Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bittersweet Heartache

I'm up late tonight working on a manuscript, listening off and on to early Bob Dylan.  If you ever need a good cry in the middle of the night, listen to "Girl from the North Country."  I'm writing a tough scene in my story, and, yes, getting pretty misty.  Not weepy, just misty.  Trust me, that's enough.  I need to see to type.  This moment grabs my heart and gives it a good squeeze every time:
I'm a wonderin' if she remembers me at all.
Many times I've often prayed,
In the darkness of my night, 
In the brightness of my day. 
I read a great blog post the other day--can't remember where at the moment--about favorite sad songs, songs of heartbreak, songs to nurse a broken heart or maybe even rub salt in the wound.  This one would have to be on my list.  What songs would you include?  I'd love to hear.  


  1. Hmmm, I seem to have quite a few that come to mind. Dondante by My Morning Jacket, I Am Calling You on the Bagdad Cafe soundtrack, Beck's Guess I'm Doing Fine...Just after 9/11 I was actually so stunned I couldn't just sit down and have a good cry about it, until I listened to Sanvean by Dead Can Dance, which always frees up the tears for me.

  2. I'm going to have to go with Tom Waits and "Ruby's Arms":

    Jesus Christ, this goddamn rain.
    will someone put me on a train?
    I'll never kiss your lips again
    or break your heart.

    Oh, my.

  3. I didn't know "Dondante," so I just downloaded it--wow, wonderful choice!
    Jonathan, leave it to you to name a fabulous Tom Waits song. He makes me melt.
    Todd and I were talking about this question this morning (after I slept a little bit), and he voted for Suzanne Vega's "Gypsy," which is funny because I am using a few lines from that very song in my story. I keep thinking of more songs to add to the pile, too. Johnny Cash's cover of "If You Could Read My Mind" leaves me in a puddle.

  4. Well, Gigi, you asked for it- songs that make me cry everytime:
    Hurt- Johnny Cash's version
    9 Crimes- Damien Rice
    Both Hands- Ani Difranco
    Humpty Dumpty- Aimee Mann
    If Everyone Cared- Nickelback (I actually really don't like them, but it gives me chills because it's our PeaceJam Northeast song, and Betty Williams is in the music video.)
    Mandela Day- Simple Minds
    and, lastly,
    Lover I Don't Have to Love- Bright Eyes
    ...and those are just the ones that make me cry everytime! (Actually, Amazing Grace, too, but I avoid that song at all costs--that brings weeping.)
    The other songs, in general, bring good cries- when I need to cry the most.

  5. oop! Sorry to comment again, but I needed to mention that Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah is quite the tear jerker, too.
    (I'm starting to think I should write something about music for my first blog post...)

  6. sweet jane by the cowboy junkies. i just remembered (it just came on shuffle on my ipod) who did the original of that song?

  7. "Yesterday a child came out to wonder
    Caught a dragonfly inside a jar..." (The Circle Game -Joni Mitchell)
    Whenever my dear friend Martha and her guitar would sing this song at one of our gatherings over many years, my heart always fills. And the tears well up in my throat and I can only whisper as friends and family join in.

  8. You are wonderful, Cate! Great songs. I love so many of these, too, and you basically just have to mention Jeff Buckley's name to make me a little teary. "Last Goodbye" by him gets me, too. Velvet Underground did the original of "Sweet Jane," but even Lou Reed thought that the Cowboy Junkies did an amazing version. I don't know the Nickelback song, but just because you mentioned it, I will listen to it.

  9. I have gotten weepy when Martha sings this song, too, Mum! Actually, several songs she sings get to me, but this is probably the best. Sigh.

  10. I'm glad to see someone has mentioned Ani Difranco 'Both Hands', that's such a wonderful song. Otherwise it would have to be 'Let me be' by Kate Rusby or 'From the morning' by Nick Drake. Lyrics and music, they all strike a chord somewhere in the realm of my heart!

  11. Kim, I love that you mentioned Kate Rusby and Nick Drake. I LOVE both of them. I think Kate Rusby has one of the sweetest voices I've ever heard. Actually, so does Nick Drake!

  12. In need of some songs that will bring tears? Try these:

    "Tecumseh Valley" by Townes van Zandt (Nancy Griffith's cover is beautiful); "Ballad of the Runaway Horse" by Leonard Cohen (try Emmy Lou Harris's cover); "After You've Gone" by Iris Dement and "Red Dirt Girl" by Emmy Lou Harris

    And if you are in a classical mood, get out the handkerchief for "Un bel di vedremo" and "Con onor muore" from Madama Butterfly (Maria Callas is a great choice) and "V'ho ingannato/Lassu in cielo" from Rigoletto

  13. Perfect. Thanks, Ms Merganser.


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