Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Personal Do-Not-Play List

It's been sad song days out there on the musical interwebs. These lists reminded me of one I've been thinking about posting for a couple of months.

A few years ago my mother mentioned that she hates the song "Cathy's Clown" by the Everly Brothers. It seems, when they were teenagers, my mom and dad broke up for some amount of time and he went on a date with a girl named Cathy (for the record, my dad does not remember this. Then again, he was a teenage-boy). She has hated that song ever since, even though they got back together, got married, had kids, and divorced. I found that kind of sweet, that so many years later, a fairly innocuous song could still feel that way. I have several songs I just can't listen to, which may make me extra sensitive.

1. I'm Sorry -- John Denver. This came out the year my parents got divorced. I'll leave it at that.

2. "Something So Right" -- Paul Simon. This is on "There Goes Rhymin' Simon" and reminds me way too much of the first boy I was in love with. He was not in love with me. You know how it goes. "They've got a wall in China/A thousand miles long/To keep out the foreigners they built it strong/I've got a wall around me you can't even see/It took a little time to get next to me."

3. "And So it Goes" -- Billy Joel. The way I remember it, my then best friend played this for me around the time he started dating his now wife and the cracks in our friendship were just beginning. But now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure it was a lot earlier (the song came out in 1990), but I associate it very strongly with him and since it is about the end of a relationship, the end of our's. Not to mention, he cried when he played it, which reminds me of why I loved him. Damn that Billy Joel anyway.

4. "Wildflowers" -- Tom Petty. Same friend as above played this one for me and said it reminded him of me. That was enough to get it on this list, but then it came on while I was riding with my friend Lynn, a month or so after our friend Sue died. Lynn said she always thinks of Sue whenever she hears it. That is a double whammy.

5. "Good Luck Fire Chief" -- Brian Lillie. So no link for this one, he is an Ann Arbor singer/songwriter. When I worked in Constantine, I became very close to the fire chief, Tom. He was in his mid-50's, very funny, and so alive. I loved him dearly. He had had a heart attack 20 years before, and those troubles started again. He died a couple of days after I started a new job in Ann Arbor and I was not able to go to his funeral (something I deeply regret). Around the time Tom's heart problems began, I saw Lillie perform this song and thought it was funny because Tommy was having no luck at all. It is a goofy little tune about a zany small town (and rings fairly true, in spirit anyway), but to me it is about Tommy. This is the only one of these songs that shows up on regular basis, since I have the album of the same name on my ipod; sometimes I can hear it and remember how funny he was, most of the time I just miss him. "So good luck Fire Chief, where ever you're going/I hope you have buildings to burn."

Well, that was cheerful. How about you? Does anyone else out there have certain song that makes your heart seize up in pain?

To make it up to you, here a couple of pictures of our delightful not-so-little puppy:

Lizzy Loves Her Chewie

Lizzy and Fred


Valerie said...

I can only think of one song like that: "Don't let the Sun Catch you Cryin'" by Gerry and the Pacemakers.

I was about 12 years old when a friend of my brother (about 11-12 years older than me) sang that song to me. Of course, being 12 and an older guy singing to me, that was something really special.

About a month after that, he jumped off a railroad trestle committing suicide.

He was one of 7 children. A sister and another brother committed suicide (gas oven and shotgun respectively). I've always wondered what went on in that family.

Valerie said...

here it is.

Lee said...

What an intense and sad story -- there must be a great of sorrow and anger in that family.

Earlier this week a blog I've been reading lately publish a review of a YA book about dealing with teen suicide: http://somewherenevertravelled.blogspot.com/2008/11/weekly-book-review-thirteen-reasons-why.html

madscientist said...

"She's Always a Woman to Me" by Billy Joel. Same thing. Suicidal Person. Only she survived. And attended Thanksgiving.

"Send in the Clowns" by Barbara. When I broke up with someone, these are the lyrics she read to me. I felt like an ass.

"My Father's House" by Springsteen. Always brings a lump to my throat. My dad and I have a fine relationship, but this song still racks me up.