[ ]   [ ]   [ ]                        [ ]      [ ]   [ ]
Patty Griffin — Useless Desires
Album: Impossible Dream
Avg rating:
7.6

Your rating:
Total ratings: 273









Released: 2004
Length: 5:45
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Say goodbye to the old street
That never cared much for you anyway
And the different coloured doorways
You thought would let you in one day
Goodbye to the old bus stop
Frozen and waiting
The Weekend Edition
Has this town way overrated

You walk across the baseball green
The grass has turned to straw
A flock of birds tries to fly
Away from where you are
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, old friend
I can't make you stay
I can't spend another ten years
Wishing you would anyway

How the sky turns to fire
Against a telephone wire
And even I'm getting tired
Of useless desires

Every day I take a bitter pill
It gets me on my way
For the little aches and pains
The ones I have from day to day
To help me think a little less
About the things I miss
To help me not to wonder how
I ended up like this

I walk down to the railroad track
And ride a rusty train
With a million other faces
I shoot through the city veins
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, old friend
You wanted to be free
Somewhere beyond the bitter end
Is where I want to be

How the sky turns to fire
Against a telephone wire
And even I'm getting tired
Of useless desires

Say goodbye to the old building
That never tried to know your name
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, old friend
You won't be seeing me again
Goodbye to all the windowpanes
Shining in the sun
Like diamonds on a winter day
Goodbye, goodbye to everyone

How the sky turns to fire
Against a telephone wire
It burns the last of the day down
And I'm the last one hanging around
Waiting on a train track
And the train never comes back
And even I'm getting tired
Of useless desires
Comments (87)add comment
 jim1964 wrote:
Just got my tickets to see Patty at the Commodore Ballroom, can't wait!
 
And it was a great show!
Just got my tickets to see Patty at the Commodore Ballroom, can't wait!
 jagdriver wrote:
Ordinarily I like Patty's stuff, but this one has a little too much country twang to my ears.

  there is no such thing as too much country twang
How can anyone listen to this?!
Her voice is just painful to my ears.
Horrible. 
 rdo wrote:
9 {#Arrow} 10
  Yeppers.


9 {#Arrow} 10
 jagdriver wrote:
Ordinarily I like Patty's stuff, but this one has a little too much country twang to my ears.
 
+1

Ordinarily I like Patty's stuff, but this one has a little too much country twang to my ears.
somewhere beyond the bitter end is where I want to be....man I hear ya chica
 Cynaera wrote:
This woman's voice can bring me to tears so easily, it frightens me. I have a hard time listening to her music, but I have a hard time NOT listening to it. I walk the wire with her.  I try to balance songs like this with "Flaming Red" so I don't sink forever into a world I'll never completely, or even marginally, understand.

Still - she's got one of the purest, most confident, most sure voices I've heard in a long time. I totally agree with grungepuppy - glad Ms. Griffin didn't tolerate the "Catholic-School" method of teaching.  Glad she grabbed the ruler and fwapped back.
 
Agree on all counts.

Edit: reading C's comments again. I think I love C as much as I love Patty, such a perfect description of her music.


I am completely and blissfully biased ... I just love Patty's flawless artistic work! {#Cheers}
 grungepuppy wrote:
Wow, I'm having a hard time believing that anyone doesn't love her voice. If this isn't superb, what do you want from a singer? I guess fans of today's emo (Death Cab, etc.) are afraid of range, power, and true emotion. I for one am glad to hear someone sing as if their vocal coach isn't sitting there rapping them on the knuckles saying "too much, stop trying, don't stray from the formula."
 
This woman's voice can bring me to tears so easily, it frightens me. I have a hard time listening to her music, but I have a hard time NOT listening to it. I walk the wire with her.  I try to balance songs like this with "Flaming Red" so I don't sink forever into a world I'll never completely, or even marginally, understand.

Still - she's got one of the purest, most confident, most sure voices I've heard in a long time. I totally agree with grungepuppy - glad Ms. Griffin didn't tolerate the "Catholic-School" method of teaching.  Glad she grabbed the ruler and fwapped back.

Wow, I'm having a hard time believing that anyone doesn't love her voice. If this isn't superb, what do you want from a singer? I guess fans of today's emo (Death Cab, etc.) are afraid of range, power, and true emotion. I for one am glad to hear someone sing as if their vocal coach isn't sitting there rapping them on the knuckles saying "too much, stop trying, don't stray from the formula."
She's one of the greatest out there today. Just an amazing, amazing songwriter and singer. Her hard rock songs are the best.
It's actually the end of one segment and beginning of the other, but Kent and Patty Griffin are two of my favorites (though neither of these are among my favorite songs of theirs.) Interesting juxtaposition to be sure.
 chyk5 wrote:

Five synth pop songs in a row (and I liked some of it back in the day) then...Patty. Who could ask for more?


