Once upon a time, my mom called me “heartless” because unlike her, I don’t tend to ever get teary-eyed watching movies. She’s a big fan of romance movies, or “chick flicks,” if you will. I mentioned to her recently that there was no way in HELL I could ever watch “Terms of Endearment” with her. The whole plot line of a mom (Shirley MacLaine) losing her daughter (Debra Winger) to cancer? There would not be enough tissues in the world for my mom’s overactive tear ducts! However, I do like to throw her a bone every now and then and watch a “chick flick” with her, even though they’re not really my bag. I watched “Mamma Mia!” with her in 2016. It wasn’t such a tough sell for me, really, since I do kind of dig Abba songs. I did have a tearful moment watching “Wonder Woman” back in June. That battle scene where she just went to town on everyone in the no-man’s land…I couldn’t EVEN! To view the scene, click here. But incidents like these – i.e. me crying in movies – are the exception, not the norm. A couple of other notable movies that made me cry – the 1988 film “The Accused” (I do not like rape scenes, and really dislike seeing people/women victimized), and a made-for-TV movie called “Bastard Out of Carolina.” In the latter (directed by Angelica Huston, a bit of trivia for you there) a child (portrayed by Jena Malone) was repeatedly abused and raped by her stepfather. I really must’ve reached my breaking point with this one (it really was a sad story). So maybe it takes “certain things” to turn on my “water works?” Perhaps, but I generally am not a “crier.” I tend to be pretty level headed, usually pretty slow to really rile up. I’m not really someone who cries at the drop of a hat. Which is one of many reasons I didn’t go into acting!
Songs on the other hand? Sometimes they can pack an emotional wallop! And the most notable times they do? Is when I least expect it. A sneak emotional attack!
Probably about a year ago or so, I was listening to the radio on my way home from work. And an acoustic version of “Everlong” by the Foo Fighters came on, which can be listened to here. I don’t know if it was the lyrics, stress at work (this is my busiest time of year at work), or something about the way it sounded, but I just f—ing lost it. I had a good cry in the car while I was heading home. Was it the “You’ve got to promise not to stop when I say when” line that did it? The acoustic guitar? The breathy, lilting vocals of Dave Grohl? Who the hell knows! All I know is on that one day, which was probably in October, 2016 (or possibly 2015) I just f—ing cried listening to this song – I mean I downright BAWLED! This brief incident was over when the song was over, thankfully! I was a bit rattled for a bit, but otherwise good to go. I even felt better after this happened. But why did this happen? Was it PMS? No, I’m sure you’re all thinking that could be it, but no, it wasn’t (emotional lows usually come later in my cycle, for the record – just so we’re clearing the air)! Do I let my emotions get a bit too bottled up? Does my emotional levee just have to break every now and then – even if not totally by my choice? I have listened to that acoustic version of “Everlong” many, many times since then. I have even downloaded it so that it comes up on the USB in my car when it’s on shuffle (the way I almost always keep my music), and there have been no such emotional incidents with the song since then. Though I still enjoy the song. What’s strange is that I’m not even technically a Foo Fighters fan! I don’t hate them, and even probably had one of their CDs in the ’90s, but I’m not a fan girl or anything. And all has been pretty uneventful since that autumn day in 2016. Or was it 2015? I honestly can’t remember for sure.
Until today…more about that in a bit!
I was just joking with my husband the other day that “MyLink” (the name for my music/information dashboard in my Chevy vehicle, which I call my Musicbot 2000) seems to be telling me I need to listen to more Bob Dylan. For whatever reason years ago, I ripped a bunch of Bob Dylan tracks and they were on my previous mp3 player (I had borrowed a Dylan CD from my mom, who is a huge fan, for that purpose). I think maybe it was for study purposes, since I was just learning to play acoustic guitar and I thought his simple melodies would be easy to play by ear. I honestly forget the original reasons I have so many Dylan songs in my music collection. That said, on a few previous mornings, on my drive to work, Dylan has been coming on, and he has been kind of growing on me. I especially like the line “You don’t need a weatherman to know what way the wind blows” in “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” How true! How deep! Maybe I should tweet that! And when it was raining on my drive home just yesterday, the “Rainy Day Women” song came on (the one where he says “Everybody Must Get Stoned.”) I heard this one being blared from a trailer at a music festival about 20 years ago, and the trailer’s inhabitants were indeed getting stoned (you could smell the weed from about 100 yards away).
