Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Misty Eyed - Part 1

Feel It’s birthday last week has made me I little nostalgic, after all seven years is a long time in the blogging game.  The nostalgia is also tinged with a little sadness as another one of our longstanding (or I should say hopping) family pets – Buttons the rabbit – passed away yesterday. We estimate he was nearly 11 which is a great age for a rabbit. He died of glorious old age, which is no bad thing.

To suit my mood I have decided to repost (with some minor editing) something I put together a few years ago for another blog – Scholar’s sorely missed SouledOn… 

I was honoured to be invited by Scholar to write something for his blog back in 2007. The theme I chose was, simply, songs that make me cry.

So here on Feel It for the first time , split up into a little mini-series over the next few days is:

The Tracks Of My Tears.

I often find the tears welling up. It can be embarrassing, I can be simply talking fondly about something, anything - with someone, anyone - and I can feel my eyes getting misty. I think I have taken after my father because I have noticed the same thing in him. My wife (Mrs Darce!)  is pretty adept at it too. Our children have learned to don sou’westers and wellies if, as a family, we are all watching a film that is anything approaching moving! There we are, both brushing away the tears.

I am sure all of us will find that certain songs make us fill up. Some songs by simple dint of their sentiment will have an almost universal effect – for example I’m betting Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World” gets many people reaching for a tissue whenever it’s played. But equally, songs can be very personal, evoking very special and private memories.          

Listening to music is one of my favourite pastimes so it’s not surprising that I find many songs exercising the tear ducts. What is it about a piece of music that gets the tears flowing? As touched on above: the sentiment of the song; triggered memories – fond or painful; simple nostalgia. There again it could be the fact that the track is just so damn good. Or it could be simply inexplicable. Forgetting lyrics for the moment, the way that the music is structured or nuanced can also be crucial I think. I’m no expert on musical structure but elements such as chord patterns, cadence, particular tones - the profoundly sad sound that most stringed instruments make for example, can all play a part in moving someone to tears, and I am sure there will be some science behind this that can prove it.

But let’s not overanalyse. The danger then is the evocative power of a song will evaporate, and with it the tears. And I don’t know about you, but I enjoy a good cry.

Here, for your delectation, are some tracks that have the desired effect with me. As Millie Jackson once put it: “I Feel Like Walking In The Rain”!

Kicking things off are two tracks that are segued by seagulls! I think Kool & The Gang were at the peak of their powers in 1974 when they released “Light Of Worlds”. “Whiting H. & G.”, an instrumental, was track 1 on side 1 of this album. Who says you need lyrics to bring on the tears, these guys could funk it up with the best of them but they also really knew how to drag emotion out of their synthesizers  and the long fade is irresistible. Cue long shot of a couple, or a lone person if you prefer, in the distance, at dusk, walking along an otherwise deserted beach (er, except for the seagulls). And they walk around the point and right into Jean Carn’s “You Are All I Need”. The scene’s gone all misty now – that will be the tears! Dexter Wansel consistently came up with sublime arrangements and this is one of them. Put that together with Jean’s beautiful jazz tinged vocals and the sentiment of the lyrics and you have a marriage made in heaven.

Treat yourself:

To be continued…..

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Light of Worlds" was a very atmospheric album, evoking the group's recent conversion to Islam. I used to love listening to it high on weed, on a "Higher Plane," sort of speak. Thanks for the post.