 

Just did the same thing this time.  But I've got a wide variety of tastes, and RP services them like no other!
I do not understand the folks who dislike this powerful voice.  Get the corn out of your ears!
Wow.
I heart Patty!
Her writing is just heart wrenchingly superb.

Five synth pop songs in a row (and I liked some of it back in the day) then...Patty. Who could ask for more?


Beautiful

Thank you Bill for introducing Patty Griffin's music to me.

 marcel wrote:

Sorry, but I cannot imagine anyone singing it better... I love her voice. Just sad she doesn't make records more frequently...
 


one of my favorite tracks on this album ... I play it over & over & over...
 keller1 wrote:


I totally get why you say that about this tune —- the vocals have a lot harder edge than a lot of Patty's other stuff.

That said, she is one of my personal favorites, and just amazing live.
 
I adore her, but some of her recordings ARE shrill.  I think it's the fault of the producer....

Most of the songs on RED have this sharp edged (shrill) quality.  Fortunately, I do love her voice....

album cover    10
 mcklein18 wrote:

agree with others...yes the lyrics are thougtful and vivid, but she needs to find someone else to sing them! her voice is shrill and irritating


 

I totally get why you say that about this tune —- the vocals have a lot harder edge than a lot of Patty's other stuff.

That said, she is one of my personal favorites, and just amazing live.
 mcklein18 wrote:

agree with others...yes the lyrics are thougtful and vivid, but she needs to find someone else to sing them! her voice is shrill and irritating


 

I don't think she needs someone else to sing them — but it would help greatly if she could get some of the nasalness and back of the throat quality out of her voice.
patty g. . .  a woman of substance and enduring talent . . .


 mcklein18 wrote:

agree with others...yes the lyrics are thougtful and vivid, but she needs to find someone else to sing them! her voice is shrill and irritating


 
Sorry, but I cannot imagine anyone singing it better... I love her voice. Just sad she doesn't make records more frequently...

I would stand in a pouring rain just to hear her sing....

I understand the "shrill" comments below.  Her voice has a bit of a sharp edge, but her producer seems to make the CDs sound particularly bright / shrill.  "Red" (CD) is that way. 

patty is god.

agree with others...yes the lyrics are thougtful and vivid, but she needs to find someone else to sing them! her voice is shrill and irritating


Useless Desires, don't know how any other comination of words could carry more weight.
really great song writer
 dunno wrote:

I like her other work very much, but while listening to this song I had to turn the volume down. simply too much of her voice, it did hurt my ears.
 
.....you must have sensitive ears.

 Jelani wrote:
Ugh.Great melody destroyed by fingernails on a chalkboard voice.
 
Ahh.  Great melody augmented by beautiful voice.

 Jelani wrote:
Ugh.Great melody destroyed by fingernails on a chalkboard voice.
 
I like her other work very much, but while listening to this song I had to turn the volume down. simply too much of her voice, it did hurt my ears.


 

Oh boy!....This song is worth every second !.-  

** 8  / 9 **


I've been a huge fan since I heard her open for Lucinda Williams in Cleveland 13 years ago or so...both of those goddesses get me right in the heart every time.  {#Notworthy}
Brilliant song and album.
How can this be the first time I have ever heard this brilliant song?
 
Out of all the brilliant songs that Patty has written over the years, this is one of my favorites.  Just an awesome track.
michaelgmitchell wrote:


Hey, NY'er . . . agreed. I would never have heard of her without RP.
Any suggestion for a CD of Patty's if you had to choose one?



Wow, sorry to be many months late in replying to your question! Hmm, this really depends on your mood and your general taste. Patty's songwriting is consistently excellent on all her CDs... it's the style and production that vary a bit on them. "Living With Ghosts" has very stripped-down instrumentation and production. "Flaming Red" is more rocking, with fuller production. "Impossible Dream" is dominated by achingly beautiful ballads. "Children Running Through" combines some bluesy and rocking songs with her signature soaring ballads.

But if I had to choose just one of her CDs to recommend (or rather, to start with), it would be "1,000 Kisses." It comes as close as any CD I know to being called a "perfect CD." Every song is a fully-formed gem, and they create a seamless flow in both sound and theme. It's utterly beautiful, beginning to end.
Ugh.Great melody destroyed by fingernails on a chalkboard voice.
And if you love that, give a listen to Patty singing "Goodbye"....
ouiae wrote:


If you love this, give a listen to Patty singing "Long Ride Home"...






