I Love You So Bad It Hurts (LIVE)

The second song I played at an open mic recently is one of my favorite originals of the past few years. Musically, it’s a simple progression that’s made a little fresher by putting a capo on the 10th fret so that the guitar almost sounds like a mandolin. Lyrically, each verse repeats the first line at the end with a little bit of a twist caused by the lines in between.

 

I love you so bad it hurts
with a kind of pain that I don’t mind at all
I love you so bad it hurts

I love you so much I don’t
have anything left for anyone else
I love you so much I don’t

I love you so much I can’t
drink enough so I can forget
the way your love burns like a lit cigarette
but I love you so much I’ll never regret
that I love you so much I can’t

I’ve loved you so long I can’t see
all the way back to the morning before
my love came knocking around at your door
and I might as well just admit that I’m yours
’cause I’ve loved you so long I can’t see

Happy Valentine’s Day – Fools In Love


I was introduced to Joe Jackson’s music in my freshman year of college. A friend told me that he wrote better unrequited love songs than The Beatles. Being an obnoxious 18 year old Beatle freak I tossed my friend’s Joe Jackson cassette out the dorm window. 
 
My friend was right, of course. As he explained after retrieving his cassette, Joe Jackson was uglier than the Beatles and had more right to write unrequited love songs. 
This song, from that cassette – Jackson’s first album, Look Sharp – is my valentine to you. You fool.

Fools in love
Are there any other kinds of lovers?
Fools in love
Is there any other kind of pain?
Everything you do, everywhere you go now
Everything you touch, everything you feel
Everything you see, everything you know now
Everything you do, you do it for your baby love
Your baby love, your baby love, your baby love
Fools in love
Are there any creatures more pathetic?
Fools in love
Never knowing when they’ve lost the game
Everything you do, everywhere you go now
Everything you touch, everything you feel
Everything you see, everything you know now
Everything you do, you do it for your baby love,
Your baby love, your baby love, your baby love
Fools in love they think they’re heroes
Because they get to feel more pain
I say fools in love are zeros
I should know
I should know because this fool’s in love again
Fools in love
Gently hold each other’s hands forever
Fools in love
Gently tear each other limb from limb
Everything you do, everywhere you go now
Everything you touch, everything you feel
Everything you do, even rock and roll now
Nothing means a thing except you and your baby love
Your baby love, your baby love, your baby love
Fools in love they think they’re heroes
Because they get to feel no pain
I say fools in love are zeros,
I should know
I should know because this fool’s in love again

Comes Love



Comes Loveis a jazz standard composed for the Broadway musical Yokel Boy, by Sam Stept, with lyrics by Lew Brown and Charles Tobias. The play debuted on July 6, 1939 at the Majestic Theatre on 44th Street and ran for 208 performances. The Phantom of the Opera is playing there now, and has been since 1988, with over 12,000 performances and counting.

I first heard Comes Love in New Orleans and its theme of love’s inescapability (“nothing can be done”) resonated with me. It must have had a similar effect on Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Joni Mitchell because they all recorded versions of it.

Come a rainstorm, put some your rubber on your feet
Come a snowstorm, you can get a little heat
Come that love, nothing can be done
Come a fire, you know just what to do
Blow a tire, you can buy another shoe
Come that love, nothing can be done
Don’t try hiding, there isn’t any use
You’ll start sliding when you’re heart turns on the juice

Come a headache, you can lose it in a day
Come a toothache, see your dentist right away
Come that love, nothing can be done
Come a heatwave, you can head down to the shore
Come a summons, you can hide behind the door
Come that love, nothing can be done
Come the measles, quarantine the room
Come a mousy, you can get him with a broom
Come that love, nothing can be done
 
That’s all sisters, if you’ve ever been in love
That’s all brothers, you know what I’m speaking of

Come a nightmare, you’ve got to stay awake
Comes depression, you can get another break
Come that love, nothing can be done

The Price I Pay

 


Billy Bragg is a songwriter who follows in the footsteps of giants like Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, and Phil Ochs. Many of his songs dive into the guts of the working class, the poor, and the victims of capitalism, racism, and war. 
 
This isn’t one of those songs. He’s also a genius at writing songs about love and the intricacies of romantic relationships. 
 
My favorite of his albums is a collection called Workers Playtime, from 1988. Under the album title are the prescient words, “Capitalism is killing music.”
 
