Mark's Musings

A miscellany of thoughts and opinions from an unimportant small town politician and bit-part web developer

30 Days of Music: 4 – A song which makes me sad


Firstly, an apology. It seems that those of you reading this via the Facebook “notes” import (and, for that matter, planet.uknot) won’t have seen the videos as the import system strips out embedded objects. If that’s you (and if you care), then go to my actual blog to see the embedded video. or look it up on Youtube directly. From now on, I’ll include a simple href link as well. Now, back to today’s song…

OK, so yesterday I said that a major part of the point of music is to make people happy. But it’s equally true that a major part of the point of music is to make people sad. In fact, what’s probably more true than either of those is that almost the whole point of music is to affect the soul – to tug at your heartstrings, and take you into either seventh heaven or the slough of despond.

Almost all the classic sad songs are break up songs, or so it seems to me. In one sense that’s entirely logical, since the end of a relationship is probably the most emotionally traumatic experience that most of us go through – only the unexpected death of a close friend or relative is likely to be worse. But, from a musical point of view, that’s also a drawback, since it gets harder to tell the same story again in different words each time. That’s why, for today’s song, I’ve picked one that’s about the death of something else – not the death of a relationship, or even the actual death of a person, but the death of a dream.

“Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true?” asks the singer, “Or is it something worse?” I can’t speak for you, but this song is one of the few that can bring me to tears. Here’s Bruce Springsteen, singing The River:

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