Wednesday, July 18, 2012

 The Hungarian Suicide Song

In 1933, Hungarians were suffering through famine and poverty, effects of the Great Depression, and the rise of fascism.  The nation's people were left with feelings of sorrow and helplessness. 

At this time, songwriter Rezso Serres...

 Rezso Serres

 ...and poet/lyricist Laszlo Lavor...

 Laszlo Lavor
...published a song called "Gloomy Sunday".

Serres' morose blues melody, originally written in the key of C-minor, fit perfectly with Lavor's lyrics.  His lyrics speak of a man who has lost his beloved and looks forward to joining her again after death.

The original text of "Gloomy Sunday"

The song's effect on its listeners led to at least 18 people committing suicide.  Some of the suicides were found with the sheet music of "Gloomy Sunday" clutched in their hands.  Learn more about the history and mystery surrounding this song by clicking on the link below:

Some years later the lyrics were changed. Popular performers recorded the new version of the song, including the great Paul Robeson; many people consider Billie Holiday's rendition to be the best...

The song title has served as inspiration for many artists and photographers, each with their own peculiar style.  See for yourself...


This last piece of art is most appropriate as the composer, Rezso Serres himself, committed suicide in January 1968...35 years after writing his now mostly forgotten "Gloomy Sunday"!

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