Feeling lonely doesn’t always mean that you are physically alone or feeling socially isolated. It may be that you’re feeling mentally or emotionally lonely — like no one truly understands what you’re going through…”
“We may also experience feelings of loneliness when we’re missing someone who once played a significant role in our lives but who is no longer here anymore.
No matter where feelings of loneliness stem from, many musicians have turned to their art to express what it means to feel lonely…”.
It’s getting dark here about 5:15. I went for my walk at the park a little while ago and it was colder than it’s been since late last winter. We don’t get much cold weather, but I really noticed it today because it’s been so warm and mild, and the park is so full of flowers, including roses.
I came home to an empty house, as usual. I’ve been spoiled over the summer and Fall with long, warm days full of sunlight. Now the days seem exceptionally short, especially since I get up so late. So instead of feeling slight twinges of depression and loneliness late at night, they tend to descend on me during the afternoon about 5:30. Winter does that to me. All it takes is some cold weather and a quickly retreating afternoon.
Day after day and week after week, life in the pandemic continues on as if I’m living in some kind of never-ending dream. The months have become a blur. Loneliness and sadness are noticeably more frequent companions.
Since aloneness, loneliness and solitude have been an inescapable part of my life as long as I can remember, going back to high school and college, certain songs have jumped out at me and stuck around in my head for decades. I remember “Lonely Teardrops,” sung by Jackie Wilson, and Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Alone Again, Naturally” from 1972. That song’s title, then as well as now, speaks directly to me. The song would come on the radio, and I’d nod silently in agreement. Loneliness is not good thing at all, and I think of myself as mostly cultivating solitude. But when real loneliness strikes, it can be one of the most painful things to endure, not to mention the harm it can do to our physical and mental well being.
I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite songs on this universal theme of loneliness, spanning four decades. These songs don’t really evoke melancholic moods in me. Rather, they are beautifully written and sung anthems which express some of the deepest feelings and emotions which make us human. Ironically, some of the times when I’ve felt most alone were when I was in crowds of people. All I wanted to do was get away and retreat back into my cozy little cocoon.
During the pandemic, a lot of us of a certain age find ourselves alone more than ever. These songs help me realize that whatever causes loneliness, I’m not alone.
Hank Williams ”I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”
Ricky Nelson “Lonesome Town”
Andy Williams “Lonely Street”
Eric Carmen “All By Myself”
Three Dog Night “One is the Loneliest Number”
The Beatles “Eleanor Rigby”
Gilbert O’Sullivan — “Alone Again Naturally”
Lastly, I came across this song not long ago. It’s from the 1990s. I had heard of “Green Day” but had never listened to them. But the words to this song caught my attention.
“Boulevard of Broken Dreams”
“Boulevard of Broken Dreams”
I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
Don’t know where it goes
But it’s only me, and I walk alone
I walk this empty street
On the boulevard of broken dreams
Where the city sleeps
And I’m the only one, and I walk alone
I walk alone, I walk alone
I walk alone, and I walk a
My shadow’s only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
‘Til then I walk alone…