The Damage Done, We're Not OK, Lyrically
September 30, 2016 8:34 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for songs and poems about damage, wounds and woundedness, harm done, brokenness, being not OK. Details below the fold.

My theme for October's Write 31 Days is going to be something to do with damage, using photos, quotes, and some other text. I'm coming at this from various (possibly 31) different angles. Some examples: damage to trees by logging skidders, torn and dying flowers, galls and burrs, weeds and invasives and other plants we deem not OK, trash along roadsides, broken and sullied landscapes, idea that healthy soil is full of dead and decaying things, other natural world damage, disease, and death; plus human emotional damage, the brokenness of all of us, the damage we do to one another as a society, feelings of regret and loss, scars and calluses growing over vulnerable places, age and decay, hidden wounds and internal bleeding, cleanness/purity and dirtyness/taintedness, need for real connection in a broken world, etc. Still mulling through the possibilities.

This is sort of where I'm coming from: “Someone walking down the street with absolutely no scars or calluses would look pretty odd. I suspect having a conversation with someone who’d never taken any emotional or mental damage would be even odder. The line between ‘experience’ and ‘damage’ is pretty thin.” — Aliza, from the Open-Source Wish Project

I'm looking for lines to quote as part of these postings, from poems and songs.

Songs so far:
Neil Young - “Needle and the Damage Done”
Leonard Cohen - “Anthem”
Bruce Springsteen - "Human Touch"
Josh Rouse - "God, Please Let Me Go Back"
Adele, "Hello"
Pink (feat. Nate Ruess) - “Just Give Me A Reason”
Perishers - "Pills"

Poems and excerpts:
Rainer Maria Rilke - "Let This Quiet Be A Bell Tower"
Aldo Leopold - A Sand County Almanac (some excerpts)
"What's left of kisses? Wounds, however, leave scars.” ― Bertolt Brecht

Have Googled extensively and I'm checking Goodreads quotes too.

Appreciate any suggestions from the hivemind. Thanks.
posted by mmw to Grab Bag (68 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Nine Inch Nails, "Hurt"
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 8:40 AM on September 30, 2016 [5 favorites]

As an aging one, I'd suggest you are looking for the subculture of music called "Gothic." :)
posted by heathrowga at 8:43 AM on September 30, 2016 [4 favorites]

Metallica - Blackened.
posted by bondcliff at 8:43 AM on September 30, 2016

"Hurt"- Nine Inch Nails (or covered by Johnny Cash) is probably a classic in this genre
"Tangled Up in Blue"- Dylan
"Broke Down Engine Blues"- Blind Willie McTell
"Let's Get Lost"- Elliott Smith
posted by quiet coyote at 8:44 AM on September 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Old Purple Tin- Alabama Three

Nobody's Baby Now- Nick Cave

I'm not OK- My Chemical Romance
posted by threetwentytwo at 8:44 AM on September 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

Broken Doll- Wreckless Eric
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 8:46 AM on September 30, 2016

I mean... I kind of want to say just any Mountain Goats song. Any at all!

But let's select Isaiah 45:23.

Another artist that came to mind was Sun Kil Moon, maybe Micheline? Or "Carissa" from the same album.
posted by selfnoise at 8:46 AM on September 30, 2016 [3 favorites]

Most of The Mountain Goats.
posted by Etrigan at 8:47 AM on September 30, 2016 [3 favorites]

"Star Witness" by Neko Case has a similar feel to the images you describe (and happens to be one of my fave songs ever)
posted by quiet coyote at 8:48 AM on September 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Roots - Silent Treatment
posted by substars at 8:52 AM on September 30, 2016

"All My Friends are Heathens" - Twenty One Pilots
posted by the webmistress at 8:53 AM on September 30, 2016

"Guilty" – Randy Newman

(This is my favorite version. YMMV, obvs.)
posted by virago at 8:57 AM on September 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Nine Inch Nails, "Hurt"

I prefer Johnny Cash's cover.
posted by FallowKing at 8:58 AM on September 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Keep digging the Neil Young mine. "Pocahontas," "Helpless," "Tell Me Why," etc.
posted by cmoj at 8:58 AM on September 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Elliott Smith in general. "Memory Lane" and "Baby Britain" come to mind.

