Life is full of contrasts. Today we’re up, tomorrow we’re down. And when it comes to music, it might not matter much. Sometimes, when we’re feeling down, we want happiness to reach us through cheerful melodies, just as when we’re up, we might feel a sadness perfectly complemented by music that brings us down. Whatever your case, here’s a list of 100 sad songs in Spanish for all tastes. Hoping they uplift you, despite appearances.
In this blog, we’re advocates of the healing and cathartic power of listening, and when it comes to sad songs to cry to in Spanish, the result might be even more powerful. However, if your emotional state is delicate or sensitive enough for this selection of music to make you feel worse, our recommendation is to switch to our list of cheerful tunes, which you’ll find right at the end of this article under the related topics section.
So, here’s our playlist of sad music in Spanish, featuring a diverse mix of styles and artists for anyone with a penchant for diving into the depths of sad Spanish songs. Actually, not really, it’s a joke to try to cheer you up despite all the drama that’s coming your way, ranging from romantic woes to the dread of Sunday and the impending return to a job that makes us feel awful. Anyway, enjoy, that’s the idea.
Selection of Sad Songs in Spanish to Cry to (or Not)
Pequeño Vals Vienés, by Sílvia Pérez Cruz
We kick off the musical list with “Pequeño Vals Vienés,” a song with lyrics by poet Federico García Lorca and composed by the great Leonard Cohen for “Take this Waltz”. However, the version by Sílvia Pérez Cruz featuring Raül Fernandez Miró (Refree) draws inspiration from the version performed by Enrique Morente and Lagartija Nick.
Silvia Pérez Cruz is a renowned singer and composer who has proven over the years that she’s a true master of her craft. Her rendition is unique and her performance among the most emotive I’ve heard, thanks to her vocal talent and her ability to convey emotions.
The melancholic essence of “Pequeño Vals Vienés” has endured over time and continues to resonate in each reinterpretation, regardless of musical genres or translations to other languages. Its poetic beauty makes it the perfect song to start a playlist dedicated to sorrow.
El equilibrio es imposible, by Los Piratas
For many, especially during their peak, Los Piratas were the Radiohead of the Spanish music scene. While we can’t truly verify that, we can say that “El equilibrio es imposible” (Balance is Impossible in Spanish) is a song that invites comparison, particularly in terms of both groups’ knack for embracing melancholy.
This is one of Los Piratas’ most iconic songs, released in their studio album “Ultrasónica” in 1998. With a catchy melody and introspective lyrics that reflect on the pursuit of balance in a relationship and the impossibility of achieving it, its presence on this list is more than warranted.
El Sitio De Mi Recreo, by Antonio Vega
Going a bit further back in our musical history, we encounter the intimacy of “El Sitio De Mi Recreo” (The Place of My Recreation), one of the most well-known solo songs by Antonio Vega. It was released as part of his self-titled album in 1992, where the vocalist and leader of the band Nacha Pop created one of the most iconic songs marking the end of the Movida, with the additional weight of the serious health issues stemming from his drug addiction.
Tu frialdad, by Triana
For this blog, “Tu frialdad” (Your Coldness) holds a special place as the sad song in Spanish, and the band Triana even more so. We’ve mentioned them multiple times, whether in our yearly hit lists or selections of the greatest musical groups in history. We always remember them, and on this occasion, as expected, too.
We’re talking about one of the standout hits from the Andalusian progressive rock band that emerged in the 70s. This song, released in 1980 as part of the album “Un encuentro”, stands out due to its melancholic atmosphere. The voice of Jesús de la Rosa, Triana’s lead vocalist, is a true gem that transports you to another world.
The song begins with guitar chords that envelop you in a sense of mystery. And when Jesús de la Rosa’s voice enters the scene, it pierces your soul with its passion and emotion. The lyrics, full of nostalgia and heartbreak, convey a deep sense of sadness that makes you reflect on the ups and downs of human relationships.
