Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sad songs...

Warning: this is a sad post with sad songs about sad serious things. Please skip me if you do not want to feel sad today.
Sad Songs:
Sometimes it's good to feel sad through music. I know people talk about listening to sad songs when their heart is broken, but when your heart is really broken and people you love are really gone, sad songs take on a new meaning. I think that when a lover leaves, there is a piece to your sadness that is a kind of grief. But when you are actually grieving, it is like your whole reality is shifted. You hear with new ears. You are changed, and so how you listen is changed.

I am grieving right now, and sad songs put harmonies to the pulse of pain I feel all the time. I hear the words in my head, saying the things I can't say out loud without breaking. I feel like I have been afraid to listen to sad songs lately, but today I found they can be healing. It is almost like a safe way to plug into the heavy grief I carry around all the time. Because it is someone else's song, I can connect to it, but it was not written for me. The words speak to me, but they are not mine. So it is almost like I have a buffer for my feelings.

So with that, here are some of the songs and lyrics that have been making me feel the saddest. Let's just go all in. Grab your tissues, your xanax, your blanket.....whatever you need....

Sad Song Number One:
Soft Shoulder by Ani Difranco
I still love this song. It came up on my ipod randomly today, which is what started me thinking about sad songs in the first place. When I was in High School, I choreographed a modern dance piece to this with my friend Amanda. It was a duet and it was so exciting to create it and dance it with her.

Listening to it now, it feels heavy, I feel different when I listen to it. It makes me feel incredibly sad. (please ignore cheesy fan video and daisy)

I don't keep much stuff around
I value my portability
but I will say that I have saved
every letter you ever wrote to me
the one you left on my windshield
outside of that little motel
is in the pocket of my old gigbag
from back when life was more soft shelled

letters littered with little lewd pictures
drawn by the ghost of Woody Guthrie
who would use your big thick hand
just to draw- one two for me

and I think of your letters as love letters
which is how I think of songs
in that it is the writing of them
that tend to carry us along
and I dance to one of your old tunes
with my true love on our wedding day
and your voice sang the way my heart would sing
if it finally knew just what to say.
Two people pull over on the same night
to look up at the same stars
and they both found their wheels were spinning in a soft shoulder
when they both got back into their cars.

and they missed fate's appointed rendezvous
and then a whole lotta time went by.
and one day they were done
worshiping the landscape
and they just put down their hands
and moved into the sky.
and they had barely said hello and it was time
to say goodbye."

Sad Song Number Two:
Cosmic Love by Florence and the Machine

I used to think this song was about a break up. Now I hear different things. I feel like it is about the feeling of loosing somebody before they are gone, the twilight where they become unreachable. But you can't reach them, and you are left.

A fallen star,
Fell from your heart
And landed in my eyes
I screamed aloud
As it tore through them
And now it's left me blind.

The stars, the moon,
They have all been blown out,
You left me in the dark.
No dawn, no day,
I'm always in this twilight,
In the shadow of your heart.

And in the dark,
I can hear your heartbeat, I try to find the sound,
But then it stopped,
And I was in the darkness,
So darkness I became.

The stars, the moon,
They have all been blown out,
You left me in the dark,
No dawn, No day,
I'm always in this twilight,
In the shadow of your heart.

I took the stars from my eyes,
And then I made a map,
I knew that some how,
I could find my way back,
Then I heard your heart beating, you were in the darkness too,
So I stayed in the darkness with you.

Sad Song Number Three and Four:
It Was the Only Way by Clare Burson
Baby Boy by Clare Burson

I love Clare Burson. If you don't listen to her lyrics her songs are like lullabies, but they can be deceptively sad. Here are two of hers, 'Baby Boy' is a live version, I would check out the original as the sound quality on this video is not the best. 'Baby Boy' is a song that I used to listen to on mellow Sunday mornings, just floating along on the melody. Now I really hear the lyrics. The song has changed for me.

"Only Way" by Clare Burson

you had such a lovely crooked smile
and blue eyes that were grey when it was raining
and i still have the bracelet with the gold
and ivory glowers that you made me

it was the only way (x3)

someone said you left there just in time
when i was on the other side waiting
and i can see you standing with your suitcase
and a lamplight there without me

it was the only way (x3)

funny how the details never fade
the names of where we were
and what we did there
but all i have are spaces empty
interrupting memories without you

it was the only way (repeated)

Clare Burson wrote this song about her Lithuanian great-grandfather, who left home at 14 to escape the tzars' army. To me now, it says simply 'I miss you'.

"Baby Boy" by Clare Burson

my baby's in the sky
my baby's in the river
my baby's in the old stone wall, in the old stone wall
my baby packed a trunk
with more than he could carry
more than he could carry down the old dirt road, down the old dirt road

and there's a hole in the house where my baby boy lay (x3)

the morning still comes 
and my days are full of cleanin'
and the candles still burn as the sun goes down, as the sun goes down.
but there's a hole in the house where my baby boy lay (x3)

my baby boy, lay your head
my baby boy, lay your head
my baby boy, lay your head down

there's a hole in the house where my baby boy lay (x3)

Sad Song #5  
Sigur Ros - Sæglópur 
And I've left the saddest for last. This one I don't know if I can listen to all the way through without becoming a pile of mush. It played when I said Goodbye. 
In writing this post though, I have been so happy to learn what the lyrics mean for the first time. They actually give this song new meaning for me. One that is about peace and infinite possibilities. So I am ending this sad list with a song of sadness, but hope too.

The lyrics in English mean:

A lost seafarer, alive
Has returned home
A lost seafarer, alive
Has returned home
A diver comes
Has returned home
A diver comes
Has returned home

This was all for me, for you, for loss, for pain, for hope.
Maybe my words and these songs can be your buffer for your grief or pain.
Please share any sad songs or thoughts here if you feel like it.
Back to frivolity, glitter, fashion, art, and fun next post. Promise.

D, A, and especially especiallyJAR,
I miss you and I love you
every minute 
of everyday.

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