Twilight by Shawn Colvin
This song was originally recorded by The Band but to me it’s Shawn Colvin’s cover that really makes this song sing. Her voice combined with the lyrics of Robbie Robertson punch with frailty and strength. Leaving home for impending war (most likely to die) never sounded so good.
I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You by Colin Hay
Is there anyone who’s voice aches as convincingly as Colin Hay? Death comes in many forms and sadly, the end of a relationship is common to most of us. This song is fraught with failure.
Roger Ebert by Clem Snide
To me, Clem Snide is one of the most underrated songwriters of our generation and Roger Ebert is proof. The sheer weight of genius and love in this deathbed confession is one for the ages.
Clay Pigeons by John Prine
This Prine cover of Blaze Foley’s song is my most listened-to song. I’ve never lived a rambling life but because of this song I feel like I have. I feel like I’ve burned every bridge and lost everything over and over. It is the desolation of the human heart, but the thing about Clay Pigeons is you can feel a future consolation somewhere in the distance.
I Think It’s Going To Rain Today by Randy Newman
Life is absurd and nobody conveys that as well or as poignantly as Randy Newman. Most sad songs wear their hearts on their sleeves but Newman is the master of irony. With his tongue planted firmly in his cheek, he sings of “human kindness” juxtaposed with God’s administration of another sad, gloomy day setting us up for the advent of a perfect melancholy.
Into My Arms by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
If atheism could make a beautiful appeal, to me it would sound like this. But maybe Cave’s claim that he “doesn’t believe in an interventionist god” isn’t as unbelieving as it first appears.
Listen to Andy’s Ash Wednesday Playlist (Spotify) here.
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