Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Sade Pendulum.

Feelin' it.

"In heaven's name
Why do you play these games?"

~ Sade

 In Resident clinic today:

Resident:  "Hey Dr. M, have you been doing anything fun since your kids are in California?"

Me: "As a matter of fact, I went to see Sade on Tuesday! She was awesome!"

Resident:  *crickets*

Me:  "Wait. Please tell me you aren't looking at me like that because you don't know who Sade is!"

Resident:  *crickets*

Me:  "You don't know who SADE is? SADE? SHAAAHH- DAAAAYYY???? Seriously?" (but really wanting to say, "AWWW HELL NAAWWW!!!")

Resident:  *crickets*

Me:  "This will be reflected in your evaluation."

Resident: "SHAH-DAY? Is that what you're saying? Spell that."

Me:  "F-I-R-E-D."

Sade, Atlanta Performance July 2011

On Tuesday, the B.H.E. took me to see the wonderfully talented Sade in concert. Her voice was like a perfect piece of dark chocolate--velvety smooth yet textured, uniformly sweet yet peppered with a little bite. The best part of it all was that she sang all of the songs that I like and know the lyrics to. And even better than that? She and her band Sweetback (who is a-freakin'-mazing, by the way) performed each track in the exact arrangement as their original recordings.

That made me super happy because nothing annoys me more than going to a concert to hear one of my favorite artists perform my favorite songs only to find that some wise ass has remixed every slow favorite into some funky, uptempo techno version and reconfigured all the fast tracks into wrist-slashing ballads.

Talk about annoying.

My sister, JoLai, who goes to waaaaay more concerts than me once asked, "Why not just listen to the album if that's all you want anyway?"  To which I snarkily remarked, "Come on--everyone wants to sing along. Just give the people what they came for!"

Sade got the memo.

And yes. This is exactly what Miss Sade got on that stage and did, do you hear me? She gave the people what they came for. That and more.

Like chocolate, I felt myself melting into the seat, lulled by her voice and the horns. I closed my eyes as she sang "Smooth Operator" and remembered when my 9th grade Geometry teacher, Mr. C, had this big poster of her on the wall next to a parallelogram.  I recalled us asking him who she was, and him smiling all big and giddy-like as he pushed the button on a boombox behind his desk.

That was the very first time I'd ever heard Sade.

"Smooth Operator." Ah yes. That song took me back. And track after track, other songs did the same.  We went through my first heartbreak from tenth grade with "Is it a crime" and then the undying love I professed to the same boy at the end of twelfth grade with "Nothing Can Come Between Us."

Of course we'd be together forever and ever--even with me going across the country to college. Because this guy? This guy who was my first love in high school? He was the one. For sure and for definitely. And so I sang Sade all the way from California to Alabama on a forty hour drive--loud--because nothing could come between us. He was the one after all, right?

"It's about faith. . . . it's about trust. . . .yeah, yeah. . "

It's about faith my foot.  That same boy had me singing "Love is Stronger Than Pride" just a few months later in the cafeteria. That sucka.

The good news is that reliving this not-so-good memory was fleeting. I was happy just a few tracks later. Yes. Filled with the warm nostalgia of yet another puppy-love when she sang "I Couldn't Love You More."  


I played this incessantly while cutting out pictures of diamond rings from fashion magazines and annoying the crap out of my roommate every time I hit "rewind." Yes. Because this dude? The one from my freshman year of medical school? Oh baby. This guy? Now he was absolutely the one.  No question.

Uuuhhh, yeah.  Thank goodness she had the track "Bullet Proof Soul" on the same LP, 'cause I needed it.

Time marched on and my crappy luck in love continued. I served as a most excellent professional bridesmaid several times over, smiling pretty and accumulating dresses. Although my girlfriends all had "Kiss of Life" on the brain, I was stuck on "Please Send Me Someone to Love." 

 Good ol' Sade.

I finally finished residency and Sade stayed right with me. After the move to Atlanta, my longing for that "real love" chapter to begin grew stronger than ever. On the days that I felt sorriest for myself, I could count on Sade to have the perfect soundtrack for my doldrums.  "King of Sorrow?"  Seriously? Most depressing song ever. (Yet perfect background music for the blues, I tell you.)

"I want to cook you a soup that warms your soul
but nothing would change, nothing will change at all
It's just a day that brings it all about
Just another day, nothing's any good."

or better yet

"I'm crying everyone's tears
I have already paid for all my future sins. . ."

Damn, Sade. Everyone's tears? Really? (And if that wasn't enough of a downer, I'd just play "Somebody Already Broke My Heart" from the same CD.)

Finally, my heart could rejoice as I relived the first days after I met Harry through her sultry performances of "Lovers Rock" and "By Your Side." She sang it perfectly. No--better than perfectly. She gave the people what they came for. 

It brought me to tears.

The show ended with her locking arms with all of the members of her band, walking to the edge of the stage and taking a bow--together. I immediately liked her twenty times more after that gesture.

See, this is what I love about the Sade pendulum . . . .and the music pendulum in general.  It takes you through the extremes of emotion. . .running through open orchards with you on the best of days and snuggling under down comforters with you as tear-soaked tissue crumbles in your hand.  Music makes you laugh and cry. But best of all, it stirs up memories rich and deep and takes you on a journey through time.

On Tuesday, we took a journey.  And I'm so glad we did.


Oh yeah.

Just as everyone was leaving, she re-emerged for an encore performance wearing a stunning scarlet dress with matching ruby lips. The song?

"Cherish the Day."


Now playing on my mental iPod--one of many Sade songs that makes me think of Harry (aka the BHE) because of this line. . . "You're the one. . .the one I swim to in a storm. . . like a lovers rock."

and this one, too. . . because it defines who I want to be to those who I love with this line. . ."I will show you. . you're so much better than you know."

and this one because, yes, it is kind of morose. . . but it held my hand when I felt lonely. And sometimes the right song is the only one who can do that for you.

