Why do songs filled with misery rate so highly in popular opinion?

There's Adam's Song, Last Kiss (currently in the charts as recorded by Pearl Jam) about a fatal car accident, and slightly less recently Macy Grey's Still Light Up, a song about domestic violence and a woman's longing to be with her abusive lover.

And people say the songs are "good." Not the tunes, but the songs themselves.

You know, if I hear Adam's Song too many more times in the next few days I really might throw my radio out my window.

It's been 10 weeks since my brother's suicide, and only now is it beginning to hurt.

Mt brother was listening to this song while he was dying - although I'm not sure whether he was listening to it with his ears or only with his mind - and at that point I had never heard it played. Not once.

In the last two days my radio station has played Adam's Song approximately seven hundred thousand times. Well, more than a dozen times really, but it feels like so many more.

I don't blame the song for his death any more than I blame the religion he had become involved with, but I do blame the song for making me unnecessarily unhappy in the aftermath.
Actually Trina, I believe Last Kiss was played a lot last year. Mid last year one of my friends was killed in a car accident when a car coming the other way drifted onto the wrong side of the road. The driver was killed instantly, the boyfriend of my friend (who was driving) suffered critical injuries although he has since mostly recovered. My friend also suffered critical injuries ... and died three weeks later from internal injuries.

On the day of the funeral, Last Kiss started getting heavy radio airtime. It was the most appalling song to hear at the time. I remember driving a car load of friends up to Bendigo for the funeral and one of the girls in the back seat begging for the station to be changed. Even now, I cannot bear to hear the song - no-one who knew my friend can bear listen to that song anymore. It cuts too close to the bone.

Which brings me to your observation: Why do we love songs about misery? After all, when the song is close to events that we have experienced, we can't stand listening to it. Yet, if we haven't experienced what the song describes, people love it! Is it some sick voyerism aspect in humanity? Is it relief that our lives aren't as bad as those mentioned in the song? What is it? I'd love to know.

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