Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Lady of Shalot - John William Waterhouse
The Lady of Shalott

Alfred Lord Tennyson

Lying, robed in snowy white
That loosely flew to left and right –
The leaves upon her falling light –
Thro' the noises of the night
           She floated down to Camelot:
And as the boat-head wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her singing her last song,
           The Lady of Shalott.

Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darken'd wholly,
           Turn'd to tower'd Camelot;
For ere she reach'd upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
           The Lady of Shalott.

Sadness - Anphia Coetser

 April 15, 1964
Fifteen days after the 1964 Brazilian coup d'├ętat, the Army Chief of Staff, Marshal Humberto de Alencar Castello Branco, is inaugurated as president, with the intention of overseeing a reform of the political-economic system.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge opens (world's longest)

Ian Smith becomes premier of Rhodesia

Premier Nikita Khrushchev angrily pledged today he would be "ruthless" against the Communist Chinese whom he charged had brought world communism to the "verge of a split."

Melancholy - Edvard Munch
The tear jerker or teen tragedy songs of the mid fifties to early sixties were very popular with the young people of that time period (us). Most of them were well written and had tunes that fit the sad words perfectly. Listening to them was depressing but enjoyable (?), and you could learn the words quickly and sing along if you cared to.

Young folks (us) might have been drawn to them because the singer had a nice voice and presented the song well. A good crooner could sell a mournful song just by keeping to the tune and expressing the song's depressing story with convincing brokenhearted emotion. 

A handsome face might have gotten the attention of some listeners, but it wasn't always known, at least on first hearing, whether the singer was a nice looking or middle of the road cutie pie. Most of the pout peddlers had good facial feature genes going for them, though.

It's hard to believe that you might want to dance to a teary tragedy tune, but one of the criteria for a good song was whether you could dance to it. A spark of emotion might be ignited between males and females as they touched and shared the grief of a woebegone wailer who had lost his one true love.     

Maybe the songs just told good stories that grabbed listeners' attention and held it till the record spun out that last miserable note. A tale of woe, well told, could be repeated again and again with no loss of interest. Empathetic teeners probably suffered the tragedy expressed in the songs as much or more than the songs' interpreters.
One might think only females would care for such ballads of gloom, but males of that age got dragged into the doom, too. Girls weren't the only ones buying the records and moving the tear jerkers up and up and up to the top of the charts. While the phase lasted, teenagers of the day purchased millions of teen tragedy records loaded with wretchedness and desolation. 

Those same songs when heard today create fits of nostalgia in gray haired listeners. They long to reminisce about the good old days and weep again with their favorite singers as they sing their sorrowful tales of death and separation. 

Truly, the days of the miserable moaners were the happiest of times for the Baby Boomers. With old 45s, or a quick search on YouTube, those carefree years can be relived over and over again in their hearts, minds and tear ducts.

The Pained Heart - Arthur Hughes
Running Bear
No. 1 for three weeks in January 1960
on the Billboard Hot 100
(That's George Jones and the
Big Bopper doing the Indian
chants and war whoops.)
Johnny Preston - 1959

Teen Angel
(one hit wonder)
Reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
Because of it's theme radio stations were
reluctant to play it and some banned it.
It was banned in the UK but
made the UK charts at #37 anyway.
Mark Dinning - 1959

Tell Laura I Love Her
Reached #7 on the U.S.
Billboard Hot 100 chart
Has been a hit in 14 countries,
and has sold over seven million copies.
Ray Peterson - 1960

If I Should Die

Emily Dickinson

If I should die,
And you should live,
And time should gurgle on,
And morn should beam,
And noon should burn,
As it has usual done;
If birds should build as early,
And bees as bustling go,–
One might depart at option
enterprise below!
‘Tis sweet to know that
stocks will stand
When we with daisies lie,
That commerce will
And trades as briskly fly.
It make the parting tranquil
And keeps the soul serene,
That gentlemen so sprightly
Conduct the pleasing scene!

Romeos Love for Juliet - Elizabeth Lisy Figueroa

Matthew from Downton Abbey - Erika Schnellert
Matthew died (or was killed off because 
he wanted to leave the show) 
in a car accident at the end of the 
third season. Tragedy.
Lost Love - Everette Mallais

1 comment:

  1. YES!!! We did love to dance to those sad songs!!!JMC