Musical selections to put you in the mood for atonement
The Day of Atonement is a few days away, and tradition requires us to ask each other’s forgiveness for sins, slights, and other snafus we may have committed during the past year. If you’re in need for a bit of inspiration with all this sorry business, here are some musical examples of Jews apologizing in a variety of ways, from the morbid to the heartfelt:
“Sorry-Grateful,” by Stephen Sondheim: When it comes to relationships, Sondheim tells us, we’re always sorry-grateful and regretful-happy. “Why look for answers when none occur?” he asks. “You always are what you always were, which has nothing to do with, all to do with her.”
“Sorry Angel,” by Serge Gainsbourg: “It’s me who suicided you,” apologizes the French poet of the obscene. “Now you’re with the angels.” That’s Gainsbourg’s idea of a love song.
“Famous Blue Raincoat,” Leonard Cohen: “And what can I tell you, my brother, my killer, what can I possible say? I guess that I miss you, I guess I forgive you, I’m glad you stood in my way.” Apology accepted was never quite so poetic.
“Carbona Not Glue,” The Ramones: Some Jews just can’t get into the Yom Kippur vibe. Like Joey Ramone. “I’m not sorry for the things I do,” he yelped. In his defense, he did have a pretty good reason for his lack of repentance: “My brain is stuck from shooting glue.”
“Sorry,” Madonna: She’s not really Jewish. And she’s not really sorry. Yom Kippur or not, she asks her lover not to beg for her forgiveness. “I’ve seen it all before,” she states, “and I can’t take it anymore.” Maybe next Yom Kippur.
“Endlessly Jealous,” Lou Reed: Not usually one for heartfelt emotions, Lou Reed tries his best to repent. He’s sorry for what he said, sorry for what he did, sorry for beating up his lover. At least he’s apologetic.
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.