To “Purposely Feel Melancholy”

I was driving to a meeting this morning when NPR had an interview with Will Ferrell talking about his latest movie.  During the interview he shared a story about his childhood where he, apparently, sat in the car and listened to songs to “purposely feel melancholy.”  I laughed.  I thought I was the only person that did this.  While we all have songs that we associate with time and place, there are certain songs guaranteed to make me sad, cry, depressed – you name it.  I actually had entire tape compilations for the express purpose of wallowing (which have pathetically been aggregated into an iPod playlist dubbed “breakup songs”).  And surely if it isn’t just a me thing, it is definitely a chick thing.  Except for Will Ferrell.

By the way, the song for Will was “If You Leave Me Now” by Chicago, which he sang a few bars of in lieu of providing the title.  For me, it was a Tori Amos song…you’ll have to guess which one.  Do you / did you have one??

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8 thoughts on “To “Purposely Feel Melancholy”

  1. Shannon May 12, 2011 / 4:21 pm

    “Love Will Come to You”. Your sister made me listen to it (shocker, I know) the summer after I was unceremoniously dumped at our Formal That Dripped Blood. Don’t worry, that’s my figurative blood, for anyone that is wondering)

    I would tack on a certain Alanis Morrisette song and Melissa Etheridge’s first three albums (Self-titled, Brave and Crazy, and Never Enough) to that and you have my “Melancholy Mix”.

  2. Sarah May 12, 2011 / 4:47 pm

    @Shannon – Funny, I think of you every time I hear that song.

    @Eileen – I’m going to guess “China” for the Tori Amos song. It’s very breakuppy.

    I have an iTunes playlist that’s called “Mopey Mix.” It’s not straight-up tearjerkers (or mostly not, anyway) but it’s pretty wallow-y.

    The songs that always make me cry are “Try Not to Breathe” by REM and “Running to Stand Still” by U2.

    • Shannon May 12, 2011 / 5:17 pm

      Funny and not surprising. And I forgot to add Tori Amos’ “Tear in Your Hand” to that list. That album had just come out and you found that song for me as well.

      And to totally bring this down, I have a few songs from when you left for DC that make me sad too. REM’s “Find the River” and Indigo Girls “Hey Kind Friend”…totally wallowy songs for me too. I still remember standing in our mostly empty apartment thinking, “Damn, she’s really gone!”

      • Sarah May 12, 2011 / 6:03 pm

        “Find the River” was totally my moving song – something about that “I’ve got to leave to find my way…” line. It was part of a great mix tape I made about moving, but I lost somewhere along the way. The only other song I can remember being on it was “Sunny Came Home” by Shawn Colvin – “She’s out there on her own and she’s all right…”

  3. Omar May 12, 2011 / 5:43 pm

    Mary Walks by Sarah McLaughlin

    • Omar May 12, 2011 / 5:45 pm

      Another song is Try Not To Breathe by REM.

  4. mev May 12, 2011 / 7:35 pm

    You might like Melancholy Child by Pam Tillis. 😉

  5. Common Loon May 13, 2011 / 1:19 pm

    A friend once described James Taylor as “suicide music.” Ever since then, I hear it in every note (but I still love “Sweet Baby James”…I just put in our kids’ names). Agree w/ REM “Try Not To Breathe.” I really don’t have a melancholy mix or anything, though.

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