Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Don't forget the songs that made you cry

There was a great feature in the Guardian on Friday, prompted by Nick Clegg's admission that he cries when he listens to music (and not about dismantling the NHS, betraying students or making such swingeing cuts that Thatcher looks like a socialist in comparison?), about songs that make people cry. There is a great link to a Spotify playlist complied by readers, which has some absolute gems on (listen with tissues handy). It got me to thinking about what would be on my list and, not suprisingly for someone who cries at Glee most weeks, it didn't take long.

Last Goodbye - Jeff Buckley
I was 21 and in the most horrendously dysfunctional relationship. Things had fallen apart spectacularly and although he treated me like shit, I still adored him. We lay in bed the night we finally knew it was over, listening to Grace. Quite why I thought one of the most heartbreaking albums ever recorded would help during our heartbreak, I don't know. The lyrics to Last Goodbye (really, the clue is in the title) seemed to perfectly sum up how we both felt and we wept. I haven't listened to it since.

Changes - Will Young
Driving to work one morning I heard this on the radio and started crying. I was feeling lost, directionless, as if my life had somehow run away from me and I couldn't effect the changes I needed, and the words connected deeply with me. "Hope my life changes, gets alright somehow...I just need a break, a little one".

I watched the South Bank Show special about Will Young (I'm an unashamed fan) and he talked about how he wrote the song at a really crappy point in his life, which you can hear in the way his voice catches slightly on the first chorus. I hear this on the way to work occasionally (I think it's on the playlist for my local student radio station) and it still makes me tear up. And I'm still waiting for changes.

Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika
The joint-national anthem of South Africa since 1994, this can reduce me to mush in seconds. Partly it's because it's a beautiful tune that move even the most hardened of hearts. But mainly because, as the grandaughter of South African anti-apartheid activitists (although my parents arrived in the UK the year before I was born) I've always felt close ties to the country and had a particular interest in the struggle for equality, and the anti-apartheid movement for whom this was the unofficial anthem, long before the democratic elections took place in '94.

No comments:

Post a Comment