I was compiling Today’s Top 5 Music Obsessions when a new cover song from Juliana Hatfield popped up on my Social Media feed. I fell HARD for her cover album of Olivia Newton-John songs, and now she’s releasing an album of Police covers. I AM SO HERE FOR IT.
So, anyway, I made some adjustments to fit the first single from the upcoming new cover album in, “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da”. A matter of fact, I made room for it at the top. I needed this song right now. I’m having a hard time today keeping good, and not sinking into anxiety and sadness and doubts and tears. But, I’m trying.
I have so much to do today, tonight, and tomorrow. I really wish I could take a break. I’d like to go to the ocean, or to the movies, or a bookstore, or a drive somewhere. The past two months have been so busy. I feel like I have an endless to-do list. I need a break. Soon.
I’m turning up the music, and I’m trying.
Next up is a song from Madonna. This month I’m doing a Song of the Day theme of Women In Music From the ’80s, which has me gathering songs, which led me to the Like a Prayer album, my favorite (I think) of Madonna’s. Tanya Donelly’s (yes, I’m still way into her) cover of “Between the Bars” on the Elliott Smith cover album is next. I love Elliott. I love Tanya. I love this song and this cover. Music obsession lovefest right here. The last two songs are songs I have loved for a long time, songs that have made it on the Top 5 before, and songs that make me cry every single time I listen to them. I know, I know, here I am trying not to cry, but at the same time I’m trying to be aware and mindful of my emotions, and acknowledge them, so maybe it’s okay to cry.
What songs always make you cry?
Top 5 Music Obsessions – August 1, 2019
1. “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” by Juliana Hatfield
from the upcoming album, Juliana Hatfield Sings The Police (2019)
“Don’t think me unkind.
Words are hard to find.
They’re only checks I’ve left unsigned,
from the banks of chaos in my mind.
And, when their eloquence escapes me,
their logic ties me up and rapes me.”
You know, I never knew all the lyrics to this song until hearing Juliana’s version. Damn. This is a rough, dark song.
I’ve been finding words hard for months now, but they are slowly coming back to me. Actually, maybe not that slow. I feel fired up and driven to write and write and write.
I think all the recent silences, and all the upheavals and troubles, they bottled up so tightly that now they are like that soda bottle you shook too hard or a volcano that has been dormant for too long. I’m ready to explode.
2. “Dear Jessie” by Madonna
from the album, Like a Prayer (1989)
“Pink elephants and lemonade,
hear the laughter running through the love parade.
Candy kisses and a sunny day,
see the roses raining on the love parade.”
In 1989, I was crazy about a boy named Jesse. We shared kisses and cherry sours from Disneyland one night, candy-flavored kisses that lit me up into a sugar-high flurry of desire that led to a reckless kind of lust.
He was the wrong boy, the bad boy, the one everyone warned me about, and in 1989, that probably made him all the more attractive. He wasn’t all that though.
He had a sweetness, sweeter than those red candies, that few people knew about. He let me see that side in the short time we were together.
I’m glad we had those moments. All of them. Candy kisses and sweetness and reckless lust, too.
3. “Between the Bars” by Tanya Donelly
from the cover album, Say Yes! A Tribute to Elliott Smith (2016)
“Drink up, baby,
look at the stars.
I’ll kiss you again,
between the bars,
where I’m seeing you there,
with your hands in the air –
waiting to finally be caught.”
Tanya’s cover of “Between the Bars” opens the album. This is one of my Top 5 favorite Elliott Smith songs of all time. It is heartbreaking and beautiful and rough and raw and everything I love about his music.
There are so many rough and raw and heartbreaking and beautiful memories attached to this song, for me. To me, its about loving someone who is addicted and deeply troubled, and how it feels to be deep in that kind of love. I’m not sure I’ve ever been in a love that hasn’t been a little like that (or a lot like that).
4. “Song for Zula” by Phosphorescent
from the album, Muchacho (2013)
“See, honey, I saw love,
you see it came to me,
it puts its face up to my face so I could see.
Yeah, then I saw love disfigure me,
into something I am not recognizing.”
This song makes me cry. Every. Single. Time.
5. “To Be Completely Honest” by Dawes
from the album, All Your Favorite Bands (2015)
“To be completely honest,
I think I know how it ends,
the universe continues expanding,
while we discuss particulars of just being friends.”
Yep, this one, too. Every. Single. Time.
It is also one of the reasons I love Dawes, and am blown away by their songwriting, and musicianship (especially after seeing them live a few times, hearing this performed live a few times).
This is the quintessential break-up song, and an honest one, at that. It cuts hard and deep in its honesty, to be completely honest (pun intended).