Sad Songs They Say So Much, Kinda.

My computer crashed on me at least 7 or 8 times this morning before I could even get started on this blog, I was rethinking yesterdays post. Hm.  I am resolving that  I should have probably worked on research paper that I have due quite soon.

After my ridiculous time I put into my yesterday’s blog, I headed home yet at the last minute detoured into Summerlin Parkway and headed straight for the mountains, into what they call Downtown Summerlin now. A new suburban area with shops and crap.

I sat in a parking lot at Downtown Summerlin looking around wondering if I should take myself to a movie or head home. Dammit.

I opted for take out Chinese, and went home with food and a frown. I told myself I would go crazy  if I had to spend another Saturday night looking at my four walls. Yet, started feeling really ill after I ate. So of course I started Googling health issues. Bad idea.

Since I was an early teen, my step dad ( a doctor), always had DSM’s laying around. I would sit and diagnose myself with ever disease possible .  I was quite an intense young lady.  Nothing much has changed except for maturity and acceptance.

I was diagnosed with really bad panic attacks around the age 17 and they have stuck around pretty much all my life but now I can take it with a grain of salt.

Reading helped. Music helped. Yet I always find myself steering toward the equally troubled sorts of artists. Maybe not officially troubled but those with a seemingly somber sadness.

Song writers like Paul Williams, who is quite apologetic in his music. Emotional with words questioning love– love that will never be or that was, rainy days–Mondays.

,paul-williams-young-and-famous

He just gets me. There is so much regret and sadness enmeshed in his lyrics as he waxes poetic over his unique vocal styling. I adored him in Phantom of the Paradise. One of the songs in the film, directed by Brian De Palma is called “Faust”. The song starts out with a hauntingly,” soul-be-damned” piano intro, in which  William’s sets an immediate tone of complete regret and disparaging, gut wrenching, self flogging lyrics of utter failure and heartbreak- all before the second stanza.

On the soundtrack album which is fucking wonderful, William Finley sings it.

If you have the LP the song where William’s himself sings in a more laid back 70’s style, which plays out almost in a sense of “this situation has not only killed me but sucked the life out of my soul” gospel– and with a devilish ending guitar solo—you then realize William’s isn’t taking us to heaven….baby.

His version is so awesome it makes my vagina throb, I adore that man, his lyrics and music. (Not to mention he’s a stone 70’s singer songwriter fox!)

Faust

I was not myself last night
Couldn’t set things right with apologies or flowers
Out of place as a cryin’ clown who could only frown
And the play went on for hours

And as I lived my  role, I swore, I’d sell my soul for one love
Who would stand by me and give me back the gift of laughter
One love who would stand by me and after making love we’d

Dream a bit of style
We’d dream a bunch of friends
Dream each others smile….And dream it never ends

He gives us the excellent “Hell of It”,  ( I have never seen this footage of William’s stage performance before… wow) which brings us William’s love for ragtime piano, mixed with the “fuck you sounds of damnation”- that this soundtrack brings. It’s like Bugsy Malone meets Satan.

The lyrics alone have similar undertones of Harry Nilsson’s “Your’e Breaking My Heart”. 

Hell of It

Good for nothin’ bad in bed, nobody likes you
And you’re better off dead, goodbye
We’ve all come to say goodbye, goodbye

Born defeated died in vain
Super destructive, you were hooked on pain
And though your music lingers on
All of us are glad you’re gone

If I could live my life half as worthlessly as you
I’m convinced that I’d wind up burning too 

(partial lyrics)

Paul_Williams

But why do these sad musical pontificates of regret, sadness and loss make me feel better? I am drawn to them like magnets. Speaking of magnets- I am absolutely drawn to the talents of Magnetic Fields’ song writer; Stephin Merritt

Merritt

According to his website,” House of Tomorrow”‘; Merritt has gained official recognition as one of the country’s best recent songwriters; the “Cole Porter of his generation”.

Nothing ever really works out for Merriit in his songs.

Someone always is sad, left behind, far away, only momentarily lucky, ugly, won’t dance with him, the dog’s leash is too long or just plain absolutely cuckoo.

Sounds like that sums up my typical day in my head in a very large nutshell 🙂

Many of his songs read like prose and are short, repetitive and to the point; and end thusly;

Reno Dakota

Reno Dakota there’s not an iota of kindness in you
You know you enthrall me and yet you don’t call me
It’s making me blue, Pantone 292

Reno Dakota I’m reaching my quota of tears for the year
Alas and alack you just don’t call me back
You have just disappeared
It makes me drink beer

I know you’re a recluse; you know that’s no excuse, Reno
That’s just a ruse
Do not play fast and loose with my heart

Reno Dakota I’m no Nino Rota; I don’t know the score
Have I annoyed you or is there a boy who– well he’s just a whore
I’ve had him before
It makes me drink more

But again why do these songs of sadness make me feel better, or do I just like feeling worse before feeling better. Maybe I just feel that these singer songwriter vocal and lyrical consolations help bring me a sense of  ” You are not alone”.

Still curious on why I will go for something more melancholy like  Merritt’s ” I Don’t Wanna Get Over You” than say, Van Halen’s “JUMP”?

According to Today.com , researchers say that emotive and over-romanticized sad songs evoke four distinct rewards.

First being allowed to feel sadness without any of its “real-life implications.” In other words, you can safely explore what it’s like to be a little blue without experiencing the intense grief of mourning a loved one. Even if it’s what you really may be going through, it’s someone else’s words.

Second reward was “Emotion regulation”– as apparently, experiencing sadness through music help to express and release your emotions.

Third was the reward of “imagination” letting us  feel as though we could express ourselves as richly and mournful as the music.

Last, the reward of  “empathy”, it makes us  feel good by sharing the sadness of another human being through the song.

I agree with bits and pieces of this study, I suppose.

Especially the empathy. But most of all I feel empathy for me in particular, as if I wrote the song or a living my situation through the song: like a really bad 90’s movie music montage ( example here…)

I mean if you have ever seen a group of drunk girls Karaoke the song ” Before He Cheats” you know what kind of pathetic empathy I am talking about.( Oye…) These girls may not be drunk in the video, but you get the picture.

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