Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us so it’s all about love songs. I prefer the mournful kind, full of longing and loss, unrequited devotion and depleted passion. The you’ve-ripped-my-guts-out-and-now-I’m-just-a-wretch sort of love song. (People with melancholic temperaments are so much fun. No wonder we never get invited to parties.) So when I opened this morning’s email update from NPR’s Music Notes, my first impulse, naturally, was to click on the subheading titled “So Your Tiny Black Heart is Broken“. (The writer’s apt description: “Each is carefully selected to provide a vivid soundtrack for those moments when alcohol isn’t even necessary, so drunk is the listener on his or her own misery.”) While most of the songs were unfamiliar to me, I was surprised and delighted to see one by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova from the soundtrack to “Once“, one of my favorite films of the decade. Now there’s an album to satisfy the sorrowful, soul-filled music lover in all of us.
I suppose everybody loves a love song, but for me the best love song is a sad love song.
“I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of music. It seems to infuse strength into my limbs, and ideas into my brain. Life seems to go on without effort, when I am filled with music.” ~ George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss