10 Classically Haunting Songs

Posted in: Rock by Summer18 on September 11th, 2008 | 10 Comments

10 classic songs that can still cause a chill in the air.

We all have those moments…. when we feel a need to listen to a song that’s melancholy and deeper than the usual tunes ruling the commercial airwaves.

Songs that are haunting are always memorable. Some transport, some leave you uneasy and some are just plain weird.

Here are ten classic songs that seem to relate anguish, fear and the always eventful mystical haunting presence.

Gary Jules: Mad World

Originally a classic b-side from the band “Tears for Fears”, “Mad World” was covered 2 decades later for a film called “Donnie Darko”. Gary Jules’ rendition projected haunting imagery and took it from an angle of a depressed voyeur.

Johnny Cash: Hurt

Nine Inch Nails originally brought the song “Hurt” onto the public scene, but was later covered by the legendary Johnny Cash. Emotionally charged, very eerie and, in my opinion, one of the most memorable performances of Johnny Cash’s career.

U2:  New Year’s Day

U2 took on global unrest when recording their album “Under the Blood Red Sky” released in 1982. The song “New Year’s Day”, from that album, was written by front man Bono. He thoughtfully attempted to depict war through the eyes of hope and relentless struggle. It lyrically described the Polish solidarity movement during that time and coincidentally, Martial law was later abolished on New Year’s day, 1983.

Sia: Breathe Me

I first heard this song when it was used for the finale of the HBO Series, “6 Feet Under”. I thought it was the perfect haunting serenade for an incredibly brilliant series. An especially beautiful song that relates the anguish of onliness and deep desperation. Sia recorded this song immediately following a battle with the flu, which seems to have appropriately added the underlying weakness conveyed.

Pink Floyd: Hey You

Off the album “The Wall”, Pink Floyd released “Hey You”. A song which seemed to represent a desperate plea to be heard. “Hey You over there”, some sort of physical interaction “Can you feel me?” “Would you touch me.” Disturbing and spellbinding. Cries for help will do that to you. Pink Floyd left an incredibly sad tale of maddening isolation and blasted the message loud and clear.

Phil Collins: In the Air Tonight

From the 1981 Album “Face Value”, Phil Collins released his first solo hit following his departure from the very successful rock band Genesis. “In the Air Tonight” consistently receives wide airplay and shot up in the charts following being featured in the pilot episode of “Miami Vice”. Even though the song lends itself to many strange theories, witnessing a murder, drowning, suicide, or rape. Phil Collins has been quoted as saying “I don’t know what this song is about. When I was writing this, I was going through a divorce. And the only thing I can say about it is that it’s obviously in anger. It’s the angry side, or the bitter side of a separation.”

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