Saturday, March 14, 2015

Gloomy Sunday (忧郁的星期天)

The long forgotten Vége a világnak (The world is ending)

The original lyrics were Vége a világnak (The world is ending) but Poet László Jávor wrote his own lyrics to the song, titled Szomorú vasárnap (Sad Sunday). The later became more popular and the former almost forgotten. There are many urban legends about this suicidal song…

About some 80 years ago, a notorious yet bizarre case happened in the history of musical industry: many people committed suicides after listening to this song.

A story was told that a Hungarian man was drinking wine while listening to a life band in a Belgium bar. As soon as the band has completed the tune “Gloomy Sunday”, this gentleman suddenly gave a hysterical shriek: “I can’t stand it anymore!” and he immediately bottomed up and pulled a revolver and aimed at his own temple and pulled the trigger. His body dropped onto the ground following a bang!

A policewoman was assigned to investigate this case but after much effort, she couldn’t find out what was wrong with the Hungarian gentleman; so she bought a record of Gloomy Sunday to experience herself… and she too had committed suicide. Her colleague found a letter addressed to police chief:

“Chief, it is no need to further investigate this case, the murderer is Gloomy Sunday. After I have listened to this song, I couldn’t endure its sad melody so I have chosen to end my life.”

In a separate incident, a once cheerful lady typist in New York, USA heard her colleague said that Gloomy Sunday can cause severe sadness to its listener; she too borrowed the record to listen due to curiosity. She didn’t turn up for duty the next day, her friends went to her apartment and found that she had committed suicide; the record was still on her player playing Gloomy Sunday! The typist wrote in her suicide note:

“I couldn’t endure its sad melody so let it be the melody of my funeral…”

In Washington, a newly famed pianist was invited to a salon reunion. He was invited to play piano. One audience suddenly received the news of her mom’s death, so she requested the pianist to play Gloomy Sunday as condolence since that day was coincidentally a Sunday.

Reluctantly the pianist played the song. As soon as the song is finished playing, he suddenly suffered from heart attacked and succumbed onto the piano.

A musician in Milan, Italy heard of this bizarre news and was troubled. He too was not convinced that Gloomy Sunday can cause severe damage, so he tried to play the tune on his own piano and he too was found dead on his piano. However, he left a suicide note on the Gloomy Sunday music sheet:

“The melody of this music is too cruel. No human can endure this tune! Destroy it or else many more lives will be lost!”

Gloomy Sunday is also known as “the invitation of Satan” of that time. Legend has it that at least 100 people committed suicide after listening to it. This song was banned for 13 years, and no psychologists could find out a satisfactory to the seemingly magical power of Gloomy Sunday.

Due to the amount of suicides increased tremendously, radio stations in USA, UK, France, Spain etc. held a meeting and they boycotted Gloomy Sunday. And Gloomy Sunday was subsequently banned from shelf.

The song composer also committed suicide in 1986 and he wrote:

“I couldn’t imagine this music can bring so many disasters to mankind. Let the God punish my soul in another world!”


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