La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)

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"La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)"
Single by Manic Street Preachers
from the album Gold Against the Soul
Released 26 July 1993
Genre Alternative rock
Length 4:13
Label Columbia
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 alternative 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.[1]


The song's title is taken from the reported last words of Vincent van Gogh, "La tristessa durera toujours", quoted in a letter from his younger brother Theo to their sister Elisabeth, using her nickname Lies.[2] The letter was translated by Robert Harrison, who states that the phrase means "The sadness will last forever".[2]

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".[3][4][5] 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."[5] 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)'."[5]

Edwards wrote the lyrics, and also played rhythm guitar on the track.[5]

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 on 26 July 1993 by record label Columbia. It reached number 22 in the UK Singles Chart on 31 July.[1]

"La Tristesse Durera" also made an appearance as track number four on Forever Delayed (28 October 2002), the Manics' greatest hits album.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)" (7" version)  
2. "Patrick Bateman"    
3. "What's My Name" (live The Clash cover at Cambridge Junction, 20 October 1992)  
4. "Slash 'n' Burn" (live at Norwich UEA, 21 October 1992)  
No. Title Length
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
No. Title Length
1. "La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)"    
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "Patrick Bateman"    


Chart (1993) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[1] 22


  1. ^ a b c "Archive Chart: 1993-07-31" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
  2. ^ 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] 
  3. ^ "la tristesse durera...". 22 September 2007. Retrieved 7 December 2010. 
  4. ^ Owen, Paul (27 November 2008). "The Manics' lyrics were something special". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 7 December 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d Middles 2000, Temporary Caesars.