I don’t know if The Verve’s History is an innately sad song. It’s certainly not depressing, some would argue that its string based melody is endearingly uplifting, and fairly inspirational. In my case, this song always makes me a little sad. Maybe sad isn’t the right word, perhaps pensive.
Everybody has regrets. Some people may push them to a dark corner of their minds, but they are an inevitable result of having memory and the propensity to look back on our past actions and decisions. More than anything, we all reminisce in our lives with bittersweet (ba-boom-tish!) recollections. History is that pragmatic but passionate internal monologue brought to life. Say what you will of Richard Ashcroft, but the words speak for themselves. Part optimistic, part heart-breaking, it’s something in the string opening, the simple instrumentation, it tugs at the heart strings. You hear the sorrow in his voice, and that’s all there is.
Runner up is Drugs Don’t Work which made a grown man cry at Ashcroft’s show last year. I was there, I saw it. It made me a bit weepy too.