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Bittersweet Ending / Music

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  • "Graduation Trip" by Bowling for Soup has a heartbreaking yet oddly sweet story about first love, the singer detailing how he met and fell in love with a girl on a school trip.
    Georgia girl meets Texas boy,
    a place and time so far away.
    but our ship sank a different way.
    A lifetime in four short days.
    Said goodbye, and we never looked back.
    A few letters always ended the same:
    "I love you; did you know that?"
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  • Emilie Autumn's album Fight Like a Girl ends with the now-liberated asylum inmates realizing they have no idea how to function in the normal world.
  • The Flight of the Conchords series ends with Bret, Jemaine, and Murray all being deported back to New Zealand, where Bret and Jemaine resume their old jobs as shepherds. Though they might never see Mel or Dave again, they're still able to make music without the added pressure of having to make money off of it.
  • Haruka Shimotsuki's and Nao Hiyama's collaborative Tindharia world vocal albums, which tell stories about a fantasy world called Tindharia, all have such a ending:
    • In Tindharia no Tane, the heroine Parsley ends up giving up her life to change the laws that rule the world, while main character, Salt, is left behind taking care for the world she left behind.
    • In Griotte no Nemurihime one of the twins that serve as main characters to the story, Rosa, is absorbed into a song that makes her disappear forever. The story ends with the main characters throwing into the sea a crystal that contained her final song, which expressed her feelings for her sister, Citra.
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    • And finally, in Koboreru Suna no ARIA, which serves as a prequel to Griotte no Nemurihime, the heroine Seshiara is forced to sing for years in an attempt to restore the weakened sunlight, until the point in which she falls dead from exhaustion. Her husband Forgeit learns about this much later, and this causes him to become crazy and turn into the antagonist for Griotte. The finale of the album shows Forgeit dying as apparently, Seshiara's spirit comes to take him to the afterlife. Unfortunately, both were doomed by the canon...
  • Despite not being program music, Havergal Brian's "Gothic" Symphony has a sort of Bittersweet Ending.
  • "Big Bad John" by Jimmy Dean. The titular Big Guy saves the lives of 20 miners at the cost of his own, and a monument is erected in his honor.
  • Ludo's The Broken Bride the protagonist is reunited with his wife for One Last Day, but ultimately decides to die with her in the car crash, rather than living without her
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  • Martina McBride's Concrete Angel definitely has a bittersweet ending (especially if you watch the music video). The poor abused girl ends up dying, but she flies up to a place where she's loved. The ending of the music video shows her little ghost self playing with a group of other children.
  • The Mechanisms' Rock Operas albums end with things being pretty bleak, but not hopeless. Before everyone dies horribly, generally friendships are mended, lovers reunited, and so on—basically, the characters' love for each other and good qualities are shown to matter even though they're going to die two songs later.
  • Vocaloid producer mothy's "Kept Waiting for a Response" might not be canon to the Story of Evil, but as one of the endings mothy originally had in mind and closely tied to what he eventually went with it certainly qualifies. Riliane fully regrets her actions, is redeemed and dies a happy death among the children she raised in an orphanage, but her twin Allen and many other people died because of her and in the end, she can't really get her one last wish- she wishes to have a response to a letter she sent years ago... but the letter was to the already dead Allen and she knows that, even as a boy gives her a fake reply and she smiles and thanks him.
  • Pepe Deluxé's Queen of the Wave ends with the destruction of Atlantis and the deaths of the protagonists along with the villain. This is only tempered by the fact that one Noah-figure and his family escaped the destruction: humanity will rebuild "and the future will sparkle again".
  • Rhapsody of Fire:
    • The story of the Emerald Sword Saga, as told on their first five albums. Akron and his army are defeated and peace is returning to Algalord, but the Nordic Warrior sacrificed his life to kill him, and the Emerald Sword is presumably lost forever.
    • And again in the sequel, the Dark Secret Saga, though slightly happier: Dargor and his companions find the Seventh Black Book, they are winning the final battle with Nekron and his demonic army, but in the end Dargor has to sacrifice himself to transcend to godhood and battle Nekron for the rest of eternity to save the kingdom.
  • Savatage's Rock Opera Dead Winter Dead ends on this note. The old man who played his cello in defiance of the civil war raging around him is killed by a stray mortar shell. The main characters find him dead and, despite being "enemies", decide to flee Sarajevo together and find a future anywhere else. The ancient gargoyle watching everything unfold sheds a tear as he finally understands the human condition. Meanwhile, outside of two people and a piece of living masonry, a civil war rages on without noticing the tiny drama of his death.
