Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Alone Again (Naturally) (1972) – Gilbert O’Sullivan

The saddest song ever written reads like a suicide note. Its chipper arrangement sardonically belies the song’s utter despair, a subterfuge furthered by Gilbert O’Sullivan’s voice that resembles Paul McCartney’s, except filled with such despondency had it been McCartney, not Pete Best, who was kicked out of The Beatles in 1962.

Having been left standing at the altar on his wedding day, O’Sullivan adds God to the growing list of those who have abandoned him, and matter-of-factly states his intention to, one day soon, jump from a tower as a “treat” to himself. At one time, he accepted sorrow as a part of life’s inevitable circumstances: when his father died, he witnessed his mother’s inconsolable grief. Yet, by the time she herself died, O’Sullivan hadn’t experienced any joy to offset his continual suffering. There was always only that damnable, overwhelming loneliness.

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