Tracks of your tears

Last week’s run­down of the songs that make us cry brought an on­line flood of al­ter­na­tive tear-jerk­ers from readers

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Comment -

I THINK it’s not the songs that make us cry, but the mem­o­ries that come into our mind . . . We all have dif­fer­ent life ex­pe­ri­ences and there are songs for each and ev­ery mo­ment of our lives, some of them make us smile, some laugh, and ob­vi­ously some of them make us cry, which is ab­so­lutely nor­mal be­cause we are just hu­man be­ings, able to feel. We just ap­ply the song lyrics to our life ex­pe­ri­ence and un­der­stand how true it is. One of the most heartwrench­ing songs must be Mad­world, the Gary Jules ver­sion. “The dreams in which I’m dy­ing are the best I’ve ever had”. Al­ways a tear­jerker! And then there are the sad po­lit­i­cal bal­lads like Strange Fruit by Nina Si­mone – “South­ern trees bear strange fruit Blood on the leaves and blood at the root Black bod­ies swing­ing in the south­ern breeze Strange fruit hang­ing from the pop­u­lar trees say I’m not a prog-rocker. I like good, sim­ple pop. But this is just dull, dull, dull.

And c’mere now, those lyrics . . . again, I’m all for pop lyrics speak­ing di­rectly, but ‘Some­times it lasts in love, but some­times it hurts in­stead’? Se­ri­ously? Next con­tes­tant: Adele from Tot­ten­ham. Spe­cial­ist sub­ject: the bleedin’ ob­vi­ous.

Now, she’s a good set of lungs on her, even though I find her ade­noid wail grat­ing. And if you end up teary-eyed af­ter lis­ten­ing to Some­one Like You, grand, I’m not go­ing to ar­gue with that. But I’d sug­gest that you’re wast­ing valu­able body salts on what amounts to stan­dard­ised emo­tional pornog­ra­phy in mu­sic. Does that sound a lit­tle dra­matic?

Well, all I’m ask­ing is, if you heard any­one else at some lo­cal open mic night strum­ming C, G, Amin, F ad nau­seum on an acous­tic gui­tar and wail­ing, al­beit ably, ‘Some­times love is happy, some­times love is sad,’ etc, would you give her a stand­ing ova­tion?

I’d go back to the bar.

thing. Bob Dy­lan’s Dream al­ways gets me . . . And Tom Waits’s On the Nickel. For me the sad­dest song is The Green Fields of France es­pe­cially be­cause un­for­tu­nately it’s still ap­pro­pri­ate. Af­ter a cen­tury we did not learn our les­son how wars ruin peo­ple’s lives.

Ára Bá­tur.


Breathe Me. Skunk Anan­sie – Fol­low Me Down.

Any­thing by the X Fac­tor shower – as soon as I hear them I feel de­spair.

El­bow – Friend of Ours and Punc­ture Re­pair; Spir­i­tu­al­ized – Lay it Down Slow, and half their other stuff; Beck – Lost Cause; Elvis – In the Ghetto.


Cash – Hurt. Greg Laswell – Your Ghost; James Blake – Limit to your Love; Aimee Mann – One.

Wait­ing Around to Die, by Townes Van Zandt, is prob­a­bly the Mona Lisa of sad songs.

Sigur Rós –

Tom Waits –

Sia –

Tom Waits – Martha and The Verve – Bit­ter­sweet Sym­phony.

Bobby Golds­boro – Honey, Randy New­man – Bad News From Home, Tom Waits– Lost in the Har­bour.

Nick Cave – Till We Came Along This Road. Tin­der­sticks have so many good ones, but City Sick­ness is par­tic­u­larly good.

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