Sometimes I can’t believe how dark it can be

Eclectic Playlist Series 3.10 – Nov. 2016


How Fabrizio De Andre sounds in the song “Il Testamento di Tito” is how I want to sound right now: weary but centered, soothing and heartbroken, resigned to the wickedness of the world while standing up to it. The narrator is Titus, one of the two thieves in the New Testament said to have died on the cross with Jesus, who here slyly annotates the Ten Commandments, one by one, by relating his personal experience with each. A rich, flowing, Italian-language narrative, “Il Testamento di Tito” is a subtle miracle of texture and pacing, and is well worth further investigation (you might start here; translation of the lyrics here). The other songs this month are all in English and speak (directly or indirectly) for themselves, haunted, as has everything been since 11/9, by the the deep shadow of lunacy, bigotry, and corruption spreading across our unhappy country, and by the resilience we are called upon to embody in its wake. Sorry to get heavy here but this is heavy shit and music does, somehow, help. Be careful out there.

“Walk This World” – Heather Nova (Oyster, 1995)
“Inwards” – Big Country (The Crossing, 1983)
“The End of Our Love” – Nancy Wilson (b-side, 1968)
“I Don’t Want to Know” – Matthew Sweet (Kimi Ga Suki Raifu, 2003)
“Changes” – Stars (The Five Ghosts, 2015)
“Il Testamento di Tito” – Fabrizio De Andre (La Buona Novella, 1970)
“Flower Girl” – Joe Henry (Trampoline, 1996)
“Passerby” – Quilt (Plaza, 2016)
“Call It Something Nice” – The Small Faces (The Autumn Stone, 1969)
“Side of the Road” – Lucinda Williams (Lucinda Williams, 1988)
“Worn Me Down” – Rachael Yamagata (Happenstance, 2004)
“Play It Safe” – Iggy Pop (Soldier, 1980)
“Dawned on Me” – Wilco (The Whole Love, 2011)
“Kiss My Love Goodbye” – Bettye Swan (b-side, 1974)
“Into the Fire” – Sarah McLachlan (Solace, 1991)
“Out of the Blue” – The Band (The Last Waltz, 1978)
“My Mistakes Were Made For You” – The Last Shadow Puppets (The Age of the Understatement, 2007)
“Trouble Down Here Below” – Lou Rawls (Carryin’ On!, 1966)
“Nightingale” – The Honey Trees (Bright Fire, 2014)
“Book of Days” – Enya (Shepherd Moons, 1991)

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