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There are multiple ways to deal with being sad. This is one of the more unusual ones.

Perhaps the singer's friend is moving away, they're looking back on happier days gone by, or the save data of a game they've spent countless hours on has been deleted and can't be retrieved. Nevertheless, this character is sad, and has decided that the best way to express their sadness is to sing about it.

For a frequent sad song singer, see The Chanteuse. For sad characters listening to sad songs, see Songs of Solace.

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Related to Grief Song, which is about a character mourning the death of another through song, and Torch Song, which is about someone lamenting a lost love.

For the villain variant, see Villainous Lament.


Examples

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     Animated Films 
  • The gypsy Esmeralda from Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame has sought sanctuary in the cathedral of Notre Dame from the wicked Judge Frollo and his minions. While they dare not violate the sanctity of the Church, she is effectively a prisoner there. Since her plight mirrors the prejudice and oppression of the gypsy people in Paris, she sings God Help The Outcasts as a prayer for divine relief of the gypsies living in the margins of French society.
  • Tigger from The Tigger Movie starts with his usual bouncy, self-glorifying Tigger's Tune: "The most wonderful thing about Tiggers is, that I'm the only one!" However, it later dawns on Tigger that, as the only one, he'll never have siblings or parents or a mate. The poor guy is almost in tears during the reprise:
    Tigger: I'm... the lonely... one.
  • Intersecting with Torch Song, Sawyer's "Tell Me Lies" from Cats Don't Dance accompanies images of a morose and disillusioned Danny Cat trudging through the evening Hollywood rain to the bus stop. His dream of making a splash in motion pictures resulted in a fiasco, and Danny can only retreat back to Kokomo, Indiana from whence he came. Sawyer suffered a similar setback in her early days, leaving her a snarky Ice Queen secretary to a talent agent. She'd rather someone tell her bright and beautiful lies than face the grim and hopeless truth of Hollywood favoritism.
  • Zazu the hornbill from Disney's The Lion King begins singing "Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen" while moping in a ribcage in Scar's lair. Scar objects that the song is too maudlin, and commands Zazu shift to one with "more bounce to it." Mockingly, Zazu shifts to "It's A Small World After All", which Scar finds even worse.

     Live Action TV 
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend parodied this with "Sexy French Depression". Rebecca was sadly singing about her depression and envisions her depression being French after watching a French movie on TV.
    Rebecca: Man... the French really know how to make depression look sexy.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • Once More With Feeling:
      • The song "Dawn's Lament" is about her lamenting about her sadness because nobody is noticing her and the things she has been doing (shoplifting), but the song is cut short as she is kidnapped by the Demon Sweet's henchmen.
      • In "Under Your Spell/Standing", Tara is singing about Willow using a spell to erase the memory about the fight they had about Willow using too much magic, and Giles is singing about having to leave Buffy, but he wants to still be her watcher, and the two don't want to leave but have to, and are both upset about it.
  • Sesame Street:
    • "When Bert's Not Here" is a song by Ernie about how sad he feels when Bert is away.
    • "Sad" is a song by Little Jerry and the Monotones about how sad Little Jerry feels after several bad things, like losing his dime and having a terrible time at school, happen.
    • Another song with the same name was sung by Olivia, who had gone from feeling fine to being sad for seemingly no reason.
    • "Don't Walk" is about a groom who is very sad due to not being able to cross the street to his bride because of the 'don't walk' song.
    • "All I Can Do is Cry" is a song sung by a kitten who's sad due to losing her mitten.
    • "Wandering Through Wonderland" is by Abby Cadabby as she's lost in a place based on Wonderland from Alice in Wonderland and wants to go back home.
    • "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe" is about some cowboys and cowgirls at a cafe specially designed to cry things out at.
    • "Just Take a Look at 15" is by a singing 15 girl who feels unnoticed.
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     Theater 
  • In Oklahoma!, Curly attempts to persuade Jud to hang himself, and "Lonely Room" begins with Jud detailing how miserable his life is. However, at the end, rather than deciding to kill himself, he decides will instead take what he wants (i.e. Laurie) and kill whoever stands in his way.
  • Wicked: After having a Heel Realization from nearly killing Boq, who she was in love with, Nessarose sings about how she deserves to be alone with nobody but herself and her reflection, which she refers to as "The Wicked Witch of the East".

     Music 
  • Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds: The Journalist/Narrator fights his way to the home of his love, Carrie, taking three days only to find her and her father have left the house to escape the Martian attack, this segues into the song "Forever Autumn". The song itself contrasts two Autumn (Fall for USA readers) seasons, the previous when the singer and his love were together and the current where they are apart, and how his life will be "forever autumn" as he can't move on from the memory.

     Western Animation 
  • Steven Universe:
    • "Full Disclosure" is Steven debating whether or not he should tell Connie what happened in the previous two episodes after seeing his father's horrified reaction, and if she should be involved in his life at all for her own safety.
    • "Tower of Mistakes" is Amethyst lamenting the outcome of Sugilite, blaming it on herself and wishing she could make it up to Garnet.
    • "That Distant Shore" is Lapis lamenting about trying to adjust to Earth, only for her fears to get in the way, and that her attempt at staying safe just made her feel alone.
  • Spongebob Squarepants:
    • In "Texas", Sandy gets homesick and sings a song about her missing Texas and wanting to go home. Another episode has the opposite, with Sandy singing a song about how much she'll miss Bikini Bottom when she thinks she's going to leave.
    • SpongeBob gets one in "Mimic Madness", as he is succumbing to Mocking Mimicry Madness and doesn't remember his true identity, flipping through various characters and objects while questioning who he really is.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In "Magical Mystery Cure", Twilight botches a spell and causes the rest of the Mane Six to swap destinies (Pinkie Pie gets Applejack's destiny, Applejack gets Rarity's destiny, Rarity gets Rainbow Dash's destiny, Rainbow Dash gets Fluttershy's destiny and Fluttershy gets Pinkie Pie's destiny). Everything turns horrible because none of them are suited to do the others' destinies, and Twilight feels it's her fault and she sings a sad song about how it was her fault and how she has to set things right.
    • In "Crusaders of the Lost Mark'', after Diamond Tiara loses the class election to Pipsqueak and her mother berates her for her failure, she sings about how she feels deeply lost and insecure.
  • The song in The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Faith" is composed of three parts, with the second being a lament from Alan, asking why Gumball and Darwin thought their previous song (which was a very bleak take on life and how almost everything in it sucks) would make him feel better, how his life is crumbling down and asking why should he feel better when everything seems so horrible and isn't going to get better.
  • MAD had a sketch with Gordon Ramsay singing about how he felt empty doing the same shows over and over and desired variety.

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