The Song Which Causes Suicides – Gloomy Sunday

"Gloomy Sunday" was originally released in Hungary under the title "Szomorú Vasárnap". "Hungarian Suicide Song" is another name given to the song due to its association with a wave of suicides in Hungary and elsewhere in the 1930s. The song has since been covered by many artists in numerous languages. It remains one of the best-known and most covered songs of the 20th century.

The Hungarian song, Gloomy Sunday
Gloomy Sunday

The story behind the song

The composer of "Gloomy Sunday" is the Hungarian pianist and composer Rezső Seress in 1933. According to legend, Seress wrote the song after experiencing a series of personal setbacks, including the failure of his romantic relationships and the death of his close friends. The lyrics, express feelings of loneliness, heartbreak, and despair. These are said to have been inspired by Seress's own feelings of hopelessness and sadness.

The song was initially released in Hungary and quickly became a hit, despite its melancholic themes. However, in the years following its release, reports began to surface of people who had taken their own lives after listening to the song. This song has been banned by the Hungarian government, cause they thought that it was inciting people to suicide.

Rezső Seress, the composer of the song Gloomy Sunday
Rezső Seress

Despite the ban, "Gloomy Sunday" continued to be popular and has since been covered by numerous artists in many languages. The song has been interpreted as a reflection of the societal and political turmoil of the time, and its lasting popularity is a testament to its powerful and haunting melody and lyrics.

The suicides

It is difficult to determine the exact number of suicides that have been directly linked to "Gloomy Sunday,". It is because the records of such events are often with specific references to the song. However, the legend of the "Hungarian Suicide Song" has persisted for decades and has been the subject of much speculation and discussion.

The suicides have happened due to the song

In the years following its release, reports began to surface of people who had taken their own lives after listening to the song. Some attributed the suicides to the song's despairing lyrics, which spoke of love lost and the desire for death. However, there is not enough evidence to support this claim. A variety of factors likely contributed to the suicides that were associated with "Gloomy Sunday."

It is clear that "Gloomy Sunday" has had a profound and lasting impact on popular culture. The song also has been the subject of much fascination and debate.

The followings are a few of the cases or the suicides that happened relating to the song, Gloomy Sunday.

  • A young woman drowned herself in Vienna while holding a sheet of music of the song.
  • A Budapest shopkeeper committed suicide and left a note containing a quote from the song's lyrics.
  • A woman in London overdosed while repeatedly playing the song's record.

Madhushika R. Fernando

Author of Get Basic Idea - The Knowledge Base / Bachelor of Technology - BTech, Mechatronics, Robotics, and Automation Engineering.

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