So a while ago I wrote a blog about my Nostalgia Album called “Crazy Happy Nonsense”, the album of nostalgic songs that I would do covers of if I was, you know, a singer and someone asked me to do a personally nostalgic album. Well, I’ve had multiple other “albums” or themed playlists I’ve been working on, but this one was the one I finished next.
When I say this is my “Emo Album”, I think of the overly dramatic and “woe is me” songs, either full of self-pity, doom and gloom or just kind of making fun of sad things in life. Not all of these songs fit the “Emo” category perfectly; some of them are more pretty than funny, and I have a few reverse Emo songs to bring some cheerfulness into the doom and gloom attitude. But this might very well be a playlist that I would enjoy listening to if I wanted to feel sorry for myself while keeping myself from getting too depressed at the same time. This album is titled “I’m a Punk”.
1. Close Every Door (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat)
This was clearly one of the obvious choices for my emo album. While Joseph definitely has a good reason to be as sad and discouraged as he is, this has great dramatic lyrics full of angst and woe. This is one of those songs that I can sing both in a sad way and in a “having fun with the drama” way. I figured this was a good one to start the album with; jump right into that emotion!
I do not matter, I’m only one person
Destroy me completely, then throw me away
(I don’t know what the Swiss Army Knife is doing on the screen)
2. I’m a Punk (The Cat in the Hat cartoon)
This is the title song mostly because it’s the personification of the overdramatic emo to me. If ever I’m feeling down on myself and thinking that no one likes me, I can express my insecurity through song at the same time as I’m reminding myself how silly my fears are. How can you not laugh at yourself when you’re singing lines like “I’m untouchable unless you wear antiseptical gloves”?
I’m a punk; a kratunkulous schnunk
Nobody loves me, not one tiny hunk
3. All Alone in the World (Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol)
Mom used to sing this depressing song to us kids, and then a year or two ago we finally decided to watch the Mr. Magoo cartoon. This song is one of those super sad ones that has a lot of emo lyrics for a kids’ show, hehe, but it always makes me giggle. Clearly it belongs in this album.
A hand for each hand was planned for the world
Why don’t my fingers reach?
4. I’m So Blue (Madame Blueberry)
When I remembered that this song existed, this had to go on the list of options. I was actually debating between this and “Pizza Angel”, which has more drama, but I personally like this one more. Sometimes you just gotta whine and boo-hoo-hoo the blues.
I really can’t stand it, I think I might die
Now where is that hanky? I’m going to cry!
5. All for the Best (Godspell)
And here we have a bit of an optimistic song! While it is directed at people who are feeling very emo, it has the positive attitude of “hey, it’s all for the best, so don’t be too distressed”. I wanted to put a few “reverse emo” songs in this album in order to help lighten it up, and to remember that you can still sing about how your temples are graying and teeth are decaying and yet have a positive outlook. 🙂
Your mood and your robe are both a deep blue
You bet that Job had nothing on you
6. Adelaide’s Lament (Guys and Dolls)
I wanted to have something about being single in the list (though this song just means it in the legal sense) because that’s one of the biggest issues of angst in society, right? I was also considering several other sad love songs, but this one has the word “lament” in it and has far more drama than just sadness.
From lack of community property and a feeling she’s getting too old
A person can develop a bad, bad cold
7. Happy Happy Happy
I recently discovered this song on my MP3 player by Groovelily and actually listened to the lyrics, and while the emotion in this song is more anger than sadness, it’s still full of lyrical self-pity. I like the way that the music becomes more angsty as he sings about how unfair life is for him, and then instantly switches to the gentle ukelele when he’s telling his friend how happy he is for him. Groovelily is great at making the words and music do exactly what they want it to, and this is a fun example of that.
But still, I’m simultaneously wishing you were dead and feeling
Happy, happy, happy, happy for you
8. Not in Nottingham
I wanted to make sure I included a sad Disney song, and this is one of my favorite overlooked ones. It’s very short, and this song is less “emo” because their sorrow is not more than what should be felt according to their situation. But it does have a very melancholy tone with some “things’ll never get better in THIS town” kind of lines, so I wanted to include it.
Can’t you see the tears we’re crying?
Can’t there be some happiness for me?
9. Oh, My God (Jars of Clay)
I recently discovered this song, and while I don’t know what it’s talking about entirely, I’m fascinated by it! I think it’s about the depravity of the world and the sovereignty of God. But it’s mostly about the depravity of the world. It has haunting lyrics, and I wanted to include a dark Christian song in this list, and as soon as I thought of this I figured it was the perfect candidate. 🙂
All the cries of thirsty children – this is our inheritance
All the rage of watching mothers – this is our greatest offense
10. Agony (Into the Woods)
I was needing one more love song for my emo album, but I couldn’t come up with a good one… until I remembered Agony. This fabulously encompasses the drama that is often associated with emo, and while the characters singing it are clearly not insecure about themselves, their competitive misery is a great lament about the tortures of unreachable love.
Agony! Far more painful than yours!
10. Mad World
This is another song that I don’t think I entirely understand, but it’s one of the saddest sounding songs I know, with dramatically-written, melancholy lyrics. It seemed like an obvious choice when it comes to “emo”, and I wanted to include a bit of a modern song. It’s a bit overplayed maybe, but the haunting tone works great for this album.
Hide my head, I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow
12. How Lucky You Are (Seussical)
And now it’s time to jump into something slightly more cheerful after some majorly heavy songs! It’s time to remind yourself that, even though the world is mad and depraved, and even if your world is literally tilting upside down, you haven’t died yet, so you’re pretty stinkin’ lucky! But yes, your world is literally spinning. But you’re still lucky!
And if worse comes to worse, as we all know it will
Thank your lucky star you’ve gotten this far
13. Still Small Hours (Sleeping Beauty Wakes)
I wanted to throw another category in here to be emo about, and what better topic than insomnia? It’s not a pleasant song to listen to, but its lyrics nicely capture the distress of lying awake throughout the night, and the music gets good and frantic in an anxious way during the bridge of the song. (There’s no video but you can listen to it on their site through the link.)
All the horror, all the dread, just restore me to my bed
At least then I could sleep while I scream
14. Larry Sings the Blues
And finally, I wanted to end the album on a semi-happy note, so I figured this “anti Blues” song was a good way to complete my album. The ever-cheerful Larry just does not sing the Blues very well, despite Lemon Lincoln’s attempts at teaching him the point of it. So, on this note, while it’s fun to occasionally lament dramatically, remember what Larry knows: you can always find joy!
My cookies and ice cream, they both gone away
But that don’t bother me none!