Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
One of the saddest things to witness is all those wedding bouquets starting to brown in the days following the ceremony. It might not really be so bad. They served their purposes. They were cut from their livelihoods right in their prime, at their tallest, with the sharpest colors and most vibrant and healthy of petals. They were pinned onto the lapels of people happy to be celebrating something that was hopefully going to be lasting. They were put onto tables filled with people chattering gleefully. They were held in hands by people sure of what they were doing, sure of the love that they were supporting. At the end of the day, all of these flowers were rounded and scooped up, chilled or kept in water, not to save, but merely to sustain, on life support for as long as they could make it - choking on what life they had left in them. They would start wilting quickly and then they'd just be gone. The browning, however, could be seen as an analogy for what could happen in the days or years to come, when everything got a little more everyday, when people got too comfortable, when they began to cut their ruts, when everything got just a little too unspecific.
Boston string band Joy Kills Sorrow makes us think about the shift from happiness to that of sticky burden, to the yellowing of the pages and a staling of the kisses. Many of the songs that lead singer Emma Beaton sings aren't necessarily of the depressive variety, but they are warnings of potential shipwrecks. She sings of those moments pre-disaster, but is always aware that there could and very likely might be a time forthcoming when all of the poetry and sweet vibrations will be spent, when there's nothing but mud tracked across the carpet and the sound of the door opening at the end of the day no longer brings excitement. She sings of the bees and the birds, of the breezes in the trees and some of them still remind her of the arms that accompany them, but other times they don't. It's just one of many plights that can seem sad or it can be the right kind of bittersweet.
Joy Kills Sorrow Official Site