Chilling, Dark & Haunting Songs
The list of mournful songs depicting haunting lyrics, emotions and dark words that touch you so profoundly that you know something serious has just transpired are the haunting songs with the perfect words masterfully set to music that permeates devoid visions, unrequited love, hopelessness and quite often, the story teller's pain of a past filled with darkness. The amount of haunting songs are much too extensive to list, but here are a few of the more popular songs that have made the list where haunting, chilling, timeless, and dark undertones are concerned.
Solemn, Haunting & Dark Songs: Whether you believe in ghosts or not, haunting tales mixed with just the right music are played out in much more death defying expressions then the typical mundane ghost tales that revolve around non-musical stories of haunted mansions, establishments and sacred grounds filled with ghostly entities. Mournful songs depicting haunting lyrics, emotions and dark words that touch you so profoundly that you know something serious has just transpired are the haunting songs with the perfect words masterfully set to music that permeates devoid visions, unrequited love, hopelessness and quite often, the story teller's pain of a past filled with darkness.
These solemn songs have a way of giving the listener that unexplained and peculiar deep feeling that is often accompanied by sadness, cold chills, despairing thoughts, and foreboding that are quite often a part of life. Perhaps this is why we feel such raw emotion when listening to these song's with words that cut us below the surface, just deep enough that we fail to get the words out of our head no matter how hard we try.
A song has the ability to instantaneously change a person's mood, and a long forgotten melody can suddenly take you on a ride down memory lane, happiness can turn to anger, and unpleasant noises can be switched to a favorite tune with the flick of a switch. A first love, a bad break-up, death, birth, weddings and funerals are all intertwined with music in one way or another, but a haunting song comes from a place that is so mournful that you almost have to stop and take a moment to digest the full impact of the song's message.
There is no doubt about it that music affects our thinking, body movements and mood, and scientists have always known that music gets up into your brain and boosts your immune system, regulates stress hormones, affects pulse, heartbeat and blood pressure, and it lift's your soul in ways that are simply unexplained. Music has always played a significant role in our lives and has covered a whole span of emotions and life events. It is entertaining, inspiring and it reminds you that you are alive in more ways than one.
A Few of the Most Haunting Songs of the Past
Nights in White Satin: The Moody Blues 1967 hit from the album Days of Future Passed, was written by the English rock band's lead singer Justin Hayward and tells a sad tale of unrequited love from far away. According to Hayward, the song represents different times of the day, specifically the night. A Mellotron keyboard and the London Festival Orchestra all lend to the eerie undertones of sadness and loss. The first time that I heard this song I knew that it was something big. It evoked emotions in me that I couldn't quite place at the time, but I knew that I loved the haunting words accompanied by the even more chilling choice of instruments. The unique quality of the soulful play of words and music made the song into an instant masterpiece.
Riders On the Storm: Thunder effects, eerie undertones of pending death and the haunting words of a killer on the road are reminiscent of the dark and tumultuous Doors vocalist, Jim Morrison, who died just before the release of the song in 1971. The masterpiece was developed from a jam session where the group was originally playing their take on Ghost Riders in the Sky. Jim can be heard whispering throughout the song over his own song lyrics, adding a definite eerie effect that embodies the song and gives the listener cold chills, especially since it was meant to be his spirit whispering from beyond. The sexy, sensuous, deep and masterfully creative Jim Morrison considered himself to be a rider on the storm, despite being forever silenced just like the storm that he sing's about at the tender age of twenty-seven.
Don't Fear the Reaper: Released in 1976, Blue Oyster Cult takes you on a death journey via the reaper into a place where sadness and illness no longer exist. You are encourage not to fear the reaper's presence as death is inevitable. When lead guitarist Buck Dharma wrote the song, he wasn't thinking about suicide, but instead what it would be like if he died young and would be reunited with his loved ones. Buck also drew inspiration from the love story about Romeo & Juliet and the mention of 40,000 people dying was an educated guess as to how many people actually pass away daily on average.
