Summertime sadness is the sweetest kind. It’s that feeling you get when it’s too hot outside and you just want to sit in a dark room and wallow in depressing music until autumn comes and you can breathe again. Miranda Lambert knows the power of the heartbreaker and how listening to sad music can actually make you feel better. So here’s a list of her ten most tearjerking songs – I recommend you drink some wine and hug a dog while you read/listen.
10. Dead Flowers
Watching something decay and rot away, well that’s the saddest thing in the world. Here Miranda sings about a dying relationship and the flowers once bought in a empty gesture of affection. When the person you’re with doesn’t understand you, doesn’t even notice you are suffering it’s hard not to feel depressed. I’m living in a hurricane and all he can say is ain’t it such a nice day. Miranda sings it like she’s lived it, all swelling guitars and anguished cries of romantic despair.
9. Greyhound Bound For Nowhere
When love goes wrong you just have to escape and there isn’t a better image of American freedom than the Greyhound bus. The cheapest, most uncomfortable way to travel – only braved by those who have no other choice. The sun’s going down on my misery/ another day gone by with broken dreams. This song explores that emptiness you get when you’re surrounded by people but you feel truly alone. Miranda’s stunning ability to convey a sense of sadness and longing is clearly evident here on this song from her debut album.
8. Dear Diamond
There’s nothing worse than knowing you’ve made a mistake and there’s nothing you can do to fix it. You can lie but then you have to live with yourself afterwards. To hurt yourself is bad enough but to hurt other people, well that can really destroy you. I love how this song is sung directly to her engagement ring – a constant reminder of her mistakes. Plus Patty Loveless is on this song too, beautifully echoing Miranda’s emptiness.
7. Use My Heart
There are so many beautiful acoustic sad songs on The Weight of These Wings I feel like this one has been overlooked a little bit. For me this is one of the best songs on the whole album and it really hits me hard whenever I hear it. I love the way this song builds its sadness around comparing the things that she’s struggling with: I can write the line but I can’t sing the song, I can call my mama but I won’t go home. There’s no easy answer here, the song itself is sad because she knows that falling in love could destroy her again. I don’t have the nerve to use my heart, she sings understanding that to be open and vulnerable in life and love takes real courage.
From the opening sting of the needle Vice is a perfect musical exploration of modern heartbreak. The song is about that endless search for meaning, for comfort, the wish to obliterate yourself and everything you are, which is inside of us all. When you find yourself in that cycle of self-destruction it’s nearly impossible to escape.
But at least you can listen to sad songs that tell the story of your suffering. And when it hurts this good you gotta play it twice.
5. Bathroom Sink
Everyone’s stood in front of a mirror and wanted to smash their fist right through it, even beautiful people like Miranda. It’s amazing the amount of rejection that I see in my reflection and I can’t get out of the way. Jesus if that isn’t a perfect line about being a woman in the 21st century then I don’t know what is.
This song, when it actually starts to rock out, feels like the best kind of sad song – loud and angry at the world as much as anything.
4. More Like Her
The crushing disappointment when someone leaves you for their ex is all here in this classic country weepie. Of course she’s not angry at him, she’s turned her feelings inwards to compare herself with the other woman. In the end there’s so much sadness because she wishes things could be different but that’s impossible.
3. Over You
This chokes me up every time. It is about death of course, but in a way it’s taken on a wider meaning really – that chorus really could be about divorce as well. The ‘how dare you/I miss you’ doesn’t really fit the structure of the song but that’s why it feels so desperately poignant in a way. This person is gone and you feel so angry with them, even though you know it’s hopeless. It’s the finality of everything which feels so truly heartbreaking. It really sinks in you know/ when I see it in stone. Excuse me while I go have a breakdown.
2. The House That Built Me
So you know that feeling you get when you glimpse something from your past, something that makes you realise how time passes and things change and life moves quicker than you’ll ever want it to and you can never go home again because home as it used to be doesn’t exist anymore and life right now is so confusing and scary and you really just want to go back to being a kid when you didn’t have a care in the world? Yeah all that beauty of childhood nostalgia and pain of adult anxiety is right here in four minutes.
Plus there’s a line about a dead dog and if that doesn’t cut you up then what the hell are you doing listening to country music?
1. Tin Man
There could only be one number one. I already spilled my guts about why this song is everything right here: ‘Why Tin Man is the Sad Song We Need Right Now.’
Okay if you’re ready here is the playlist, let’s cry together and flood this place:
Let me know what your favourite top ten Miranda weepies are in the comments.