La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)

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"La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)"
La Tristesse Durera.jpg
Single by Manic Street Preachers
from the album Gold Against the Soul
Manic Street Preachers singles chronology
"From Despair to Where"
"La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)"
"Roses in the Hospital"

"La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)" is a song by Welsh rock band Manic Street Preachers. It was released in 1993 by record label Columbia as the second single from their second studio album Gold Against the Soul.

It reached number 22 in UK Singles Chart.[3]


The song's title is taken from the reported last words of Vincent van Gogh, "La tristesse durera toujours", quoted in a letter from his younger brother Theo to their sister Elisabeth, using her nickname Lies.[4] The letter was translated by Robert Harrison, who states that the phrase means "The sadness will last forever".[4]

The song lyrics are written from the perspective of a war veteran, containing the line "wheeled out once a year, a cenotaph souvenir" and tracking the bathetic progress of the former soldier's war medal: "It sells at market stalls/Parades Milan catwalks".[5][6][7] Richey Edwards told Melody Maker newspaper, "It's a beautiful image when the war veterans turn out at the Cenotaph, [...] and everyone pretends to care ... but then they're shuffled off again and forgotten."[7] According to Martin Power in his book Manic Street Preachers, the band "sounded at sixes and sevens" in the rest of the album, "Yet, as with Generation Terrorists, they had again produced one genuine classic in the form of 'La Tristessa Durera (Scream To A Sigh)'."[7]

In allusion to the style of the song, Rob Jovanovic detailed that the song "followed the grunge template" with a "quiet opening verse that explodes into a loud guitar-driven chorus".[1]

Edwards, unusually, played rhythm guitar on the track.[7]

The B-side, "Patrick Bateman", is a "tribute" to the American Psycho character.


"La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)" was released as a single in 1993 by record label Columbia. It reached number 22 in the UK Singles Chart on 31 July.[3]

The song made an appearance in edited form on Forever Delayed (28 October 2002), the Manics' greatest hits album. The remastered album version appeared on the National Treasures – The Complete Singles, compilation.

In the US, a promotional version was released as "Scream to a Sigh (La Tristesse Durera)".[8]


"La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)" was included in Robert Dimery's 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die.[9]

Track listing[edit]

1."La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)" (7" version)3:57
2."Patrick Bateman"6:32
3."What's My Name" (live The Clash cover at Cambridge Junction, 20 October 1992)1:42
4."Slash 'n' Burn" (live at Norwich UEA, 21 October 1992)3:45
1."La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)" (album version) 
2."Patrick Bateman" 
3."Repeat" (live in Norwich, 21 October 1992) 
4."Tennessee (I Get Low)" 
Side A
1."La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)" 
Side B
1."Patrick Bateman" 


Chart (1993) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[3] 22


  1. ^ a b Jovanovic, Rob (2010). A Version of Reason: The Search for Richey Edwards. Hachette UK. ISBN 9781409111290.
  2. ^ Pike, Daniel (2002). "Manic Street Preachers Forever Delayed Review". BBC Music. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
  4. ^ a b van Gogh, Theodorus. "Letter from Theo van Gogh to Elisabeth van Gogh Paris, 5 August 1890". Retrieved 28 April 2015. he said, "La tristesse durera toujours" [The sadness will last forever]
  5. ^ "la tristesse durera..." 22 September 2007. Archived from the original on 15 April 2009. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
  6. ^ Owen, Paul (27 November 2008). "The Manics' lyrics were something special". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
  7. ^ a b c d Middles 2000, Temporary Caesars.
  8. ^ Scream to a Sigh (La Tristesse Durera) (liner notes). Manic Street Preachers. Columbia. 1993. CSK 5319. Retrieved 22 February 2020.CS1 maint: others (link)
  9. ^ Dimery, Robert (2011). 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die. Octopus Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-8440-3717-9.