Ep. 168: Suicide Songs – ‘Gloomy Sunday’, Lavender Town Syndrome, and the ‘My Way’ Murders

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[Obvious TW this week for discussion of suicide.]

Over the years, certain songs have attracted dark reputations. Reputations like that the songs might drive you made enough to end your own life… or make others made enough to end another’s. This week, we discuss 3 famous examples of these “suicide songs”: the morosely melancholic “Gloomy Sunday”, the sinister legend of the Lavender Town Syndrome, and the very real rash of “My Way” murders, centered within Philippines karaoke culture.

Can a song really drive you to life-ending despair? Can a video game chiptune actually break your mind? And can one of the Chairman of the Board’s most famous ditties really inspire murderous intentions in others? We try to find the answers in a decade-spanning journey from 1930s Hungary to Pokémon’s Kanto Region to Filipino karaoke bars.


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