- Conventional thinking says this of "Fade to Black" by Metallica, as one of the earliest Heavy Metal examples; however, this has been subverted by Word of God. The song is, in fact, just about some Marshall Guitar Amplifiers that were stolen from the band.
- The Police song "Can't Stand Losing You".
- "End of My Rope" by Biohazard nails the psychology behind this trope pretty well, which lines such as "The pain inside surrounds me", "I find myself alone and scared / in a world where nobody cares" and "The tears I've cried have left me blind".
- The subject of the song "Inside the Fire" by Disturbed. Based on a true story in the lead singer's life.
- Close to half of defunct Finnish metal band Sentenced's studio output dealt with the subject (the other half, back when Taneli Jarva was fronting the band, tended more towards killing things other than oneself). Then again, with songs like "Excuse Me While I Kill Myself", "Consider Us Dead" and "End of the Road", it's kind of their thing.
- The 17-year-old runaway girl protagonist of Marillion's Concept Album Brave endures alienation, abuse, betrayal, addiction and rape and ends up killing herself although it's quite ambiguous.
- Nerd Core artist MC Lars wrote a song called "Twenty-Three" about a real life friend named Patrick Wood who drove himself to suicide.
- Kate Bush has two:
- "The Kick Inside" - A brother and sister have sex, which results in pregnancy. Not wanting to bring shame to her family, the girl kills herself & her unborn baby.
- "The Wedding List" - A couple is about to get married until some guy shoots the groom. The bride-to-be hunts the killer down, then kills herself. She was unknowingly pregnant, which means that four people were killed.
- Subverted in the song "Spring" by Rammstein. A man goes on a bridge to admire the view, but a crowd forms, thinking he's gonna jump. In the end, the man gets pushed off by an impatient bystander hungry for blood.
- In Havalina's "Bullfighter", after the matador of the title is beaten and humiliated in the ring, "He couldn't take another day, he went up to the highest roof and flew away."
- The Third Eye Blind song "Jumper" is about the singer trying to convince his friend not to go through with the latter's attempted suicide. It was also featured in the film Yes-Man.
- The Rasmus' song ''No Fear'' tells about a suicide of an unnamed girl: "Girl, your final journey has just begun, your destiny chose the reaper." and "Girl, close your eyes for the one last time, sleepless night from here to eternity" are just a few bits from the lyrics.
- Simon & Garfunkel did a version of the Richard Cory (detailed in Literature) where the eponymous millionaire's story is told from the viewpoint of a factory worker, who is envious of the advantages and enjoyments available to Cory, believing his employer to be a happy and satisfied man. When this is proven wrong by Cory's suicide, the worker still curses his own poverty, and would still rather have Cory's life.
- AFI's Miss Murder tells a story of celebrity who committed suicide after his downfall. Sample lyrics:
The stars that pierce the sky
he left them all behind.
We're left to wonder why
he left us all behind.
Hey Miss Murder, can I (2x)
make beauty stay if I take my life?
- "The Perfect Kiss" by New Order is about watching a deranged friend take his life. "Told me not to see his gun... The perfect kiss is the kiss of death". Possibly based on the real-life suicide of Ian Curtis.
- "Televators" by progressive rock group The Mars Volta, off their debut album De-Loused At The Comatorium. The penultimate track depicts Cerpin Taxt (The song's protagonist) choosing to end his life by jumping, after awakening from a coma (from a previous suicide attempt) which took him on a metaphysical journey through the confines of his own mind. Fan theories speculate that Cerpin's suicide is an attempt to return to that world.
- Suede's "She's Not Dead". Making it doubly sad is the fact that it's Based on a True Story.
Brett Anderson: [My aunt] had this lover and he was black and Hayward's Heath is a small town and in the early '80s I guess it was very taboo. And basically they committed joint suicide together. They drove a car into a garage and just turned the exhaust on and killed themselves.
