- "The Oxidizing Angel" by Blutengel is an up-tempo, danceable song about a necromancer who resurrects his dead lover, who promptly kills him and dies once more because she has no soul.
- The Nine Inch Nails song "Closer" (yep, the "fuck you like an animal" song) is catchy and surprisingly danceable. However, if one listens to the lyrics, it's about being in control of a woman. Another interpretation has the singer using the woman for sex because he's unable to feel anything else. Either way, the sheer twistedness of the song actually seems to boost its eroticism.
- The song "Lamette" ("Razor Blades") by Italian singer Donatella Rettore, is a cheery, danceable song about... cutting your wrists with razor blades, complete with 'plop plop' sounds, intended to be the blood coming out of the wounds.
- Sunscreem - "Looking At You". Bright, major-keyed, Europop tune about being haunted to death by the images of an ex-lover:
There is a hollow in the bed / Where you last slept/ I took a picture/Are you laughing at me/I scratched your records, dear/And threw them in the nearest river/Are you laughing at me?
Still I try/To get by/But I know I'll di-i-ie/Looking at you
- Sunscreem did quite this a lot, in particular their US hit "Love U More" (cover versions of which normally omit the darker verses, missing the point and turning it into a Single Stanza Song).
- "Slut Trash" by Decoded Feedback is an upbeat techno-industrial track about the hopelessness of life as a prostitute.
- Apoptygma Berzerk's "Eclipse" is unusually bright for an EBM tune, with uplifting trance-style riffs, but it still retains the dark lyrics, presumably about The End of the World as We Know It or the Rapture.
- Despite its title and upbeatness, "Progress" by Dempa (of http://www.spacesynth.de/) is about us consuming the planet to death. "Violence, people dying. Hunger, children crying. Science, making haste. Pollution, toxic waste."
- "The Human Germ" by Snog. Also about us selfishly destroying the planet:
- The bulk of the humor in Passenger Of Shit's work relies on the ridiculous exaggeration of this trope—often, cheesy, saccharine or melodramatic melodies score puerile, obscene lyrics of sexual and scatological nature.
- Papaoutai by Rwandan/Belgian singer Stromae was a huge hit in France in 2013 and is driven along by a thumping EDM beat and blaring synths, but it is based on Stromae's own experience of grieving his father's death in the Rwandan genocide of 1994, and how he consequently dealt with feeling abandoned. (A hint lies in the title, a phonetic rendering of the French phrase "Papa, oł t'es?" meaning "Daddy, where are you?") Lampshaded in a sketch from Les Guignols de l'info, which first asks if you like dancing to the themes of Parental Abandonment, world hunger or depression, and if so, consider hiring him for other events such as downsizing, chemotherapy or exotic occasions like stoning.
- Moby's "South Side" is a celebratory-sounding song, which makes a certain amount of sense because it's about driving around the city with friends, but certain lines more than hint they're in a very dangerous part of town ("weapons in hand as we go for a ride", "I pick up my friends and we hope we don't die").
- Emilie Autumn's song "Miss Lucy Had Some Leeches", which is about Victorian Lunatic Asylums... sung in the style of Miss Suzy Had A Steamboat.
- She also has "Marry Me", who to a sweet waltzy tune, narrates in first person the story of a woman who copes with being trapped in an arranged marriage with an rich older man by indulging in alcohol and having a lover (while denying her husband his "marital rights"). All of this, while waiting for her own death. But hey, at least she has quite the pretty clothes!
- Emilie Autumn does this fairly often. "The Art of Suicide" comes to mind, a cheery tune about, well, suicide. "Thank God I'm Pretty" also qualifies, a happy-sounding song about being judged solely on looks.
- "The Art of Suicide" is even worse than that— it's not about suicide, it's about the disturbing implications of romanticising suicide. "Ankles displayed, melodramatically laid...."
- Wesley Willis primarily sings over pre-programmed tracks from his synthesizer, which usually means really happy-sounding tinny keyboard lines backing up songs called things like "Kill That Jerk" and "Fuck With Me And Find Out".
- Let's not forget perennial classics such as "Birdman Kicked My Ass" and "I Whooped Batman's Ass".
- Band Aid's world-hunger-awareness-raising anthem "Do They Know It's Christmas?" may or may not qualify... but The Echoing Green's bouncy techno cover version certainly does.
- The original version qualifies when you consider that what was intended as a way to raise awareness of world hunger is now played annually as a festive, celebratory song.
- Assemblage 23 does this a lot. Most of their songs have a really upbeat tune that makes you want to dance, and then you listen to the lyrics:
I hate my life I want to die
I was just pretending all this time
A mask I wear so I don't bare
My soul to the cold, harsh world out there
Try to prevail but only fail
Each time on a grander and grander scale
My life is worthless and so am I
I hate my life I want to die
- Even if you get past the lyrics about growing old and senile, society being lost in an eternal present, losing yourself and finding something unsettling in its place, and general psychic malaise, you still have to contend with Tom Shear's Depeche Mode-inspired near-monotone. Naturally, it's at its deadest during the following lyrics:
Emotions I once kept concealed
Now flow freely like a river
Life's great mysteries revealed
Love's great promises delivered
- Go on, guess how the chorus goes.
- "Old" is a power ballad about losing ones memories with age, but sung in a rather light-hearted tone.
- "The Last Mistake" appears to be about reuniting with a lost lover at first, but as evident in the last verse, it's really about tracking down and murdering her. "The last mistake you ever made was trusting me, now close your eyes my pretty child, and I will set you free (read: kill you)".
- Goldfrapp's "A&E" is a lovely pop song that is also a break-up song. That would be fine, but for one minor thing: It stands for "Accident and Emergency", which the lyrics also reference. And there are too many references to medicine and hospitals for comfort.
