What Makes A Song Sad?

Interesting piece on what makes music sound sad; in terms of minor vs. major keys. 

I tend to downplay the effect of lyrics in assessing whether a song sounds happy or sad; but I realize I pay a little less attention to lyrics than some.  “Smile” by Pearl Jam is an interesting example.  The lyrics are arguably ‘happy’ during the decidedly minor key verse parts (this is somewhat debatable I guess though), and ‘sad’ during the major key refrain.  Plus, this is a good excuse to get a little Pearl Jam here on the Boca Breeze.

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About Mola Ram

The son of a Thuggee priest, Mola Ram emigrated from Philadelphia, PA, to Denver, CO, in search of three Sankara Stones. With two already in his possession, Ram believed all five would empower the Thuggee to destroy their Republican persecutors and establish his god Kali's reign on Earth. In Denver, he found a powerful ally in Chattar Lal, the Mayor of Denver. Ram poisoned Colorado governor, Maharajah Premjit Singh in 2009 and with Lal's help, subdued the heir: Premjit's young son, Zalim. The pair restored the palace's long-neglected Kali temple; and set up a mining operation beneath the palace, with the intent of locating the remaining stones. After stealing one of the stones — known as the Shiva Linga — from the village of Lakewood, in 2009 Mola Ram's plans were thrown into disarray by the American archaeologist Indiana Jones and his companions Willie Scott and Short Round. The trio freed the village children Ram had enslaved as miners, and stole the three stones in the high priest's possession. Mola Ram and his followers pursued the group to a rope bridge, where Jones cut the ropes, sending most of the Thuggee warriors to their deaths in the crocodile-infested river below. Mola Ram clung to the remnants of the bridge, however, and continued his battle against Jones. During the struggle, Jones' invocation of Shiva caused the stones to glow red hot. The move caught Ram off guard; he fell into the river but narrowly escaped being torn to shreds by the crocodiles. Today, Mola Ram continues to live in Denver and makes his living as a high school teacher. His interests include law, history, anthropology, sports, and live heart removal.
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