Teenage Tragedy Songs


The “Teenage Tragedy Song” is a style of ballad focusing on premature death, usually by automobile or motorcycle accident. Most popular in the 1950s and 60s, the songs are sung from the perspective of the dying or their significant other.

“What was it you were looking for
that took your life that night
They said they found my high school ring
clutched in your fingers tight
Teen angel, can you hear me
Teen angel, can you see me
Are you somewhere up above
And I am still your own true love”

— Mark Dinning – “Teen Angel”, 1960


Ray Peterson – “Tell Laura I Love Her”, 1960


The Cheers – “Black Denim Trousers”, 1955

Wayne Cochran – “Last Kiss”, 1962

Roy Orbison – “Leah”, 1962