The INXS video for “Mediate” was an homage to Dylan’s video for “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” which can be viewed here Yes, a song this old actually had a video! And dear lord, Michael Hutchence…so hot! 🙂 Here is he is in another pic…
Hey…I needed to put at least a couple of pics in this blog! Oh, all right, here’s a pic of Bob Dylan…
“It’s a drag…it’s a bore…it’s really such a pity to be looking at the board not looking at the city.” Lyrics from this line from “One Night in Bangkok” written by Tim Rice, music by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus from Abba.
Today my “Musicbot 2000” decided I needed to listen to Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man,” so it came on randomly via shuffle on my drive home (it was kind of an exhausting day at work, though not particularly stressful). It was pretty much a repeat of the whole “Everlong” incident of 2016. Something about the song just triggered me, and again, made me cry. Was it the harmonica? The guitar? Bob Dylan’s vocals? The lyrics? And no, it’s NOT PMS (seriously…stop asking, lol)! Here’s a snippet of the lyrics:
Though I know that evening’s empire has returned into sand
Vanished from my hand
Left me blindly here to stand
But still not sleeping
My weariness amazes me, I’m branded on my feet
I have no one to meet
And the ancient empty street’s too dead for dreaming
Wow, I didn’t even notice how awesome this was when I was just listening to it. But when you read the lyrics, they’re actually quite powerful! Kind of jealous, actually. I’ve never been too much of a “poetic” writer.
To listen to “Mr. Tambourine Man,” click here:
Well, Mr. Dylan did receive the Nobel Prize for literature in 2016, so he MUST know a thing or two about stringing phrases together, right? It would make sense that the words of this famous bard might be pretty damn good, right? While I do greatly respect the guy and like a few of his songs, I honestly am not a diehard fan or anything. My mom played a lot of Dylan records when I was growing up, so maybe “Mr. Tambourine Man” tied into some childhood memory of auld? Who knows! One song I do remember being played when I was a kid was his song “Lay Lady Lay,” which has some racy lyrics (and ample amounts of slide guitar):
Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed
Stay, lady, stay, stay with your man awhile
Until the break of day, let me see you make him smile
His clothes are dirty but his hands are clean
And you’re the best thing that he’s ever seen.
Hmmm. I’m thinking….prostitute?
As for today’s incident, I don’t know what caused this to happen. Like the “Everlong” incident last year, it had to have been a combination of things. Maybe on some level, it’s actually therapeutic for me. Life tends to force us to hold in a good deal of our emotions, take it on the chin, yada yada, so maybe it’s good to just have an “annual cry,” if you will! There have been a couple of things happening lately that haven’t quite gone my way that I thought I wasn’t bothered by, but maybe I was more bothered than I wanted to acknowledge. You can fool the world, but you can’t fool yourself. I guess my emotional levee just HAD to break – in the car, of all places. I had no tissues, I just used the sleeves of my hoodie (hell it’s laundry day, anyway)! As Led Zeppelin sang, “If it keeps on rainin’/levee’s gonna break.” And like the title of that Marilyn Monroe film, “Something’s Gotta Give.” Maybe I had my emotional guard down just long enough for Bob Dylan to sneak in and sing to me – and do what needed to be done. I’m not going to pretend that I understand how my brain works (though I do wish I could delete some of the silly TV jingles from decades ago cluttering things up, lol). Just today I had an old jingle for Carter’s baby clothes in my head: “That’s what Carter’s is all about…if they could just stay little…til their Carter’s wear out.” Silly brain!
So what song came on shuffle next? “Sabotage,” by the Beastie Boys. Nice foil, Musicbot 2000! Well played! I’m telling all y’all it’s SABOTAGE! I guess I should be glad it wasn’t Peter Gabriel’s “Biko!” That would have been dirty pool – and a complete violation of the Geneva Convention! 🙂