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Four Songs for Late Night Walks and Long Drives

“Lay your blouse across the chair
Let fall the flowers
From your hair
And kiss me
With that country mouth
So plain
Outside the rain is tapping
On the leaves
To me it sounds like
They’re applauding us
The quiet love
We’ve made
Will I always feel this way
So empty
So estranged?” – Ray Lamontagne, Empty

Some songs stay with you forever.  Empty is one of those songs.  I’ve had it playing in my head off and on for 13 or 14 years now. But it’s on the list of songs I usually save for myself, not on playlists at parties or around the fire. Empty is a song that catches you in the throat so thoroughly that you’re reluctant to share it.

Some songs are for late night walks and long drives, and some are for the masses.  Here are a few more songs I mostly keep for myself on those lonely stretches of highway… until now anyway:

“When there’s nowhere else to run
Is there room for one more son
One more son
If you can hold on
If you can hold on, hold on” – The Killers, All These Things That I Have Done

I first heard this song on a borrowed CD from a friend.  I kept that CD way longer than I should have, and think about that person when I hear this album.  And it’s a complete album worthy of listening to from beginning to end many times over, but this song remains the one that stays with me years later.  Good dose of pep talk with some soaring music, and who doesn’t need some of that?

I’ve wanted this for so long
Now the deed has been done
We shall rise with the sun
And spend our time as one – One Eskimo, Amazing

I had it all planned out to play this song in a quiet moment at the wedding of some friends.  It’s the perfect song, really, for a moment like that at a wedding.  It sneaks up on you as your sort of listening, and I tactfully placed it at a moment when I just knew it would make an impact.  But the computer didn’t recognize the song and played Aerosmith’s song Amazing instead.  Not quite the same – and the moment was gone.  That still bugs me.  But the song remains great, and it was the thought that counted….  right?

At the moment of surrender
I’m falling to my knees
I did not notice the passers by
And they did not notice me – U2, Moment of Surrender

I’ve been a huge U2 fan since I was a teenager, but No Line On The Horizon took a bit longer to grab me than others did.  Longer as in maybe ten listens instead of three.  But this album holds on longer than some of the other albums in their catalog.  Moment of Surrender was recorded in one take as I understand it, and it’s stunning.  Sure, I play the incredible and vibrant songs like Breathe and Magnificent and Stand Up Comedy at parties all the time, but this one I keep for myself.  Breathe remains my favorite song on this album, but Moment of Surrender is a close second.

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