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November 03, 2005

Songs that just get to you...

A friend of mine called me late last night, she was a big sobbing mess. No new trauma or tragedy, she'd just been listening to sad songs all night, and had worked herself into quite a state.

Now, as most of you know, I'm not the most sentimental person. I almost never cry at movies or reading books. But music? Whew. There are songs I can't even allow to shuffle through rotation on my iPod because I'll weep hysterically on the metro. And then I'm crazy crying girl on the train. Bad.

But, sometimes when I feel like I just need to wallow - no lights, wearing sweats - there are songs that can always get to me. One of which is Sweetness Follows by REM.

Readying to bury your father and your mother,
What did you think when you lost another?
I used to wonder why did you bother,
Distanced from one, blind to the other?
Listen here my sister and my brother
What would you care if you lost the other?
I always wonder why did we bother,
Distanced from one, deaf to the other.

Oh, oh, but sweetness follows.

It’s these little things, they can pull you under.
Live your life filled with joy and wonder.
I always knew this altogether thunder
Was lost in our little lives.

Oh, oh, but sweetness follows.

It’s these little things, they can pull you under.
Live your life filled with joy and thunder.
Yeah, yeah we were altogether
Lost in our little lives.

Oh, oh, but sweetness follows.


Via REM Rock

Why does this song turn me into a sad little girl? A couple of reasons. The first is just Michael Stipe's voice. I mean lord, I'm not made of stone. The man can do plaintive like no one else. But I think the thing that really does it is the hopefulness of the lyrics. I mean, you can really boil the song down to "Life sucks so much. It'll kick your ass. But sweetness follows." That's too much for an old-school cynic like me.

There are other songs like this, but I can't talk about it anymore. I might cry right now.




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