The Sad Song

She’s gone

I’m listening to Hall and Oates and ‘She’s Gone‘ while I write this. I received a Greatest Hits cd for Christmas (a gentle joke) because I had recently told the story of how some of my fishing buddies once threw my Hall and Oates collection out of a speeding car one wild weekend during the early 1980’s. The mere possession of blue-eyed soul was apparently enough in those days to seriously impugn your manhood. I don’t quite remember why and it doesn’t really matter.

The point is that She’s Gone is a sad song. It’s a sad song for me because someone I valued had just walked out of my life right around the time that tune was getting a lot of radio airplay. This is, of course, how sad songs work. They hit you at the right time and they stick there forever. They are emotional, individual fingerprints, a kind of syncopated scar. It doesn’t take much…a clever evocative lyric, just the right combination of notes… and that song will go straight home. It’s a musical land mine that can lie buried for years. We all have these tuneful touchstones, though they are often very different. My sad song is not likely your sad song.

Gladys Knight and the Pips had a very sad song with Neither One of Us. It’s hard for me to listen to Neither One of Us without getting a tad verklempt. I’ve written on this blog before about Whitney Houston’s Why Does it Hurt So Bad. I don’t have a melancholy memory connected with that particular song but it’s still a killer. When she was on her game, Whitney could break your heart by proxy.

In 1970 The Fifth Dimension had a big hit with a Burt Bacharach sad song, One Less Bell to Answer. At 17, I lost a girl to that one but as fate would have it I got that same woman back many, many years later. I got her back to the Bee Gees’ How Deep is Your Love.

We’ve been married 30 years.

Nothing quite tracks your life like the tracks of your life.


7 Responses to “The Sad Song”

  1. Dial Twister Says:

    Two things, Dave. I’m enjoying your interaction with your Morning Show co-hosts. The twinkle in your eyes says it all. 😉 It’s great to have an alternative program in the mornings.

    And, as a Hall and Oates fan, you need to drop in to Daryl’s house some time soon –

    It’s worth the visit.

  2. Claude Wallace Says:

    Dave, it sounds like you’re enjoying the challenge of new colleagues. Wonderful!

    My sad song is from an early 90s masterpiece by Mary Chapin Carpenter. The album is “Stones in the Road”; the song, “John Doe No. 24”. I can barely name the song without welling up. The power of this song with it’s evocation of loss and longing gets me every time. The whole disc is beautifully written and played.

  3. jim haskins Says:

    Dave, just for the record, we threw out more than just your Hall and Oates material. We also threw out almost every 8 track you owned. Each mellow, sleepy, boring, “you are way too young to be listening to this crap” 8 track went sailing through the sunroof of your Volvo, finding a suitable resting place in the passing lane of the 401. Ah, memories! Best of luck in the new gig. Cheers, Jim (Red).

  4. hi Dave,

    30 years and still together……CONGRATS! Hubby and I are going on 37. John Barry’s music can make me sad…….esp. the Chaplin soundtrack. Never was a Hall and Oats fan…….more a James Taylor, Carol King sorta gal. Although now that I’m older I prefer listening to Jazz………….Charlie Hayden, Pat Metheny……….that sort of stuff.


    • Yes…and I find myself turning to latin music. Antonio Carlos Jobim. Bebel Gilberto. Was always a big Eumir Deodato fan. Wouldn’t take much to get me to Rio.

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