Although most claims are unsubstantiated, there have been many urban legends surrounding a song called “Gloomy Sunday”. Originally sung in Hungarian, the song was translated into many different languages. There have been many stories of people hearing the song committing suicide and even some radio stations banning the song. There are other stories of people committing suicide while holding the sheet music. Despite the morbid press surrounding the song, many artists have recorded versions of the song and some have even become pretty popular. The song was composed in the 1930s and the lyrics were originally about the loss of a lover, during World War II, the lyrics were rewritten to be about the horrors of war and the loss of humanity. Most translations center around the first version of lyrics.

The song has inspired several movies including “The Kovak Box” and “Densen Uta”. (The song used in Densen Uta is actually a song called “Boku no Hana” translated to mean “My Flower).

Strange Facts:

  • At least 19 suicides are associated with the song in Hungary and the United States.
  • The composer apparently committed suicide. When he survived jumping out of a window, he later strangled himself.
  • The BBC banned Billie Holiday’s version from playing on the radio.


Billie Holiday’s Version:

“Boku No Hana” from “Densen Uta”: