I love Lou Reed’s “Sad Song” off of his album “Berlin”.
It’s … incredible. It may be, in spots, the saddest album ever….and not sad like “woe is me” but more like real life, daily life, sans real tradegdy is _truly_sad….And some bitch in Berlin done broke my heart.
I always imagine the actress Patricia Clarkson portraying this woman.
The best part of “Sad Song” is that the music is very uplifitng and cheery (strings and bird chirpings and whatnot) but Lou recites the refrain in a monotone (as if in rebellion to the song’s music). We feel his outsider status all the more keenly from this dissonance
And what could sum it up better but this lyrical run?
Staring at my picture book
She looks like mary, queen of scots
She seemed very regal to me
Just goes to show how wrong you can be
I?m gonna stop wastin? my time
Somebody else would have broken both of her arms
This song reminds me of travelling about in Hungary around Christmas 97.
I had just been to Berlin and seen the endless pirouetting cranes across the sky…and now I was in Budapest, with 90% of everything closed owing to the holiday, realizing I could pronounce no street name, and realizing that this was surely the pinnacle of fun. The beautiful Danube was gray and turbulent, the wind from the mountains of Pest swept across the long bridge and there I was.
During that time I bought Massive Attack’s “Mezzanine” - it’s one of those perfect ambient albums that I lost somewhere in the intervening years. I got a new copy from the Amazon marketplace and played it again today – what a master work!