Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sad songs find their 'place in sun'

"Life in a snow globe," Ernest McLeod, All rights reserved

I'm off from work this week to catch up on projects & get some sleep. So I got to spend some real time looking at work by place in sun, aka Ernest McLeod, a photographer I've admired for years. McLeod favors modest, seemingly ordinary subjects -- the places & things he encounters in his own life in Vermont, Montreal & traveling. His instinct for form & the revelatory light which unveils it -- & especially his understanding of the deep emotional power of color -- make these pictures extraordinary. I'm particularly taken by his unabashed (I mean un-ironic) passion for north country landscapes (full disclosure: I love those landscapes too).

"Goldenrod," Ernest McLeod, All rights reserved

But wait a minute! All the above is true, but it's not the reason I started this post. I wanted to weigh in on one of the critical questions of our time, which 'place in sun' posed in his most recent post? What are the 12 saddest songs of all time? Do you love sad songs too? The ones that make you tingle with miserable joy? If so, check out his (unfinished) choices here. The videos are amazing -- Springsteen's "The River" took me to such an exalted peak of regret for the splendid stupidity of youth that I nearly died & went to heaven.

Anyway, here are a few of my own candidates for 'place in sun's' list. These might (or might not) eventually appear on his excellent blog, parade music in a quiet room .

"One More for the Road," Frank Sinatra -- (is that Doris Day in the vid?)

"Talk to Me of Mendocino," Kate & Anna McGarrigle, with Rufus Wainwright

"The Brand New Tennesse Waltz," Jesse Winchester

Two more I thought of & found but couldn't download from YouTube (site maintenance).
"I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," Hank Williams
"Cat's Cradle," Harry Chapin

I'm out of gas. Who's next?


Terri Lynn said...

Sad songs can be universal or very subjective I think, what may be sad to me might not be sad to anyone else. The first few times I heard "Because of you" by Kelly Clarkson I would curl up in a fetal position and weep because she was singing about my childhood and some of the lasting results of the abuse I suffered. I was surprised to be affected like that, music is a powerful beast. I can listen to that song without crying now, though. :)

Chris Bonney said...

There's always Peggy Lee's "Is That All There Is?"

And for purposely melancholic music, it's hard to beat Barber's Adagio for Strings.

Thanks for the tip to Ernest's blog. Another one to add to the list.

place in sun said...

Many thanks, Tim, for the post and kind words. I truly appreciate it. And your sad song choices certainly are in line with my tastes, but are ones that hadn't occurred to me.

I'll also second Terri Lynn's and Chris Bonney's choices. "Because of You" was my guilty pleasure for a long time, till I finally admitted I love it guilt-free. And Miss Lee's "Is That All There Is?"--well, it just sums life up in its quirky way.

Rest well, thanks again, E.

Terri Lynn said...

Have to add Sinead O'Connor; Nothing Compares to You! *sniff *sniff

Tim Connor said...

Yes, & Sinead is such a fierce young angel in that clip. Makes me shiver.

Tim Connor said...

Posted on my Flickr page, re this post:

chuckwheat: "Vietnam" by Jimmy cliff combines a great dance beat with a heartbreaking message.

Alice M: thought that "at the Brand New Tenessee Waltz" was a Joan Baez song ! I heard my mum sing it full volume when I was little to improve her English and now I learn JB was not the first one to sing it!

My reply: Alice, I'm pretty sure Jesse W wrote it but thanks for telling me Joan covered it. I would love to hear her version.

Alice M: Here you are ! z-T143832
And another "sad" song I like very much :

larry1960 said...

"Talk to Me of Mendocino" is infinitely sad.

Tim Connor said...

From my friend Janice Caswell:

mad world:

Tim Connor said...

"Turn around" by Malvina Reynolds. this one actually makes me cry. This Youtube says it's a cover by Harry Belafonte, but it's not. It's some guy in his kitchen with an acoustic guitar, but he sings with great feeling & after all, that's the way Malvina meant it to be sung.

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