"The Word of Your Body" from Spring Awakening

"You Look So Fine" and "Bleed Like Me" by Garbage, and many more.
posted by meemzi at 9:09 AM on September 30, 2016

Literally every Elliott Smith song. Well, that might be a slight exaggeration; I initially thought "Needle in the Hay" and "A Fond Farewell" but there really are a lot of fitting songs throughout his albums.
posted by ubersturm at 9:13 AM on September 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Environmental damage - Judy Collins, "The Coming of the Roads"
posted by Catseye at 9:16 AM on September 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Weakerthans - Left and Leaving
posted by ZeroDivides at 9:26 AM on September 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Sylvia Plath's poem, Daddy

On correct: don't know why link isn't showing up
posted by flourpot at 9:27 AM on September 30, 2016

The entirety of Car Seat Headrest's Teens of Denial album, and basically his/their entire discography.
posted by enjoymoreradio at 9:30 AM on September 30, 2016

"won't you celebrate with me" by Lucille Clifton
" A Litany for Survival" by Audre Lorde
"Those Winter Sundays" by Robert Hayden
posted by shoesietart at 9:32 AM on September 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

I feel like you could pick almost any song by Rilo Kiley, in particular:

Portions for Foxes
A Man / Me / Then Jim
I Never
The Good That Won't Come Out
posted by GoldenEel at 9:33 AM on September 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

Blue October - Hate Me
Beth Hart - L.A. Song
The Echo Friendly - The Same Mistakes
Kelly Clarkson - Because of You
Ray LaMontagne - Empty (or Burn, or Trouble, or any number of others)
Pearl Jam - Just Breathe
Soul Asylum - Runaway Train
posted by bologna on wry at 9:34 AM on September 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

William Stafford - Scars
posted by diamondsky at 9:42 AM on September 30, 2016

No Surprises by Radiohead
posted by Fister Roboto at 9:57 AM on September 30, 2016

Sullen Girl by Fiona Apple
posted by lovableiago at 10:08 AM on September 30, 2016

Abner Jay - I'm So Depressed
Alice in Chains - Would
Dismemberment Plan - Time Bomb
Drive Like Jehu - Sinews
Hoover - Cuts Like Drugs
Modest Mouse - Broke
Tool - Prison Sex
posted by saladin at 10:08 AM on September 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

One from Roberto Bolaño (from The Unknown University) comes to mind, that I thought of often when I was going through a period of feeling broken:

Lola Paniagua

Against your wishes I tried to leave to get away
closure required swiftness
but in the end it was you who opened the door.

You were up to all kinds of things
walking crying falling down the well
and in a moment of clarity you asked about my health.

I'm not well Lola I almost never dream.
posted by Young Kullervo at 10:11 AM on September 30, 2016

I love love love Ingrid Michaelson's Ghost for this feeling.
posted by fiercecupcake at 10:27 AM on September 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Natalie Merchant - My Skin
Ben Folds Five - Brick
Evanescence - Bring Me To Life
James Taylor & Alison Krauss - How's the World Treating You
Hole - Miss World
posted by bologna on wry at 10:31 AM on September 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

I don't listen to much Christian music on the radio--most of it is waaaay too cheesy and simplistic for my taste--but a friend of mine recently sent me a link to Casting Crowns' Broken Together, which is a notable exception. It's about a married couple.

Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete
Could we just be broken together
If you can bring your shattered dreams and I'll bring mine
Could healing still be spoken and save us
The only way we'll last forever is broken together

posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:39 AM on September 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Pretty much all of Rae Spoon's album Armour seems to fit. "Can't Go Right" and "Flood" might be good songs to start with.
posted by Lexica at 11:25 AM on September 30, 2016

the mountain goats - no children
the weakerthans - one great city!
modest mouse - bankrupt on selling
posted by rotten at 11:25 AM on September 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

Here's an obvious one:

The Damage Is Done by Foreigner:

posted by Don_K at 11:26 AM on September 30, 2016

Just a clarification: I'm not looking for metal or goth, or for wallowing in pain, "I'm a victim, I hate everyone for hurting me," depressive, angry kinds of pieces. Songs and poems that acknowledge brokenness and communicate the feeling of it, the complexity of it, are where I'm going, and I appreciate people taking the time to think of some. That William Stafford "Scars"poem is a find, thank you, diamondsky.
posted by mmw at 11:38 AM on September 30, 2016

Bruce Springsteen, My City Of Ruins. It does end with your standard Springsteen anthemic but-I'm-gonna-rise-up-and-heal kinda jam, but the rest of it is absolutely about loss and pain and damage.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:01 PM on September 30, 2016 [2 favorites]
posted by Leon at 12:05 PM on September 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

And after the follow-up:

The Who's The Song is Over; the chorus sounds kinda anthemic, but read the lyrics, it's definitely more of an "I got broke but I'll get over it" kinda thing. It got me through the first breakup I ever had.

