Friday, January 25, 2008

Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

By now, I'm sure you all are aware of the circumstances surrounding Elton and Bernie vis-a-vis Blue Moves; if not, please click on the tag and read some of the other entries for this album.

One of the more genuinely miserable tracks on an album full of them, it begins with this anguished question, asked of the singer's lover:

What have I got to do to make you love me
What have I got to do to make you care
What do I do when lightning strikes me
And I wake to find that you're not there

...and things get bleaker form there. As a breakup song, it certainly does what it sets out to do; the "singer" doesn't seem to want to end the relationship, but has no clue about how to win back the heart of the person it's sung to- "sorry" seems to be an inadequate response, and a difficult word for either to say, even if it would help.

Elton's arrangement is not elaborate; piano, vibes and accordion giving it an odd French feel. James Newton Howard contributes a non-obtrusive string arrangement.

With no hope of resolution, it becomes one of the most forlorn pop songs to ever hit the Billboard top 10 (#6 in the US), no doubt striking a chord with the loveless, abandoned and forsaken music listeners of 1976.


Roger Green said...

Forlorn is right. Sad just THINKING about it. But I like it - you know, "sad songs say so much," someone once said.

Johnny B said...

Yeah...where have I heard that phrase before...?