Monday, December 22, 2014

Demis Roussos - "Goodbye, My Love"

Somehow, my parents instilled in me some kind of old world, European nostalgia through music. They weren’t even in Madrid for that long and I didn’t even visit until I was in my late 20s, but somehow, certain songs put me in a mindset of remembering my childhood, in our little apartment in Miami, which in turn leads me to remember the way they remembered Spain when they heard those very songs. It’s like an endless mirror of memories. Kind of like the ending of Interstellar, actually. (Sorry about the potential spoiler, but it’s apt.) I very clearly remember my parents playing Demis Roussos albums as a child and being moved by his voice. Even then it seemed so sad, though I didn’t know or, honestly, care what he was singing about. Longing is a powerful emotion. The song that most vividly takes me back to those days is “Goodbye My Love, Goodbye.” And while there's a very obvious and unavoidable layer of gooey cheese all over it, my mostly cynical mind just listens past this, every single time I hear it.

Whether in english or spanish, it hits me like a soul punch from the Lord of Weep. That Greek bouzouki at the very beginning somehow paints an immediate picture of a windy Mediterranean villa and impending heartache. And that’s before Roussos plaintive, high pitch voice comes in and starts the poetic farewell of the opening verse. By the time the chorus comes around, I’m a mess, saying goodbye to the fond memories (mine and theirs) I’ll never be able to relive. I’m not sure if I even hear Roussos by the end of the song, or if I instead hear my Dad singing along in that soft melodious voice he was somehow able to conjure up out of nowhere. It’s really too much to take sometimes.

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