Deep Cuts

Deep Cuts: Songs For the End

the endThis is the end, my only friend.

That’s what the end of those first relationships feels like. Who am I kidding? That’s how the end of any relationship feels: friendships, romances, death. Endings are terribly painful.

Or maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m just not built for endings. I’ve never understood how a person can mean so much to another today and be persona non grata tomorrow. What the hell is wrong with people?

My favorite Vonnegut quote comes from the mouth of Eliot Rosewater: “Goddamnit, you’ve got to be kind.” Six words to live by. Treat your former loved ones gently, people. It may feel like the end, but the scars you create will always linger.

Anyway, ending songs:

“End to the Lies,” Jane’s Addiction. If there’s an upside to the end, it’s that the lies are over — not just the lies that we tell each other, but the lies that we tell ourselves.

“End of the Beginning,” Black Sabbath. A tasty cut from Sabbath’s last album. I’d love to think that 13 marked the beginning of a new Black Sabbath era, but I fear that Tony Iommi’s health may not allow for that.

“Until the End of the World,” U2. Achtung Baby was the last great U2 album. Some hated it because it wasn’t The Joshua Tree, but I hated The Joshua Tree so what do I know?

“Dance Me to the End of Love,” Leonard Cohen. Is that the most beautiful song title you’ve ever read? That’s what I want — I want to be danced to the end of love. I don’t even know what that means, but I want it.

“The Beginning of the End of Love,” Diana Ross and the Supremes. A Motown classic.

“Your Good Thing is About to End,” Lou Rawls. People tend to think of Lou Rawls as some kind of easy listening lounge lizard, but that man has a killer voice. Check out his set at  the 1967 Monterey Pop festival — the same Monterey Pop that introduced the Who and Hendrix to American concertgoers.

“My Whole World Ended the Moment You Left Me,” David Ruffin. One of the voices behind the legendary Temptations, we lost David Ruffin to a cocaine overdose at the relatively young age of 50. What a loss. Be careful out there, people.

“Golden Slumbers/ Carry that Weight/ The End,” The Beatles. For my money, this is the single best closer on any album, ever. If you’re a Beatles nerd I know what you’re thinking — Abbey Road ends with “Her Majesty,” but come on — that’s just 23 seconds of silliness in the run-out groove.

This is the note that the Fabs should’ve gone out on. Don’t get me wrong: Let It Be is a great album, but how perfect would it have been to wrap it up with “And in the end / The love you take / Is equal to the love you make”?


Listen: This isn’t the end. There’s plenty of Why It Matters still to go. The end of one chapter is just the beginning of the next one. How about you, beautiful friend — what are you favorite songs about the end? I’m listening.

4 replies »

  1. “The End Of The End” – Paul McCartney
    “The Answer’s At The End” – George Harrison
    “Death Is Not The End” – Bob Dylan
    “Is This The Beginning Of The End?” – Merle Haggard
    “End Of Understanding” – Willie Nelson

    Liked by 1 person

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