Songs about Lonliness
June 30, 2012 12:26 PM   Subscribe

SongFilter! Help my find songs about loneliness and isolation, either sad songs about those feelings or happy songs about overcoming those feelings.

Hey, so I've been slipping into what I call my "isolation cocoon" lately, and I'm looking for song choices, either depressing or uplifting. Specifically I'm looking for songs about general feelings of loneliness, not specific "I miss you" breakup songs. Genre and song quality don't matter. Bring on the cheesy, angsty schmaltz!

Depressing Examples:
Somebody to Love- Queen
Everybody's Got Somebody But Me- Mildred Anderson

Uplifting Examples:
Haven't Met you Yet- Michael Buble
Unwritten- Natasha Bedingfield
posted by nickhb to Media & Arts (35 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Sorry, a better way to phrase what I'm looking for is songs focused on the future, either in despair or hope, as opposed to songs focused on the past.
posted by nickhb at 12:30 PM on June 30, 2012

'Isolation', and pretty much any other song by Joy Division. For your depressing list, I guess, though who can help feeling uplifted by 'Love Will Tear Us Apart (Again)'?
posted by feral_goldfish at 12:33 PM on June 30, 2012

"Long December" by Counting Crows? ( .... "Maybe this year will be better than the last")
posted by Ostara at 12:35 PM on June 30, 2012

John Mayer, Love Song for No One

Ingrid Michelson, "Die Alone" (a hopeful song, despite the title)
posted by PussKillian at 12:38 PM on June 30, 2012

Irma Thomas - Wish Someone Would Care
posted by neilb449 at 12:41 PM on June 30, 2012

Radiohead: No Surprises
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:47 PM on June 30, 2012

Simon and Garfunkel - I Am a Rock
Interpol - NYC
Leonard Cohen - Tower of Song
Leonard Cohen - Sisters of Mercy
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:51 PM on June 30, 2012

Dress Rehearsal Rag by Leonard Cohen. This song made me curl up in a ball on my floor for a good hour after I heard it the first time.
posted by sarastro at 12:52 PM on June 30, 2012

The Beatles - The Fool on the Hill
Simon and Garfunkel - I Am A Rock
The Doors - People Are Strange
Radiohead - How To Disappear Completely
posted by fearnothing at 1:13 PM on June 30, 2012

Malcolm Middleton - A Brighter Beat

In fact pretty much the whole album is about loneliness.
posted by TheOtherGuy at 1:28 PM on June 30, 2012

Splendid Isolation-Warren Zevon
posted by dortmunder at 1:37 PM on June 30, 2012

Now It's On -- Grandaddy (for the second category)
posted by randomination at 1:45 PM on June 30, 2012

Harry Nilsson and John Nilsson - Many Rivers To Cross
posted by fishmasta at 1:46 PM on June 30, 2012

Oops! Lennon! John Lennon!
posted by fishmasta at 1:46 PM on June 30, 2012

Ty Segall — So Alone
posted by scruss at 1:56 PM on June 30, 2012

In some of these loneliness isn't the subject but the undercurrent

24 Hours by Joy Division

Waltz #1 by Elliott Smith

Stephanie Says by The Velvet Underground

Ceremony by New Order

True Faith by New Order

Time Has Told Me by Nick Drake

Place to Be Nick Drake

Day After Day by Badfinger, this is one of the most depressing, isolating songs I've ever heard and I'm not even sure why since the lyrics are pretty hopeful. Maybe I'm just weird.
posted by timsneezed at 2:14 PM on June 30, 2012

"Learn to Be Lonely" - The Phantom of the Opera
"Sitting on the Moon" - Enigma
"Slipping Away" - Moby
"Lonely Day" - System of a Down
"Left Outside Alone" - Anastacia
"On My Own" - Les Misérables
posted by datarose at 2:15 PM on June 30, 2012

Negative: I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry by Hank Williams
(was this already disqualified or something? Is that's why no one's mentioned it?)
Positive: Ain't Misbehavin' by Fats Waller
Hopeful: When Will I Be Loved? by the Everly Brothers
Ironic: A Solitary Life by Richard Thompson
posted by Perodicticus potto at 2:41 PM on June 30, 2012

