I think it's because Unitarian Universalism has given me a whole new lens to look at sadness through, but UU hymns tend to be more helpful in giving me hope and direction, rather than expressing my sorrow. After reading Lizard Eater's post today and Yet Another UU's post earlier, I commented on YAUU that the songs I sing when I'm really really sad are old Baptist hymns: Great is Thy Faithfulness, the Old Rugged Cross, How Great Thou Art, that sort of thing.
The greatest sorrows in my life so far have been the deaths of my parents; no other loss has shaken me so deeply. And though I have joy and hope because of their lives, there is still sorrow in me when I think of them and the experience of losing them.
It would be unthinkable to sing anything but songs that remind me of them, hymns they loved, lullabyes they sang, rhymes they chanted for me. In our home, we had beautiful music and it all tended to be sacred music---not praise songs like the ones that are often sung in evangelical congregations but the biggies like The Messiah and Bach oratorios. Not Mozart masses, that I recall, but music out of the Reformation and other Protestant sources, including those old hymns.
Recently I had the experience of sitting with a woman who was dying, and the song that came to my mind, though I didn't sing it to her, not knowing whether it would fit for her, was a lullaby that my mother sang to me and that I sang to the FS: "Mama's darling, Daddy's sweetheart, Jesus' precious little lamb; how we love her, how we love her, how we love our Betsy girl (or Michael boy, in the FS's case)". It makes me miss my parents right now and brings tears of sadness but also joy that a simple song can bring them back for a moment.
That's the thing about sadness: joy may be right behind it. Through my parents' deaths, I learned not to postpone or avoid sadness but to live through it, let it own me for awhile, for as long as I needed it. That pain has become a treasured keepsake, brought out now on such occasions as warrant it.
I don't know what I'd sing if anything ever happened to the FS. Not old Baptist hymns, I suspect. Maybe some of the songs he used to enjoy at Youth Cons. Naw, probably not. And I don't know the kind of music he likes now. Oh, wait, no, I can't believe I'd sing that stuff. No, no....... but maybe, since laughter and tears are so closely connected. You aren't going to believe...but then, it is typical of the FS, at least as a teenager. Here's what would probably bring me to tears, if I heard them: Eat It, Like a Surgeon, Dare to Be Stupid. You get the picture: Weird Al stuff. Sorry, FS. If you want to change my sorrow songs, better help me find better material!