(Top 101) #44. I See a Darkness – Bonnie Prince Billy


If you were to walk into an elevator here in Korea, you may notice something rather puzzling.  The button for the fourth floor will–more cases than not–have an “F” on it instead of a “4.”  The reason?  Well, four is apparently considered an unlucky number in Korea and China (think “bad karma”).  The reason is that the Chinese character for number four looks either identical to or really similar to the character meaning “Death.”

So why am I not very surprised to find Bonnie Prince Billy’s “I See a Darkness” at #44 on this list?  Seriously, it is easily the most depressing song on the Top 101 Countdown, and maybe even the most depressing song anywhere, period.  Do you remember the story of “Gloomy Sunday” and how it inspired a bunch of people to kill themselves?  Well, “I See a Darkness” makes that song sound like a Ke$ha party jam.  Still, depressing and bleak as it is, it’s utterly beautiful and hypnotic, and in a strange, ironic way, it’s also uplifting, too, as it reminds you that everyone goes through inner pain and turmoil at times.  It’s a part of what makes us human.

And you know I have a drive to live I won’t let go

But can you see its opposition, comes arising up sometimes

44. I See a Darkness – Bonnie Prince Billy

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