I've been thinking about this for a while. I can't honestly say I've come to any conclusions, but I'd like to understand so I'm throwing it to the Universe and you fine people.
Pop culture--popular fiction, television series and movies--is dominated with happy endings. Maybe not super happy endings, but ending in such a way as we can consider it a somewhat happy ending. Good for those two people who survived the end of the world. Yay, William Wallace's death wasn't for nothing, we have a happy(ish) epilogue bit. So, in my mind, and certainly by my tastes, a happy ending of some sort is all but required.
But not so much with music. Love songs? Most of these are not happy ditties. They're sad. Broken-hearted. Sometimes of the Good Riddance--You Suck Anyway variety, or the You Should Go Out With Me format. But, I can probably name all the happy love songs I know on one hand.
I don't know why. Is it due to the length of time these forms of entertainment run. We're only willing to commit 2+ hours to things that have a somewhat happy ending, but we can handle four minutes of heartache?
I saw a documentary that likened the first human speech to birdsong, and I can only imagine how unbearably cheerful that would have been. Especially for delivering bad news. *happychirp*Grandma got eaten by a bear in the cave where she liked to finger paint!*chirpchirp* Did a thousand years of happy chirps irritate people so much we evolved to prefer the more melancholy melodies?
Okay, so maybe I'm being an idiot there at the end--I do that-- but really, I'd like to understand the psychological drive that wants happy stories and unhappy songs.