366 Songs 362: The Price I Pay

More proof that the greatest love songs come from the least likely sources at times, Billy Bragg’s “The Price I Pay” is one of my favorite relationship songs, in part because of the heartbroken lyrics (“There’s something inside/That hurts my foolish pride/To visit the places that we used to go together”) and in part because of the wonderful arrangement that pushes Cara Tivey’s piano to the fore, and lets her backing vocals provide a gentle counterpoint to the ungainliness of Bragg’s own singing. This is a beautiful song, despite an accidentally ugly lead vocal and awkwardly loping, looping melody; it’s all because you can tell that the whole thing is heartfelt and honest, and that always wins the day.

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