Happy Thursday.

Whose music takes you on a journey?


  1. So much music transports me. Of course, I am old so there were the Beatles and Dylan and the Stones and oh, Bonnie Raitt and all of that delicious Motown and Aretha and Neil Young and Crosby, Stills and Nash and Joni Mitchell.
    James Taylor. Bruce Springsteen.
    Vivaldi. Bach. The Magical Ludwig Van.
    Music saved my life. Over and over and over again.

  2. Well, maybe it isn't as deep as Sade...but I totally love Paramore. Like totally and completely. And...I am 32 (as of yesterday). Check 'em out. Maybe you will love them to. The lead singer's voice is so great (and I admire/envy her punk rock bright red hair).

  3. Ok so I know I'm wrong for what I'm about to type. But I just couldn't get into this post because after the fourth paragraph after your conversation I kept thinking Why the he'll did Mr. C have a Boombox with Sade in it AT THE SCHOOL!!!!!!! Um Mr. C I may have to report you!

  4. Well, I love me some Sade too. The memories her songs stir up for me run the gamut too but they don't make me sad because she was always there, a friend who understood, who poured the balmy sound of her voice over your hurts, healing you, healing you. Wonderful post.

  5. Ms. Moon-- I thought of you when typing this. I was happy to see you comment because I wondered what came to mind for you. I knew it would involve the Stones and Springsteen. And more than you could fit into a comment box. :)

    Christie--Will be checking out Paramore ASAP! I love all kinds of music so now will associate this with you, my dear!

    Anon--Okay,hold up!Report Mr. C? No WAY!He was the best! Mr. C. was this wonderful and fun Italian math teacher with a great NY accent and all kinds of quirky coolness in his class. The dude taught a mean Pythagorean Theorem, had a pony tail, and in between dropping the knowledge, he had all kinds of gnarly pop culture things to teach us, too. Don't get it twisted--he got the job done. Please don't picture an out of control class rocking out to a boombox. Picture a way smart, way cool, way committed, and way effective math loving hippie getting a bunch of 9th graders excited about mathematics.

    And in L.A.--sometimes arithmetic involves a little. . . a-rhythm. Hee hee.

  6. Angella--Knew we were kindred spirits! Of course you love Sade. . .of course you do!

  7. Currently, Leonard Cohen. Just gets to a deep place in my soul.

  8. I just need to know HOW your resident could not know who Sade is ?? Hayle naw indeed !

    A Fellow Meharrian

  9. Mr. C is a principal now somewhere in Northern California. I think he's on Facebook... I'm going to try to find a way to get this to him - I remember that poster, LOL!!

    As for music that takes me on a journey, I agree with Sade, but that's too easy. I'll have to say Christina Aguilera. She really puts her all into a song...I have so many favorites by her. "Beautiful" helps me remember, even on the days I don't feel so hot, that I am beautiful, 'no matter what they say'... "Fighter" applies to all those people who 'made my skin a little bit thicker'... "Soar" reminds me that 'love will open every door'... "I Turn To You" makes me smile and think of my family because they're 'a love to keep me safe and warm'...

    And heck, sometimes I gotta get a little bit "Dirty" cuz 'it's about time for my arrival', LOL!!

    Great post Doc Cratchet!!

  10. I think Mr. C sounds perfect - I was a teacher a long time, and it was moments like those that made the classroom magical for us all.

    I was trying to think who, and I think Deanna nailed it for me too. I don't listen to Aguilera much but when I do she's right on. Also Sheryl Crow (Strong Enough is my constant refrain), Ben Harper, John Legend. And Sade!!

  11. oh I love Sade! I totally grew up listening to her. King of Sorrow is probably one of my favorite songs too. Totally gonna have that playing on my mental iPod for the rest of the night haha

  12. Toni TOny Tone

    And thanks for the post about Camp Papa. My hub took the littles with him on a business trip to Cali for a week. My parents had a week with the grands, I had a week to relax and rejuvenate and the hub cemented his own BHE award!

  13. Oh my GAWD. I am so jealous! I love Sade! What music takes me on a journey? Hall and Oates, Barry Manilow, Luther Vandross, there are just too many to mention. Oh and definitely anything George Clinton or Bootsy Collins had anything to do with. Awesome!!

  14. Sade and I are around the same age, so we've grown together over the years. But recently, Erykah Badu has reigned supreme on my iPod and is what I listen to a lot these days, just before I break out the MCAT review material!

    And in the spirit of keeping it real, I may have had a use or two for her song "Tyrone" as well, LOL!!!

  15. laughing at how you spell that --- F-I-R-E-D!
    You have me on the floor with that 1 !!! LOL!

  16. Counting down to August 23rd when I get to see Sade again... outdoor, pavilion-style concert! Can. Not. WAIT!!!

    During my first year of law school in Birmingham I won tickets to a Sade concert on the radio. Had to be 93 or 94. I knew of Sade, but didn't have any of the music & quite frankly didn't want to go to some ol' sleepy concert. I offered the tickets to Deanna to take a friend. She told me (in no uncertain terms) that WE were going to the show together. I officially fell in love that night under the Alabama stars... and I haven't missed a tour since. All I remember thinking was that I had NEVER heard anyone sound THAT GOOD singing live on stage. She was mesmerizing. Oh goodness. I can't wait until Aug 23rd!!!

  17. Whose music? Well, not enough space here, but your SADE pendulum made me reflect on the 80's quiet storm playing on WBLS in NYC. Teddy P's Love Language--all time fav; with shout outs to Luther, George B, Jeffrey O, & Freddie J.


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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