Insomnia is a cruel mistress. She leaves you with a hangover kiss, harsher than from alcohol, or any other binges. You walk around feeling rough around the edges, as if you were cut out with pinking sheers. Coffee always feels like the cure, but too much of that leads to a shaky jitteriness. Better to hydrate, walk outside, and play music to soothe the sleepless marks. I should know by now. I’ve held hands with mistress insomnia since I was about four years old.
Take that mistress no-sleep. Here’s five songs to slay you, and soothe me.
Give Me Five – March, 9, 2021
Song 1: “Crucify” by Tori Amos
“I’ve been raising up my hands,
drive another nail in.
Got enough guilt to start my own religion.”
When will this song not be relevant? Will it ever not be relevant? I felt it deep in the center of me, under my skin, in my bones and veins, when I first heard it, in 1992. When I listen today I feel it just as strongly. It cuts through all the masks and boxes and wires that try to camouflage how broken I feel. It slices through it all, waking me up, making me feel.
I’d despise it if I wasn’t so grateful for it. Tori’s been helping me save my life since I was 23.
If you want to see more, hear more, learn more about Tori, and if you want to help support her music, click here.
And now for something live:
Song 2: “The Sensual World” by Kate Bush
“And how we’d wished to live in the sensual world.
You don’t need words,
just one kiss,
Kissing is a kind of magic. It stops time. It shatters all the bad things, albeit temporarily, and fills you up with passion, and the stuff of dreams. Sensuality, and love, are things to be grateful for.
This song, and album, remind me of my first apartment. Early mornings sitting cross-legged on the floor, close to the stereo, close to the speakers, close to the songs.
If you want to hear more Kate, and help support her music, go and visit here.
Song 3: “He’s Fine” by The Secret Sisters
“Once my tears had all run out,
I learned how to live without.
Pieces left behind in tow,
I took to the hard road.
Strangers know the songs I write.
They come to hear me sing at night.
They don’t know I’ve paid the cost.
They don’t know what I lost.”
Take all that heartbreak, all that pain, and turn it into art.
I try to remember that myself.
I love The Secret Sisters. If you want to hear more, learn more, and help support their music, click-click-click here.
How about some Secret Sisters live?
Song 4: “Hold On” by H.E.R.
“And if I hold on to you
I’m only hurting me, yeah.”
Haven’t we all felt like those lyrics before? I know I have. Big time.
I’ve had this song stuck in my head for three days, and I don’t mind at all.
If you want to hear more of H..E.R. (and get a song, or two, of hers tuck in your head for days), and want to help support her music, go here.
And some live…live…live…
Song 5: “It’s a Sin” by Years and Years
“So, I look back upon my life,
forever with a sense of shame.
I’ve always been the one to blame.”
I’ve been slowly making my way through the Channel 4 limited series, It’s a Sin. It’s a rough watch for me. So much of it hurts my heart, and brings back painful memories from those days past, and of those lost to AIDS.
It is a really good show though. The acting, the writing, the music.
This is a cover version of the Pet Shop Boys song, that shares the title with the TV series. The singer in Years and Years is Olly Alexander, who plays problematic Richie in It’s a Sin. The fact that he’s singing makes this version even more emotionally loaded. I hit play and feel the tears welling up.
This show is going to break my heart.
A portion of the sales of this single will be donated to George House Trust, accharity that have been providing HIV support, advice and advocacy services to improve health outcomes since 1985.
Here is a trailer of the series, It’s a Sin.
What did you think of today’s five songs?
What song can you not get enough of today?