The saddest song in the world

Apparently tonight is my “I need to cry” night. It didn’t start out that way, but that is how it has become. I am not really sad. I’m not really happy either, but not sad. But neither of those things matter much when I have one of these days. I guess I just have to make sure that the tear ducts are still working, or something like that.

I don’t actually believe that it is such a simple thing. I know that I need to have an emotional release or venting every once in a while if I’m to keep myself functioning. Seeing as how it’s 130am on a work day and I’m passively resisting going to bed, I would say that I am probably in need of that emotional release whether I’m sad or not. Just needing to experience that venting is rarely enough to start the process. I pretty much always have to listen to music that has just the right sound, just the right chord progressions at just the right pace and in just the right pitches before I will actually be able to cry.

There are a few songs that I keep “ready” for just such a moment. Funny enough, they’re all from movie soundtracks, which does make some sense when you stop to think about it. The music in movies has to somehow manage to be larger than life AND still blend into the background enough that the music is a part of the movie experience, not the thing that you pay more attention to or failed to notice at all. It’s a tricky balance to strike, especially in moments that are so emotionally charged that the music HAS to stand out but still match the tone.

Anyway, the song (or bit of song really) that I turn to when I need to cry is from The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring. There is one scene in the movie that, in my mind, made the movie one of my favorite movies of all time, and that scene is the one where Gandalf dies. Not that you couldn’t have gathered that from the youtube video at the top of the post. I have cried and will continue to cry every single time I watch that scene. I also cry just about every time I hear the music from that scene. It is, in my opinion, the saddest song in the world. If the song comes up on Pandora, I have to prepare myself for the sorrow at the end or change songs just to keep from losing if I’m not at home. It’s the song that I play intentionally when I need to cry. It’s the most haunting and sorrowful piece that I have ever heard or played.

Just in case you weren’t sure what it sounded like or don’t believe me when I say that it is that haunting or sorrowful, please, listen and tell me what you feel.

Oh, and for those of you who may be curious to know. The primary chord progression that you will *always* hear that indicate “this is sad, be sad with me, be sad and maybe even tear up” is 6, 8, minor 6. It’s important to designate that it’s the 8 rather than 1 (as it should be written out) because part of what makes the progression so mournful is the smooth slide up then down the scale. You don’t want to be going up and down most of the scale just to get to the 1, though if you’ve multiple parts, the 4th and 2nd should be going for it.

And on another, but related note, I should probably do this more often. The last few times I’ve cried have actually really hurt my eyes. It feels like I’m crying salt water rather than the neutral solution that tears should be made of and it hurts! Ah well. It’s still needed and worth it.

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