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Gloomy Sunday (on a Tuesday)

Ah well… I did listen to the song on Sunday and meant to post it earlier… but just got caught up in some stuff.

Gloomy Sunday is a beautiful song… the lyrics are supposedly depressive. Depends on how one looks at it. But, this song has a past… a disturbing past.  Originally, it was composed by Hungarian composer Rezső Seress. Lyrics were written by László Jávor, and in his version the song was retitled “Szomorú vasárnap”  The song was first recorded in Hungarian by Pál Kalmár in 1935. The translation of the original lyrics courtesy Wikipedia are…

“Szomorú Vasárnap száz fehér virággal, Vártalak kedvesem templomi imával, Álmokat kergető Vasárnap délelőtt, Bánatom hintaja nélküled visszajött, Azóta szomorú mindig a Vasárnap Könny csak az italom kenyerem a bánat… Szomorú Vasárnap. Utolsó vasárnap kedvesem gyere el Pap is lesz, koporsó, ravatal, gyászlepel Akkor is virág vár, virág és – koporsó Virágos fák alatt utam az utolsó Nyitva lesz szemem hogy még egyszer lássalak Ne félj a szememtől holtan is áldalak…”“On a sad Sunday with a hundred white flowers, I awaited for you my dear with a church prayer, That dream chasing Sunday morning, The chariot of my sadness returned without you, Ever since then, Sundays are always sad, tears are my drink, bread is my sorrow… Sad Sunday. It’s the last Sunday dear, please come along, There will even be priest, coffin, catafalque, hearse-cloth. Even then flowers will be awaiting you, Flowers and coffin under blossoming (flowering in Hungarian) trees my journey shall be the last, My eyes will be open, so that I can see you one more time, Don’t be frightened from my eyes as I’m blessing you even in my death… Last Sunday.”

The original translation though melancholic, is also a little weird.  The disturbing part about the song is that it has become something of an urban legend… and is said to have driven many a listener to suicide.  In my opinion, the veracity of these claims are arguable… even if the song could be connected to a few suicides it may not be proved it was directly responsible to instigate a person to commit the act… the fact may be that the person already in a suicidal mood would listen to songs that complement the mood and this might just as easily be one of the songs they listened to… just as easily as it could have been ‘Don’t Worry, Be happy’. I listened to the English version of the song by Billie Holiday… the video which I have put up above… and the lyrics here…

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 said I know Let them not weep Let them know that I’m glad to go Death is no dream For in death I’m caressin’ you With the last breath of my soul I’ll be blessin’ you
Gloomy Sunday
Dreaming, I was only dreaming I wake and I find you asleep In the deep of my heart, dear Darling I hope That my dream never haunted you My heart is tellin’ you How much I wanted you Gloomy Sunday

© Surya Murali

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