‘Gloomy Sunday’, The Song That Makes People Suicide

There is a legend of the Hungarian Suicide Song that would drive people to feel so deep of their own depression that it made them kill themselves.

In 1932, a Hungarian pianist and composer, Rezsó Seress wrote a song titled ‘Gloomy Sunday’ and the lyrics were written by László Jávor whose lyrics were inspired by his girlfriend who was suicidal.

The song was only later called the Hungarian Suicide Song after the song was recorded in English which was written by Sam M. Lewis who referred to suicide in the song.

In 1930s, press reports had linked 19 suicides to the song in both Hungary and United States. It was said that people would listen to the song over and over again and then killed themselves and many of them were found either clutching a piece of music sheet or quoting the lyrics of the song before their death.

It got so bad that the authorities in Hungary banned the song and in the 1940s, BBC banned the lyrics of the song because of how disturbing it was. There were radio outlets who wouldn’t play the song because of the fear that it may lead people to commit suicide.

The infamous song not only drove many others to their death, but also the composer, Rezsó Seress who had jumped from his apartment building.

In his note that held the last of his thoughts on his song, he wrote:

“I stand in the midst of this deadly success as an accused man. This fatal fame hurts me. I cried all of the disappointments of my heart into this song, and it seems that others with feelings like mine have found their own hurt in it.”


  • Amber Leigh Clark Adrian Lanjuat adalah pelajar Fakulti Filem, Teater dan Animasi.
  • Dr. Mohd Syuhaidi Abu Bakar adalah Pensyarah Kanan, Fakulti Filem, Teater dan Animasi.

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