6 Depressing Songs From Your '70's-'90's Radio Station

6 Depressing Songs From Your '70's-'90's Radio Station

"There's no hiding place for you..."
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For this list, I have focused on music from the 1970's to the 1990's. I don't just judge how mood-killing a song is by looking at the lyrics, but by the sound of the music as well. As someone who grew up listening to the oldies radio stations in my parents' truck, I can definitely recall some songs that at least made me frown and at most forced me to hold back tears.

6. Michael Bolton's "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You?" (1989)

This is the song that screams the 80's era (or more appropriately, bawls and cries the 80's era). The lyrics describe the narrator's fear of his relationship ending becoming true with the lyric:

"I don't want to know the price I'm gonna pay for dreaming."

The vocals and the keyboard can be obnoxiously over-the-top, which does ruin the depressing nature of the song ad absurdum.

5. Creed's "My Own Prison" (1999)

This post-grunge rock band is known for the religious language in their songs (including this one), however this song can be interpreted through both a religious and a secular perspective. But there is also a lot of legal language as well, with words like "court," "appeal," "sentence," "prison," etc. This signifies being trapped by a force beyond the narrator's control. Religiously, it is about the narrator answering for his sins; secularly it is about the narrator feeling insignificant in a corrupt world with the lyric:

"We're all held captive out from the sun, a sun that shines on only some. We are meek and are only one."

The slow, hard-rock guitar riffs invite the listener as though he is making his way into a seedy bar. It fits the unwelcoming theme of this song.

4. U2's "New Years Day" (1983)

The song mainly deals with separation. Originally Bono wrote this about his wife, but then shifted the focus of the song to the Polish Solidarity Movement when Poland was part of the USSR. Either way, the mournful piano accompanies Bono's lyrics of distress at the rest of the world, which is encapsulated with the lyric:

"So we're told this is the golden age. And gold is the reason for the wars we waged."

The guitar wails in the middle of the song.

3. Genesis "Man on the Corner" (1981)

What definitely makes the song saddening is not just the homeless man, but the people who wonder about him. We spend so much time wondering why that man is in the corner, more so than realizing that we can do without asking so many questions with the lyric:

"But like a monkey on your back you need it, but do you love it enough to leave it?"

2. Barry Manilow's "Mandy" (1974)

The narrator bemoans the loss of a relationship; especially since he is aware that he was responsible for it with the lyrics:

"You came and you gave without taking, but I sent you away."

The entire song, accompanied by the mellow piano, is a plea for this Mandy to return knowing that it is meaningless.

1. Clarence Carter's "Patches" (1970)

The concept of the song is about a boy who has to take care of his family's farm after his father passed away. Lyrically, this song reminds the listener that he/she is mortal and susceptible to life's unexpected troubles with the line:

"At the age of 13, I thought I was carrying the weight of the whole world on my shoulders."

What also makes this song depressing is that even as the narrator's life gets better, he continues to remember his father's last, haunting words, which work as the main stanza of the song. The back-up vocals and the violins heighten the emotional intensity in this song.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Daniel von Appen on Unsplash

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.
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When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...

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"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

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