Sunday Song Lyric:
"Tracks of My Tears" is the poignant confession of a broken-heared man. The song was a signature of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, and co-written by Robinson, Warren Moore, and Marvin Tarplin. I was surprised to learn that the song never topped the charts, but it's on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of all Time and in the Grammy Hall of Fame. The song begins:
People say I'm the life of the party
Cause I tell a joke or two
Although I might be laughing loud and hearty
Deep inside I'm blue

So take a good look at my face
You'll see my smile looks out of place
Just look closer, it's easy to trace
The tracks of my tears
I need you, need you
Here are the full lyrics, and a performance by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.
Like any classic song, "Tracks of My Tears" had been covered many, many times, most recently by Adam Lambert on American Idol. That performance, available here, received a standing ovation from Smokey Robinson himself
You know, there's a thin line between "poignant" and "saccharine".

To me, "Tracks of My Tears" is right down there with "Muskrat Love".
3.29.2009 11:54am
Pro Natura (mail):
I have to agree with Malvolio. The reason this song hit the top of the charts back in the '60s was because it appealed to every teenager in the country who'd had his or her heart broken in a real or imagined love affair. Basically that translates into just about every member of the baby boom.
3.29.2009 12:23pm
Automatic Caution Door:
it appealed to every teenager in the country who'd had his or her heart broken in a real or imagined love affair.

Oh, shoot, it should be totally discounted, then.
3.29.2009 12:32pm
Donna B. (mail) (www):
Nice beat, easy to dance to and if you can't get a partner, easy to sing along with.

It's one of my favorites.
3.29.2009 2:36pm
Aeon J. Skoble (mail):
Great, great song. The dancing in that particular clip was a little on the Don Simmons side.
3.29.2009 2:54pm
Though she may be cute she's just a substitute prostitute .....

I remember my older brother singing that turn of phrase back in the day much to my mother's chagrin.
3.29.2009 8:41pm
Mocha Java (mail):
A second vote for saccharine. However, this post got me playing around on Youtube and I'm hearing some great stuff!
3.29.2009 11:07pm
lucia (mail) (www):
Hmm....Who's been watching American Idol? A contestant sang that song. In my opinion, that contestant has a pretty good shot to win.

it appealed to every teenager in the country who'd had his or her heart broken in a real or imagined love affair.

I've rarely read anyone suggest that universal appeal is, in and of itself, a bad thing in a song.
3.30.2009 11:01am
Thales (mail) (www):
Bob Dylan once claimed that Smokey Robinson is the greatest living American poet. I don't know if he was being at all facetious or just modest.
3.30.2009 2:35pm
Automatic Caution Door:
Dylan didn't actually say that. He was asked at a San Francisco press conference (in '65) to name his favorite poets, and he mentioned Smokey Robinson among several others. The "great American poet" business was later invented by a Motown publicist.

Interesting sidenote about that press conference: The opening question was asked by some clearly screwy fan-dude in the audience. A few years later this same gentleman came to public attention when he claimed to be the Zodiac Killer.
3.31.2009 9:32am

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