Ha. I have a playlist called "down dark down" that is this exact thing. Here are some choice selections from it...separated into your two categories:

The Lowering (A Sad Day In Greenvilletown) — The Avett Brothers
I am a demon and will swallow your soul — the Christian Science Monitors
Eli, The Barrow Boy — The Decemberists
The Things You Said — Depeche Mode
Heart (Things Never Shared) — Doug Martsch
6:45 (So This Is How It Feels) — Firewater
Waiting For The Miracle — Leonard Cohen
O Lonely Soul, It's A Hard Road — Mary's Danish
Into Dust — Mazzy Star
Rulers, Ruling All Things — Midlake
The Weeping Song — Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Things Behind the Sun — Nick Drake
7 O'Clock News/Silent Night — Simon & Garfunkel
Broken Imaginary Time — The Soundtrack Of Our Lives
In Liverpool — Suzanne Vega
Left And Leaving — The Weakerthans

uplifting (or at the very least, not so terribly depressing):
Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise
I Must Belong Somewhere — Bright Eyes
Higher Ground — The Feelies
Mad World — Gary Jules
The District Sleeps Alone Tonight — The Postal Service
Calypso — Suzanne Vega
posted by iamkimiam at 2:44 PM on June 30, 2012

Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues - many but try Elvis

And there is some guy named Morrissey who was in some band before going solo
posted by caclwmr4 at 2:49 PM on June 30, 2012

Heh. I forgot that I had this other playlist that is even more on topic. Here's some more from that one:

Neil Armstrong — BabyBird
Iceberg — BabyBird
stopping by woods — edlundart
Tender To The Blues — James Yorkston & The Athletes
A Man in a Boat in the Water — Josh Millard
Opus 40 — Mercury Rev
Lost For Words — Pink Floyd
Sour Times — Portishead
Sparrow — Simon & Garfunkel

Everybody's Talkin' — The Beautiful South
Shopping Trolley — Beth Orton
Flyball's Lament — Bret Turner
Snookered — Dan Deacon
Headache — Frank Black
I'm Lonely (And I Love It) — Future Bible Heroes
What It Is — Mark Knopfler
Angel's Wings — Social Distortion
together (you are not alone) — sputgop
Time To Move On — Tom Petty
Mercy — Underworld
posted by iamkimiam at 2:59 PM on June 30, 2012

I'm just a lonely boy. Paul Anka, surrounded by adoring girls.
posted by mareli at 3:01 PM on June 30, 2012

"I'll Get Through It" -- Linus of Hollywood
posted by litlnemo at 4:35 PM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Modern Lovers - Walk Up the Street
posted by hydrophonic at 4:37 PM on June 30, 2012

Not what you asked for specifically, but here's a beautiful song for you.
posted by panaceanot at 5:37 PM on June 30, 2012

Beach Boys "In My Room"
posted by brujita at 5:42 PM on June 30, 2012

I always think The Mountain Goats' Get Lonely is the paradigm of loneliness songs.
posted by mlle valentine at 7:18 PM on June 30, 2012

Oasis - Listen Up
posted by mrmarley at 1:29 AM on July 1, 2012

I'm surprised no one mentioned Rufus Wainwright's "Go or Go Ahead"
posted by black8 at 5:46 PM on July 1, 2012

Good Life by Francis Dunnery
posted by the twistinside at 10:19 PM on July 1, 2012

Andrew Bird's Lull. "Being alone it can be quite romantic, like Jacques Cousteau underneath the Atlantic."
posted by quietta at 11:19 AM on July 2, 2012

The Mekons - Learning to Live on Your Own

The Beach Boys - I Just Wasn't Made for These Times
posted by hydrophonic at 4:52 PM on July 4, 2012

Chameleons - Soul In Isolation
posted by black8 at 8:49 PM on July 10, 2012

Transatlanticism by Death Cab for Cutie
posted by delicate_dahlias at 11:15 AM on July 27, 2012

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