- Psapp's "The Monster Song" has a really happy melody, but it's actually a song about a person who thinks that there is a monster who wants to eat him.It seems that the music video really catch the essence, using funny cartoons and lots of... blood and graphic violence.
- "Cinderella's Revenge" is happy and upbeat tune with Cinderella singing about seeing her sisters hang.
- Hey, in the original fairy tale, their fate was even worse - as punishment for trying to con Prince 'Charming', they were ordered to dance at their step-sister's wedding... while wearing red-hot iron boots.
- "Paper Planes" by MIA seems pretty cheery going by the tune, but the lyrics seem to be sung from the point of view of a violent, drug-addled gangster.
- Ironically, the position is supported by the artist. It appears to be a typical "hustle" song about the artist's illegal operations and monetary gains. It's really about inner-city taxi drivers who have to drive annoying people around in violent areas, but all they really care about is the fare.
- According to MIA it is about immigrants and how people view them. MIA being one herself. And the paper planes are metaphors for visas.
- And the tune is sampled from "Straight To Hell" by The Clash, who, as noted way, way, further up on the page, use this trope a lot (the aforementioned song is another example).
- Most of MIA's work breathes this trope. She have stated that one of her goals is to make heavily political music that sounds as unpolitical as humanly possible. There are a few exceptions however; like "Born Free" witch sounds exactly like what it is about.
- The Bronleewe & Bose trance remix of "Cut" by Plumb, which as the name implies, is about cutting oneself (the non-fatal 'self-injury' variety, not the 'suicide' variety).
- Basshunter does this often, especially on his Darker and Edgier latest album.
- Renard Queenston does this a lot.
- For instance, ''Our Special Place'' is an incredibly sweet-sounding song sung by a cute electronic voice. The lyrics, however...
As I seep into the blackest void of all
I'm nothing, I am no one
As I sleep, I hear them creeping down the hall
They're nothing, they are all gone
- One of his songs, under the alias Furries in a Blender, is entitled "''Last Moment on Earth''". The song is in FIAB's trademark incredibly cheerful style, despite multiple samples about various news anchor reactions to the end of the world.
- "Aisha" by Death In Vegas; Ax-Crazy Iggy Pop seems to be trying his hardest not to kill Aisha.
- Groove Coverage frequently did this, especially in "Little June", which is an energetic hands-up/hard dance song about a girl named June who was murdered by "a man that she barely knew". By the way, it's very similar to Mike Oldfield's "Moonlight Shadow", which they also officially covered. Another notable one is "The End", whose lyrics are exactly about what its title suggests.
- わたしのココ is known for an odd hybrid of calm, cheery or uptempo melodies alongside harrowing digital noise—and themes of shame, self-hatred, and extreme depression, all sung by a cutesy-voiced text-to-speech program. If you didn't speak Japanese, you wouldn't suspect a thing. This is bolstered in their calmer numbers, such as "神様お願い" ("Please, God"), a sweet piano-and-organ waltz in which the speaker questions the point of a life witnessing, but never experiencing love and prays for God to "shut [her] off completely."
- The Crystalline Effect. "Life Has Failed You", "How I Get Out", "As Long As You Need", and that's just the start...
- A lot of stuff by steampunk "synthpunk" group Unextraordinary Gentlemen. Much of their music is upbeat or at least dance-worthy, but the subjects of their songs include a traveling brothel, a group of bar patrons drowning their sorrows, an extraterrestrial attack, an undead policeman-turned-assassin, a suicidal airship pilot, and a disease-plagued gutter town. Yeah.
- Several of Hadouken!'s songs are probably the catchiest Heroic BSODs you'll ever hear.
- Covenant's "Like Tears in Rain" rubs this trope in, setting its utterly dismal lyrics to a swingy, catchy "Personal Jesus"-style instrumentation:
Every street I ever walked, every home I ever had is lost
Every flower I ever held, every spring I ever had has dried
Every man I ever knew, every woman I ever had is gone
Everything I ever touched, everything I ever had has died
- As seen above, this is quite common in Futurepop. Another notable example is VNV Nation's "Tomorrow Never Comes", a dancefloor filler with lyrics warning of impending doom for mankind, by nuclear war according to the band members.
- Yellow Magic Orchestra's "Taiso"
- "Runaway" by Real McCoy
- The Cruxshadows' "Winterborn" is rather upbeat and danceable by darkwave standards, while its lyrics tell of Heroic Sacrifice, Watching Troy Burn, and possibly Armageddon, accompanied by nuclear air raid sirens.
- Depending on who you ask, "With You Friends (Long Drive)" by Skrillex can qualify for this, due to the official lyrics still being unreleased.
- One interpretation is the fairly happy:
We fell in love with gravity
And I really really miss you
Oh, I love you (you, you, you)
All I love, all my love (all my love)
Please tell my mother I'm down on my knees
And I really really miss you
Oh, I love you (You, you, you)
All I love, all my love. (All my love)
- "Don't Unplug Me" by ALL CAPS is a chirpy little song about two robots in love... Except that one of them got an upgrade, only to learn upon hindsight that it "removes extraneous programs / That means emotions like loving you", and then has the upgraded robot singing about how it doesn't want to die.
I don't want to lose myself or ever say goodbye / I wanna hold onto my consciousness / I don't wanna die
- "Cyborgs" by J-Mi, Midi-D & Thomas Howard Lichtenstein (yes, that one). Happy hardcore tune about a dystopian future in which mankind has been consumed by cybertechnology.
- Bluemchen's "Willkommen in meinem Garten" should be a happy love song judging from the lyrics, but sounds surprisingly dark.
- "Protect and Survive" by Future Perfect is another awesome, driving futurepop track depicting an imminent nuclear attack on Britain.note Probably their darkest song to date.