Dust in the Wind: Released in 1977, the song was originally written for finger-picking exercises and wasn't the style of music the group was used to, but after giving it some thought, Kansas guitarist Kerry Livgren set out to send a message to the world that we are all the same in the end, no matter how much wealth, material possessions or fame you achieve. In the end we are all just dust in the wind. National acclaim has been brought to the song through commercials, movies and the song has crossed over from rock and country to adult contemporary.
All My Love: Released in 1979 by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. Despite the title, this is not a traditional love song, but rather a tribute to Robert Plant's son Karac who passed away in 1977 from a stomach infection while the group was touring in the United States. Deeply anguished by the death of his son, the lead vocalist almost quit the group to become a teacher. Robert's band mate John Bonham convinced him to stay with what he knew, music. While questioning his future with Led Zeppelin during a reflective break at his Midlands home, Robert grew inspiration and penned the song which was featured on the group's final studio album, In Through the Out Door.
I Was Only 19: Redgum is an Australian political-folk song group that portrays factual events in this heart wrenching #1 hit single about the Vietnam War that was released in 1983. The words cover the effects of war concerning disease, blood and tears, hardships, death, youth, post traumatic stress syndrome, and sleep disturbances. Redgum singer and songwriter John Schumann claims that the song was written about his mates that fought in Vietnam and came back as victims of the Agent Orange disease. The thick and dangerous jungle where soldiers are blown up by hidden land mines, and mates not making it home were the basis of the song. The average age of the soldiers was nineteen. The truth in the words and the harsh reality will bring anyone with a heart to tears.
Fade to Black: Released in 1984, the chilling song received national recognition when the band revealed that fans were dissuaded from committing suicide after listening to the haunting words. James Hetfield, the voice of Metallica, wrote the song after their equipment was stolen in Boston, Massachusetts, specifically a rare Marshall amplifier that was very special to the group. The song's lyrics freaked people out, not just because of the haunting lyrics, but because it was the band's first ballad. The unique sound was a huge step for Metallica, but definitely worth it.
Tears in Heaven: Released in 1992, songwriter, singer Eric Clapton writes about the devastating loss of his four-year old son, Conor, who fell to his death from the window of the fifty-third floor in a New York apartment building. Eric collaborated with Will Jennings on the heartfelt and haunting song to help with the healing process while expressing his loss. Eric Clapton later appeared in Public Service Announcements, promoting the use of protective child gates that keep young children, toddlers and babies away from hazardous situations that could harm or kill them.
Midnight in Montgomery: The haunting song was inspired by the legendary Hank Williams and was released in 1992 after Alan Jackson experienced a drunken cowboy at a graveyard in shiny boots smelling of whiskey. The lonesome chill under a purple sky allows for you to here Hank's songs when the wind is just right. The lyrics give you a chill as the listener can envision this haunting tale of a train whistle and shadows lurking at midnight in Montgomery, on just about any given night. This is not a song to be listened to when driving alone at night past the Oakwood Annex Cemetery in Mobile, Alabama where Hank Williams continues to sing.
In the Arms of the Angels: Recorded in 1997, the haunting song was written about keyboardist, Jonathan Melvoin of the Smashing Pumpkins who died in 1996 from a heroine overdose. The words are a sound reminder of prayer, faith, guardian angels, addiction, pressures, and death. Sarah McLachlan touches on all bases in this haunting account of what the struggles of addiction can bring to one's physical being. Sarah states that the song is about loving yourself and not taking responsibility for other people's problems.
This House is Haunted: Alice Cooper takes love and death, adds a dash of creepy and sinister and comfortably mixes it with just the right melody to keep the song at maximum spooky....delivering one of the most spine tingling songs ever made. Released in 2003, the song breaks free from eerily haunting lyrics concerning his loved one's spirit that has remained in the house that they once shared, flowing freely while he carries on the business of living. The song suddenly bursts into heavy metal for about a minute and quickly flows back into the chilling ghostly messages from a mourning husband to his deceased loved one as her spirit moves in for a spine tingling kiss packed with temps that mimic the North Pole.