Tuesday, June 10, 2014

30 Day Song Challenge, Day 10: A Song That Makes You Cry

My pick today, perhaps not surprisingly, is a song sung by one of the most heartwrenchingly beautiful female voices in the history of song.  Unless you're a diehard fan of early-90's alt-country music, you've probably never heard of Maria McKee (or her tragically under-rated and under-appreciated band Lone Justice), which is a damn shame.  I used to say that McKee's voice is fashioned out of grit, heartbreak and broken angel wings, but even that description sells her short.  She made my list on Day 21 of last year's 30 Day Song Challenge, where I picked her (and Lone Justice) as the band/artist that never achieved the level of fame they deserved.  To be fair, they did achieve a fleeting moment of fame when my song pick for today was included on the soundtrack for the film Pulp Fiction, but even that was too little and too late.

Many years ago, when I was still playing with my alt-country band Red Hip & the Boys, we used to play this song at our shows.  (Just an aside: my old Red Hip & the Boys bandmate, John Murry, has gone on to make a really great music career for himself.  Check out John's new album!)  This is one of those songs that was always as heartbreaking to sing as it was to hear, in my experience.  So, I apologize to everyone who experienced that heartbreak with me back in the day.

Here it is, Maria McKee's "If Love Is A Red Dress," a bona fide tearjerker of a song if ever there was one.  I hate the super-cheese-corniness of this video, which really turns the desperate down-and-out rawness of it into some kind of pulp-romance YA farce...  but, alas, this is the only video I could find with quality sound, and it does include the lyrics, which are important:



I played it on the table.  You help something back.

If love is aces, then give me the Jack.

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Here's your quick-access link to the entire 30 Day Song Challenge 2014 prompt-list and my picks for each day.

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