ABBA's "The Winner Takes it All" pretty regularly finds itself in the lists of top breakup/loss songs, and it's hard to argue.
In my opinion, "Number One Blind" by Veruca Salt is about being so paralyzed by depression that you can't tell if it's night or day, and don't even care about the answer:
MIKA's "Happy Ending" is despondency in a bottle.
But I am more interested in songs whose upbeat tempo belies the abject despair of the content. Take ABBA again. "If it Wasn't for the Nights" has one of the catchiest disco hooks ever. But every word of the song is about succumbing to despair and loneliness.
I miss you so, I know I'm never gonna make it
Oh, I'm so restless, I don't care what I say
And I lose my temper ten times a day
Still it's worse when the night's on its way
It's bad, oh, so bad
Somehow I'd be doin' alright if it wasn't for the nights
(If it wasn't for the nights I think that I could make it)
I'd have courage left to fight if it wasn't for the nights
(If it wasn't for the nights I think that I could take it)
How I fear the time when shadows start to fall
Sittin' here alone and starin' at the wall
"Whispering Bells" by The Del-Vikings is plaintive and poppy but its one of the purest expressions of loss ever:
Here's one that inverts the formula. SAD tempo, uplifting lyrics. Immaculate Machine brought us this uplifting ditty, "C'Mon Sea Legs:"