Singing about 'quiet desperation'

Jan 26, 2012

Maybe sometimes the desperation isn’t so quiet, but we begin with a premise by Thoreau, and head straight downhill from there.

Many of us know the first part of Thoreau's quote: “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation…”

But there’s a second half, which is even more poignant, in our case.

The phrase continues:  “…and go to the grave with the song still in them.”

We must never let that happen, so we must unload some of our favorite sad songs, beginning with the ever-mournful Soggy Bottom Boys:

Sometime it helps to sing about your sorrows, but poor Ringo looks like a lost puppy in this Beatles music video for Help! :

Elvis Presley had everything to be happy about, but those sad songs sold plenty of records:

Every week on “Record bin Roulette,” KPLU’s John Kessler and John Maynard put an insightful and fun spin on a century's worth of discarded vinyl. The feature is published here and airs on KPLU 88.5 every Thursday during Morning Edition, All Things Considered and on Weekend Saturday Edition.