Day: August 2, 2013
People often ask me why a number of my songs seem to be “sad” and why I don’t write happy songs to cheer people up. Firstly, I don’t believe that my songs are genuinely sad at all; although I readily confess a number of them are tinged with melancholy. Sadness and melancholy are very different qualities. Sadness in its classic form generally involves a kind of self-centred hopelessness whereas melancholy (if rightly identified and understood) is ultimately outward-looking, subtly hopeful and stimulating creativity. Melancholy is merely mournful whereas sadness is solely sighful. Melancholy is like smiling softly and forgivingly through tears whereas sadness has an austere streak of bleak remorselessness. Sadness is cynicism dressed up in sackcloth and ashes whereas melancholy is sensitivity clothed in temporary darkness. Sadness bleakly has no ground to till and bears no fruit whereas melancholy is the death-throes of wintertime before the buds break through. Sadness is a woeful winter of endless discontent whereas melancholy — like Autumn leaves — is tinged with brown and already hopes for springtime.