- "Another Day" by Ray Wilson is about the suicide of one of Ray's school friends:
I don't like this place at all
Makes me wonder what I'm here for
Someone take this pain away
Dying to see another day
And I don't want to be your friend
Or pretend I can fit into
I'm incensed, I'm blown away
Dying to see another day
- Kix's "Don't close your eyes" features a person who angsts about a troubled friend's possible suicide.
Hold on hold on tight
Iíll make everything all right
Wake up, donít go asleep
Iíll pray the Lord, your soul to keep
Donít close your eyes
Donít close your eyes
Donít sing your last lullaby
- Rise Above This by Seether is about a teenaged boy committing suicide and how it affected his family.
- "Torn" by Seabound is told from the point of view of someone who has just slit their wrists, secretly hoping to be saved at the last second by the person he loves/is obsessed with. Sadly, as lyricist Frank Spinath makes clear on the band's website:
SHE will not burst through the door.
SHE will not call.
SHE is not thinking of you right now.
SHE won't even move.
SHE NEVER DID.
- Voltaire's Underground, about a man who kills himself by jumping after being viciously rejected, and apparently jeered at, at a cafe'.
Six feet of earth
Above my head
keeps me safe
from what she said
Six walls of wood
to keep them out
the smart remarks,
the screams, the shouts
They scream, they shout
There's only one way
to drown them out
I hear your voice
I hit the ground
- Jun Togawa has written a few songs about this. In real life she herself has attempted suicide twice, and her sister successfully hung herself in 2002.
- The Insane Clown Posse song "Suicide Hotline" has Shaggy as a hotline operator trying to talk down a suicidal Violent J, who has a long list of reasons why he wants to die. The song ends with J getting a call on the other line from a woman, who makes comments implying she wants to have sex with him and gives him a reason to live for at least a few more hours.
- Proof's "Kurt Kobain"
- The Notorious B.I.G.: Biggie's "Suicidal Thoughts"
- Nas's "Undying Love" has Nas playing a man who comes home from Las Vegas to find his wife cheating with another man, and concocts violent revenge on the pair with a friend. Things take a downhill turn as the two burst into the house, and Nas's character shoots his wife dead by accident. As the police surround the house, he falls into despair, and shoots himself dead.
- Apparently an Author Appeal subject for Cheap Trick, as it's not uncommon in their lyrics. Full-song examples include the following:
- With Lyrical Dissonance — peppy, cheerful "Auf Weidersehen"
- Dark sond "Can't Go On".
- "Oh Candy", which is a tribute to a friend of the band who had committed suicide.
- Emilie Autumn has written a lot of songs about suicide ("The Art Of Suicide", "Shalott", "Opheliac", "306", ""Dead Is the New alive").
- David Bowie's "Jump They Say" is about a man who is...different from others mentally, and the victim of a world that refuses to help him, even encouraging his demise. The music video makes the story more specific — Bowie plays the protagonist as a businessman who is taken captive by his suspicious peers and given electroshock therapy; if they intend it as a cure, it doesn't work (or even backfires) as he jumps from the top of the office building to his death afterward. Sad to say, this 1993 song has a Reality Subtext — it's inspired by the 1985 suicide of Bowie's schizophrenic half-brother Terry.
- The video for Roxette's Anyone features a character who decides to leave her hotel room, walks along streets to the beach, and decides to drown herself. She is later rescued by the medic.
- The Replacements:
- "The Ledge" is about a man who kills himself by jumping. The song never explicitly states his reason(s) for killing himself, but it implies that he feels ignored by everybody including "a girl that I knew once years ago".
- The demo version of "Can't Hardly Wait", recorded for the album Tim, featured alternate lyrics that were more blatantly about suicide. It's possible the lyrics were toned down a little for the version heard on Pleased To Meet Me simply because that album already had "The Ledge" on it.
- Steely Dan's "Don't Take Me Alive" is about a small-time crook who is Driven to Suicide by Cop (by creating a hostage situation/bomb threat in a bank, apparently) when he "crossed his old man back in Oregon".
- "Blue Sunny Day" by Jonathan Coulton is about a vampire who kills himself by standing outside and watching the sun rise. Although you'd never know it if you're not paying attention to the lyrics.
