Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Just Another Sad Love Song Part 1

"Its just another sad love song, racking my brain like crazy. Guess I'm all torn up, be it fast or slow, it doesn't let go or shake me... and its all because of you..." -- Another Sad Love Song by Toni Braxton

Some years ago, say, 2006, I did a post called "Sad Songs Say So Much", where I listed what I felt was the 20th Saddest Songs Ever.

Well, here we are, six full years later, and its time to revisit. So for this Valentine's Day, I wanted to give you my new list, this time, The 25 Saddest Songs Ever... many of the songs are the same, just lower or higher, but since in six years I've gained several new readers, this is new to you!

Broken into 2 parts for length and time (I've got just long enough to finish this before The Lovely Steph Leann wakes up, meaning Campbell wakes up on the couch and I've got to feed him. And her), here is numbers 25 through 11... the top ten will be listed in a day or so. I promise.

Note... these are all about heartbreak. There are many songs out there about abuse and suicide and death and tragedy and destruction and such, but I centered only on the loneliness, despair and ache that can only be felt with a broken heart... except for one song, which will be explained when we get there. So no "Its So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" by Boyz II Men, a song about death.

Honorable Mentions... "She's Always a Woman" by Billy Joel (too much like #23)... "Unbreak My Heart" by Toni Braxton (overplayed to the point that its lost its punch)... "Against All Odds" by Phil Collins (too easy)... "Superstar" by The Carpenters (too stalkery).... and "Whiskey Lullaby" by Brad Paisley & Alison Krauss (too drunky)

(25) "Somebody Lied" by Ricky Van Shelton 
"Hello? Yeah, this is me. Lord, its been a long, long time. I know this ain't no social call, so go ahead, get it off your mind. You heard what? Well, it ain't true. I was here most all last night... I got over you the day you left, could it be somebody lied?"

Talk about a gut wrenching song... this dude gets a call from his ex-chick, and his ex is like, "Dude, I heard you been asking about me too all our friends... what the crap, yo?" and he is like, "Naw, that ain't me. Somebody been lying to you." And then she's like, "Man, I been done heard you been like, crying and all to all of our peeps, yo." And then, he is like, "Naw, I ain't shed a tear in years. And that I talked about you? That is crazy... I ain't even noticed you be gone, yo."

Then, he asked, "... so, if they were true, what would it matter to you, would it change the way you feel? If the rumors were right, would you be here tonight, to help this old heart heal? But, don't worry, it wasn't me. Just someone who's world was torn in two. Someone who looks alot like me, and loves someone like you."

(24) "I'll Be There For You" by Bon Jovi
"... I guess this time your really leaving... I heard your suitcase say goodbye... and as my broken heart lies bleeding... you said true love is suicide..."

Ouch. Jon Bon Jovi's growly voice kicks in after a memorable twangy opening, then spends the next five minutes or so simply begging and pleading for her not to leave.

But she ain't having it. She says she's cried a thousand rivers, but now she's swimming for the shore.

(23) "Secret Garden" by Bruce Springsteen, the "Jerry Maguire" version
"...I was just about to tell you... that I love him. I DO! I love him! And I don't care what you think, I love him for the man he wants to be, and I love him for the man... he almost is! I love him, Laurel. I love him. I love him."

That line is spoken in the depths of the movie "Jerry Maguire", one of my 100 favorite films of all time, and also at the very beginning of this version of the highly underrated Bruce Springsteen song. Its a song all about a chick who is distant, who is secretive, who lets her man in only so far, then pushes him away... while the dude himself yearns to be closer to her. "She lead you down a path, there'll be tenderness in the air. She'll let you in just far enough so you'll know she's really there..." Sad, sad.

I frakkin' love this movie. No joke.

(22) "Don't Close Your Eyes" by Keith Whitley
"...don't close your eyes, let it be me, don't pretend its him in some fantasy. Darling, just once let yesterday go, you'll find more love than you'll ever know. Just hold me tight, when you love me tonight, and don't close your eyes..."

So, not only does this guy have to suffer through having a chick, being in love with this chick even, that he knows has a previous man... but he has to suffer with the knowledge that even though she is with him, she's thinking of her previous man! What!? What what?! So rather than telling her to hit the bricks, he actually just begs her to just stay awake, because if she closes her eyes or goes to sleep, she'll think of her old boo. Sad. And even worse, I've been there.

And its even worse that Keith Whitley ended up drinking himself to death a few years after this monumental hit.

(21) "With or Without You" by U2
"see the stone set in your eyes, feel the thorn twist in your side, and I wait... for you."

I echo my sentiments from six years ago... You chicks are evil. Seriously.

(20) "Separate Lives" by Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin
"Oh, its so typical, love leads to isolation. So you build that wall (build that wall), you build that wall, and you make it stronger... you have no right to ask me how I feel. You have no right to speak to me so kind. Someday I might find myself looking in your eyes. But for now, we'll go on living... separate lives."

Whew. Written by Stephen Bishop (a soft pop guy from the early 80s, had a hit with "It Might Be You" from "Tootsie"), he dated Karen Allen, who we know as the love interest from the first and fourth Indiana Jones movies. They had a bad breakup, and Bishop wrote this song after actually calling her from his hotel room--which is in the song. Ouch.

(19) "I'll Never Get Over You (getting over me)" by Expose
"...I try to smile so the hurt won’t show… tell everybody I was glad to see you go…"

Talk about someone who can’t let go! Here’s a chick who is just watching her man go about and have a good time, she has watched him not only move on, but also forget about her. From 1992, its Expose’s last hit on the charts.

