Verve song the saddest, says scientist

The Drugs Don't Work by The Verve tops a list of songs which make us sad, according to a scientist.

Dr Harry Witchel, an expert in physiology and music, analysed the physical reactions to music on behalf of Nokia UK.

Using a shortlist compiled by the Official UK Charts Company, he measured their "tune trigger quotient" measuring heart rate, respiratory response and skin temperature to find the saddest, happiest and most exhilarating tracks.

The happiest songs were measured by contentment judged on levels of sighs per minute (indicating the recall of happy memories) plus low level of boredom.

Sad tracks were indicated by decreased heart rate and exhilarating tunes by increase in breaths per minute.

The happiest song was LDN by Lily Allen, followed by Abba's Dancing Queen and REM's Shiny Happy People.

Most exhilarating were Blur's Song 2, Love Machine by Girls Aloud and Somebody Told Me by Killers. The Verve beat Robbie Williams's Angels for the title of saddest song, with Elton John's Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word coming third.

Dr Witchel said: "Music is undeniably powerful at triggering different emotional states. Changes in tempo and frequencies induce profoundly different emotional states.

"A slow tempo song like the Verve's The Drugs Don't Work slows down the heart compared to most of the other songs and compared to white noise - in other words, it works like the emotional state of sadness.

"Also, I have to say there were many powerful and exhilarating songs we tested, and I was surprised that Blur's Song 2 could be such a clear winner among our participants."


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