How can we be so unhappy, when we have such beautiful dreams?

I mark the sad possing of the great Joe Cocker with a link to my favorite of all his recordings, Jimmy Webb’s classic song “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”.

Some of you will also recognize this as the title of a great novel by Robert Heinlein. The Heinlein story and the Webb song are, on their face, very different. What they share is a sense of the difference between the ideal reality we wish for, and the harsh reality that is.

This mournful longing for something better that seems to elude our grasp, is a theme that runs through so many songs. You can hear it in Judy Garland’s rendition of the Arlen/Harberg song “Somewhere over the Rainbow”, in Tom Waits’ “Time”, in so many of the songs of Leonard Cohen.

They all seek the answer to the same question — a question we all ask ourselves from time to time: How can we be so unhappy, when we have such beautiful dreams?

But nobody ever did it better than Joe Cocker, singing this immortal Jimmy Webb tune.

One Response to “How can we be so unhappy, when we have such beautiful dreams?”

  1. sharon says:

    Beautiful song!

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