22 Music Videos That Made People Realize How Dark A Song Was

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Recently we asked the BuzzFeed Community what music video was SUPER dark or made them realize how dark a song was. Here are some of the best responses!

Warning: Many of these responses contain mentions of suicide, drug use, domestic violence, and other violence.


You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt

a man sitting cross-legged on ice with his shoes and belongings in a line in front of him

Atlantic Records, Custard Records / Via youtube.com

“‘You’re Beautiful’ by James Blunt. I honestly had no idea this was a dark song and was so confused watching the music video. When he jumped into the water after laying out all his personal belongings, I was so shocked to find out this song was about suicide. He really took the lyric, ‘But it’s time to face the truth, I will never be with you’ seriously…”



Take Me to Church” by Hozier

two men kissing, then one of them being dragged away by masked figures and a house being set on fire

Rubyworks Records, Island Records, Columbia Records / Via youtube.com

“The song itself is pretty somber and dramatic, but it’s nothing compared to the music video. Also, while the song makes you think about a toxic lover, the music video takes the lyrics and gives them a deeper message regarding LGBTQ lives and their difficulties.”


What the video is about: Two men hide their love, but are found out by a group of anti-gay people who beat one up while the other watches and trash and burn down houses of gay men.


Everytime” by Britney Spears

Britney being carried away in a stretcher while paparazzi watches

Jive Records / Via youtube.com

“(It’s) basically about an abusive relationship that ends in the abuser regretting his actions leading to her death.”



Runaway Train” by Soul Asylum

a picture of a girl with a dog then the words "Martha Wes Dunn, missing since 1990"

Columbia Records / Via youtube.com

“You can tell it’s a pretty dark song by listening, but then when you see the video, you see the faces of actual missing people, their names, and how long they’ve been missing. Then it has dramatizations of kids being abused: one girl gets taken by a group of men into a van, a baby gets stolen while on a walk with the mom. Those images with the lyrics? Chills every time…”



The Greatest” by Sia

Maddie Ziegler with rainbow tears makeup and then all the dancers collapsed on the floor in a warehouse

Monkey Puzzle, RCA / Via youtube.com

“I didn’t realize until I saw the video that she wrote it as a tribute to the Pulse club massacre.”



Happier” by Marshmellow ft. Bastille

a little girl with a puppy and then a teenager hugging her dad next to her sick dog

Astralwerks / Via youtube.com

“The beats and music make it seem so upbeat. But that music video absolutely DESTROYED ME.”


“Not exactly dark, but the music video for Happier is soooooo sad. I cried when I watched it and now I can’t even listen to the song anymore.”


What the video is about: A young girl, crying at her birthday, gets a puppy who lights up her life. The dog grows up with her and helps her feel better when she doesn’t fit in, but then he gets sick and dies. At the end, the girl’s own daughter is gifted a puppy just like the one she had.


Breezeblocks” by Alt-J

a man finds a woman with tape over her mouth and then fights over a cinderblock with another woman

Infectious Music / Via youtube.com

“It’s a really cool video in reverse where you see a fighting invasion scene. It’s weird until you watch it in non-reverse, and then it’s just terrifying.”



The A Team” by Ed Sheeran

a woman looks over her friend, who's overdosed

Lava Records, Atlantic Records / Via youtube.com

“‘The A Team’ music video by Ed Sheeran made me realize that the song is extremely dark. It’s about a cocaine addict [and] sex worker, which I didn’t understand until after I saw the music video.”



Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely” by the Backstreet Boys

doctors rush into a hospital room and Kevin singing with a photo of his father in the background

Jive Records / Via youtube.com

“The original song is already pretty sad and somber, but the music video heightens it by including allusions to tragic events in the group’s lives, many of which inspired the song itself (Brian’s open heart surgery, Denniz PoP’s death, Kevin losing his father, Howie losing his sister, and one of their fans being run over by a bus on her way to one of the group’s concerts). It’s dark in an extremely sad, meaningful, and poetic way.”



Fuckin’ Perfect” by Pink

teenager snorting cocaine in school bathroom

LaFace Records, Jive Records / Via youtube.com

“The lyrics definitely tell you it’s about not listening to the demons in your head and remembering you are loved, but the music video with the attempted suicide just darkened it way more. The ending DEFINITELY makes up for it though. It’s a beautiful song and video.



