November 29, 2006

Sometimes It Snows In April

This is, in my humble yet antiquated opinion, the saddest song extant. It's by Prince & was featured in his second movie (Under the Cherry Moon) & the album from said film called Parade. It's about an unrequited love but not in the usual sense; it's not about two lovers. The song is about a man who lost his best (& only) friend.

I played it once in a bar with a high school buddy of mine when we were in our 20's. He had a decent voice for the tune & I had a nice arraignment worked up for guitar (it was mainly a piano piece). Not a dry eye in the house, including ours (& this time it wasn't cause we sounded so bad). Our version couldn't begin to compare to Prince's. The tinge of hope in the last verse is what always got me; despite the finality of the separation the singer still had the slightest bit of hope he was clinging to, which always makes a sad song even mo' better sad. The harmonies in the chorus of the song are damn near the epitome of "haunting" musically. The instrumentation - the choice of instruments & the air that hangs throughout the individual parts - create a flow & the story that's woven by the instruments & the vocals make this into what I have always considered the most perfect & most complete sad song I've ever heard. Here's Vanessa Paradis covering the tune (though her voice & delivery don't do the song justice - but what'd ya expect? She's French! Cute, but French. & what do the French know of love? Sex? Arguably, but love? ). Here are the lyrics. If you can't listen to the tune then just read the lyrics to get a sense of the depth of the subject. But be warned, it's not a happy tune (especially Prince's version) & will make you wonder if you're being attacked by a pack of Dementors. But it's beautiful enough that you'll listen to it again. Doubly so if you've ever lost a friend that you miss dearly. As a "not too tall hot blonde" I know is fond of saying of this tune, "there is none more sad".

It's snowing as I mis-type typo type this. Not unusual for Colorado in November. It's not unusual for Colorado in April either. Not a heavy snow but noticable enough, especially when miscalculating the distance to the red light you're coming up on (not that I ever did that of course). But the title of the song was meant to explain that unusual things happen. Living in North Carolina it was almost unheard of for it to snow in April. Then again I also have witnessed it snowing in Myrtle Beach, S.C. (ever seen a seagull question his sense of direction? I have). But what seems unusual in one place or to one person may not seem that unusual to another.

In England a man was shot. Not that surprising right? They've all but banned firearms possession there so there's not a lot of deterent to this sort of thing. But what's unusual is that the victim & his wife were in the process of disarming the assailant when he was shot & then he succeeded in disarming his attacker. The victim's neighbors assisted in restraining the attacker until the cops arrived (which could have been a while from what I've heard of the response times over there).

I often overlook that those in "gun free" societies are not all cowards. In fact some are as brave as any of the home grown variety of hero that we see glimpes of domestically. They're just very poorly equipped compared to most of us. What's really sad though is the victim was a medical professional. Her Majesty will trust that person to save someone else's life, but not to have the means to save his own.

But the man & his wife risked their lives to protect each other. Whatever country that occurs in it's worthy of note & praise & I'm glad they don't have to know the sense of loss that His Purpleness sings about in the song discussed above as I assume to jump a gunman when you're unarmed you'd have to consider the person you're trying to save a real friend. Or that they owed you a lot of money. :)

& speaking of domestic, a teen-ager in Florida was beset upon by four gang members. What did he do? He tried to get away but when that was unsuccesful he did what any good Southerner would do; he took a knife away from one of the gang members & stabbed two of them. A by-stander is backing up the teens claim of self defense against the four gang members so I don't think a Florida court will make a fuss out of this.

Again, unusual in some circles but not unheard of.

& while I'm on the subject (or reasonably close to it) the value of a good knife should not be underestimated. After all Chesty insisted on knives for his men & now there's a convenient carrying handle for a good knife: it's caled a pistol with a Picattiny rail. :)

& if you're wondering how we just went from discussing the saddest tune in the world to bayonets for pistols, well so am I. I really have to stop listening to Prince while I type. Or maybe I should stop typing & just listen.

Posted by Publicola at November 29, 2006 07:25 AM | TrackBack

I also have some songs that make me weep.

Posted by: Mathew at December 6, 2006 04:11 AM