The 20 greatest breakup songs ever – ranked! — Music | The Guardian

On the 40th anniversary of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive topping the charts – and as the UK blunders towards its own acrimonious divorce – here’s the definitive list of tear-stained stonkersHip-hop isn’t big on romantic heartbreak, but this is a particularly fine example. There’s a lot of bragging from Guru about how he’s so…

via The 20 greatest breakup songs ever – ranked! — Music | The Guardian

It’s a nice list – well worth a look and listen – even if it almost criminal to leave off the greatest breakup song ever – Carole King’s “It’s Too Late.”

I’m Not Afraid (LIVE)

I

Fear is the challenge
to overcome or to succumb
and either way your work’s not done
Once you think you’ve got it licked
you’ve only learned half of the trick
Just because you lose, or win,
doesn’t mean a goddamn thing
the next time that the fear begins

II

They say the fear of public speaking is the greater than the fear of death, which makes some sense to me since we all know from a tender age that we will die but there is nothing to say that we will speak in public. That is one bullet we can dodge. And the devil you know is always more palatable than the strange one.

By my blurry count, I have taken to the stage between 40 and 50 times and, like everything in life, each could be the last but so far this is just the latest. I wrote this song about fear a few months ago and performed it last week at Mary O’s on Avenue A between 2nd & 3rd. If you’re in the neighborhood drop in for a meal or a drink but don’t tell Mary I sent you. She wouldn’t know me from a hole in the wall.

III

Slit Skirts

townshend

Aging gracefully is one of the great challenges in the life of a rock’n’roller. Many artists have pissed away their maturity chasing the tail of their youth. Just as many have gone to an early grave without having to confront the challenge. Then there are the few who tackle it head-on.

Pete Townshend was a great help to me when I was a teenager. He found words for thoughts I was too inarticulate to express. His band’s Quadrophenia was blaring in the background of my first kiss. And as he got older he found words to express the bittersweet nature of aging.

 Slit Skirts, from Townshend’s 1982 album All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes takes on the subject with his usual musical bravado and some unusually literary lyrics.

Can’t pretend that growing older never hurts…

I was just thirty-four years old and I was still wandering in a haze
I was wondering why everyone I met seemed like they were
Lost in a maze
I don’t know why I thought I should have some kind of
Divine right to the blues
It’s sympathy not tears people need when they’re the
Front page sad news.
.
The incense burned away and the stench began to rise
And lovers now estranged avoided catching each others’ eyes
And girls who lost their children cursed the men who fit the coil
And men not fit for marriage took their refuge in the oil
No one respects the flame quite like the fool who’s badly burned
From all this you’d imagine that there must be something learned
.
Slit skirts, Jeanie never wears those slit skirts
I don’t ever wear no ripped shirts
Can’t pretend that growing older never hurts.
Knee pants, Jeanie never wears no knee pants
Have to be so drunk to try a new dance
So afraid of every new romance
.
Slit skirts, slit skirt
Jeanie isn’t wearing those slit skirts, slit skirt
She wouldn’t dare in those slit skirts, slit skirt
Wouldn’t be seen dead in no slit skirt
.
Slit skirts, slit skirt
Jeanie isn’t wearing those slit skirts, slit skirt
She wouldn’t dare in those slit skirts, slit skirt
Wouldn’t be seen dead in no slit skirt
Romance, romance, why aren’t we thinking up romance?
Why can’t we drink it up true heart romance
Just need a brief new romance
.
Let me tell you some more about myself,
you know I’m sitting at home just now.
The big events of the day are passed
and the late TV shows have come around.
I’m number one in the home team, but I still feel unfulfilled.
A silent voice in her broken heart complaining that I’m unskilled.
And I know that when she thinks of me, she thinks of me as him,
But, unlike me, she don’t work off her frustration in the gym.
Recriminations fester and the past can never change
A woman’s expectations run from both ends of the range
Once she walked with untamed lovers’ face between her legs
Now he’s cooled and stifled and it’s she who has to beg
.
Slit skirts, Jeanie never wears those slit skirts
And I don’t ever wear no ripped shirts
Can’t pretend that growing older never hurts
Knee pants, Jeanie never wears no knee pants
We have to be so drunk to try a new dance
So afraid of every new romance
.
Slit skirts, slit skirt
Jeanie isn’t wearing those slit skirts, slit skirt
She wouldn’t dare in those slit skirts, slit skirt
Wouldn’t be seen dead in no slit skirt
.
Slit skirts, slit skirt
Jeanie isn’t wearing those slit skirts, slit skirt
She wouldn’t dare in those slit skirts, slit skirt
Wouldn’t be seen dead in no slit skirt
Romance, romance, why aren’t we thinking up romance?
Why can’t we drink it up true heart romance
Just need a brief new romance

DEMO: She Comes To Me


She comes to me in silent dreams
When there’s nothing to say
She comes to me in whispers
That take my breath away

She comes to me with questions
Whose answers break my heart
She comes to me with nothing
That she makes a work of art

I hear her in the silence
I see her in the dark
I feel her in the beating of my heart 


She comes to me in memories
As brittle as old bone
She comes to me with loneliness
That won’t leave me alone

Common Man

 

In 1985 Dave Alvin wrote the lyrics to a song called Common Man, sung by his brother Phil on The Blasters album Hard Line. It is another of those depressingly relevant songs that keep popping up these days now that a sizeable majority of US citizens has decided the way to Make America Great Again is with bigotry and lies. As Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr put it all the way back in 1849, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” or, for us monolingual Americans, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Here are The Blaster performing Common Man at Live Aid:


He wasn’t born in a cabin
He never fought in a war
But he learned to smile and quote Abe Lincoln
And get his foot in the door


He knows all your problems
He shares all your dreams
When he laughs his wife laughs too
As they ride in their limousine

So wave the flag and take a stand
Stand in line to shake his hand
He says he’s your friend
A friend of the common man
 
He’s got all the answers
The good days will be back soon
Just one more strike and a compromise
And a hungry child in each classroom

So wave the flag and take a stand
Stand in line to shake his hand
He says he’s your friend
A friend of the common man

Everybody works day to day to get by
Every morning searching for a reason to try
Ain’t he the friend?
The friend of the common man?
 

He wasn’t born in a cabin
He never fought in a war
But he learned to smile and quote Abe Lincoln

And get his foot in the door

With one hand on the bible
He swears he’s only here to serve
While everyone says “for better or worse,”
We get what we deserve

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