I’m not a particularly touchy feely person. I’m not really into big hugs unless I know you very well and the way things feel doesn’t really bother me (with the possible exception of polystyrene). I don’t, for example, miss the touch and feel of paper books at all since I got my Kindle and I couldn’t care less how a mobile phone feels in my hands as long as it does the things it needs to do.
But when it comes to music it’s a different story – I can travel back decades in my mind at the sound of a single chord structure and I cannot, will not, pay money for MP3s. My music has to be as sound quality perfect as it can get and while I understand the convenience of MP3s when out and about I do not want to buy my music in a compressed format. It hurts my ears and my heart. If I could I’d still buy everything on vinyl….
My friend and fellow yoga teacher Rosanna was talking the other day about music during yoga class. Some teachers create huge playlists that work perfectly with the sequence they are teaching but that doesn’t work for me. I do play a little bit of classical music (as a massage therapist I have a natural aversion to plinky plonky chanting, panpipes and whale noises), very quietly in the background when I teach simply to offset the annoying noise of rattling radiators and people in the flats upstairs, but that is all.
Apart from my family and my work, music is probably the single most important thing in my life. Outside of yoga and anatomy trainings I spend most of my money on CDs and gig tickets. Music is something that catches me in its net and takes me away to some far off distant place. It does not, therefore, mix well when it comes to yoga as far as I’m concerned. I cannot go to or teach a class where the music is anything more than a whisper in the background. There is no place for pratyahara when music is playing for me, because I can only be with the music. While I spend my time making fancy Spotify playlists for people (it’s the modern day equivalent of a mix tape), don’t ever expect to hear one in any class I teach.
But I’m not teaching a class to you today readers, so I have made you a mix tape. The theme of this one is songs that make me cry. As with most things in life, music is completely subjective and I have no idea why some of these songs make me weep so much. But it’s all in a good way, crying is cathartic and these are a handful of the songs I’ll turn to when I need a good weep. Just press play!
1. Razor – Foo Fighters: The ultimate break up song. When Dave sings the word ‘goodbye’ I think my heart will break. This version is live from the Foos’ acoustic tour in 2006.
2. Slide Away – Oasis: Much as I love Gallagher Senior, his music isn’t the first thing you think of when it comes to tearjerkers. But this song is probably the most beautiful thing he ever wrote. Recorded while Liam still had that untainted voice, before it turned into the bitter snarl it has become today, this is has always been a breathtaking moment of love and loss for me.
3. Fix You – Coldplay: Himself always says that I cry at the first hint of a minor key (for example I just can’t listen to Ben Folds without tears springing to my eyes) so Coldplay have always been a bit too much for me to cope with. I only have to hear the intro to Fix You and I’m weeping all over the place. It was on X-Factor last winter and as soon as Himself heard the opening note he turned to me and said “are you crying yet?” (I was). It’s also the music to the closing scene of my favourite movie (wow, I’m really outing myself as completely uncool aren’t I?!).
4. Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns – Mother Love Bone: This is that song that everyone knows as “the one from Singles “. While slightly ruined for me by Rhian (I’m not going to tell you what she said, you’ll have to ask her yourself), it’s always been those opening piano notes that do it for me. That and the fact that Andy died not long after it was recorded.
5. Black – Pearl Jam: And so, with Andy dead the search for a new singer began. Black started life as ‘E-Ballad’ on the Gossman Project demos (something I thought to be apocryphal until, oh happy day, Himself found them online a few weeks ago). These vocal-less demos wound their way to Southern California and into the hands of a man named Vedder. The rest is history. The lyrics to Black (and seriously if “I know some day you’ll have a beautiful life, I know you’ll be the star, in somebody else’s life. Why? Why? Why, can’t it be mine?” doesn’t bring a tear to your eye you have a heart of stone) were written on the journey from San Diego to Seattle.
For nostalgia purposes you get a video for this one too. I think this is Lollapalooza ‘92. It probably says in the comments, but I don’t read YouTube comments for the sake of my sanity. A special note should be taken of the drummer’s cigarette – it’s quite an achievement. I’d tell you which drummer this is but I don’t know. Is it one of the Daves? PJ changed drummers every 15 minutes back then so it’s hard to tell….
Because 8tracks.com only lets you upload a minimum of 8 tracks you get three bonuses here. First up is February Stars by Foo Fighters as Himself says this, not Razor, is their saddest song. Then you get E-Ballad, which became Black. And just for fun you get Dollar Short as well (I think if you listen to it you’ll work out what that became). (NB I cannot be held responsible for the sound quality of MP3s that have been ripped from a 22-year-old tape).
And if these songs didn’t make you cry, which ones do?