Gloomy Sunday - the suicide song

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Gloomy Sunday - the suicide song

Yep this song is believed to be so bad that at least 17 people committed suicide after hearing it.
According to Snopes - who would be the most critical of urban legends like this ...

The legend about "Gloomy Sunday" is a sort of meta-legend that encompasses the following claims:

The song "Gloomy Sunday" was connected to many suicides in Hungary
The song "Gloomy Sunday" was banned in Hungary because of its connection to many suicides.
The song "Gloomy Sunday" was banned in America because of its connection to many suicides.
The composer wrote the song for a former girlfriend, who committed suicide shortly after the song's release.
The composer himself committed suicide.

A little background for those not familiar with this legend:

"Gloomy Sunday" was written in 1933 by two Hungarians: Rezso Seress (music) and Laszlo Javor (lyrics).

The song supposedly drew little (adverse) attention until 1936, when it began to be connected with a rash of suicides in Hungary and was allegedly banned there.

American musicians and singers soon jumped at the chance to record instrumental and translated versions of the "Hungarian suicide song," and by the end of 1936 several recordings were available to American audiences. (The Billie Holiday version, recorded several years later, was probably the most popular English-language version of "Gloomy Sunday.")

The English lyrics (which reportedly don't do justice to the original Hungarian) go something like this:

Sunday is gloomy, my hours are slumberless.
Dearest, the shadows I live with are numberless.
Little white flowers will never awaken you,
Not where the black coach of sorrow has taken you.
Angels have no thought of ever returning you.
Would they be angry if I thought of joining you?
Gloomy Sunday.

Gloomy is Sunday; with shadows I spend it all.
My heart and I have decided to end it all.
Soon there'll be candles and prayers that are sad, I know.
Death is no dream, for in death I'm caressing you.
With the last breath of my soul I'll be blessing you.
Gloomy Sunday.

On to the legends:

Up to seventeen suicides were purportedly linked in some way to the song "Gloomy Sunday" in Hungary before the song was (allegedly) banned.

These "links" included people who reportedly killed themselves after listening to the song (either from a recording or performed by a band), or who were said to have been found dead with references to "Gloomy Sunday" (and/or its lyrics) in their suicide notes, with "Gloomy Sunday" sheet music in their hands, or with "Gloomy Sunday" playing on gramophones. (more on the site link above)

Here is a modern version from the wonderful movie of the same name.

Heres a better more morose version, starting to get to the rythmn of the original

By netchicken: posted on 14-12-2006

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