- Radiohead, being Radiohead, have quite a few songs of this nature, ranging from subtle to unmistakably blatant. The most obvious example would probably be "No Surprises".
- Florence + the Machine have "Hurricane Drunk" and "What The Water Gave Me"
- Evanescence has "Tourniquet".
I tried to kill the pain.
But only brought more (so much more).
I lay dying, and I'm pouring crimson regret and betrayal
- The video for Bruno Mars' Grenade starts with a guy who takes trouble dragging a piano to his girlfriend's house to perform a song for her, only to find out she's been cheating on him. So the guy decides to take his piano and perform elsewhere... the railroads.
- St. Jimmy died today / He blew his brains out into the bay...
- At the climax of Quadrophenia by The Who, the protagonist is on a rock in the ocean, debating whether to jump.
- In Calexico's "Not Even Stevie Nicks...", the protagonist has "a head like a vulture / and a heart full of hornets", so "he drives off a cliff / into the blue, into the blue."
- Julia Nunes sings about a girl in "Stairwell" who seems to be dead note and admits in the end: "perhaps I didn't trip [...] standing at the top [...] It's been so hard to just keep living so I thought it might be worth it"
- Blue Man Group's "The Current", if interpreted a certain way, sounds like the singer is trying to commit suicide by electrocution, only to be defibrillated and live.
- "Bullet" by Hollywood Undead is one of the most deceptively peppy songs about someone attempting suicide.
My legs are dangling off the edge.
The bottom of the bottle is my only friend.
I think I'll slit my wrists again
And I'm gone, gone, gone, gone.
- Done by a wife in King Crimson's "The Letters", after finding out about her husband's infidelity (from his lover, no less).
- The narrator of "The Bed" reacted poorly to his wife leaving him:
These hands that once caressed you
Take a bottle from the drawer
It says take one for sleeping
But I'm taking many more
- In "Laura" (no, not that one) Tom Jones pleaded:
And if there's time before I pull this trigger
Tell me what he's got that I ain't got
- "Alone Again (Naturally)" by Gilbert O'Sullivan starts with the singer climbing a water tower, with the intent to throw himself off. Ultimately, he climbs back down.
- Jude in the !HERO: The Rock Opera song reprise of "Intentions", deciding to shoot himself after betraying Hero and handing him over to I.C.O.N. forces to be executed.
- "Suicide Day" by A Flock of Seagulls, the last track on The Story Of A Young Heart.
- The Rock Opera "2112" by Rush (specifically Part VI: Soliloquy). The protagonist, overwhelmed with despair that life under the repressive Solar Federation can never be anything like the visions of The Elder Race of Man from his dreams, takes his own life... whereupon the Elder Race appears and overthrows the Federation (according to Word of God).
Just think of what my life might be
In a world like I have seen!
I don't think I can carry on
Carry on this cold and empty life
My spirits are low in the depths of despair
- Pete Wentz, bassist and lyricist of Fall Out Boy, wrote two songs about his suicide attempt: "7 Minutes in Heaven (Atavan Halen)", and "Hum Hallelujah". From the latter:
Sometimes we take chances
Sometimes we take pills
I could write it better than you ever felt it!
- 'Stole' by Kelly Rowland concerns a social outcast kill himself in a bathroom at his school, the aftermath, and the girl who heard the gunshot.
- The meaning to the song, "Sail," by AWOLNATION.
Maybe I should cry for help.
Maybe I should kill myself.
Blame it on my ADD, baby.
- One of the interpretations to Blue Stahli's song, "Throw Away."
- "Cemetery Gates" by Pantera is about a man whose lover dies, and he contemplates killing himself so that he can join her in the afterlife. It's never stated whether or not he goes through with it.
- The Paul Mackenzie song 25AIV (aka 25a(4)) takes its title from a railway signalling rule concerning time-interval working (should the block instruments, that told signalmen whether or not the line was clear or not, should fail.) A signalman makes a wrong call and two people are killed when two trains collide in thick fog. Gradually, he is consumed by grief and when the fog comes down once again, he kills himself with a razor out of fear that he'd cause yet another collision.