By the way, Expose falls under that Pat Benetar category of "Artists that you never realized had so many songs that you like"... I mean, Expose was a pretty big deal in the late, late 80s and early 90s... "Point of No Return" and "When I Looked at Him" and of course, their biggest hit of all, "Seasons Change", which is an awesome song.

FYI... I played this song as I broke up with a girl my freshman year in college.  What a douchey move, I admit it.  Sorry.  I was 18.    

(18) "Can't Let Go" by Mariah Carey
"...you even realize the sorrow I have inside, every day of my life? Do you know they way it feels when all you have just died? I try and try to deny the way that I feel but still you remain on my mind…"

From the 1991 album “Emotions”, here’s Mariah Carey’s ode to losing someone… not just losing someone, nay nay! Losing someone and not being able to move forward! Losing them and watching them be with someone else! Now this song was Mariah’s 6th single ever, but the first to not make it to #1, as it stalled at #2. The song that kept it from #1? All for Love by Color Me Badd.

(17) "I Can't Stay Away from You" by Gloria Estefan & The Miami Sound Machine
"...and I don’t wanna be your second choice, don’t wanna be just your friend… you keep telling me that you’re not in love, you wanna throw it all away…"

From 1988, the album Let It Loose, its Gloria Estefan AND the Miami Sound Machine. This one is heartbreaking because not only does she lose her boo… not only is he moving on… not only can she not move on… but she can’t stay away from him. She can’t stop thinking about him. She wants him to call her up and say “I need you too”. Its just so… so painful.

Is there a better band name that "The Miami Sound Machine"? That's an awesome name. I think if the Miami Dolphins ever had a good defense, they could call it "The Miami Pound Machine". Wait... that sounds wrong. Never mind.

(16) "Nothing Broken But My Heart" by Celine Dion
"If you ask me how I'm doing, I'm fine. All I needed was a little time.... so if you think I still need you, baby, I really don't know why... but if you see me, nothing's broken... nothing's broken but my heart."

Here's my absolute favorite song by Celine Dion… from her self titled album released in 1992, it’s a tune about a bad breakup. She herself has moved on, just like her man. She’s gotten herself together, she’s started a new life and all that rot. But still… she finds herself reflecting and says, “you know, you might think my world has ended, but really… nothing is wrong. Except for the fact I have a broken heart.” And there it is.

Dig the Vh1 logo in the corner. Old school.

(15) "No One Is to Blame" by Howard Jones
"You can see the summit, but you can't reach it. The last piece of the puzzle, but you just can't make it fit... doctor says your cured, but you still feel the pain, aspirations in the clouds but your hopes go down the drain..."

Its all about being attracted to someone you just can't be with. The entire song is filled with contradictions--you can be the fastest runner, but you aren't allowed to win. You can dip your foot in the pool, but you can't have a swim. And you want her, and she wants you... but it just ain't happening. And guess what? No one, no one, no one ever, is to blame.

Howard Jones got the idea for this song in 1985 on a trip to San Francisco, when a friend asked him about the women in San Fran. When Jones said he found them great, the friend said, "Well, you can look at the menu, but you don't have to eat." And it was a song after that.

(14) "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston
Oh Whitney. Oh, dear, sweet Whitney. I'm not ready to discuss this yet--I truly do feel, no joke intended, that a piece of my music loving soul passed.

Moving on.

(13) "There's a Light In Your Eyes" by The Blessid Union of Souls
"It's been a while since I've seen you, how have you been? Did you get my letter I wrote you that I did not send?"

To me, a quite simplistic, yet painful line. Its about a guy who is fondly remember his woman, the one who left. Perhaps she left because he was a jerkweed, perhaps she left because she knew she herself was a jerkweedette, or perhaps its over because... well, sometimes things just don't work out. Sometimes relationships just don't happen. "I've been thinking and here's what I've come to conclude... sometimes the distance is more than two people can use..." And the dude singing has this great melodic voice that just fits perfectly. Perfectly painful. There's a light in your eyes, did you leave that light burning for me?

(12) "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers
"Ain't no sunshine when she's gone. Its not warm when she's away. Ain't no sunshine when she's gone, she's always gone too long, anytime she goes away."

Such a simple song. Maybe two verse, an undefined chorus and 25 uses of the words "I know". Yet, Bill Withers in his soulful smoothness sings the pain of the heart, the missing of the woman he loves. Because when she's gone, its dark everywhere, especially in the heart. One of my 25 favorite songs of all time.

(11) "I'll Be Okay" by Amanda Marshall
"...I want you to be happy, you're my best friend. But its so hard to let you go now, and all that could have been. I'll always have the memories, she'll always have you. Fate has a way of changing when you don't want it to."

From the soundtrack of a pretty good movie, that being "My Best Friend's Wedding", this is a little known artist named Amanda Marshall... like many artists, big in Canada, not well known here. Its all about the fun of watching your best friend, the one you are in love with, the love of your life, not only love, but end up with someone else. I only know of one other song by Amanda Marshall, that being "Birmingham", but this one is the one to remember.

Next... The Police, sort of.  Gloria returns.  A Broadway staple.  A reverend.  The Top Ten Saddest Songs Ever.

1 comment:

  1. I cried to that Expose song OVER and OVER in my middle/high school days. I'm so glad God gave us a little boy and am absolutely TERRIFIED of this next one possibly being a girl. I don't know how I'd handle all that drama.


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