Saddest 70s Songs That Still Resonate

The 70s are one of the most productive periods for the music industry. Many songs we listened to in the 70s can still enter the charts even in the 2020s. In this period when many hit songs were released, from country genre to popular metal songs, some of them are truly sad songs. We have compiled some of our most popular examples for you.

Here are the saddest 70s songs that will take your playlists to the 1970s:

Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water

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The song Bridge Over Troubled Water, released in 1970, is one of the most popular hits of the American music duo Simon and Garfunkel. The poetry in the song’s lyrics is strong, although it creates a sad atmosphere.

This hit song, which contains advice and motivation for individuals going through difficult times, should definitely be on our saddest 70s songs list.

Bill Withers – Ain’t No Sunshine

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One of the most popular melancholic songs is Ain’t No Sunshine. This song was released by legendary musician Bill Withers in 1971. The sad atmosphere in the song is built on the pain of love. When we listen to the song more carefully, it can be considered one of the reasons why it is so popular because it touches on common pain that everyone can experience.

Elton John – Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

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Elton John, one of the music industry’s most popular creators, was prolific in the ’70s. When sad 70s songs are mentioned, one of the first songs that comes to mind is Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word. Elton John released this long-titled song in 1976.

The irony in the song’s title is also valid in its lyrics. The artist skillfully reflected his feelings towards his partner, from whom he expected to apologize.

Johnny Cash – Hurt

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Hurt, one of the most well-known country songs of all time, should be mentioned among the saddest 70s songs . Because Johnny Cash released this hit in 1973. The theme of regret is felt intensely in the lyrics of the song.

It should be on your playlists on your melancholic days when you want to remember an old love. Johnny Cash’s unique vocals are accompanied by sweet guitar melodies.

Harry Chapin – Cat’s in the Cradle

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The song Cat’s in the Cradle, which has achieved high streaming success on digital music platforms today, is among the saddest 70s songs . Harry Chapin published this song in 1974.

This track, which tells about a father-son relationship, has a very touching sad theme. You won’t be able to stop thinking about your own daddy issues while listening.

Kansas – Dust in the Wind

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The song Dust in the Wind, released in 1977, is one of the most popular hits of the band Kansas. Dust in the Wind presents the sad aspects of being human through an existential theme. It is one of the most known saddest 70s songs.

The song, which begins with the lyrics “I close my eyes Only for a moment, and the moment’s gone All my dreams Pass before my eyes…”, is memorized by mostly music lovers.

John Denver – Leaving on a Jet Plane

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Another example of sad 70s songs released in 1977 comes from John Denver. Legendary artist John Denver actually released this song in 1966. However, although the original version was released in 1966, the song is referenced to the 70s. The artist described the pain of separation with poetic expressions in this hit.

Don McLean – Vincent

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The name Vincent is the name of Vincent Van Gogh. The artist aimed to make a reference and tribute to him in this song. Don McLean released this song in the early 70s. It is on our list as one of the most popular saddest 70s songs .

The song reflects the sadness of artists who experience emotions similar to the troubles suffered by the famous painter Vincent Van Gogh.

Bread – If

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One of the most melancholic songs, If was released by the music group Bread in 1971. When we listen to the lyrics of the song more carefully, we will realize that post-breakup traumas are reflected.

This classical track is remembered with these intense lyrics all the time not only in 70’s:
“If a picture paints a thousand words
Then why can’t I paint you?
The words will never show the you I’ve come to know
If a face could launch a thousand ships
Then where am I to go?…”

Cat Stevens – Father and Son

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We wouldn’t be wrong if we say that popular musician Cat Stevens, now known as Yusuf Islam, released the saddest song of all time in the beginning of the 70s. Father and Son truly influenced listeners throughout the 70s.

The lyrics of the song describe the problematic communication between father and son. It should definitely be mentioned among the saddest 70s songs.

The Bee Gees – I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You

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Here is another popular track on the list of saddest 70’s songs. Released in 1968 as part of their album “Idea,” “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You” by The Bee Gees is a poignant tale of a man facing imminent execution and his desperate plea to pass on a final message to his loved one. The song’s haunting melody and emotional lyrics, delivered with the band’s trademark harmonies, convey a sense of urgency and despair.

Against a backdrop of dramatic orchestration, The Bee Gees weave a narrative of regret, longing, and the fleeting nature of life. “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You” captures the tension between love and loss, as the protagonist grapples with the realization of his impending fate. Through its powerful storytelling and stirring vocals, the song remains a timeless classic, showcasing The Bee Gees’ ability to infuse their music with depth and emotion.

Janis Ian – At Seventeen

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Featured on her album “Between the Lines” released in 1975, “At Seventeen” by Janis Ian is a poignant folk-pop ballad that explores the pains of adolescence, loneliness, and societal expectations. The song’s introspective lyrics and gentle melody paint a vivid portrait of a young woman navigating the complexities of growing up in a world that often feels indifferent and unkind. Janis Ian’s soulful vocals capture the vulnerability and insecurity of youth, as she reflects on the isolation and longing for acceptance experienced during her teenage years.

“At Seventeen” resonates as a powerful anthem of self-acceptance and resilience, offering solace to anyone who has ever felt misunderstood or overlooked.

Jonathan Flint

Jonathan is a DJ with years of experience in the field. He has been creating and playing music his entire life, but he really found his passion for DJ when he was introduced to Logic Pro at age 10.

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