And mayyyyyybe, Washing of the Water by Peter Gabriel. It's from his album Us, which should be subtitled "How Peter Gabriel Got Over His Divorce" and I maintain it should be issued to each and every person going through a breakup because no matter where you are on the roller coaster of emotion following that event, there's a song for it (in fact you may wanna check out the entire album just for shits and giggles). Washing Of The Water is definitely the most broken of the songs of the album.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:06 PM on September 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Leon's response with Wikipedia's songs about the environment led me to Google that and I found this gem ... 9-page PDF of List of Songs Related to Climate Change and Human Impact on the Environment! Compiled in 2009; imagine how many more there are now.
posted by mmw at 12:17 PM on September 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

Antlers 'Two' (lyrics)
posted by juliplease at 12:21 PM on September 30, 2016

Suheir Hammad- ''First Writing Since''
posted by Edna Million at 12:43 PM on September 30, 2016

Fountain of Sorrow by Jackson Browne

Staying Alive by Cursive

The Desperate Kingdom of Love by P.J. Harvey
posted by ipsative at 1:12 PM on September 30, 2016

Also by P.J. Harvey: Rid of Me.
posted by that's candlepin at 1:45 PM on September 30, 2016

Pretty much everything the Afghan Whigs/Twilight Singers do is about damage done from drugs and broken relationships.

Honky's Ladder (has NSFW lyrics) isn't one of their bigger songs, but it's one of my favorites. I love this line:

But wait 'till I get done
With you
If you tell me
"Don't get mixed up with the Devil"
That's exactly
What I'm gonna do

posted by cnc at 4:07 PM on September 30, 2016

The Exchange by Torres
posted by Orca at 5:02 PM on September 30, 2016

Seconding all the Mountain Goats recommendations. John Darnielle has a hundred songs that are perfect for this, but Your Belgian Things and Old College Try strike me as the most apposite right now. Ask me in two hours and I'd probably have different picks, though.

Todd Snider also has a lot of subtle and nuanced songs that cover this territory. He is right twangy, so if that's not your bag, you might not get much out of his work-- but if you are twang-friendly, he is absolutely your guy. A really good one to start with is I Spoke as a Child, but his catalog is just full of on-point stuff. That Was Me is may also be a good fit for you.

Richard Thompson's another great poet of heartbreak and long-term damage-- and as with Todd Snider, his catalog is absolutely full of gorgeous songs about your topic. The one that comes to mind for me immediately is Waltzing's for Dreamers. Beeswing might also fit the bill, though might be too focused on a specific, lost love to fit your theme exactly.

And if you can handle earnest folk, Canada's James Keelaghan is another fine source for you. Many of his songs are narratives about very specific individuals (who are damaged and will never be okay.) I don't know if you're looking for that (if you are, check out Kiri's Piano, Glory Bound, Cold Missouri Waters, and, I dunno, almost the whole rest of his catalog) but to get you started, here's a more general song about the experience of carrying deep, long-term pain: Sweet Grass Moon.

Tom Waits also has some great ones. The lyrics of the following songs aren't to-the-nose, but they are precise and well-crafted, and I feel like they speak beautifully about the state of carrying damage: (1) Hold On, (2) Come On Up To The House, and (3) Innocent When You Dream.

If you want songs about actual mental health problems, Suzanne Vega's had you covered for years. Blood Makes Noise is a classic song about being in crisis, though (to my mind) it's lyrics imply long-term damage, and not just something flaring up in the moment (though of course, YMMV). Tombstone may be an even better fit for you, IMO, because it's (again, to my mind) about becoming resigned to long-term suicidal ideation, and is not, in any way, about an acute situation. Tired of Sleeping is also great.

The Jaynettes' intriguing and enigmatic Sally Go Round the Roses might also fit the bill for you. You migth not read it the way I do, though, because of the, you know, enigmatic quiality.

