Sunday, September 26, 2010

All The Sad Young Men

Stumbled across this song while looking for some old standards;

Upon hearing it, I was just struck by how the song seemed to speak to gay men in particular, although there is no obvious indication in the lyrics to support this feeling.

At any rate, I came across the video above while looking for a nice version to accompany this post (I first heard Jane Monheit's, then Roberta Flack's, before I thought of looking through YouTube and came upon the male vocalist versions. There are several beautiful renditions - this one is a soulful jazz take on it - but I chose the one above for the video, as well.)

Seems like I wasn't the only one to think it was a ballad.

Anyhow, for a song written in 1958, it's still strangely timeless, and for me, pointedly resonant.

For those of us who seek solace in places filled with bright lights and thundering music. Cold comfort in a bottle. A touch of what feels like love in the arms of strangers.

Or maybe it's just for the weary.

Like me.

Sing a song of sad young men, glasses full of rye
All the news is bad again, kiss your dreams goodbye 
All the sad young men, sitting in the bars 
Knowing neon nights, missing all the stars 

All the sad young men, drifting through the town 
Drinking up the night, trying not to drown 

All the sad young men, singing in the cold 
Trying to forget, that they're growing old 

All the sad young men, choking on their youth 
Trying to be brave, running from the truth 

Autumn turns the leaves to gold, slowly dies the heart 
Sad young men are growing old, that's the cruelest part 

All the sad young men, seek a certain smile 
Someone they can hold, for just a little while 

Tired little girl, does the best she can 
Trying to be gay, for a sad young man 

While a grimy moon, watches from above 
All the sad young men, who play at making love 

Misbegotten moon shine for sad young men 
Let your gentle light guide them home tonight 
All the sad, sad, sad, young men 


  1. Hey I know this song... it's very melancholy. but hey, maybe it's just me.

    I love the look of your blog, by the way. :-)

  2. Hey Sonia! Wow, really? I only discovered it about a couple of weeks ago. I thought the title was a little "meh!" but when I listened closer to the lyrics, I liked it.

    Oh, and thanks for the blog compliment hehe. Red is my favorite color.

  3. are we the sad young men? yeah. we probably are. behind all the colorful-shining-smiling masks.
    the song saddened me. but thank u Rudeboy for introducing it. the song is definitely a beauty =)

  4. "Tired little girl, does the best she can
    Trying to be gay, for a sad young man."

    This had a whole new meaning when viewed from the homo angle. Thank God for faghags.

  5. nice blog.. have a view of my blog when free.. .. do leave me some comment / guide if can.. if interested can follow my blog...

  6. *melancholic pala. oops. typo. *blush*

  7. Rudeboy, I don't know about the others but you are making me one sad, not-so-young man.

    And no, this song isn't giving me any solace.


  8. is it just me that this piece is like one of the Christmas songs that my grandma used to play on her phonograph when I was a kid?

  9. @ DB : We've all been sad young men at one point. And if not yet, we surely will be.

    But there's one thing sadder than a sad young man. And that's a sad old man.

    Which is a fate, I think, we're all trying to avoid.

    @ Manech : Hahah yes. That line made me think of all the fag hags I've known and loved, too.

    @ Mr Lonely : Sure thing. Thanks for dropping by.

    @ Sonia : Hahah I thought "melancholy" still worked. S'alright, I ain't a Grammar Nazi :P

    @ Kane : I seek solace in a bottle.

    And I must confess you crossed my mind when the song finally dawned on me. Except you're not as old as you think.

    @ Mike : Errr...Christmas song? I'm pretty sure it was originally heard on vinyl, but...I can't recall a Christmas song that sounds like it.

  10. naalala ko yung mga lalaking nag-iinuman sa may kanto

  11. @ Ming : Bad young men yun, hindi sad young men.

    @ ewik : Hmmm...deedum, deedum.

  12. Not familiar with the song, but I like the lyrics an the melody...

  13. @ Mokong : Neither was I, until a couple of weeks ago. Now it's on my Standards playlist.

    Oh, and welcome to my blog :P

  14. Written by Thomas Wolf and Frances Landesman for "The Nervous Set", a 1959 Broadway jazz musical.

  15. @ ahmer : Yo! Thanks for the info! I thought it'd come from a musical.