Patty Griffin kind of can't help but have sad songs … it's just in her voice. But that's one of the reasons we love her so. Still, it makes the compilation of a "Sad, Sad Songs" list all that much more difficult. After all, the whole of Living with Ghosts could be included on such a list, but we made some effort to pare the picks down … so you don't have to.
"Moses" from Living with Ghosts
Key Lyric: "Diamonds, roses, I need Moses to cross this sea of loneliness, part this Red River of pain. I don't necessarily buy any key to the future or happiness, but I need a little place in the sun sometimes or I think I will die."
"Goodbye" from Flaming Red
Key Lyric: "Today my heart is big and sore. It's tryin' to push right through my skin. I won't see you anymore — I guess that's finally sinkin' in."
"Coming Home to Me" from Downtown Church
Key Lyric: "When you get to that place that's just under the stars, hanging over the tree at a quarter to three … When you get there, you'll know that's as far as you go. When you get there you'll see, you were already free."
"One More Girl" from Silver Bell
Key Lyric: "You don't know what you want. At this moment, you think it could be me, so you move your hand across my knee, turn me into some novelty."
"Let Him Fly" from Living with Ghosts
Key Lyric: "There's no mercy in a live wire, no rest at all in freedom. Of the choices we are given, it's no choice at all. The proof is in the fire — you touch before it moves away. But you must always know how long to stay … and when to go."
"Rain" from 1,000 Kisses
Key Lyric: "Now I don't wanna beg you, baby, for something maybe you could never give. I'm not looking for the rest of your life — I just want another chance to live."
"That Kind of Lonely" from American Kid
Key Lyric: "Every strand has come unwound. Every heart is all worn down. Everyone in this room wanted to be somewhere else. So tonight I find the key and drive away a little early. It's the last time I wanna be that kind of lonely."
"Long Ride Home" from 1,000 Kisses
Key Lyric: "Forty years go by with someone laying in your bed. Forty years of things you say you wish you'd never said. How hard would it have been to say some kinder words instead? I wonder as I stare up at the sky turning red."
"Someone Else's Tomorrow" from Children Running Through
Key Lyric: "You filed out of the churchyard so cold it was silver, to gold, tan, and blue cars. And the cars drove away. All the memories fade. Send the ghosts on their way. Tell them they've had their day — it's someone else's tomorrow."
"You Never Asked Me" from Servant of Love
Key Lyric: "It was an exercise in catastrophe. It was a dance of destruction. It was the daze of futility. It was the flight of fragile wings."
"Mother of God" from Impossible Dream
Key Lyric: "So I'm wearing my footsteps into this floor. One day, I won't live here anymore. Someone will wonder who lived here before and went on their way."
"Wild Old Dog" from American Kid
Key Lyric: "Dropped him out on 93. Tall grass was waving there just like the sea. He tore off running like we set him free, just disappeared right in front of me. God is a wild old dog someone left out on the highway."