Cerys Matthews: feeling sorry for yourself? Try these songs

Our musical agony aunt’s alter ego Dr Crotchety offers advice for someone in a sulky groove
• What musical advice do you need? Post your questions in the thread below

Dear Doctor, what’s good for a really big, self-indulgent sulk?
Feeling sorry for ourselves, are we? My advice is to dig deep into this moody broodfest and enjoy the blues. Start by pouring yourself a black cocktail: Death By Chocolate, a recipe passed to me by Ian Brown of the Stone Roses. Take a half-pint glass, pour in one shot of vodka, one shot of Tia Maria, and top up with Guinness or similar. Now you’re ready for a serious, sulky groove.

Try Ede Robin’s Dead, which starts with lashings of fat organ pads, a wailing saxophone and the half-spoken, desperate vocals (“Leave me alone. I don’t care no more”). You’ll find it on the ace Down & Out: The Sad Soul Of The Black South, a compilation that pulls no punches. Now let Alison Krauss take you deeper with Lay My Burden Down. She wastes no time getting to the point: “Lay my body in the ground, cool clay against my skin.” Paul Robeson, that gracious singer with the lowest of the low registers, is the man to take a hard-done-by wretch by the hand, so join him on Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen.

This moping may be making you feel curiously good. Like a goth revving into top gear, open the curtains and crank up another version of Lay My Burden Down – this time by the Magnificent Seventh’s Brass Band. Get up on those twinkle toes, raise yo’ hands up and let the world see you celebrate. And, as the neighbours stare through your windows, the Doctor invites you to enjoy their confusion. “Those who dance are considered insane by those who can’t hear the music,” said the comedian George Carlin (or was it Nietzsche?), so keep those hands a-clappin and pine on until that grumpy strop is long, long gone.

Contributor

Cerys Matthews

The GuardianTramp

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