Sunday, May 2, 2010

Nothing Compares 2U

So many of my reflections begin: So I was at Kroger and I heard __________ on the muzak (which I know isn't called muzak anymore, but it's such a good word...). Well, this one does not begin that way.

Just kidding, it totally does.

So I was at Kroger and I heard Sinead O'Connor's Nothing Compares 2U on the muzak. Now I'm usually able to appreciate that different things move different people and everyone doesn't like the same thing and different strokes for different folks and so on and so on and scooby dooby dooby, but I swear - if this song doesn't reach through your chest cavity and squeeze you by the heart, I'm not sure you have one. It squeezes my heart and does a little number on the rest of my innards, too. It is just so unrelenting and beautiful.

It is not the sort of music to which one should grocery shop. It is music for slow dancing - real slow - almost painfully slow. It is a painful song, after all. It is a song for crying, even if you're happy, because you remember ONCE you were that sad - that empty - that raw - and if you weren't, then you know somebody who is or once was. And yet - and yet - there is so much beauty in the pain that you couldn't stop listening if you tried. I know I never can.

When this song was in heavy rotation, I always felt sorry for the DJs and VJs who had to follow it - where do you go from there? (In case you were wondering, the muzak went straight to Billy Joel's Angry Young Man - a song which I also love, but it made for a pretty seriously jarring transition. Sheesh.) During that time, I was dating a boy, but he wasn't anything special. I mean, I'm sure he was, like, to his mom and stuff - and he's probably found a girl who he's the world to by now - but for me, then, he wasn't anything special. The girls I worked with never understood that - they thought he was possibly out of my league good looking - but he just didn't do it for me. Scooby dooby dooby.

But I've digressed.

We would go out dancing - he in his short jacket (Who the hell ever thought short jackets on men were a good idea?) and me in my high waisted dress shorts (Who the hell ever thought high waisted dress shorts were a good idea?) and a fabulous hat (Which is, was, and ever more shall be a good idea. Great even. Anyway.) This song would come on and we would dance. We - who were the very definition of casual dating - would dance - foreheads touching (hats permitting) - swaying slowly - feeling her pain - remembering our own - sharing these painful, intimate feelings that we didn't necessarily have for each other, but that we both knew how to have. It was almost surreal.

THAT is what THAT song does.

It does not encourage me to impulse buy. It encourages me to want to sit on the floor in the produce department and weep - maybe while clinging desperately to a stranger, just for human contact. Is that the sort of behavior that you want to encourage, Kroger? Really?

I'm going to have to start grocery shopping with an iPod.

(Couldn't get it to embed, but I'll give you a link - in case you feel like sitting on the floor with me, forehead to forehead, in delicious shared despair.)


Cheryl said...

Okay, so I listened. No tears. Then again, I don't cry. It's a living. Someone's got to do it.

Bass Is Life said...

The song, the performance and the video attain a combined level of perfection that is rarely seen.

BONNIE K said...

With my newly short attention span, I find that I don't pay attention to words anymore. I know this song, but never really heard the words, so the next time I hear it, I'll have to start listening.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I can see how this song could have touched you....I think it has a lot to do with songs that enter our lives just when we're learning new emotions. What struck me watching the video was how beautiful her face is...fabulous skin and features.

Eva Gallant said...

I'm with Blissed. She does have a beautiful, expressive face. I Guess I'm too jaded to be moved to tears by it, though. Maybe because I loved, lost, and moved on.

The Empress said...

I'm so much like you. So moved by music. I will go with an iPod from now on, what I good idea.

I was at PiknSave, and "Oh Yoko" came on ...that song always does me in. Same thing: wanted to just dit down and bawl.

What is that called? It;s got to be soemthing, right? Just so moved by music...and taken back in ouro minds.

Mandy's Life After 30 said...

I'm trying to take you seriously but I'm laughing out loud at all your side notes in small print! :) Yes that song is painfully gut wrenching both b/c of its soul and b/c I can always picture her video with the shaved head looking so damn dramatic too. But still a classic worth listening to, just not in the grocery store like you said. I'd prefer "Rock the Casbah" or something like that I can groove to while reading cereal boxes!

MiMi said...

Oh! I'll go grocery shopping with you and stop and sit in the produce section and cry...wait. Maybe we should sit in the chocolate section.

scrappysue said...

i thought they played songs like 'stand by your man' which encouraged you to buy lots of red meat 'n'stuff!

FranticMommy said...

Yup, that's a heart squeezer. Playing that in a store is like playing "Fat Bottom Girls Make My Rockin World Go 'Round" in a lingerie shop. Very de-motivating in the shopping therapy realm. I will have to say, thanks to my current shapeless mop, that I have been tempted lately to go for Sinead's hair style (or, lack there-of hair style)

MissKris said...

My daughter, who was a teen when this song came out, recently bought a new copy of that CD and I took it and listened to it while I wrote one evening. That woman's voice is...well, I can't think of any word to describe it. Ethereal, maybe? I SO love that song. She's got something out now on a new CD of Irish musicians and I've been seriously thinking of buying it, as I love Celtic music anyway. But for the life of me I can't remember the name of the CD. That song evokes in me the loneliness and isolation I felt all thru MY teen years, tho they happened about 20 years before this came out, ha! And Annie Lennox' "Loneliness" is the absolute song of my heart...if you've never heard THAT one, go find it on YouTube and listen. That'll grab your heart out of your chest and rip it apart.

Anonymous said...

It is still one of the saddest songs I've ever heard. I usually do shop with my Ipod on!!

Gibby said...

Sheesh. Sinead in muzak form. I am really aging.

That song was played over and over by one of my HS friends who was going through a thing with her boyfriend at the time. That is what I think of, after all these years, when I hear that song. How sad is that???

mama-face said...

I love your little whispers to the side...(if I could make the font smaller here I would). :)

will you hate me if I tell you I don't like that song? But I would love to see a picture of you two dancing.


Sandy said...

That can be a painful song to listen to depending on your current mood.

My grocery store now plays real music, too, and I often find myself singing down the aisle, which I always have to myself because they hear me coming.