash


“The tune was sad, as the best of Ireland was, melancholy and lovely as a lover's tears.” ―Nora Roberts, Born in Fire


“What came first―the music or the misery? Did I listen to the music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to the music? Do all those records turn you into a melancholy person?” ―Nick Hornby


“I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things.” ―Tom Waits


“You know, playing sad music always makes me feel better. The paradoxical truth is that sad songs have an amazing ability to bring joy to listeners.” —Mary Gauthier





Mary Gauthier’s ‘Mercy Now’ was named “One of Saddest 40 Country Songs of All Time” by Rolling Stone Magazine in 2014. “But I think most fundamentally she's a blues singer. Her creative force seems to be driven by exploring the dark sad parts of our lives. But make no mistake, when you find yourself in those dark places in your life, Mary Gauthier is there to be with you, to be a faithful traveler, to let you know others have been there too. After all, in those situations, no one wants sunny and perky. I think that's why people come back to her beautiful sad music over and over again.” —Calvin Powers, ‘Mary Gauthier – Trouble and Love,’ 2014. “Gauthier is a singer of sad songs, one who dwells, she pointed out before singing the title song of her new record [‘Between Daylight and Dark’], in the sad space between the daylight and the dark. The songs she drew … showed that she remains an unparalleled practitioner of the alchemy of wringing beauty from misery.” —Stuart Munro, ‘Gauthier at home in dark places,’ 2007. “This time, Gauthier's songs rise from what she describes as an especially dark period. ‘I started the process in a lot of grief,’ she explains. ‘I'd lost a lot. So the first batch of songs was just too sad. It was like walking too close to the fire. I had to back off from it. The truth is that when you're in the amount of grief I was in, it's an altered state. Life is not that. You go through that. We human beings have this built-in healing mechanism that's always pushing us toward life. I didn't want to write just darkness, because that's not the truth. I had to write through the darkness to get to the truth. Writing helped me back onto my feet again. This record is about getting to a new normal. It's a transformation record.’" –Mary Gauthier Biography