Zombie” by the Cranberries

soldiers walk on a street and then a kid with a gun is on the ground

Island Records / Via youtube.com

“I had no idea what that song was actually about until I saw the video.”


What the video is about: The video uses actual footage from the Troubles, a conflict in Northern Ireland between unionists and nationalists. This was fitting, as the song was written as a protest song in memory of two boys killed during a bombing that took place during the Troubles: Johnathan Ball and Tim Parry. The video was actually banned by the BBC and the RTÉ, Ireland’s national broadcaster, due to its violent imagery.


We Found Love” by Rihanna

someone pours pills in their hand and then Rihanna and a man fight in a car

Def Jam Recordings, SRP / Via youtube.com

“The song is upbeat and came out in a time when the club was full of upbeat/trance style EDM instead of techno. The music video is the only video that has ever made me feel sad, happy, and horny all at the same time. It goes into her relationship with Chris Brown [and] her relationship with drugs and being a star. It’s dark but loved.”



Cherry Wine” by Hozier

Saoirse Ronan covering up a black eye

Rubyworks Records, Island Records, Columbia Records / Via youtube.com

“It sounds like a beautiful love song but then the video depicts domestic violence.”



The Scientist” by Coldplay

a man sits in a car with a broken windshield while someone has been ejected out

Capitol Records, Parlophone / Via youtube.com

“‘The Scientist’ by Coldplay. Gutted.”


What the video is about: A couple swerves to avoid a truck and they get in an accident where the woman dies.


Everybody’s Fool” by Evanescence

Wind-up Records / Via youtube.com

“The way Amy Lee played multiple characters and versions of herself is iconic. When she punches the mirror, it feels so raw and real.”


What the video is about: Amy participates in multiple commercials and photoshoots where she feels fake then goes home and struggles with this feeling.

Wind-up Records / Via youtube.com

“The way Amy Lee played multiple characters and versions of herself is iconic. When she punches the mirror, it feels so raw and real.”


What the video is about: Amy participates in multiple commercials and photoshoots where she feels fake then goes home and struggles with this feeling.


Like You’ll Never See Me Again” by Alicia Keys

girlfriend over her boyfriend's body in the hospital

J Records / Via youtube.com

“You think it’s just a love song until you realize they had a dispute and her boyfriend takes off mad and dies in an accident.”



What Hurts The Most” by Rascal Flatts (originally sung by Mark Wills)

A girl screams at her dad, saying "You did this! You made him leave! I hate it! Say it! Say you hate him"

Lyric Street / Via youtube.com

“[The] song is already sad as hell but man, that video just kills you.”


What the video is about: A teenager’s boyfriend leaves her house and gets into a car accident and dies.


All I Want To Do Is Make Love to You” by Heart

woman touching a man's chest outside a motel room, and then the same person with a toddler in her arms

Capitol Records / Via youtube.com

“I guess I never really paid attention to the lyrics until I saw the video.”


What the video is about: A woman’s husband is infertile, so she goes to pick up a hitchhiker and have sex with him to get pregnant.


Never Again” by Kelly Clarkson

Kelly singing behind a man as he looks in an airport mirror

RCA Records / Via youtube.com

“The song is an angry jab at her cheating ex. The video shows him drowning her and her returning as a ghost and haunting him.”



Waterfalls” by TLC

a ghost woman runs screaming to her son, who has been shot and is on the ground

LaFace Records, Arista Records / Via youtube.com

“I first saw it when I was about 12 and didn’t quite grasp what it was about. it was just a great song. It wasn’t until a few years ago when I rewatched it and cried. What a heartbreaking song.”


What the video’s about: Various scenes of death and tragedy play out, such as a young boy getting killed on the street while dealing drugs and a couple dying of AIDS.


Stephen” by Kesha

Kesha leans next to a man who is tied up and duct taped

RCA Records / Via youtube.com

“The song itself isn’t necessarily that dark, but the music video for ‘Stephen’ by Kesha gets dark real quick. It turns the song from being about an unrequited crush to stalking and kidnapping.”



And finally, “Legends” by Kelsea Ballerini

A car is turned over on the street with accident flares around it

Black River Entertainment / Via youtube.com

“The song ‘Legends’ by Kelsea Ballerini is a beautiful song…until you see the video: the father dying in a car accident on his son’s birthday. Heartbreaking.”


Can you think of any more? Let me know in the comments!

Note: Submissions have been edited for length/clarity.


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