I Know You Don’t Love Me Anymore

Continuing with our Irish Invasion, we move next to Sinead O’Connor.  She’s most famous for raising from the dead Prince’s bluesy love ballad, “Nothing Compares 2U,” and her no-holds-barred attack on the Roman Catholic Church. In college I fell in love with her voice, and her beauty – that bald head and those piercing eyes.  I bought her second album, “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got,” after my freshman year of college, and must have listened to it 1000 times in those three months I languished at home in my parent’s house, waiting until I was allowed back on campus.

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I have a hard time picking my favorite song from that album:  Black Boys on Mopeds, Emperor’s New Clothes, Three Babies.  But the song that always just tore my heart open was “Last Day of Our Acquaintance,” and the simple line “I know you don’t love me anymore.”  That’s it.  It was just so simple, and yet said so much:  Both a realization and an accusation, said with such aplomb – but just the smallest hint of longing.  Realizing someone doesn’t love you anymore is harsh in and of itself; but, perhaps, what is harder yet, is the process of accepting it.  She does that all in seven words.

 

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Scream Without Raising Your Voice

Acclaimed by Rolling Stone as the ‘Biggest Band in the World,’ and having the most Grammy Awards (22) of any other band, U2 is considered one of the most influential groups of all time.

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Their best selling album, The Joshua Tree, elevated them from a touring band known for their stage presence, to a charting bad, with hits like “Where the Streets have no Name,” “With or Without You,” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”  But it is one of their lessor known hits from The Joshua Tree, “Running to Stand Still,” that I always find myself humming.

Everything about this song just builds – from the simple bass notes at the beginning, to Bono’s wordless howling in the middle; then it subtly ends just as it began, with a soulful harmonica.  A metaphor for rage:  Mild at the beginning, passionate and frantic in the middle, and exhausted and surrendering at the end.  In the midst of this all stands the line,”You got to cry without weeping, Talk without speaking, Scream without raising your voice,” delivered with such persistent calm in a song about desperation is so haunting, that you just can’t help but be impressed at what they accomplished in 4 minutes.