My friend and I we’re talking the other night about songs that tug the heartstrings. So much so, its to the point I can’t listen to them in public anymore! There isn’t a hotline to call for the confusion you feel after a good Lifetime-Movie-a-thon style cry. So we are taking to our respective blogs. You know, keeping it private!
This is a loving place, no judgment here! Feel free to prove me wrong and judge the crap out of me!
TIE- Peter Gabriel “Don’t Give Up” and “Mercy Street”
This might be cheating but I’m ok with it. Since I was old enough to know what great music was, So have been one of my favorite and most played albums. The two tracks that stood out we’re Don’t Give Up and Mercy Street.
Mercy Street is a song all about longing for what used to be so familiar and what you’ve kept sacred all those years, only to find it wasn’t what you remembered. Who hasn’t felt like that, honestly. It’s a universal theme that I return to on a daily basis.
Don’t Give Up is a beast all of it’s own. What would hit you first? How about Kate Bush. She can make any grown man weep. Like a girl. A very hideous girl. Second: the theme. It’s all about being at your wits end and getting as bad as it can get, and that little voice (Which sounds strikingly like Kate Bush…) telling you quite literally ‘Don’t Give Up’. It strikes every chord and I defy you to hold back the weepy’s.
The Beatles “Blackbird”
It could have been any song, really. Perhaps “Here Comes the Sun” or “All you Need is Love” or even “Baby your a rich man” (I’m very poor, it hits me where it hurts). But it HAD to be Blackbird. Why? Because Paul McCartney, that’s why. I believe it was Paul at the peak of his Paul-ness. He was never better. The words aren’t what necessarily make it sad, it’s the imagery. The image of an old man on his porch playing this beautiful song that nobody will hear. A song he’s making up and will never remember (or even care to remember). I dare John Lennon to make me feel like that old man on the porch the was Paul does.
TIE David Bowie (but mostly Peter Gabriel) “Heroes”
Nobody has ever said David Bowie is anything less than amazing. Heroes is one of his best songs. It was 1977 and Bowie was still a few years away from giant hits like ‘Let’s Dance’. He took the gradual build of his earlier albums and crammed it into a single song, producing a Volcano of sound.
The version that really brings home the subtly of this song is by Peter Gabriel. It feels like cheating because, really, I could make this whole thing about his songs. The thing I enjoy the most about Gabriel’s version is he stripped away everything and all we’re left with is this slow build that explodes at the end with just pure emotion. The same could be said about his version of the Book of Love .
Spock’s Beard (multiple off Snow) “Love Beyond Words” “Solitary Soul” “The Great Nothing”
I was trying to stay away from band’s that nobody has really heard of but Spock’s Beard is one of my favorite bands of all time, which means I have carried their music with me through everything. With “Love Beyond Words” its not even the lyrics. It’s the piano melody AFTER the song that gets me everytime, as well as ‘Solitary Soul’. The lines “I see your heart/I know what you’ve been through/I know you. Come be a part/you know you belong here/ so dry your tears and let love beyond word (come fill your heart)…”. It’s so simple and the way Nick D’Virgilio is singing it just hits home.
‘The Great Nothing’, however, really does it. It’s a long song. It’s the story of dreams. More specifically, it’s Neal Morse’s personal story, and I think that’s what makes it touching. Any musician can relate to this song. It goes:
One note timeless/Came out of nowhere
Just when all hope was gone/And nothing matters
But that it’s breathing/It ends as it has begun
No thought/No need to say something
No message to run/From the ashes
Out of the great nothing/Without a buzz or a showing
Out of the great nothing/With nobody knowing
It plays on and on …
Its the story of us all, really. We write, not for the love of it (even though we do love it). We want to write something that last forever. We want them to feel. Well done Neal Morse. It’s remains one of the most powerful moments in my music loving life.
Porcupine Tree ‘Collapse the Light into Earth’
Have you ever seen a Kangaroo play Super Mario with a cat? It’s THAT beautiful.
Porcupine Tree makes the list because they we’re the first band that wrote with the kind of scope I had hoped to write with. Probably the biggest shaper of my musical identity is Porcupine Tree and this song has a lot to do with it. Beauty without being boring. Lyrics that go beyond the page and linger in your head long after that metaphorical needle has reached the end of the non-existent record player. It’s an important song and it has meant different things at different times to me. Isn’t that what music is supposed to do?
I wish I could pick a part of the song that made it wonderful, but this seems easier:
Please visit Inspired Alien to see my friend Charan’s list