Love is a wonderful thing – the most wonderful thing – but it exacts a terrible price if you surrender to it completely, which is the only way to do it if you want to do it right. When your love finds an unequal weight on the other side of the see-saw you can spend a lot of time with your ass in the dirt. And that’s the price I pay for loving you the way that I do. 




My friend said 
She could see no way ahead
And I was probably better off without you
She said to face up to the fact 
That you weren’t coming back
And she could make me happy like you used to
But I’m sorry to say 
I turned her away
Knowing everything she said was true
And that’s the price I pay for loving you the way that I do
There’s something inside 
That hurts my foolish pride
To visit the places we used to go together
Not a day goes by 
That I don’t sit and wonder why
Your feelings for me didn’t last forever
Girl I love you so much 
That sometimes it’s such
I’d walk a mile with a stone in my shoe
And that’s the price I pay for loving you the way that I do
So keep that phone out of my way 
For the things I must say
Are empty if you don’t believe they’re true
And that’s the price I pay for loving you the way that I do

Demo: They Were Together

He was a good man trying to be strong
Honest as the day is long
But you could see where he was going wrong

She was a good woman to keep in mind
You won’t see many of her kind
You’ve got to be quick or you’ll get left behind

They were together every day
They were together every way
They were together when the center fell away

Demo: Your Grace

All the songs I post to this blog, like the writing and drawing posts, are rough sketches for more professionally produced versions that may or may not ever see the light of day. I find it helps to get an idea down in some form while it’s fresh in my mind with the intention of returning to it when I have the time and resources to do it justice. The concept behind these lyrics was an appreciation of a woman’s grace, as well as a play on the grandiose title “Your Grace.”
 
I wrote and recorded this song during the blizzard. When you’re snowbound, the options are limited and I reverted to the old standby of songwriting.

The photos in the video are of the sunset on January 24, the day after the blizzard.

I like the nighttime
Because it knows how to hide a desperate man
I like you, too
Because I think you might understand

I’ll climb the mountain
If you tell me that I can
Or I’ll just wait here
In this sea of burning sand

The beat of your heart is setting the pace
Your eyes reflect the smile on my face
Nobody ever moved with such grace
Your grace

I like drinking
Because it helps me to unwind
It helps me to relax
And rearrange my mind

I like the north star
Because it shows me what is true:
I never liked anything 
More than I like you

The beat of your heart is setting the pace
Your eyes reflect the smile on my face
Nobody ever moved with such grace
Your grace

Two Hearts Beat As One

“Say I’m a fool, you say I’m not for you
But if I’m a fool for you that’s something”

I saw U2 at the Garden Monday night and was reminded again of how similar a rock concert is to a Christian mass. Bono – following in the footsteps of singers like Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Al Green, Bruce Springsteen – leads the congregation across the thin line that separates singing from praying.

I started going to concerts right about the time the church lost meaning for me and immediately recognized the feeling of community, of like-minded people sharing a thing that brought them great joy. Something to give voice to their ecstasy and comfort to their grief.

One of the highlights of the show for me was the second song of the night – Two Hearts Beat As One. Musically, it’s a pretty strait-forward rocker. Lyrically, it represents an innocent view of love that I find charming. Not everybody will. Like religion, you need to believe in a song for it to have meaning. Apparently, it’s the first time U2 had played it live since 1989. It held up remarkably well.

Here’s a video of the song from 1983, filmed in Montmartre in Paris:

I don’t know
I don’t know which side I’m on
I don’t know my right from left
Or my right from wrong
Say I’m a fool
You say I’m not for you
But if I’m a fool for you
Oh, that’s something
Two hearts beat as one
Two hearts beat as one
Two hearts
I can’t stop the dance
Honey, this is my last chance
I can’t stop the dance
Maybe this is my last chance
Two hearts beat as one
Two hearts beat as one
Two hearts
They beat on black, beat on white
Beat on everything don’t get it right
Beat on you, beat on me, beat on love
I don’t know
How to say what’s got to be said
I don’t know if it’s black or white
There’s others see it red
I don’t get the answers right, I’ll leave that to you
Is this love out of fashion? Or is it the time of year?
Are these words distraction
To the words you wanna hear?
Two hearts beat as one
Two hearts beat as one
I try to spit it out
I try to explain
The way I feel
Oh, yeah
Two hearts
I can’t stop the dance
Maybe this is my last chance
I can’t stop the dance
Maybe this is our last chance