Songs About Loneliness

For those times when you want to embrace your sadness, songs about loneliness can be a great soundtrack. There is nothing happy about the songs below, but they can provide the comfort of familiarity. Country, pop, rock – the language is all the same. 

  1. "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" by Hank Williams. This list has no particular order, but this song still deserves to be number one. It rarely matters who sings it, this song simply hurts. Johnny Cash did a great cover, but Hank Williams poured more pain into the lyrics than any human being should have.
  2. "I Miss You" by Incubus. Hard to follow up number one, but Incubus had a minor hit with this song. The lyrics are painfully earnest, and the music lends an air  of credibility. It won't cause everyone to tear up, but it may be the perfect anthem for a long distance relationships.
  3. "Space Oddity" by David Bowie. Yes, the song about Major Tom is a song about loneliness and isolation. Perhaps not in the romantic sense, but it is a song about a man disconnected from the world. If you can get past the silly premise, you will find an emotionally taut song underneath.
  4. "Wake Me Up When November Ends" by Green Day. There was a time in which the idea of an emotionally earnest Green Day song would be laughable. Today, they have managed to hit a note that any good song about loneliness should hit. Unsurprisingly, it was a bigger hit than "American Idiot."
  5. "Turn the Page" by Bob Seger. This is the quintessential song about loneliness on the road. It does not matter if you are a musician or a long haul driver, you will get it. Anyone that has been on the road should understand it.
  6. "Hurt" by Johnny Cash. Yes, Trent Reznor did it first. But, Cash's version is far superior and carries much more pain. There is nothing more lonely than winding down a life with so many regrets.
  7. "Mad World" by Gary Jules. Yet another cover, with more pain inflicted. It is sad enough to work as a "Gears of War" counterpoint without seeming ridiculous.  The song may be the aural equivalent of loneliness.
  8. "Here With Me" by Dido. This is a haunting song, as with anything by Dido. Her voice certainly intensifies the feelings, and the lyrics do little to help. This is not recommended for listening alone.
  9. "Are You Lonesome Tonight" by Elvis Presley. Elvis is best known for his upbeat songs, but his voice was great for numbers that were a bit more moving. Combining loneliness and longing in one simple package, this song is a great indicator of the King's range. It's a shame gems like this are not better known than some of his more pop-oriented numbers.
  10. "Need You Now" by Lady Antebellum. Lady Antebellum seemed to appear out of nowhere with this gem, but it works. A song about loneliness should expose all the dirty little secrets, and this song does so with gusto. If there has ever been a song about making a lonely mistake, this is it.