I love a good sad song — so much so that sad songs make me happy. Seriously, a good wallow in a dirge of a song never makes me cry — I revel in it, which pushes me right on back to happy again.
This list of “sad, miserable songs” contains a bunch of tracks that I love. Singing along to”Cry Me A River,” imitating Julie London’s cocked-eyebrow delivery. Waiting for the crunch of guitars at the chorus of “Creep.” “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” and “Send In the Clowns” are so cheesy that they wrap around to the other side of the spectrum to near-awesome, or at least near-laughable. (“You hardly talk to me any more / when I come through the door at the end of the day…”)
So, what if the song itself isn’t sad, but reminds me of an artist like Jeff Buckley, who died very young? Or Kirsty MacCall, who shortly after releasing the amazing “Tropical Brainstorm” was scuba diving in Mexico and got run over by a motorboat that nearly sliced her in half. (Every time I hear songs from that album—including “In These Shoes,” which Bette Midler later covered—I shudder involuntarily.) Still, not quite sad enough.
“Amazing Grace” always made my dad cry. I think because it’s a mainstay at memorial services and funerals (including his parents’). It doesn’t have the same effect on me — but remembering that about my dad also made me remember the song that finally broke me after he died in 2009. I was sad but dry-eyed in the hospital before he died, while making the arrangements, even at the graveside service with military sendoff.
Weeks later I was scooting around town back home and “Why Should I Cry for You” by Sting came on the radio. The whole “Soul Cages” album is dark, much of it (including “Why Should I Cry for You”) written in response to his father’s death, and I think knowing that helped trigger something, because that song did me in. Like, pull-off-the-road-and-compose-yourself sort of in. It still can make me tear up … which I just found out today, when I was watching the video, which I’d never seen before. (Click on the picture of Sting above — a screen shot from the video — to see it on DailyMotion.)
|WHAT SAM WORE: 2-13-11|
|The shirt: Goodnow Mountain long-sleeved cotton button-down, on clearance for $24.50
at Abercrombie & Fitch. (For some reason the clearance price jumped to $35 this weekend.)
|The pants: Jeans by BDg, from Urban Outfitters in Tempe.|
|The shoes: Trainers by Diesel, from Last Chance.|