One of my most prized possessions in this life is a copy of Where the Wild Things Are, which I had signed by Maurice Sendak himself. When I was living in Washington D.C. I had the great fortune of hearing him speak at the Smithsonian. It was kind of a one on one interview a la James Lipton. I remember being amazed at how candidly he spoke of his depression, his childhood and darkness. He also said how he was so offended that people thought his books were too scary and dark for children and should be bright and cheery like other children's books. I'm thinking the sheer number of devotees he has might prove that bright and cheery theory wrong. I believe that all my favorite books, songs and movies from my childhood were rife with sadness, fear and melancholy…
I can remember screaming "Thomasina's out the window!", tears streaming down my face. Oh, how I loved that movie. May need to get a copy.
I've always had such a soft spot for this sad bear… he doesn't even know he's sad.
Leaving on a Jet Plane by Peter, Paul & Mary
Okay, maybe this one is pushing the boundaries on the whole children and melancholy thing, but it definitely explains a later devotion to Joni Mitchell that carried me (sullen and sobbing) through my teenage years.