Juxtapose; Happy and Sad

By Jo Phillips

When individuals listen to music in any form they are very likely to be moved, and in  many ways.  Whether uplifted, soothed or heart-wrenching, music has a power like no other medium to get straight to the emotional point.  Ultimately that’s why music has such power and international impact.  We may hear songs that have sad lyrics with an upbeat melody or happy lyrics with a sad melody or any sort of combination.  We hear singers who proclaim the wonders of life in songs  yet have disastrous  persons connections or short lived lives.

Musician Paul Manchin talks us though how he creates music that can form a kind of healing for mental health issues he says “for example, Blue Monday by New Order, sad lyrics and upbeat melody.  The lyrics are depressing because the person is not happy with things going on in their life”.  Below he shares a few tracks that highlight this theme and shares of few of his own.

Another song is Gold Guns Girls by Metric.

The song deals with addiction.  These can be struggles for some. Now let’s consider happy lyrics with sad melodies.  Hey Jude by The Beatles comes to mind.

The message was intended to be comforting and for the human to not give up.  The melody is slow and down.  Another song The Rhythm of the Heat by Peter Gabriel talks about one’s own strength where the melody is dark and sinister.

My interpretation of sad artists that were known for happy songs include Whitney Houston’s song I Wanna Dance With Somebody

Elvis Presley’s Blue Suede Shoes,

and INXS’s singer Michael Hutchence Need You Tonight.

Sadly, their lives ended tragically at a young age.

Hopefully through music  a composer, singer and musician people may reach out to get help.  “Talk to someone” is certainly my  message.

I leave you with my music and humbly compare to other artists.

1a  Paul Manchin-King
The song is upbeat in melody dealing with individuals struggling with society.

1b  Arcade Fire-We Exist

2a  Paul Manchin-What Makes People Happy?
This song is upbeat dealing with individuals searching for happiness.

2b  REM-Everyone Hurts

3a  Paul Manchin-Here I Am
The song deals with putting your heart out while looking for acceptance. The song is also upbeat.

3b  Disclosure ft. Sam Smith-Omen

4a  Paul Manchin-Take A Ride
Song deals with mental health and depression with a sad melody.

4b  Barenaked Ladies-Bryan Wilson

5a  Paul Manchin-One

Lastly, song deals with mental health and grieving.

5b  Adele-Hello

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