Another odd-but-good one is Robyn Hitchcock's Queen Elvis. It is quietly though deeply surreal (and I don't use that term lightly), and to me, it just drips bone-deep, long-carried melancholy. (Again, it may not read for you the way it does for me.)

Also, I know that she's become almost a laughing-stock in the last decade, but this really is Tori Amos's stock-in-trade, and not all of her songs are about wallowing in victimhood. Check out (or re-check out) Silent All These Years. It reads to me like a song about a person gathering the strength to climb out of victimhood, and not about victimhood itself.

Then, just to add a bit more non-western influence to the accruing list of suggestions, I'd like to throw in Cui Jian's Nothing to My Name. Actual Chinese people (and/or actual Chinese speakers) may disagree with me, (and if they do, you should listen to them, because they will know 100% better than me) but this song has always sounded to me like hopelessness, heartbreak, and melancholy being very deliberately pulled together into strength and resilience. It was (if I recall correctly) a major touchstone for the Tiananmen Square protesters in 1989.

Finally, I know you said "no metal," but I'd encourage you consider relaxing that prohibition a bit. A lot of metal songs capture the experience of recognizing permanent damage and trying to swagger, slam, or scream your way out of it, with or without success-- which to my mind is an absolutely canonical human response to long-term pain. A fine song in which this process is laid lyrically bare is Stratovarius's I'm Still Alive. (And since it's bouncy, soaring power metal with clear vocals and not, like, some kind blackened, technical death metal gargled out by a guy who sounds like Cookie Monster, it's actually, IMO, pretty damned accessible to non-metalheads. (Indeed, it is so accessible that many of your more serious, kvlt-as-fvck metal types find it stupid and embarassing.))

This is such a great question! I really hope that someone will make a playlist out of all of these wonderful suggestions.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 5:07 PM on September 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Under Pressure - Queen / David Bowie
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 5:10 PM on September 30, 2016

Matchbox 20 Bent
posted by fingersandtoes at 6:30 PM on September 30, 2016

Coldplay, "The Scientist"

Come up to meet you, tell you I'm sorry
You don't know how lovely you are

I had to find you
Tell you I need you
Tell you I set you apart

Tell me your secrets
And ask me your questions
Oh, let's go back to the start

Running in circles
Coming up tails
Heads on a science apart

Nobody said it was easy
It's such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard
Oh, take me back to the start
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 6:54 PM on September 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Everything Right is Wrong Again - They Might Be Giants

Bad Liver and a Broken Heart - Tom Waits

Kiss Off - Violent Femmes

Walking Along the Beach - Tom Smith (very, very different tone)

Luka - Suzanne Vega

Babylon 5 scene: My Shoes Are Too Tight
"Something my father said. He was old, very old at the time. I went into his room, and he was sitting alone in the dark, crying. So I asked him what was wrong, and he said, 'My shoes are too tight, but it doesn't matter, because I have forgotten how to dance.' I never understood what that meant until now. My shoes are too tight, and I have forgotten how to dance."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 7:42 PM on September 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

One addition:

After rereading, I think another Suzanne Vega song may work even better for your project. Have a look at Casual Match.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 7:47 PM on September 30, 2016

Lots of songs by First Aid Kit -- try Our Own Pretty Ways.

Search your own translation, but Arturo Wiskari and Ulpu - Sirpa.
posted by ortoLANparty at 9:12 PM on September 30, 2016

She Used to Be Mine, from the Broadway Musical "Waitress" - lyrics, youtube, youtube of the excerpt on the Tony awards (tears me up every time I watch it)

Jar of Hearts, by Christina Perri - lyrics, youtube
posted by rakaidan at 9:24 PM on September 30, 2016

Natalie Imbruglia's 'Torn'.
posted by Salamander at 9:34 PM on September 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Pretty much most songs on Ahnoni's album "Hopeless": Why Did You Separate Me From the Earth, 4 Degrees, Hopelessness
posted by stagewhisper at 9:36 PM on September 30, 2016

Gillian Welch, Ruination Day or maybe it's called April the 14th .
posted by the offing at 10:28 PM on September 30, 2016

Scar - Missy Higgins
posted by h00py at 5:03 AM on October 1, 2016

Wow! Thanks, guys! I've listened to or looked at lyrics for most of the songs, except the most recently added (which I'll get to today), and I've read the poems. You've reacquainted me with Suzanne Vega, Peter Gabriel, Jackson Browne, Ben Folds Five, Randy Newman, Tori Amos, and others, including some new songs from beloved artists, and introduced me to so many artists I've never heard or heard of, like James Keelaghan, PJ Harvey, Antlers, Mountain Goats, Rilo Kiley, Weakerthans, Elliott Smith, and so many more. Palmcorder_yajna, thank you especially for your extensive list and the thought that went into it.

