Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Dancing with Myself.

Which is worse: the crushing loneliness of having no one to love, or loving someone and having it not work out? The question occurred to me while viewing this story on breakup songs.

Breakups can be traumatic, but true masters of self-pity know that parting with a lover only offers temporary satisfaction. Wallowing in one's own continuing unlovability and solitude, on the other hand, is for those sad-sacks who are in it to win it.

The latter category is where I have spent roughly 80 percent of my adult Valentine's Days up to now. Still, when it comes to musical accompaniment, most of what's out there is geared toward the rage or sadness of breakups. It's harder to come up with songs for the people who don't bother with relationships and instead go straight to the depression.

When it comes to over-the-top R&B songs about heartache, though, I am a font of knowledge. Here, just for fun, are some songs that I love for their all-out, high-drama poutiness.

10 Crybaby R&B/Soul Songs

"How Can I Ease the Pain," Lisa Fischer
"This Woman's Work," Maxwell (covering Kate Bush)
"All Cried Out," Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
"So Sick," Ne-Yo
"Halfcrazy," Musiq
"I Hate You," Prince
"Wish I Didn't Miss You," Angie Stone
"I'm the Only Woman," Mary J. Blige
"Green Eyes," Erykah Badu
"Emotional Rollercoaster," Vivian Green

The only loneliness songs I can think of are pretty bad ("All by Myself," Eric Carmen; "One," Three Dog Night) or little known ("One Is the Magic Number," Jill Scott). What am I missing?

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps it straddles the line between crybaby and lonely, but what about Brian McKnight's "One Last Cry"? Or is that too Top 40?

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Z said...

one that always does it for me is 'Round Here' by Counting Crows (used to love this band -- there's no accounting for taste, or Adam Duritz for that matter) -- it's not about loneliness per se, but it's evocative of "not fitting in" -- so it kind of works on that front.

2:56 PM  
Blogger KPC said...

I don't think there is a difference between the breakup and loneliness songs; they are both about desire and failure to connect deeply with another human being. Yes, some singers warble about how great the lost love was, but it is still about being lonely.

My favorite sad songs are all by (or at least performed by) the Cowboy Junkies. I do thoroughly enjoy that they can move from the sad songs to "Anniversary Song" which just describes perfectly the happy long-term marriages I see (including my own 10 year marriage).

4:04 PM  
Anonymous pbdotc said...

i like songs

4:43 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Brian McKnight is a cybernetic heartstring-puller worthy of any R&B tearjerk list. I can say that "Round Here" has made me feel vaguely depressed, but only because a Counting Crows song was on. KPC makes a fair point, but somehow there's a difference to me. I guess it's the old "to have loved and lost or not to have loved at all."

12:46 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home