- "Last Resort" by Papa Roach:
Would it be wrong?
Would it be right
if I took my life tonight?
Chances are that I might.
Mutilation out of sight
and I'm contemplating suicide.
- Funker Vogt's "Our Life":
Mother, kiss me when it's over
Father, forgive me this fight
I don't have the power to live anymore
The destination's much too far
Too weak to live - too strong to die
Born to loose, I'm the opposite of a winner
I point the gun at my head...
- Iced Earth's "Anguish of Youth" is about a woman about to kill herself over her traumatic past, apparently via overdosing on pills (possibly sleeping pills or antipsychotics) only to be revived. Slight subversion in that the end hints that the experience changes her mindset and actually begins the path to recovering from her trauma.
- "Washer" by Slint just smacks of a suicide note.
- Within Temptation's "Forgiven" is about someone whose loved one committed suicide.
You were looking for the great escape to chase your demons away.
For so long I've tried to shield you from the world.
You couldn't face the freedom on your own.
Here I am, left in silence.
You gave up the fight.
You left me behind.
All that stands forgiven.
You'll always be mine.
I know deep inside.
All that stands forgiven.
- "Is It Like Today?" by World Party has God committing suicide.
- God also shoots himself in "Haus der Lüge" by EinstŁrzende Neubauten.
- "Bridge St. Shuffle" by Fad Gadget (bit of a stretch, but the Lemming Show of the lyrics clearly suggests human lemmings).
- "The Last Night" by Skillet is about the singer trying to convince a girl not to commit suicide.
- "Irony" by Hatsune Miku is a rather cheery song about a very depressed girl who has suicidal thoughts. Some of the lyrics (according to this English fan cover):
It seems that the world is such a troublesome place.
Sometimes I think I should just end the pain.
"You're sick, aren't you dear?"
"I'm sick of the tears."
Why can't everything just end simply?
Everything that I aspire to be is nothing that will become of me.
If my expectations are too far-fetched, just what am I to do?
Give a sign, give a sign, a reason not to die.
Give me something to prove my worth.
- VNV Nation's song "Illusion" is about trying to stop someone from commiting suicide.
Please don't go.
I want you to stay.
I'm begging you, please.
Please don't leave here.
I don't want you to hate.
For all the hurt that you feel, the world is just illusion.
Trying to change you.
- Sleeping With Siren's "Don't Fall Asleep At The Helm" is about someone who is going to commit suicide by jumping into the sea.
I lost my heart, my home is the ocean.
The waves underneath will soon be my home.
I will fall asleep (fall asleep).
I'll close my eyes and dream of days when I wasn't all alone.
- "Last Words" by Thousand Foot Krutch is either about a man's suicide note or is about the last things he says to a friend.
- "24 Floors" by The Maine is about a depressed man thinking about jumping from his hotel room. He reconsiders after thinking about his family and friends.
- The entire point of the Depressive Suicidal Black Metal genre, which includes bands like Silencer and Leviathan. That's not getting into the numerous famous black metal musicians who have killed themselves for real, including Dead of Mayhem, who shot himself in the head with a shotgun because he suffered from depression and believed he was living in a false reality, and Jon Nödtveidt of Dissection, who apparently sacrificed himself to Satan.
- Tic Tac Toe, a German band, has a song called "Spiegel" (Mirror), taking place at a group therapy. The last patient to tell their story is Bernard, a hardworking but quiet man who did everything he could at work but was fired. He breaks down yelling about the credits he has to pay for the house and car, and about "How'm I s'posed to tell my wife, huh?! I've had it!", then kills himself right in front of the three other patients and the therapist, despite the therapist's attempts to calm him down.
- In the music video to Moby's "Are You Lost In The World Like Me", a visibly unattractive girl becomes a laughingstock after a video of her dancing badly goes viral, and towards the end of the song, she is seen jumping from a high building, which the bystanders all proceed to record with their smartphones.
- "The Final Cut" has the POV character talk about him attempting to this, but loses the nerve "to make the final cut" when the phone rings. And somehow, the suicide aversion seems to only make things more depressing.
