Thursday, December 29, 2005

sad songs

Part I - The paradox of Andrew

you probably can't tell from my blog, but generally speaking, i'm an easy-going, good-natured, happy guy. in some respects, i think its a paternal trait. last summer, for instance, my dad and i were putzing around the crescent bar harbor in our 19-foot sea ray (20 yrs old and still without a name) and we suddenly heard a muffled grinding sound.

'what's that?' i asked.
'the prop...' he said as he quickly maneuvered us further from shore.
'that sucks.'

and that was that. hmmm...apparently i'm no master of dialogue; that makes him seem quiet but not necessarily happy. try this:

'what's that?' i asked.
'the prop...'
'yep.' he frowned and then, chuckling, continued 'again.' (we have an expensive proclivity for busting props)
'that sucks.'

after determining that the boat was still afloat, we returned to matters of the mundane and thought little of the crippled fish beneath our feet. hours later, after burgers and games, one of us mentioned to a surprised gaggle of girls that the ship was down for the count. in any case, its quite nice to have inherited this cheerful peace of mind. but occasionally it can frustrate others, like when i respond to tales of flat tires, broken broaches, or irritating encouters with the bossman by citing all the horrible circumstances that they avoided. 'just think,' i say, 'at least you have a job. and you get to wear sandals to work! mari tells me that kids in zimbabwe are so hungry they'd eat those sandals...' and that usually doesn't go over well.

soooo...perhaps as a means of compensating for this over enthusiastic optimism i find myself attracted to art that is better characterized by sadness, sufferring, or pain than banal pop, perky love songs, or christmas music with delilah. and there you have it, the paradox of andrew. [EDIT: this last paragraph deserves a lot more depth, oh well. also, i would be remiss if i did not acknowledge beth the s.o. and my officemates at the VA -- Darcy and Rebecca especially -- for their work in bringing this paradox to light]

Part II - fun activity

from a more objective perspective, i think sad songs are particularly powerful. as elton john says 'sad songs say so much.' so, recently i've been incredibly happy about this really sad song by death cab for cutie: "What Sarah Said" (ps - this link is for lyrics, i'd encourage you to first listen to the song before reading the lyrics, but whatever). in fact, i've been so excited about this song, which i've dubbed the saddest song ever, that i've been forcing others to endure it. now that you've heard my saddest song ever, whats yours?

andrew: 'what sarah said'
darcy: some classical song written by holocaust victims (sounds quite sad to me)
mark -- puff the magic dragon (see comments)
beth -- center aisle (caedmon's call)
you -- ?????????????


mari said...

thanks for mentioning zimbabwe in this blog.

Mark said...

I would have to say "Puff the Magic Dragon" as performed by Peter, Paul and Mary. Some may not think of it as sad, but the last verse speaks of Puff so sad he loses his scales and retreats into his cave forever.

andrew said...

mari, you're welcome.

mark, indeed, if one makes it to the end of the song, it is actually quite sad. still, i don't know about being the SADDEST song ever. perhaps puff is the SADDEST dragon ever and happens to be in a sad song...

Beth said...

Caedmon's Call, "Center Aisle," about the suicide his best friend's sister.

beth said...
I tried to post this in my last one but here's a link to the album.