Songs about Mental Illness

There are undoubtedly many songs about mental illness, drug addiction, and just terrible things in general.  These are five of my favourites.  I like them because they give a little insight into the minds of people who may be suffering from anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or even schizophrenia.  I've shared some of the versions here so that others can enjoy them with me.

Pixies - Where Is My Mind?

This song was featured in Fight Club and also at the end of Season One of Mr. Robot.  Both the movie and the series have protagonists with schizophrenia.

Ooh, stop
With your feet in the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
But there's nothing in it
And you'll ask yourself

Where is my mind
Where is my mind
Where is my mind
Way out in the water
See it swimmin'

I was swimmin' in the Caribbean
Animals were hiding behind the rock
Except the little fish
But they told me, he swears
Tryin' to talk to me koi koy

Where is my mind
Where is my mind
Where is my mind...

Bee Gees - I Started a Joke

It's easy to read paranoia and anxiety into this Bee Gees classic.  I've included a recent cover of the song, which was featured in Suicide Squad.

I started a joke, which started the whole world crying
But I didn't see that the joke was on me
I started to cry, which started the whole world laughing
Oh If I'd only seen that the joke was on me

I looked at the skies, running my hands over my eyes
And I fell out of bed, hurting my head from things that I said
'Till I finally died, which started the whole world living
Oh if I'd only seen that the joke was on me

Nirvana - Lithium

Anybody who's studied mental health or been diagnosed with bipolar disorder will know about Lithium, which has been prescribed as a mood stabiliser to patients with mental illness since 1948.

I'm so happy because today
I've found my friends
They're in my head
I'm so ugly, but that's okay, 'cause so are you
We've broken our mirrors
Sunday morning is everyday for all I care
And I'm not scared
Light my candles in a daze
'Cause I've found God
Hey, hey, hey

I'm so lonely but that's okay I shaved my head
And I'm not sad
And just maybe I'm to blame for all I've heard
But I'm not sure
I'm so excited, I can't wait to meet you there
But I don't care
I'm so horny but that's okay
My will is good
Hey, hey, hey

I like it, I'm not gonna crack
I miss you, I'm not gonna crack
I love you, I'm not gonna crack
I killed you, I'm not gonna crack

Marvin Gaye - Sad Tomorrows

This is the shorter version of Flyin' High (in the Friendly Sky).

Flying High in the friendly sky,
Without leaving the ground,
Rest of the folks are tired and weary
And have laid their bodies down
I go to the place where danger awaits
And its bound to forsake me.

So stupid minded,
But I go crazy when I cant find it.

In the morning I'll be alright my friends
Soon the night will bring the pains again.

Flying high in the friendly sky,
Without ever leaving the ground,
Ain't seen nothing but trouble baby, paraphernalia is my name
There's a place where good feeling awaits me,
Self destruction's in my hands.

So stupid-minded,
But I go crazy, when I can find it.

I know I'm hooked my friends, 
To the boy
Who makes slaves out of men.

I did the best I could...
Nobody understood...

Billie Holiday - Gloomy Sunday

Originally The Hungarian Suicide Song by Rezso Seress, this song is hauntingly beautiful.  It was made famous by Billie Holiday and I've included a lovely version by Angelina Jordan.

Sunday is gloomy
My hours are slumberless
Dearest the shadows
I live with are numberless
Little white flowers will
Never awaken you
Not where the black coach
Of sorrow has taken you
Angels have no thought of
Ever returning you
Would they be angry
If I thought of joining you
Gloomy Sunday

Gloomy is Sunday
With shadows I spend it all
My heart and I have
Decided to end it all
Soon there'll be candles
And prayers that are said
I know, let them not weep
Let them know
That I'm glad to go

Death is no dream
For in death I'm caressing you
With the last breath of my
Soul I'll be blessing you

Gloomy Sunday
I was only dreaming
I wake and I find you
Asleep in the deep of
My heart

Darling I hope that my dream
Never haunted you
My heart is telling you
How much I wanted you
Gloomy Sunday

Maja Dezulovic

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