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Freeloader: Download Churchill's "Happy/Sad"

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Kiernan Maletsky recently did his best to debunk this whole fanciful notion that our musical inclinations are capable of being analyzed and assessed by statisticians crunching hard data in an effort to predict what music is going to resonate with us and the masses at large. While this is certainly useful when it comes to trend-spotting, fact is, no matter how hard you try, how much money you spend, how much science and technology you employ, ultimately, you cannot attach an algorithm to human emotion. There simply is no metric to determine what is going to strike a chord with someone.

Take the title track from the new Churchill record, for instance. When a friend sent it to me with a note attached saying it reminded her of me, I, of course, listened immediately. I barely made it through the opening chords of the first verse without tearing up. The words stung like a harsh shot of whiskey. They were at once both poignant and familiar.

These guys were singing my life. Despite my better thinking and the best of intentions, I'd been on the other side of that bathroom door more times than I'd care to admit, with my careless words and thoughtless deeds forging a barrier between me and Sweetie, leaving her balled up and crying on the floor, exasperated with me, with us. After one too many of those episodes, we had finally reached the end of our run. Or so it seemed. Everything felt utterly hopeless at that point. But then something changed. Me. I stopped being so self-absorbed, I learned how to listen and we somehow managed to find a way to hold on long enough to see ourselves through to the other side, to find hope where there really was none.

But it's more than just the words here that resonate. The music perfectly matches the tenor, from the way it begins with a mournful organ line that gradually builds and gives way to a few stray plucks of a mandolin into steadily swelling vocals and chords before exploding into a triumphant crescendo, like the sun breaking free of the clouds. You can feel it. And that's exactly what makes a great song. It hits you in the chest. Stops you where you're at. You know it when you hear it. No spreadsheet in the world can tell you that.

It was a dark day, when you told me everything was going the wrong way. So I hoped a few hard drinks would get my head straight. But we all know there's no hope in alcohol.

And it was a long night, behind the bathroom door at the end of a long fight. She was crying on the floor. Said, "It's going to be alright. At the end of every night, a new day grows."

I'm not giving up. Happy and sad are not enough. No I'm not giving up. Not giving up.

When everyone's faithless, When everybody leaves you empty and hopeless. When I'm tired and I am free, When I don't love you quite as much as I love myself...

I'm not giving up. Happy and sad are not enough. No I'm not giving up. Not giving up.

Oh, you are my only hope Oh, you are my only hope Oh, you are my only hope Oh, you are my only hope


Churchill - "Happy/Sad"

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