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Music to Grieve To
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I’m Not Whole.

Ain’t that the truth - particularly for people listening to this list. Grief just takes a chunk out of you and it’s fifty / fifty whether it gets replaced - and even if it is - it’s with something completely different.

But life goes on - or it does for those of us who don’t succumb - and what do we do when we’re not right - when we’re not whole? Sometimes it’s enough to know that there are others out there who feel just like you do - where tracks like this can create the connection and you realize you’re not alone - and yet - other times it doesn’t help - the song becomes a stark reminder of where you are and how fucked everything is.

Even though I’m Scottish - the words can be a bit difficult to decipher so I asked the band for the lyric sheet - it’s brilliant! ;-) ‘cos on reading - I don’t really have a clue what the song’s about! I’ll paste them below but here’s the thing - songs don’t have to make sense in order to “do their job” - the most popular tracks often have the most opaque lyric as in doing so they can resonate with a wider audience - it’s the difference between watching a movie and reading a book - with a book you get to create the environment - if a lyric’s opaque - you get to decide its meaning.

For me - this track - with its brilliant guitar work and soaring melody and vocal harmonies - reminds me that I’m human - that shit’s going to happen - that I’m not always going to get what I want - but that - even though I’m not “right” - I’m going to be OK, and that’s why it makes the list.

Shoot a glance, like bullets at an unarmed man well here he stands,
Dumbstruck, shy and tongue-tied with not a chance,
Gagged beat bound and run aground but at least we’ve hit land,
and Already I’m a better man

‘Cause tongue-tied beats lies anyway
I’ll fly head high innocent and sold
If you’re coming home,
I need it all, ‘cause I’m not whole

No I’m not Whole

The best laid plans, but a shallow flat and broken man fell where he stands
The bloke he’ll bide a riptide of ‘second chance’
Loaded dice can strike twice in venturesome hands
So I hope you’ve found an honest man

‘cause you’ll wind up, lined up anyway
So why try ace high desperate and cold
If you’re growing old, and need it all -
I’m not whole
— Whole - Dear Tenement

You can learn more about Dear Tenement here:

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About the Curator - Andrew McCluskey

The first visual memory I have is that of the white upright piano in Singapore, Hell and the dark forces lived at the bottom, Heaven and the Angels at the top. They would play battles through my fingers and I was hooked.

After my dad died I was very sad - I couldn't play for a while and when I did, the music that came out reflected my grieving state.  I wrote an album of solo piano music called Music to Grieve to - from which the idea of the Music to community originated.  

If you'd like to know more you should read Nicole's fabulous article on why listening to sad music can make you feel better.