Songs

Songs About Yearning Soar Above the Rest

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You listen to a song and wonder why it makes you feel something. You can’t quite explain it. What is it? The words? The beat? Does it remind you of a failed romance, not following your passion, wanting to run away?

I’ve thought a lot about this and this is how I see it. A powerful song is about a person truly yearning for something such as love, a better place, a more fulfilling life, a closer relationship with a child or husband or wife or parent, a different career, a less ruthless boss, a company that is loyal to its workers, a life that is less hectic, unpredictable, and nicer.

The yearning in the song must come across as real yearning. If you don’t believe the artist is feeling yearning, the song won’t move you the way a song does when the singer clearly is sad and feels unfulfilled or regretful or hoping for more of something, somewhere, somehow.

Why is “Nothing Compares” by Sinead O’Connor one of the greatest songs ever? Because she is truly sad – seriously, seriously down — about a failed relationship. She yearns for that person to be back in her life and makes us feel her agony. I mean real agony. See for yourself and yearn with and for Sinead, and may her yearning, now that’s gone, be in her past:

Bruce’s yearning in “Thunder Road”

Do you wonder why “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen is one of his greatest songs and one of the greatest songs by any artist of any era? Because it’s about him yearning to go somewhere with Mary, to start a new life someplace else. He yearns for her and a life beyond what he has. He wants something he’s not getting where he is. This is yearning. This is a song like no other because Bruce yearns:

Blog about yearning

This blog I’m writing is me yearning to say what I truly feel which is that songs about yearning are the ones that move people the most emotionally because they make them think and regret and hope and wonder and seek and fall short and feel inadequate. I’m yearning for an insight beyond what feels graspable about why some songs stand out and make us feel more understood.

I’m yearning for an idea worth sharing. This is how I feel. I’m yearning because while it’s how I feel I’m not sure it’s correct. Most of us yearn for most of our days and nights. Yearning is our default state.

A “Free Bird” yearning

Last night I listened to “Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. My God what a song. Hundreds of years from now people will still sense while listening that the band was yearning when they recorded it, and they will yearn with them because no matter what people will always yearn. For you, I share this:

I think the song is about wanting something that is beyond the band’s grasp in some kind of rebellious swinging at the world’s imperfections. They want to find the free bird which tells me they feel the urge to improve their lives. It’s not about a bird. It’s about being free which we all yearn to be.

Isn’t that what we all want — to be able to roam around, improve our lives, get something more, and land on a clear understanding?

Here we are 22 years after those planes crashed into The World Trade Center still yearning — we will forever yearn — not understanding what those hijackers were thinking when they aimed those planes at those skyscrapers. We yearn for an explanation and yet realize we will never understand. We yearn for a future that doesn’t hurl any more pandemics at us. We yearn for truth.

Songs about yearning are truthful. Songs that make us feel this inability to get what we want are what make us frustrated and confused and yet not alone. We yearn to not be alone because, unlike some yearning that is just frustrating or irritating, being truly alone is a kind of painful yearning most of us find unbearable. Songs about yearning make us feel less alone because we realize others yearn, so they touch us most deeply.

Beneath the superficial surfaces.

Way down there.

In our yearning souls.

Here’s a rough sketch of how I picture yearning:

Sammy Sportface

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Sammy Sportface

Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here: Sammy Sportface Has a Vision -- Check It Out Sammy Sportface -- The Baby Boomer Brotherhood Blog -- Facebook Page
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Author Profile

Sammy Sportface
Sammy Sportface
Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here:

Sammy Sportface Has a Vision -- Check It Out

Sammy Sportface -- The Baby Boomer Brotherhood Blog -- Facebook Page

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