- Down in the Subway, Soft Cell's last single before they disbanded in 1984, is about someone who is planning to commit suicide by jumping onto the tracks at a subway.
- "I Never Will Marry" is an Irish Folk Song. In it a person describes seeing a woman who drowns herself in the ocean. Due to being a folk song, it has various versions. In many versions the woman killed herself because her lover either left her or died. In others the "My love's gone and left me..." line is sung by the protagonist, who was her lover and is mourning her, or is outright the woman who drowned.
I never will marry
I'll be no man's wife
I intend to live single all the days of my life
The shells in the ocean shall be my death bed
The fish in deep waters swim over my head
- A few songs from Fear Factory explicitly refer to suicide by immolation. "Self Immolation", "Freedom or Fire", and "Slave Labor" are the most prominent examples. "Freedom or Fire" explicitly tells a parable about a dissident who chooses to burn himself to death as a protest against the government who forcibly devises an Assimilation Plot to convert humanity into machines and to prevent himself from being captured by the state police. "Slave Labor" tells a story about a woman choosing to immolate herself to escape her enslaved life.
- A heartbreaking example in Alec Benjamin's "I Built a Friend". The suicide victim is a robot who feels so abandoned when his creator/friend leaves for college that he spills water on himself, even leaving a note. Wow.
- Attempted suicide is implied in the Grief Song "Still Here" by Digital Daggers:
I'd die to be where you are
I tried to be where you are
- "Devils Don't Fly" by Natalia Kills has the narrator in the middle of an attempt apparently brought on by a combination of self-loathing and a bad breakup.
''I heard the angels call again
I threw myself a party, chardonnay and oxy. [...]
They say it's not the answer, but I can't carry on,
'Cos I've got nowhere, no one, without you, boy, I'm done,
And when I'm gone, remember you're the one.
- Linkin Park's "One More Light" could be interpreted as the singer talking his friend out of suicide. It becomes heartwrenching in light of the deaths of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington; this was the title track of the latter's last album before his own suicide in 2017.
- The subject of Logic, Khalid, and Alessia Cara's "1-800-273-8255". It features two characters- someone who feels like their life is worthless and is about to end it, and the friend who successfully talks them out of it. The title itself is the number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, and Word of God says it's about a possible call to the hotline.
- A few Flyleaf songs reference Lacey's past suicidal tendencies. "Much Like Falling" is all about being suicidal:
When I said "good morning" I was lying
I was truly thinking of how I might quit waking up
He pointed out how selfish it would be to kill myself
So I keep waking up
- Most people miss it due to the fact they can't remember anything but the chorus and the peppy beat, but "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five is a Morality Ballad. It's about growing up a poor black person in the city. The chorus refers to someone either being close to snapping or killing themselves. Near the end it describes a man born in the ghetto who grew up wanting to be like criminals and panhandlers because they had all the money. He dropped out of high school, tried to rob someone, got caught and was given eight years in jail. After two years of abuse he ended up hanging himself in his cell.
- blink-182's "Adam's Song" is from the POV of someone who feels suicidal. Despite Urban Legend, it wasn't based on an actual suicide letter. It was written about how being on tour feels.
- Good Charlotte's "Hold On" is a suicide prevention song.
- "I May Not Awaken" by Enya, arguably one of her saddest songs, has a suicidal narrator. It's highly implied that she ends up going through with it. Just to twist the knife even more, the song's lyrics are laden in symbolism...except one little bit at the end of the bridge. Once you make the connection from "ends all" to "ending it all", the song starts to make a whole lot more sense...and it doesn't get any happier.
- Played with A Perfect Circle's "The Outsider". It seems to be about a man whose friend is suicidal. The singer is unsympathetic towards their plight and wishes they'd either "snap out" of their depression or get away from the singer so that he doesn't have to deal with them anymore. In the context of the Concept Album, however, it's about a drug addict, not a suicidal person.
- Brand New's "Jesus Christ" is about a suicidal Christian who is too afraid to kill himself for fear of what happens after he dies.