sotd 02.05.10

“Angel in the Snow” / Elliott Smith (2007) *

First, I can’t remember if this has been an SOTD yet. If it’s a repeat, I’m sorry, but it bears repeating.

Second, When my brother was little – I mean, really little, like one-year-old – he would cry every time he heard Gerry and the Pacemakers’ “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Cryin'” on the radio. We never understood why, but as soon as any of us (my Dad, Mom or I) heard the opening bars, we would practically dive for the radio to change the station. This song sent him into inconsolable weeping that would abruptly end with the next song. Brother doesn’t remember this, so he can’t explain why it made him so sad, but I think the answer isn’t all that complicated: Some songs just hit a random spot in our brain in just the right way.

Today’s song is, without a doubt, the saddest song I know.  Just hearing the opening notes makes my heart sink, and I can’t explain why. I don’t have some clear, singular memory attached to it and it doesn’t conjure any specific image. To me, it’s just what sad sounds like. I don’t know. Just give it a listen and maybe you’ll get it too.

*It was hard to find a good link to this song, so I’m sorry if that link doesn’t work. There are a ton of folks singing it on Youtube, but it’s not quite the same. Oh, and while you’re there, listen to more of the album. It’s good stuff.

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