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Laurence Olivier as Hamlet.

Laurence Olivier as Hamlet.

I thought this story from the Washington Post was brilliant. In times of national grief and sorrow, we can find solace in art–visual, dance, theater, music, architecture, etc.

In times of sadness, I probably turn to music most often. For example, I find the darkness and moodiness of Beethoven comforting. In terms of pop music, it’s no surprise that I choose to listen to choice songs from The Smiths/Morrissey. Morrissey is often labeled “the pope of mope” by critics, even though I don’t think it’s necessarily true. But he does have songs that embody the heaviness and sorrow that inflict our lives. When I listen to those songs, I’m reminded that I’m not alone. I think that was the point of the Washington Post article.

Morrissey.

Morrissey.

The Smiths/Morrissey songs appropriate for times of grief and sadness:

  • “I Know It’s Over” (from The Queen is Dead): “Oh mother, I can feel the soil falling over my head”
  • “I’ll Never Be Anybody’s Hero Now” (from Ringleader of the Tormenters): “And my love is under the ground/My one true love is under the ground”
  • “Suffer Little Children” (from The Smiths): “Over the moor, take me to the moor/dig a shallow grave and I’ll lay me down.” Written to commemorate the Moors murders, the killing of young children in Manchester by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley in 1963-1965.
  • “The Never-Played Symphonies” (from Swords): “Black sky in the daytime/And I don’t much mind dying, when there is nothing left to care for anymore”
  • “Munich Air Disaster 1958” (from Swords): “We miss them/every night we kiss them/their faces fixed in our heads”

What art do you turn to in times of grief and sadness?

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