Below is this week’s playlist – the theme and tunes picked by a reader from the comments on last week’s callout. Thanks for your suggestions. Read more about the format of the weekly Readers Recommend series at the end of the piece.
Not many nominations flooded in during a week that started with grim news overshadowing things, and the toxic debates surrounding the EU referendum vote. The lower number of suggestions did not make the compilation of a playlist any easier though ...
Broken promises ranged from the personal to the political and Pink kickstarts our playlist with Who Knew, a tragic tale of a friend who died early, marking perhaps the ultimate end of promises.
There were quite a few love songs on the topic, though Placebo’s Broken Promise (which features Michael Stipe) is truly one of a kind. A grim and dire warning of a cheated lover who swears to “wait my turn/To tear inside you/Watch you burn.”
Perhaps a pre-emptive strike is better if you are thinking of ending the promise of a relationship. Might as well go the whole hog and top it off with a nice slice of betrayal and leave your former lover hanging, as depicted in the Ballad of Cable Hogue by Calexico.
Next up, is there any setting better for the topic than Las Vegas, the Land of Broken Promises, where IAMX sees promises of anything one wants or desires?
Father’s Day also fell within this week’s RR session. Commenter Ian Williams nailed the lies that can beset a father-son relationship with his first ever comment by suggesting Frank Turner’s take on that tie that should bind but often doesn’t.
After a brush with Sinners in my last stint here, I thought I’d stay away from religion, but Nine Inch Nails make a compelling case with their Terrible Lie: “Hey God I believed your promises and lies and I think you owe me an apology.”
And can politicians be far behind when we discuss broken promises? Tom Rush tells us the story of a union leader who is accused of dirty shenanigans in Joshua Gone Barbados, while Chumbawamba detail the mindset of our beloved leaders in Always Tell the Voter What the Voter Wants to Hear. Equally scathing is Gil Scott-Heron in his Train from Washington, which is “100 years overdue”.
Despite the melody and soft delivery Simon & Garfunkel cannot hide the existential dilemma of a man who has seen his life crumble around him, nor our inherent trait of seeing what we want to believe, in The Boxer. She is more upbeat and has an electric version to boot, yet Bettye LaVette’s cover cannot soften the bleakness of Bob Dylan’s evocative imagery in Everything is Broken.
With the referendum result hanging over Britain, I’ll close out the playlist on a note of hope. May the new beginnings that Bruce Springsteen expects in Thunder Road be fulfilled, and may friends and strangers alike find better days ahead.
The theme for next week’s playlist will be announced at 8pm (UK time) on Thursday 23 June. You have until 11pm on Monday 27 June to make nominations.
Here’s a reminder of some of the guidelines for RR:
- If you have a good theme idea, or if you’d like to volunteer to compile a playlist from readers’ suggestions and write a blog about it, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or add it here via GuardianWitness.
- There’s a wealth of data on RR, including the songs that are “zedded”, at the Marconium. It also tells you the meaning of “zedded”, “donds” and other strange words used by RR regulars.
- Many RR regulars also congregate at the ’Spill blog.