Thursday Thirteen - Sung as to Bring a Tear to My Eye
I'm a sentimental fool. I'm a bundle of emotions. I wear most of them on my sleeve. This often has very negative effects (i.e.: mw + looney = icky soup.)
Sometimes it's very good. I like to let my emotions run, like a horse that needs to stretch his legs to keep healthy and in shape. I think being able to let loose with a tear or two keeps you healthy and able to let it out during the tough times. I think stuffing your emotions, holding them in, is bad for you.
All that said, sometimes I find my emotional release in a song. Driving about yesterday I listened to a couple of discs I hadn't heard in a good while, and on them were a couple songs that made me choke up. It made me think of the songs in my life that bring tears whenever I hear them. Some of these will probably be obvious, some you won't have heard of, and some might surprise you. Whatever the case, I would love my visitors to list a song in the comments that turns on your waterworks.
1. Georgia Lee - as performed by Solas on The Edge of Silence (orig. by Tom Waits): A lament by a mother mourning the daughter she lost to drugs, it's a soul-tearing ballad of sad beauty.
2. Danny Boy - traditional: The Celtic Woman album has a gorgeous version of this. This is probably on any Irishman's list anyway, but it has a poignant hope-in-despair center that it never ceases to get to me.
3. The Parting Glass - traditional: This is My Funeral song #1. There'll be a few of these. Goodbyes among the Irish were often for a lifetime, especially during the dark years of the 1840's. You'll actually find a few songs with this "Goodbye Forever" or "See you on the other side" theme on my list, as that concept of our transience on Earth speaks to me.
4. The Green, Green Grass of Home - by Claude "Curly" Putman, Jr., sung by various artists: A song of a man who has been away from home for a long time and returns home to see his family, but upon arriving home, he awakes in his jail cell, where he awaits execution, and will only go home once he is dead to be buried. A poignant lament of a life wasted.
5. The Shores of the Swilly - by Phil Coulter, sung by Sinead O'Connor: Written for Coulter's sister who drowned in Lough Swilly, it's tragedy is certainly not subtle, but the words convey the love of family lost beautifully.
6. Cat's in the Cradle - by Harry Chapin: Of course, this has to be on there. As a father who struggles to make time for his kids, and often fails to the pressures of all the other things that need doing, this one tugs hard at me every time I hear it.
7. The Wind Beneath My Wings - as sung by Bette Midler: Maybe another obvious one, maybe even overplayed, but that's not the fault of the song. Written in the early 80's, it came to prominence in the movie "Beaches," which is a guilty pleasure of mine (Hmmm, probably a GPoW about that one coming up!) I can't listen to the song without seeing the women on the beach, awaiting the end, and I can't get through it when I try and sing it (as my mama always tries to get me to do at our karaoke parties! [eye roll])
8. No More Night - by Walt Harrah, various artists: This is funeral song #2. It is very much a Christian song, somewhat in the tradition of the older 19th century hymns, but with a more modern flavor. It speaks of the hope of Heaven beyond the boundaries of death.
9. Tears in Heaven - by Eric Clapton: Written for his four-year-old son who died in a horrific fall from the 53rd floor of a condominium tower, you can just feel his ache and despair. I can't imagine what it would be like to lose a child, and I hope I never find out, but I can hear his pain in here.
10. Lift the Wings - by Sarah Clancy, as arranged by Bill Whelan performed in Riverdance: Another song of the Irish diaspora. The singer pines for love lost and likely not to be seen again. In the show it is paired with the dance tune "American Wake." An American Wake was sometimes had when someone was heading off to America from Eire. It was understood that they might never see each other again, so a wake was held to celebrate the final parting of friends and loved ones.
11. Paddy's Lament - as performed by Sinead O'Connor on Sean-Nos Nua: A searing anti-war song from the point of view of an Irishman who escapes the Irish wars and flees to America only to be pressed into the service of Lincoln's army. It's not about North and South but about the human cost of war, and it's beautifully sung.
12. Motherland - by Mary McLaughlin, from The Daughter of Lir: From the point of view of an old woman who has lived, loved, and lost and from it gained wisdom, and who has been buffeted by the travails of a hard life and near the end tries to keep her perspective. The wailing refrain "Don't let my heart break with grief" can be enough to make that happen to you.
13. A Little Fall of Rain - by Boubil and Schonberg, from the musical Les Miserables: This duet between the characters of Eponine and Marius in the second act, behind the barricades. Eponine is in love with Marius and has resigned herself to never being loved in return. Out of her love she delivers a letter to Cosette, Marius's beloved, and returns to the barricades, only to be shot by soldiers as she tries to enter. As she's dies in his arms, she confesses her love to Marius who in grief returns it, albeit too late. This song is so simple and beautiful, and is a monumental tear-jerker, especially in the context of the show.
Alright, I've bared my soul. Now comment below and be honest. What tugs your heart strings?