Adding to that the instrumental virtuosity of Triana’s musicians, and how the guitars, bass, drums, and keyboards intertwine masterfully, the result is a unique and sorrowful musical texture. The band manages to blend elements of rock, flamenco, and psychedelia to create a distinctive and captivating sound.
All in all… Triana left an indelible legacy on Spanish music, and songs like “Tu frialdad” are a testament to their talent and contribution to Spanish rock.
Copenhague, by Vetusta Morla
We return to the 21st century with the intention of delving into another kind of chill, a more ambient one, with “Copenhague”, one of the early successes of the band Vetusta Morla, from the time when they performed dozens of free concerts around Madrid in hopes of becoming famous and successful.
From the 2008 album “Un día en el mundo”, it has become one of Vetusta Morla’s most recognized and cherished anthems. This song is a true lyrical and musical gem. A journey that’s existential, evocative, and reflective, with verses that prompt us to question our own identity and purpose in the world.
Pucho’s voice here is another standout element of this song. His delivery and emotion in every word move us and transport us to that mental place where music becomes a means for self-discovery.
Azul, by Elefantes
Following the trail of nuances and beauty, we arrive at “Azul” (Blue), by Elefantes. While you might remember other songs by the band more, this song is a classic that has left an indelible mark in the hearts of its followers, beyond just the musical aspect, thanks to a peculiar video that told a story full of gaps for viewers to fill.
Y Sin Embargo, by Joaquín Sabina
Returning to the 20th century, we retrieve the song “Y Sin Embargo” (And Yet) by singer-songwriter Joaquín Sabina. Personally, despite not being a big fan of his body of work, I consider this song a masterpiece that encapsulates Sabina’s unique ability to blend deep and emotive lyrics with an appealing and enduring melody, although perhaps the latter owes more to his lifelong collaborators (virtually). While not all of his songs always work for me, here the use of metaphors and wordplay to convey universal feelings of pain, disillusionment, and the search for redemption work perfectly.
Beyond that, Sabina’s raspy and nuanced voice adds an additional layer of intensity to the song. Of course, what would that voice be without the constant support of guitar chords, the presence of other instruments, and the meticulous arrangements that help create an immersive atmosphere.
Esa Música Sombría, by El Hijo
If up until now, most of the mentioned songs were somewhat familiar, here’s where the surprise might come in. “Esa Música Sombría” (That Gloomy Music), a song by El Hijo, the alias of Abel Hernández (a member of Migala) created to explore a much more personal musical project than he was known for. Perhaps because we all do the things we promised not to do anymore.
Morir O Matar, by Nacho Vegas
“Morir O Matar” (Die or kill) is one of the saddest songs ever composed in Spanish, by the Asturian singer-songwriter Nacho Vegas. Released in 2008 as part of his album “El Manifiesto Desastre”, this song is an emotional and lyrical journey that delves into the internal conflicts and contradictions of human existence in terms of toxic and destructive emotional relationships.
The lyrics of “Morir O Matar” are raw and provocative, exploring themes such as violence, power, and the struggle for survival in love that’s impossible yet persists. Nacho Vegas employs metaphors and symbolism to address the inherent duality of human nature and the ethical dilemmas we face in our everyday lives.
What’s surprising, in any case, is that it’s also one of Nacho Vegas’ musically hardest songs, not just lyrically (although that too, despite being known for his talent in writing depressing lyrics for many fans and non-fans alike). The climax of the song, with that escalating electric guitar, makes that quite evident.
Vals de los sueños, by Día Sexto
After starting this selection with a little waltz, what better way to close than with another, dedicated to dreams? Here, Día Sexto presents a hip-hop song that talks about a bit of everything and nothing in particular. “Vals de los sueños” (Waltz of Dreams) is a good example of what this artist does when he’s not with Sons Of Aguirre, although he also has much livelier songs that we also recommend.
(Madrid, 1987) Novelist by vocation, SEO specialist by profession. Music lover, cinephile and reading lover, but in “amateur” mode.