What I realised after I started getting and exploring responses is that what I needed as much or more than songs and poems was clarification of my own direction with this theme. I would listen to a song or read lyrics and think, No, that's a great song/poem, but it's not how I'm considering this particular idea right now.

In the end (that is, as of this moment), I've been reminded through your postings of a poem and a song that I'm using as touchstones for my 31-day blog writing: the poem "Try to Praise the Mutilated World" by Adam Zagajewski, and the song "Bound by the Beauty" by Jane Siberry. You can see I've travelled a ways from my original posting to reach this point -- dual ideas of acknowledgement of mutilation, damage, brokenness, and fragility we experience in this world (nature, us, each other), along with acknowledgement of the sheer reckless, quiet beauty of it all ANYWAY -- and it's due to your help. Thanks so much, and thanks for the many great songs and poems here.
posted by mmw at 6:28 AM on October 1, 2016

Subverting the trope of environmental damage: Nothing But Flowers by The Talking Heads

And yet another Mountain Goats song (John Darnielle really is the best at this): Autoclave
posted by MsMolly at 12:16 PM on October 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

Uncle Tupelo - Black Eye
posted by clownschool at 3:42 PM on October 1, 2016

Wilco, Misunderstood and Shot In The Arm.
posted by padraigin at 10:16 PM on October 1, 2016

Pearl Jam--Immortality. Also, in part due to your update, 10,000 Days (part 2 especially)...well, maybe not appropriate for your project? But supposedly it's about Tool's frontman dealing with his mother's death. And it's an amaaaazing song.
posted by bookworm4125 at 11:37 PM on October 1, 2016

[Note: I really did not mean to write a second, gigantic essay on what you should include in your project, I just wanted to add one or two more suggestions, but then this enormous thing just. kind of. happened. So I hope that at least some of this extra stuff is useful to you: Apologies for monopolizing the thread if it isn't.]

I keep feeling like Kimya Dawson ought to be on this list somewhere. The songs that keep coming to mind for me are Lullaby for the Taken, and My Mom, but there are many, many gaps in my knowledge of her catalog, and other users might have better suggestions. (The "John" mentioned in the first part of "Lullaby" is John Darnielle of the Mountain goats, btw.)

Grand dame of melancholy Peggy Lee also might be a great fit for this. Check out Is That All There Is? and maybe Black Coffee. ("Black Coffee" may not fit the theme on all fours-- my sense is that it's about a 61% match-- but it is by far my *favorite* Peggy Lee song, so I kind of couldn't resist. Apologies for the indulgence.)

Veda Hille also has a deep and rich catalog with lots of good potential material for you. As with Kimya Dawson, I don't think I know her discography well enough to pick the exact, perfect track, but IMO, Six Feet of Silence is a decent contender. In addition to doing songs about personal and interpersonal stuff, she also has done site-specific compositions about the Canadian landscape, etc., so if you dig into her ouvre, you might find stuff that addresses your topic from some of other angles you were hoping to cover.

After going the rounds with myself a bit, I'm also going to suggest Stan Ridgeway's Can't Stop the Show, which sung from the perspective of a world-weary, long-time strip club owner. There's no titilation here, and (at leat to my very pro-Ridgeway ear) no misogyny: It's just about resignation, barely-submerged sorrow, and a sense of things slowly and inexorably getting worse.

You might also want some war/PTSD songs. Many of the best ones I know are metal, (Iron Maiden's "Paschendale;" Sabaton's "The Price of a Mile," and "40:1," etc.) but the lyrics don't, for the most part, have the level of word-craft that I suspect you're looking for, and it may not be worth backing off of your no-metal preference to include them. A couple of lyric-driven, non-metal ones you might consider are The Pogues' The Band Played 'Waltzing Matilda', and Stan Rogers's more lighthearted and trad-folky Barrett's Privateers. Defunct-but-beloved Seattle punk band The Rain City Schwillers had another very fine one, called DD41, but I can't find a place to stream it for you. Your particular geography and personal array of subscription services may grant you better luck. (If you are super-curious about it but can't get hold of it, memail me.)

