Sad Songs this Season

On Thanksgiving night, the boys were in the living room, watching football. The girls were in the playroom, belting out Adele on karaoke. Specifically, my nieces. You haven’t heard “Someone Like You” until you’ve heard a 4-year-old sing it from the bottom of her heart while also dancing a sad, slow mournful dance.

What is it about sad songs, especially hit ones by Adele?

Just in case you don’t know the power of this song, “Saturday Night Live” did a sketch in which no one can listen to the song without crying–women, men, executives, janitors. We’re all united as we mourn in unison, “Never mind. I’ll find someone like you.

It’s the “never mind” that makes it art.

“It’s really good to go sing, like, if you have trouble with a guy,” said my daughter. My 12-year-old daughter. Not exactly the kind of advice I want to hear from my offspring. “Maybe if you and Dad have a fight, you can sing it and you’ll feel better.”

So I bought it. And it is completely addictive. I especially like the bridge, which includes the line, “Regrets and mistakes, they’re memories made.

The older I get, the more I treasure my regrets. For example, a couple of years ago, I had an epic meltdown over Thanksgiving weekend. I yelled at my grandmother in an elevator. I yelled at my husband and children while putting up the tree. That night the boys already had plans to go to a basketball game, but believe me, they couldn’t get out of the house fast enough. My daughter, bless her heart, stayed. We decorated the tree together while watching “The Polar Express.”

I don’t like the movie nearly as much as the book, but now, when its sad song, “When Christmas Comes to Town,” comes up on Pandora, I sing it proudly. Yeah, I screwed up big that year. Sorry, everyone.

I hope this will be a good season, full of nothing but tidings of comfort and joy. And if not, I have Adele.


  1. Look at you at your brand new place–love it! Think you could help me with mine? Anyway, I’m loving your twelve year-old daughter’s words, “Maybe you could sing it and you’ll feel better.” So grateful God created us with the capacity to sing. Sometimes it’s the only way words make sense.

  2. I never heard of Adele. I don’t know what that says about me.

    I’ve had those meltdowns, those yelling times, too. And the idea of “treasuring” regrets stopped me in my tracks. Holding them close. Spending time with them. Gotta let ’em go.

    I guess I need to go check out Adele now. 🙂

    Love you, friend.

  3. I’m trying to picture Megan yelling. It’s a tough sell. 😉

    You know, there’s the place where we hang on to our screwing-up and beat ourselves up over it. But then there’s the thing you’re doing here. Remembering our humanity, our brokenness, knowing it is what it is and we move on.

    I don’t have girls here but I know my nieces are big Adele fans. Might have to check it out…

  4. I, for one, had a really nice Thanksgiving with you this year. 🙂

  5. All these girls in my house, and I’ve never heard one of them mention Adele. I just turned to my eldest and asked, “Have you ever heard of Adele?”

    “The singer? Sure.”

    “Do you like her?”

    “I do.”

    “Why haven’t you ever talked about her before?”

    “I don’t know. I don’t listen to her all the time…only when I hear her on the radio.”

    Now I’m thinking we need karaoke, just so I can stay up on what’s popular!

  6. Adele! My favorite has to be “Set Fire to the Rain.” What an image, yes?

    I love your new place here. So expansive. And the tea in the subtitle. I’m in! 🙂

  7. Followed L.L. Barkat’s tweet to your new digs. Glad I did. Nice look. Nice feel. Very nice.

    As to Adele — my partner Charles called me the other day to say wow! I just heard this woman, Adele. Amazing. You’ve got to hear her. I laughed into the cellphone and said…. who do you think I’ve been playing on the iPod for the past few months? Seriously? he asked. LOL — seriously… Wasn’t he listening? 🙂

    Her voice and words are so rich and deep and melancholy and potent. My fav. Take it All or maybe Turning Tables