  • In the Say Anything... song "Death for my Birthday" the narrator spends the entirety of his (wonderful) life praying for death and being miserable. When he finally gets what he wants, he has a moment of reflection before he dies and wishes he had more time to enjoy all of the things he had.
  • "I Remember Me" by Silver Jews is about a man who is hit by a truck and falls into a coma from which isn't expected to wake up. He does wake up, but by this time his girlfriend has found someone else.
  • In Steeleye Span’s Mackerel of the Sea (based on a Child Ballad), the narrator’s Wicked Stepmother, who has turned him into a loathsome worm and his sister Maisery into a mackerel, is forced to change the narrator back, and he becomes "the bravest knight that ever your eyes did see". However, his sister swims away from the shore, staying a mackerel, and is never seen again. It’s implied she only stayed close to the shore to comfort her brother.
  • T-ara's Cry Cry and Lovey Dovey movie music. The protagonist, Jiyeon lost her father and unknowingly lives with the killer, a bounty hunter. When her love's toward him grows, she finally learn the truth for one of her father's goon, which ran away without even helping any further. The goon then takes her away from the bounty hunter and throws her on a street nowhere. She is forced to change her face, thanks to so many injuries and live with a girl who saved her life. When she finally meets the killer, he did not recognizes her, depressing her even more. He finally recognizes her, but died trying to save her from that goon. The goon did died. Sadden by this, Jiyeon commits suicide.
  • The Taylor Swift song 'Tim Mcgraw': On one hand the narrator and her boyfriend spent an idyllic summer together. On the other hand, the boyfriend is now gone forever and the narrator only has a memory left.
  • The Dream of Gerontius ends with the Angel dutifully delivering the Soul to Purgatory for cleansing. It's not as bad as Hell - there are other angels there whose sole duty, willingly undertaken, is to make the experience less unpleasant, and eventual release to eternal bliss is absolutely guaranteed - but Gerontius still has to be left behind as the Angel returns to his place in the courts of glory; and the song of the souls in Purgatory is, at best, resigned.
  • The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Sure, the overall message of the album has been one of the damage caused by Sex Drugs And Rock N Roll and Ziggy's ego eventually gets him killed, but the final album cut "Rock and Roll Suicide" is, despite its name, an upper whose overall message is You Are Not Alone and not to give up hope in the face of obsolescence.
  • The Gold Rush era folk-song "Sweet Betsy From Pike" tells the story of the titular woman and her boyfriend/husband Ike traveling to California. They survive numerous hardships, almost starve, fend off hostile Indians and successfully arrive... only in the last verse to get a divorce. (Although many recordings of the song don't include this, ending simply with the arrival.)
  • The song "Encoder" by Drum and Bass band Pendulum ends on this ultra cathartic note, complete with incredible instrumentation:
    "For everything that could have been
    Well, at least we took the ride
    There's no relief in bitterness
    May as well let it die"
  • Gloryhammer: Two of the band's albums qualify.
    • Space 1992 ends with the Hootsman sacrificing his life in order to destroy the earth and create the Galactic Terrorvortex, through which Zargothrax flees. However, the creation of the Terrorvortex means that Kor-Vilirath no longer has a means to escape the 18th Hell Dimension, and Angus McFife XIII is on the tail of the evildoer.
    • Legends From Beyond The Galactic Terrorvortex ends with Zargothrax's death at Angus' hands. However, during the last battle Zargothrax stabs Angus with the same Knife of Evil he used to corrupt Sir Proletius, Grand Master of the Knights of Crail, and Angus chooses to walk into the fires of Sciehellion and die over becoming a tyrant just as evil as Zargothrax and even more powerful.
  • A particular favourite of The Megas.
    • Get Equipped, their first album released, has Mega Man defeat Wily, but the experience leaves him as a Broken Ace, consumed with regret for his actions and barely able to keep going. It takes him most of History Repeating (Blue)/(Red) to get better.
    • The double album History Repeating (Blue)/(Red) has Mega Man fight through his depression and become a wiser, more stable champion, now at peace with his life, and manage to defeat Wily and Gamma, save Light from Slowly Slipping Into Evil, and convince Proto Man to make a Heel–Face Turn in the process, by any standards an impressive string of wins. However, the final song, "Melody from the Past", isn't triumphant or glorious; it's a slow, downbeat number where Proto Man sadly reminisces on the family he no longer feels a part of and his regrets about his actions.
    • As for individual songs, "Harder than Steel" has Hard Man die in the ring against Mega Man, but the people of his town still revere him, and his name lives on in their memories.
      Steel of the champion! Your legend will live on! Our sons will sing your song! Harder than steel!


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