And speaking of mental health, another good one I can't believe I forgot last time is Victoria Williams's Crazy Mary. In the rest of her work (which, full disclosure, I'm only passingly familiar with) she seems to favor warmer themes, including many fundamentally hopeful songs that talk, to a greater or lesser extent, about Christian faith (albeit in a personal way, not in an evangelizing way.) So even though to my mind, this track is a really solid addition to the list, and even though she is a truly compelling artist, I don't know if digging further into her discography will yield up much for you for this specific project.

I've also been trying to think of songs that are less about psychology and relationships and more political and/or environmental. I haven't managed to come up with that many, but on the environmental side, if you're not already familiar with the group, Midnight Oil has a lot of songs worth looking at. Blue Sky Mine (which touches on asbestos exposure and corporate greed, inter alia) is a particular favorite. Grace Petrie is another terrifically engaging political balladeer, and YouTube is just full of her stuff. A great place to start is Bonfires in the Streets.

There're also, IMO, a ton of fitting and excellent songs in Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed's catalogs, and I feel like we've collectively dropped the ball by not getting into them for you. Ones that come to mind immediately are Laurie Anderson's Speechless and Lou Reed's Sword of Damocles, but there's *just so much* in both of their ouvres that these picks seem sort of arbitrary. If you're not deeply familiar with either or both, I'd recommend hitting up your favorite streaming service and listening, listening, and listening.

I also know of quite a few playful songs about causing damage, which might fit your theme and/or make for a nice, not-far-from-topic note of contrast. Off the top of my head, there's Mike Doughty's Busting Up a Starbucks, Firewater's Another Perfect Catastrophe, and Negativeland's highly-abrasive-but-engagingly-silly Car Bomb. Kids on Fire's irresistible power punk anthem Raise Your Glass also fits the theme from this angle, IMO. (As a bonus, Kids on Fire's lineup includes one of Mefi's Own.)

Third-to-lastly, and, again, I can't believe I forgot this, one of my favorite bands, Weddings, Parties, Anything, has plenty of songs that fit the bill. The most apposite, IMO, is probably Never Again (Albion Tuesday Night). Their Scorn of the Women is another very fine, pretty-much-on-topic one from them, and it might make a nice companion piece for The Pogues' "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda," if you decide to include that. If you end up liking WPA's sound, then I'd encourage you to dig in, because many of their other ones (In particular, "Rossarden" and "Mañana, Mañana") might also be really good for this project. Alas, the latter two don't seem to be accessible for non-subscription streaming in the US at the moment. (Caveats and offer from above, re: "DD41," also apply here.)

And if the subject-matter of WPA's "Never Again (Albion Tuesday Night)" works for you, you might really like Hog Hoggidy Hog's Sherry Ann No More, which covers similar territory, but in an infectiously bouncy, ska-inflected punk idiom.

Finally, though this is an hour-plus-long, avant-garde piece with no lyrics, I think you might get a lot of mileage out of William Basinksi's Disintegration Loops. Basically, this is a recording of a piece of music on a damaged loop of tape being played over and over again until it decays to the point of failure-- and it is arrestingly beautiful. You can read about the project in short form on Wikipedia, or in long form on
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 7:22 PM on October 2, 2016

Pretty much anything by The Smiths/Morrissey. For example: Reel Around The Fountain or Unloveable.

Also, Bad Reputation by Freedy Johnston.
posted by SisterHavana at 8:12 PM on October 2, 2016

My Little Town - Simon and Garfunkle
Most of Southern Rock Opera - Drive By Truckers
River - Joni Mitchell
posted by Billiken at 9:17 AM on October 3, 2016

How could we have missed Strange Fruit?
posted by Leon at 6:08 PM on October 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Late to the party, but there's brokenness in Patty Griffin's "Long Ride Home":

Forty years go by with someone laying in your bed
Forty years of things you say you wish you'd never said
How hard would it have been to say some kinder words instead
I wonder as I stare up at the sky turning red
posted by booth at 7:20 AM on October 8, 2016

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