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“Cry Love”

Posted by purplemary54 on November 5, 2012

I’m a little brain dead right now.  Dad should be home tomorrow.  The medication and the adjustment to his implant seems to be working nicely.  (In case I didn’t mention it, this trip was necessitated by his internal defibrillator shocking him several times yesterday.  First time ever.  At least we know the damn thing can do its job.)  But I’ve got this song, for some reason.

It just popped into my head this morning.  That happens a lot in the years since I first bought an iPod.  It’s like my brain is permanently set to shuffle.  The songs don’t stick around usually; they just pop up, play a few bars, and disappear when I start doing something that requires me to think.  The mandolin is what stands out in my head for this song.  John Hiatt plays a fine rhythm guitar, but the mandolin is so strong here.  It’s the spine of the song, the heart that everything else radiates from.  The chorus is chanted like Whitman’s barbaric yawp.  “Cry love, cry love.”  And at the end, when the tempo speeds up, it’s freeing.  A release from the anger and sadness that carry the rest of the song.

I’d never seen this video before.  That’s no surprise; John Hiatt was never a favorite of either MTV or the Top Forty.  But other musicians listen to him; they cover his songs and play on his albums.  He got some attention when Bonnie Raitt had a giant hit with “Thing Called Love,” but mostly he’s on the fringes somewhere.  That’s okay.  I sort of like him there.

The video is very affecting.  I found myself moved by the women and children alone, reinforcing the songs questioning. “Did he say good-bye to you, or did you kick him out.”  Whatever happened, the men are gone.  And at first you think there’s going to be nothing but the empty faces of their grief.  But people can only be sad for so long.  Eventually, they let it go, “well one day that train of pain won’t stop no more.”  They heal.  They return to the world, to each other.  They smile again.

And the memories?  “If this is a lesson in love, well what’s it for?”  Hug the kids.  Call your mom.  Get a dog.  There’s more love in the world.

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