These days I really don’t have any good excuse for not blogging. The ongoing shelter-in-place has been one contributing factor, but Mother Nature has finally provided us Californians with some long overdue and most welcome winter weather this weekend, so I’m even more inclined to let the blogging commence once again!
Without further ado, let’s look at some songs about a feeling that many of us might be embracing, managing, or simply trying to escape right now. The feeling of loneliness is one that has been prevalent for many, and it’s an emotion that frequently comes up in music as well. If you are feeling lonely, perhaps reaching out to a friend, family member, or simply listening to songs addressing the topic might provide some comfort or relief. Here is a recommended list of ten songs with which to start, arranged chronologically by original release date, that might help us all collectively (individually) get through this together (separately)! Chart positions are from the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary (AC) charts.
The Lonely Bull By Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass: Humans aren't the only ones to get lonely, as other creatures do too, and that’s no bull. Or is it? In the case of this classic instrumental tune from 1962, the one that started it all for legendary trumpeter, Herb Alpert, the bull is lonely, but sounds so good being so! This is a song that can make anyone feel good! P.S. This song can also be very effective as background accompaniment for household chores. And P.P.S. If you ever get a chance to see Herb live in concert, do so! He and his wife Lani Hall are simply amazing. Billboard Hot 100 #6, 1962
The Lonely Surfer by Jack Nitzsche: If bulls can get lonely, why not surfers? And with many beaches currently closed, ocean waves and surfers must really be missing each other! This is another instrumental tune from the early 1960s that can help provide some musical comfort at this time. Billboard Hot 100 #39, 1963
Lonely Days by Bee Gees: If you only know the Bee Gees for their disco, you’re in for quite a treat! This big hit from 1971 has such a spectacular production quality and it’s so different from what their later output would be like. It’s almost like two songs in one, as the first part of the song is so sad and plaintive, and the second part is so uplifting and effervescent! I like to think that feeling of effervescence will be what we will all feel on the other side of this current situation! Billboard Hot 100 #3, AC#28, 1971
Alone Again (Naturally) by Gilbert O’Sullivan: I hesitated including this song, because it’s so well known, and it is just so damn depressing! But, for many, loneliness IS this song. So I thought it was worth including, especially since there are other songs on this list that provide hope! And it’s true, it’s always darkest before the dawn. Billboard Hot 100#1, AC #1, 1972
Lonely People by America: There is something about songs by America,that even when they’re sad, they always offer a glimmer of hope! The lyrics in this classic are very relatable, especially in these trying times. You could probably even dance around to this song a little bit, and it wouldn’t really seem that out of place! Well, if I danced around, it would, but that’s more of a commentary on my dancing abilities. Billboard Hot 100 #5, AC #1, 1975
All By Myself by Eric Carmen: This classic by Eric Carmen has been covered by many artists, including Celine Dion. Although the other versions of the song are good, with incredible vocals in the case of Celine’s version, it seems to me that this version by Eric is the definitive one. It just feels so heartfelt, and you can fill the angst, longing, and sadness, in his heart. Right now, with so many feeling this way, this song might be a good one to play loud and sing aloud, and let it all out! Consider it a cathartic release. Of course, you might want to warn the neighbors first, in order to avoid any possible issues regarding “disturbance of the peace!” Billboard Hot 100 #2, AC #6, 1976
Alone by Heart: One of the classic power ballads of the 1980s, this song begins oh so quietly and then builds to a crescendo of emotions like all good 1980s ballads do! And the soaring vocal heights reached in this song are so incredibly inspired and mesmerizing. I miss the days of karaoke and hearing this song performed by several of my friends, including Jennifer Vaughan and Diana Butler. They both could sing the hell out of it! And when the song is done, you feel anything but alone! Of course, the “alone” in this song is a little bit more “enjoyable” than what many are going through currently. But, hope springs eternal and that day will come again! Billboard Hot 100 #1, AC #2, 1987
Lonely In Love by Dan Fogelberg: Dan Fogelberg‘s chief chart output was back in the 1970s, but he had a later 1980s tune that hit big on the Adult Contemporary charts with this beautiful little number. This song is classic Dan, with wonderful lyrics and production quality. Mr. Fogelberg may no longer be with us, but it’s certain that his music and legacy live on! Billboard AC #2, 1987
Alone by Bee Gees: Based on their two appearances on this list, the Bee Gees have experienced more than their fair share of loneliness. I adore the bagpipes on this on! The song features a somber, yet hopeful, feel. This was a big comeback hit for the Gibb brothers in 1997. And, of course not long after this, the Bee Gees were reduced to two, and now only one remaining member. RIP to Maurice and Robin. The talent runs deep in that family. Billboard Hot 100 #28, AC #4, 1997
Lonely No More by Rob Thomas: Taking us into the 21st-century, this alternative rock pop jam is a great way to end this list of songs about loneliness. It’s got a good groovy beat, with the former lead singer of matchbox twenty sounding spectacular. And this song is kind of empowering, as the lyrics seems to suggest that we can decide whether or not we really want to be lonely. Nothing wrong with that! Billboard Hot 100 #6, AC #1, 2005
And there you have it! Ten songs that address the topic of loneliness, from different angles and perspectives. Some are sad, summer more hopeful, but in each case, I hope they provide a musical soundtrack to help you in one or more ways at this time. Take care, and be kind to yourself...and to one another.