The New Gay's Top 19 Anti-Suicide Anthems

Inspired by Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” campaign, and thinking back to his own “dark high school days,” The New Gay’s Zack Rosen put together this list of the “Top 19 Anti-Suicide Anthems.” As he notes, the choices seem to fit three types, “outright empowerment anthems, explicit anti-suicide songs, and songs that acknowledge how bleak and bad things can get, but by their very existence prove that it’s surmountable.” It’s a worthy tradition, one worth acknowledging, but it’s weird realizing that off the top of my head I know more suicide songs than anti-suicide songs — a side-effect of wearing corpse paint to work? The list:

19 Belle & Sebastian – “Fox in the Snow”
18 Annie Lennox – “Don’t Let It Bring You Down”
17 Raveonettes – “Suicide”
16 Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush – “Don’t Give Up”
15 Free Energy – “Hope Child”
14 Wilco – “Misunderstood”
13 The Streets – “Empty Cans”
12 Suicide – “Keep Dreams Alive”
11 Jesus & Mary Chain – “Happy When It Rains”
10 Team Dresch – “Don’t Try Suicide”
09 David Bowie – “Better Future”
08 LCD Soundsystem – “Someone Great”
07 Mercury Rev – “Opus 40″
06 Patti Griffin – “Tony”
05 Joy Division – “Atmosphere”
04 Hedwig and The Angry Inch – “Midnight Radio”
03 Jason Lytle – “Birds Encouraged Him”
02 The Kinks – “Better Things”
01 New Pornographers – “Adventures in Solitude” & “Valkyrie in the Roller Disco”

Read the accompanying blurbs and watch videos for each track over at What else? I’d say the Mountain Goats’ “Hast Thou Considered The Tetrapod.”

Comments (9)
  1. What a great list. I would like to a nominate Adam Lambert’s “Aftermath” to this list. Here’s a great acoustic version of it from his recent concert in Berlin:

  2. I don’t believe either of the New Pornographer songs are about suicide. I don’t think they’re about anything.

  3. A Better Son/Daughter by Rilo Kiley.

    It’s the first song that I think of when I think of an anti-suicide song.

  4. Wait, is the Team Dresch entry a cover of the Queen song? What’s wrong with the original?

    While we’re on the subject, the glorious “Under Pressure” should be on this list. But hey, I think that song should be listed as one of the top ten songs of all time, so I might be biased.

  5. A few (maybe obvious) suggestions…

    -All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands
    -Anthems for a Seventeen Year-Old Girl
    -Box Elder
    -Explain It To Me
    -Fabulous Muscles
    -Hope There’s Somebody
    -The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is out to Get Us!
    -Talking Sh-t About a Pretty Sunset
    -True Love Will Find You In the End
    -Viõrar Vel Til Loftárasa
    -Waiting For a Superman

    * = all the ballads from “Let It Be” would also work

  6. “Plea from a Cat Named Virtute” by The Weakerthans.

  7. theres a new white rapper that is AWESOME! i heard he just got signed but not sure… check out his new song here its already getting radio airplay!

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