1001 Songs Challenge,  1990s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #881: Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad? (1999)

On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.

My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.

I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.

So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!


Moby – Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad? (1999)

Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad? – Wikipedia

” Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?” is a song by American electronica musician Moby. It was released on October 11, 1999, as the fourth single from his fifth studio album . It became a hit in several regions, including German-speaking Europe, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand.


Lyrics (via Genius)


We’re staying in the US and in New York today, dear reader, so will need to stay in this hotel for another night I guess. Richard Melville Hall, known as Moby, began his career in 1989 and during the 1990s was considered a key figure in popularising dance music. We join him in 1999 with the release of his fifth album, Play, and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track – Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad? 

Moby originally worked on the track back in 1992 but dismissed it. Revising the piece seven years later he managed to rework it, with help from sampling the 1963 track, He’ll Roll Your Burdens Away by The Banks Brothers. Lyrically the song is quite limited and repetitive, asking the question of why does both one’s heart and soul feel bad. The only response to these questions is the refrain of “he’ll open doors.” This is somewhat ambiguous but sounds like it may be in reference to a deity of some sort, watching over those that worship them. 

I am familiar with Moby but not well acquainted with his work. Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad? comes across as a piano driven ballad but retains a dance drum beat as well, keeping Moby loyal to his roots. The song would prove popular on release, especially in Europe where it was warmly embraced in Germany much to Moby’s surprise. He continues to perform to this day and released his 19th album in 2021.


Favourite songs so far:

The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)

Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)

The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)

The Doors – The End (1967)

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)

Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)

Tracy Chapman – Fast Car (1988)

U2 – One (1991)

Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah (1994)

Radiohead – Paranoid Android (1997)

My name is Dave and I live in Yorkshire in the north of England and have been here all my life. I hope you enjoy your visit to All is Ephemeral.

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