Daily Archives: July 25th, 2010

Suicide is Painless

No, don’t dial 9-1-1. I’m not departing to check out other planes of existence. This post is about a song entitled “Suicide is Painless.”

Do you recognize the title? Even if you don’t, chances are quite good that you are extremely familiar with this song. Even if you don’t recognize the title, chances are excellent that you’ve heard the instrumental version of the song.

Here are the lyrics:

Through early morning fog I see
visions of the things to be
the pains that are withheld for me
I realize and I can see…


That suicide is painless
It brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.

I try to find a way to make
all our little joys relate
without that ever-present hate
but now I know that it’s too late, and…


The game of life is hard to play
I’m gonna lose it anyway
The losing card I’ll someday lay
so this is all I have to say.


The only way to win is cheat
And lay it down before I’m beat
and to another give my seat
for that’s the only painless feat.


The sword of time will pierce our skins
It doesn’t hurt when it begins
But as it works its way on in
The pain grows stronger…watch it grin, but…


A brave man once requested me
to answer questions that are key
‘is it to be or not to be’
and I replied ‘oh why ask me?’

‘Cause suicide is painless
it brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.
…and you can do the same thing if you choose.

Some facts about this song (links will contain spoilers about this post):

  • The lyrics were written by Mike Altman, the son of movie director Robert Altman, at the age of 14.
  • The music was written by Johnny Mandel.
  • The song was covered by Marilyn Manson for the “Blair Witch 2” soundtrack. Of the song, Manson said, “More depressing and offensive than anything I’ve ever written.”
  • The complete version of this song opens a movie.
  • A shorter version of this song (instrumental version) opens a popular television series from the early 70’s to the early 80’s.
  • In 1992 a cover of the song was released and peaked at #1 in the United Kingdom.

More information about the identity of this song is provided after the jump (which is below the video).

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