MarsEarth

Old world wisdom, new world insight – poems, poetry, philosophy, dreams, commentary, ideas


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La LLorona – the weeping woman (revisited)

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

la llorona, marsearth,

Natalia Lafourcade

There is a legendary tale in Mexico (and the American southwest) about a beautiful woman who weeps in anguish and sheds many tears.
She is a woman whose children died.

It is said that her ghost haunts the rivers and streams and waterways because her children drowned.
And she drowned them herself – in anger against her husband’s unfaithfulness.

Among the stories told and re-told in families with Hispanic traditions,
the tale of “La LLorona” (lah yore-RONE-nah) is probably the scariest.

I have heard versions in English and in Spanish,
and with a very few embellishment, the haunting cries of this distraught woman give chills to this day.

(Thanks to my Tío Andrés, our Spanish folktale story teller.)

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The Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – # 1

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Eric Clapton

Can you believe we have reached the Top Spot?
Thank you for following this blog and sharing it with your friends and family.
I always appreciate your interest and comments.
And now, “The next voice you hear . . . “
This song, the saddest of rock and roll,  expresses the ultimate experience
a person could ever engage in

for the sake of a perceived want or for the sake of love. 
For the loser, the loss cannot be calculated.
For the hurt, the despair is of a depth which can never be plumbed.
When we ourselves decide there is no other way to secure a valued relationship,
we – without question – cross a line . . .

Historically, forbidden love is exciting. But even the modern day seeker of forbidden love must follow rules, especially when a sweetheart belongs to another. How far have men gone to give a passionate embrace to another woman? King David made that bad choice. How far would a woman go to get the man she thinks is her soul mate? Well, let’s see. We have infamously stained dresses and a very high divorce rate among Los Angeles and New York actors for infidelity. Just the same, there has been no female version of “Say Anything.” Let’s not hold our breath for a woman so single-minded. What does a lovelorn man do when the object of his desire and passion is already taken?

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Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – Runners Up

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Here are the songs that were certainly on the order of  sad/ melancholy. Obviously, they had so much more anger or enthusiasm than the numbered ones that they floated on the proverbial pool of tears. Nevertheless, I was determined to root out the rock and roll songs that sank to the bottom of despair and discouragement. Apparently, there is a lot of gloomy frustration and heartbreak amongst us.

Real life is why we have so many tortured souls who seek out artistic ways to deal with and work out their issues. Thank heaven for music.

Here are a group of songs with a heavy touch of sadness. They are so good, and thankfully still enjoyable, without kicking up any trauma or ripping off any scabs of pain during the performance. 

I share them with you below. The next installment will be the #1 saddest of all. Promise.

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The Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – # 2

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

How many times have we felt as if the world was against us? Like we were somehow earmarked for bad things to keep on happening? As if it was not enough to get bad news, but also to have something embarrassing compound and insult? Maybe at least once in life, or maybe once but for a long period of time? When this kind of “overkill” descended upon us, it was uncalled for. Not necessary. No real reason. Like being victim of collision on the open sea. As a lightning strike. We ask G_d, “Why is this happening to me?” and at other times, “Me, again?!” In some circumstances it may feel as if life itself is falling in all around us.

For Irish singer-songwriter, Gilbert O’Sullivan, born Raymond Edward, on December 1, 1946 (and still composing), expressing pain and suffering, separation and anxiety in music made for a successful career. His epic hits in the early 1970s were gateway works which single-handedly expressed the anguish of losing a loved one. They are now iconic in the world of popular music. Gilbert was born in Cork Road, Waterford, Ireland. While still in grade school his family moved to London, and later, Swindon.  As a teenager he played drums in a band named Rick’s Blues. Band members included guitarist  Malcolm Mabbett, bassist Keith Ray and Rick Davies, who later founded the progressive rock band Supertramp. Gilbert’s musical talent as a solo artist was heralded greatly in America.

His personal life did not play out in his songs, surprisingly. Gilbert was exposed to gut-wrenching suffering of death, disease and disappointment which allowed him to craft songs that we relate to. Recently, he told a reporter that, “a good lyricist has to have an understanding of [sad] situations, and this allows me to go into an area and write about it in a genuine way.” He went on to say that he did not know his father well growing up. And he found out that is father did not treat his mother well.  What is the sound of the Human psyche when it reveals the ruin of another person?

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Billy Graham – not gone, just moving on ahead as promised

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

William “Billy” Franklin Graham Jr. KBE was born November 7, 1918 and died February 21, 2018. Billy was an American evangelist, a significant evangelical Christian figure, and an ordained Southern Baptist minister. He is still considered one of the most influential preachers of the 20th century. His evangelical revivals are re-broadcast into the 21st century.

Be of Good Cheer
” ‘Jesus said, I have overcome the world.’ Now, Jesus made this statement just before he went to Gethsemane and just before he went to Calvary. He warned the disciples in that upper room. He said, ‘As the world hated me, it will hate you, too.’

“He used the word COSMOS, the world SYSTEM. Not the Earth. Not the trees. Not the Nature, but the WORLD SYSTEM. And, the Bible teaches that this WORLD SYSTEM is dominated by EVIL. Satanic cosmic principles of force and greed and selfishness and ambition and pleasure seem to be in control most of the time. Continue reading


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The Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – # 4

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

There is nothing grand or mysterious about being alone and lonely. We make comparisons in our experiences and cite epic metaphors in literature. Loneliness is a condition we can sympathize with when someone or a family suffers the loss of  a loved one. Loneliness is discrete – it is either a heavy psychological weight or it is just a notion in passing. There is no universal description of what it is like to be lonely. On one hand there are as many ways to feel lonely as there are situations of separation.  On the other hand we can say the feeling is a physical emptiness and there is only one solution, that is to get back the companionship we have lost. We want to rid ourselves of this emotion and dealing with it in song sometimes helps us cope with the imposing seclusion.

For the  British progressive musical group Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) expressing deep emotion is achieved by using traditional stringed instruments, as well as opera in their songs. ELO was innovative in highlighting symphony music within the rock and roll power ballad. Their melodies conjured feelings from bright joys to heartbreaking sorrows. Is there a song that everybody can relate to when feeling all alone?

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The Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – # 5

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Is there any significant difference between longing, yearning, and pining. Each word gives a feeling of separation, emptiness, incompleteness or even loss. Why do Humans have such feelings and dreams and fears? These emotions often propel us into that place where being away from a loved one can invoke physical pain. Is it because we were designed this way? Was it a set of learned combinations?

Human societies must have suffered a lot in order to teach the next generation to be mindful of  sadness. We still glorify pain and loss in our stories and songs today. When was the first time these words were ever spoken: “I miss you” ? We may have uttered this phrase aloud after reading a letter from someone far away. Or, we could have longed, yearned, and pined for a loved one after discovering that they were undergoing a difficult trial or some extreme hardship.

Our best artists use musical instruments to generate vibrations mimicking groans that excite the brain. These sounds invite use to relive our valuable memories. Mellow tones for self-awareness and high shrill vibrations for self-preservation. Distinctive melodies cause us to feel both joy and pain. David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright of Pink Floyd the progressive rock band constantly were constantly perfecting a combination of sounds to evoke emotion. This was evident in the group’s ninth studio album “Wish You Were Here.” It was released in the UK on the Harvest Record label, and on Columbia Records in the USA. Neither company could keep up with the public’s demand for the it. The saddest song on the record asked the most questions.

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