The Tale of a Song Which Inspires People to Kill Themselves – Quite Literally

Disclaimer*: The articles shared under 'Your Voice' section are sent to us by contributors and we neither confirm nor deny the authenticity of any facts stated below. Parhlo will not be liable for any false, inaccurate, inappropriate or incomplete information presented on the website. Read our disclaimer.

Warning: Do not read this article if you are feeling even slightly blue today.
Perhaps you have already heard the kind of songs that might have made you want to cut off your ears (hint: Songs by Tahir Shah?) Any way, today we’re here to tell you about a song, penned by László Jávorand while the music was by Seress (née Rudi Spitzer) in 1932. Their song titled, The Gloomy Sunday, is said to be one of the most depressing songs ever recorded in history, and it is titled as “The Hungarian Suicide Song” because of its association with a number of 20th century suicides (almost a 100, as per the record states).

There exist various versions of the legend. One says that the song was inspired by Seress’ breakup with his lover, who later on killed herself; while others claim it was Jávor’s suicidal girlfriend who initially inspired the song. As the lyrics of the song Gloomy Sunday suggests, it’s told from the perspective of a person whose love has died and is then considering suicide in order to be reunited with the beloved, and the story is accompanied by a melancholy melody. Another claims that Seress wrote the lyrics of the song, which were about pain and despair caused by war, instead Javor changed it to a heartbreaking ballad. The original version of the song is obviously in Hungarian language, however, below you can take a look at the lyrics to get the gist of what the song is really like:

“On a sad Sunday with a hundred white flowers
I was waiting 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, and sorrow is my bread.
Sad Sunday.
Last Sunday, my 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
Do not be afraid of my eyes as I am blessing you even in my death.
Last Sunday.”

Moving, wasn’t it? Various legends surrounding the song have made it popular. Most of the details of these suicide cases, however, are not verifiable, but the disheartening tale of the song and the impulsive suicides linked with it has been notably publicized in the newspapers back in time. A Hungarian shoemaker, who went by the name of Joseph Keller, committed suicide and left a note at the scene of his suicide quoting the lyrics from the song Gloomy Sunday. Two other people shot themselves while hearing a band play the Gloomy Sunday. In another place, Danube, several bodies were found with the song’s sheet music clutched within their hands. A woman in London is also known to have overdosed herself on drugs while listening to this song. A creepy tale, isn’t it? Hope we didn’t spook you out a little too much.
Stay sane, stay safe.

To Top