"Beauty of Le Pere Lachaise" by Hamadrys
8.5 x 11 Fine Art Photograph, $15
"Grieve not that I die young.
Is it not well to pass ere life hath lost its brightness?"
- Lady Flora Hastings, Swan Song
The other day, after months of looking, I was finally able to find an MP3 copy of Amy Winehouse's cover of the Beatles classic: All My Lovin. As her gorgeous, soulful voice filled my atelier I started thinking about this young woman's tragic and too-short life. All that talent and potential! But, in the end, she lost her battle with her powerful personal demons.
Music is a powerful, magical, heady thing. It can soothe a troubled heart, help you fall in love, lull a baby to sleep, make a grown man cry. Music can literally and figuratively make you want to dance, laugh, forget your troubles, reminisce, and make love. From every genre and every period in history, music is an auditory expression of the spirit and the soul of common man. And, though I love instrumental music, singers (and the lyrics they interpret) elevate music, to all I said above, times a billion.
So I guess it is no suprise, makes intrinsic sense, that singers sometimes break under the strain of their art. For they simultaneously struggle through and deal with their own everyday shit, while gifting the world with their talent - and their talent is a rare and beautiful gift.
So, the theme for my 10th Paris Playlist is: Gone Too Soon. This playlist is not a lament, it is a celebration of life and the best of humanity, in spite of (or maybe because of) all of life's bullshit moments. I truly believe that these artists did not 'pass' before life had lost it's brightness (that's the demons talking), I think that the world is a bit dimmer because they're gone. But the present and future are a bit brighter because, although they are gone, they sing on...
Piece of My Heart - Janis Joplin
Strange Fruit - Billie Holiday
All My Lovin' - Amy Winehouse
This Christmas - Donnie Hathaway
What's Going On? - Marvin Gaye
What You Need - Michael Hutchence/INXS
I Can't Help It - Michael Jackson
I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston
Yesterday - Eva Cassidy
Loving You - Minnie Ripperton
Could You Be Loved - Bob Marley
Annie's Song - John Denver
Of course, one song is just a tiny representative fraction of these phenomenal artists' songbook(s). I hope that this list will encourage you to want to hear more of their music, to add them to your own life-soundtrack. And please, send me your own 'Gone Too Soon' music, I'm always looking to add to my life-sountrack. In the meantime...
Vivre! Rire! Aimer!