A number of years ago, way back in the mists of time (well, the early 2000’s), I came crashing out of a relationship, and into a year in college, making friends and socialising. Naturally enough, my music tastes leaned, even for me, towards the more melancholy, and a mix CD I created at the time spent months on repeat. It’s name? “Drunk and Fucked Up”.

From D&FU (volume 1 – although I never did end up making a volume 2…), I give you two of my friends. Two people who got me through tough times. Two men who let me wallow until I healed. Now, I listen to these songs with a wonderful wistfulness.

tommcrae

Up first, the man who has been with me through a few break-ups, Tom McRae, with his cover of Alain Bashung’s “La Nuit Je Mens”. I’m currently searching for the proper English translation – expect an update soon. For now, I’ll let Tom take it…Piano, guitar, that voice, and a building swell…

On m’a vu dans le Vercors
Sauter à l’élastique
Voleur d’amphores
Au fond des criques
J’ai fait la cour à des murènes
J’ai fait l’amour
J’ai fait le mort
T’étais pas née
A la station balnéaire
Tu t’es pas fait prier
J’étais gant de crin, geyser
Pour un peu, je trempais
Histoire d’eau

La nuit je mens
Je prends des trains
A travers la plaine
La nuit je mens
Je m’en lave les mains.
J’ai dans les bottes
Des montagnes de questions
Où subsiste encore ton écho
Où subsiste encore ton écho

J’ai fait la saison
Dans cette boite crânienne
Tes pensées, je les faisais miennes
T’accaparer, seulement t’accaparer
D’estrade en estrade
J’ai fait danser tant de malentendus
Des kilomètres de vie en rose
Un jour au cirque
Un autre a chercher a te plaire
Dresseur de loulous
Dynamiteur d’aqueducs

La nuit je mens
Je prends des trains
A travers la plaine
La nuit je mens
Effrontément
J’ai dans les bottes
Des montagnes de questions
Ou subsiste encore ton écho
Ou subsiste encore ton écho

On m’a vu dans le Vercors
Sauter à l’élastique
Voleur d’amphores
Au fond des criques
J’ai fait la cour à des murènes
J’ai fait l’amour
J’ai fait le mort
T’étais pas née

La nuit je mens
Je prends des trains
A travers la plaine
La nuit je mens
Je m’en lave les mains
J’ai dans les bottes
Des montagnes de questions
Où subsiste encore ton écho
Où subsiste encore ton écho

La nuit je mens
Je prends des trains
A travers la plaine
La nuit je mens
Je m’en lave les mains
J’ai dans les bottes
Des montagnes de questions
Où subsiste encore ton écho
Où subsiste encore ton écho

ryanadams

And from Ryan Adams, I give you “The Bar is a Beautiful Place”. Ryan, a piano, and a piece of music that will raise the hairs on the back of your neck. Given Ryan’s own history of heavy alcohol intake, this song takes on even more resonance.

I hang my head down on Hollywood
‘Cause either way you look down it’s just stars
And I’m making my way down the Cherokee
To get drunk in a bar
And I know my friends, they worry about me
I can see it written on their face
Despite anything that I said before
The bar is a beautiful place. . . . sha na na na, sha la la la la

I got a cold in my heart that the doctor can’t feel
He said “go get you a beer”
But they don’t let the sunshine come in here
Sha la, sha la la la

Where the hookers and thieves and the junkies play
It’s a circus round here for sure
And I worry about how I’m fitting in
If I only had her
And I know my friends they worry about me
I can see it written on their face
But despite anything I might have said before,
The bar is a beautiful place. . . . sha na na na, sha la la la la

Ain’t it strange, I see your face in the window of a store
Holding me back from throwing my bottles out at the cars
Sha la, sha la la la

So hey there, Mrs. Samuels
Hey Laura, I’m thinking of you
Would you take an old drunk as-is
If he was sweet to you
And tomorrow, you’ll probably give up on me
I won’t blame you, hell I’ll celebrate
‘Cause despite anything you may have said to me
The bar is a beautiful place. . . . sha na na na, sha la la

Tom McRae – La Nuit Je Mens

Ryan Adams – The Bar Is A Beautiful Place To Be

www: Tom McRae , Ryan Adams

Before reading any further, go listen to the song below without looking at the picture. Or reading the text. Or looking at the name of the artist when clicking on the “Play” button.

Okay, I know. That’s probably bloody hard to do. But you’re missing my point here. As you listen to this song, you’ll think, “That’s kind of familiar”. And then, 1 minute and and 20 seconds in, you’ll go, “Ah! Wicked Game! Hang on, is he still around?”

chrisisaak

Yes folks, Chris Isaak is not only still around, but has recently released “Mr. Lucky”. Now, having never listened to a Chris Isaak album before, for some reason, this album struck me as exactly how a Chris Isaak album would sound like, in my head. Which, at the best of times, is a weird, weird place to be.

So, from “Mr. Lucky”, I give you “We Let Her Down”. A song about a woman who…oh, you know what’s going to happen.

Is it a good song? Well, I guarantee you’ll tap your foot, you’ll hum along, and you’ll try to sing the high parts. And by the end of it, you’ll have completely forgotten it. Until it comes back into your head in an hour, and you won’t remember who sings it, or where you heard it. But you’ll be humming it.

Chris who? “Wicked Game” was a great song, though.

Her mother, her father
Never showed her any affection at all
I wonder if it hurts her now
Now that it’s too late they call

We let her down
It’s true
We let her down
It’s true

I told her I’d be there
It’s easy to say what you want to believe
I told her I’d love her
And now that it’s too late I see

I let her down
It’s true
I let her down
Let her down
Let her down
We let her down
Let her down

So helpless, pretending
Hoping that somehow somebody would see
So desperate for someone
I guess that she thought that someone was me

I let her down
It’s true
I Let her down
I let her down

Look at her, look through her eyes
Close to the hurt and the pain
I hope now she’s somewhere
Where they’ll never hurt her again

Chris Isaak – We Let Her Down

www: Chris Isaak

I don’t know if this song will have the same effect on you, but, for me, this is one of those songs.

You know – those songs.

The ones that crawl under your skin. The ones that play in your head again and again and again. The ones that leave you caught in your chest, wondering what’s just happened.

colinmacintyre

Colin MacIntyre was better known as part of a band called “The Mull Historical Society”, who were responsible for wonderfully twee, at times a little more unsettling, tunes, from 2001 to 2005. While there were a number of band members, the group were described as a one-man, with MacIntyre that one man.

Now, Colin is back, under his own name, with “The Water”. And from that album, I give you the song “The Water” – somewhere between a Scottish folk dirge, and a…uhm…ehm…Okay, it’s mainly a Scottish folk dirge. And bloody haunting.

I bet you’ll be back to this one more than once.

I married a girl, I married the one that I want. I married a girl, I married the one that you were.

If you could come out of the water, the water. If you could come out of the water, the water, the water, the water, with me.

I married a boy, I married the boy that I want. I tried to belong, I held on with both feet at ground.

If you could come out of the water, the water. If you could come out of the water, the water.

If I could come into the water, the water, the water, the water, with you.

And all that I want is you. And all that I need is you. And all that I want is to know that it’s you.

I married a girl, a time for me heart to be stilled. I’ll slide in the storm, till I float to where I belong

If you could come out of the water, the water. If you could come out of the water, the water.

If I could come into the water, the water, the water, the water, with you. With you

And all that I want is you. And all that I need is you. And all that I want is to know that it’s true.

I married a girl, I married the one that I want.

Colin MacIntyre – The Water

www: Colin MacIntyre