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Melancholy Musical Number

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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.

Compare Fear Song, which is about a character singing about their fear and/or anxiety. 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. Not to be confused with BSoD Song, which is about someone singing about how sad they are, rather than what they are sad over.

For the villain variant, see Villainous Lament. Contrast Bravado Song. Compare Self-Soothing Song.


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     Fan Works 

     Films — Animated 
  • 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.
  • "Jack's Lament" from The Nightmare Before Christmas. It has elements of an "I Am Great!" Song as Jack notes that he's skilled at what he does and feared/respected for it. But as the song continues, he points out that it's all meaningless if he's growing weary of the same things year after year and he yearns for something else he can't express.
  • 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.
  • From the Thomas & Friends movie Big World! Big Adventures!: "Sometimes You Make a Friend" is a somber ballad about Thomas realizing what he had done and his wanting to apologize to Nia.
  • In Alice in Wonderland, Alice finds herself lost, frightened, and alone in the Tulgey Wood and has a breakdown. She sings "Very Good Advice" to herself and is gradually reduced to tears as she reflects on her own bad habit of knowing the right thing to do but often failing to do it. It's so sad that the other bizarre creatures in the woods cry along with her.

     Films — Live Action 
  • “Pictures in My Head” from The Muppets (2011) is a musical number where Kermit sadly reminisces about happier days with the other Muppets, and his regrets of not keeping the gang together.

     Live-Action TV 

     Puppet Shows 
  • 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' sign.
    • "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 sung by a number 15 who feels unnoticed.

  • "The Gentleman Is a Dope" from the obscure Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Allegro has Emily lamenting how she is in love with her boss, and loves him better than her boss's actual wife, but it will never be.
  • "Sonya Alone" from Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 features Sonya, who is heartbroken over a particularly cruel Morton's Fork. She knows that her cousin Natasha has fallen desperately in love with the married Anatole (although Natasha does not know about his wife) despite being engaged to Andrey, and further that Natasha is secretly planning to elope with the former. Sonya laments that her only options are to let Natasha go with Anatole and have her heart broken, or to somehow prevent the elopement but have Natasha hate her forever. She ultimately decides to try to keep the lovers apart, because Natasha's well-being matters more to her than her own emotions.
  • 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.
  • The most despondent song in Ride the Cyclone — a musical about six high school students who die in a tragic roller coaster accident winding up in limbo to compete for a single chance to return to the land of the living — is probably Jane Doe's signature song, "The Ballad of Jane Doe." Of the six dead teens, Jane Doe is the only one to suffer from Ghost Amnesia (after losing her head in the crash). The only thing she knows for certain is that no-one claimed her body from the morgue or mourned her passing. In her song she laments not knowing who she was in life, having no memories of her time on Earth, and not knowing what will happen to her spirit if she passes on to "whatever comes next."
    Oh no soul, and no name
    And no story, what a shame
    Cruel existence was only a sham?
    Oh St. Peter, let me in!
    You must know where I've been
    Won't you tell me at least who I am?
  • 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".

  • 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.

    Web Original 
  • Jreg: "Stockholm Syndrome With Being Alive" from the Mental Illnesses episode of the same name. The song details Depression's bleak worldview and how he views the "normal ones" as having Stockholm Syndrome with life, disillusioned with reality. Yet, at the same time, Depression desperately wishes to be like them.

     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.
    • In "Welcome to the Chum Bucket," SpongeBob ends up working at Plankton's restaurant after Mr. Krabs foolishly wagers his employment contract in a poker game. Both SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs sing the Distant Duet "This Grill is Not a Home" about how sad they are about the situation, complete with smoky renditions of the two reaching out to hold each other's hands, only to fall just short. It's promptly lampshaded by Plankton, who complains about "the tears and the show tunes."
    • 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:
    • My Little Pony 'n Friends: "The Glass Princess, Part 2" has "All Wrong", where a depressed Shady sings about she's a useless klutz and how everything she does goes wrong, while Molly tries to cheer her up.
    • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
      • "A Canterlot Wedding, Part 1" has Twilight worry her BBBFF (Big Brother, Best Friend Forever) Shining Armor won't stick around with her as much when he is engaged. Taken a step further with the Dark Reprise when he rejects her and thinks he won't appreciate her anymore.
      • "The Crystal Empire, Part 1": Twilight is given a test to protect the titular kingdom and laments in song that she wasn't prepared for such.
      • 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 Amazing World of Gumball: The song in "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.
  • In the Sofia the First Pilot Movie "Once Upon a Princess", Sofia sings about how hard her new life will seem like now that she's royalty and she doesn't know anything about it.
  • Twice in the Big City Greens episode "Green Christmas":
    • Tilly gets "Christmas is Busted" when Cricket's naughty antics end up putting her on the naughty list as well and regrets such.
    • Cricket himself has "No Christmas at All", where after some hesitation, he finally learns all the disasters were no one's fault but his own, and believes he'll never get a gift from Santa and his Christmas is ruined.
  • In The Ghost And Molly Mcgee, we get two:
    • In the musical number It's a Lose-Lose from Scratch the Surface, Molly sings about how much she laments having to keep Scratch's existence a secret from Libby, putting a strain on her friendship with the latter.
    • The musical number from Home Is Where The Haunt Is, Everything is Totally Normal, is an interesting variant where Molly pretends to be perfectly normal, but it is clear to the audience and Libby that she is actually upset. Libby is not aware why, but the audience clearly knows it is because the Mcgees are now homeless.


Utensils Song

Some singing utensils mope in song about Kitty's bad table manners.

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Main / MelancholyMusicalNumber

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