skindy wrote:
Ditto, ditto, ditto. When this song played a while ago, I just stopped what I was doing and soaked in the excellence. I thank my lucky stars (and Bill!) for having discovered Patty here at RP. I own just about all of her CDs, and saw her live back in April. In many past concert experiences, artists who sound great on their studio recordings often sound less-than-perfect when performing live. So I expected I might be a bit disappointed when I saw Patty. NOT A CHANCE. She was even better live than on record, if you can believe it. She simply blew me away. I hung on every word and every note. There is a purity and clarity to Patty's voice that I seldom hear ANYWHERE else. Add to that her exquisite songwriting (longing, sadness, small-town themes, childhood memories and so much else, as crisply and deeply as it can be captured), and her stunning guitar and piano work (which has to be experienced live to be fully appreciated) - and you have a once-in-a-lifetime talent. Patty Griffin is head and shoulders above most other musicians, period.
You're so right..I've always loved "small town themes" but it's that, the sadness and the nostalgia along with everything else..it's a perfect combination. :clap: :yes:
love this song but... i will not have useless desires today i will not have useless desires today i will not have useless desires today i will not have useless desires today
Great song from an excellent CD; start to finish.
Beautiful song :cowboy: Just bumped it up to a 9.
Hey, NY'er . . . agreed. I would never have heard of her without RP. Any suggestion for a CD of Patty's if you had to choose one? skindy wrote:
Ditto, ditto, ditto. When this song played a while ago, I just stopped what I was doing and soaked in the excellence. I thank my lucky stars (and Bill!) for having discovered Patty here at RP. I own just about all of her CDs, and saw her live back in April. In many past concert experiences, artists who sound great on their studio recordings often sound less-than-perfect when performing live. So I expected I might be a bit disappointed when I saw Patty. NOT A CHANCE. She was even better live than on record, if you can believe it. She simply blew me away. I hung on every word and every note. There is a purity and clarity to Patty's voice that I seldom hear ANYWHERE else. Add to that her exquisite songwriting (longing, sadness, small-town themes, childhood memories and so much else, as crisply and deeply as it can be captured), and her stunning guitar and piano work (which has to be experienced live to be fully appreciated) - and you have a once-in-a-lifetime talent. Patty Griffin is head and shoulders above most other musicians, period.
I just love listening to her. she sounds a bit different each time I hear her voice, so I never tire of her....
I remember when I saw her live last year, the guy behind me complained "Why hasn't Patty become a superstar?" And I said she is lucky, she doesn't need that level of fame. She is truly an amazing talent.
I'm glad I endured the last song to get to Patty :roflol:
morgsy67 wrote:
Amazing voice, great lyrics Great performer too, saw an acoustic set she did in Boston. See her if you can.
ouiae wrote:
If you love this, give a listen to Patty singing "Long Ride Home"...
EssexTex wrote:
Beautiful song, such great lyrics, and her voice is stunning
Ditto, ditto, ditto. When this song played a while ago, I just stopped what I was doing and soaked in the excellence. I thank my lucky stars (and Bill!) for having discovered Patty here at RP. I own just about all of her CDs, and saw her live back in April. In many past concert experiences, artists who sound great on their studio recordings often sound less-than-perfect when performing live. So I expected I might be a bit disappointed when I saw Patty. NOT A CHANCE. She was even better live than on record, if you can believe it. She simply blew me away. I hung on every word and every note. There is a purity and clarity to Patty's voice that I seldom hear ANYWHERE else. Add to that her exquisite songwriting (longing, sadness, small-town themes, childhood memories and so much else, as crisply and deeply as it can be captured), and her stunning guitar and piano work (which has to be experienced live to be fully appreciated) - and you have a once-in-a-lifetime talent. Patty Griffin is head and shoulders above most other musicians, period.
horrible droning voice. Ugh.
Amazing voice, great lyrics Great performer too, saw an acoustic set she did in Boston. See her if you can.
eeke wrote:
I Would have to say this is one of the most haunting songs I've EVER heard... breathless
If you love this, give a listen to Patty singing "Long Ride Home"...
Beautiful song, such great lyrics, and her voice is stunning
What a classy artist! Wonderful band! Outstanding, at least!
RobK wrote:
Golly gee, so do I!
Gee whiz, me too!
I have never cared much for country music (except Emmylou), and Patty changed all that.... Yet ANOTHER artist I might never have heard if it weren't for RP!!!
Meh. Yes, her lyrical content is good, but I find her singing irritating. Her voice is too nasal for me and somewhat flat, and she is prone to caterwauling.
First time I have heard this one. Great Song.
dixiedeb wrote:
Boy, I sure do like her! Beautiful.
Golly gee, so do I!
pattiecovert wrote:
meh.
Meh!
alux wrote:
Specific? How about a "specific" complaint then? "Tired" and "boring" don't cut it, those are shortcuts of a shallow mind. Patty is from the same New England territory I grew up in and has a gift for describing relationships and landscapes that cut home for me like no other artist. I know exactly the unrequited small-town love and loss she describes in this song. She's a folksinger at heart, so maybe your problem is with the genre. Her guitarwork is a clean and often compelling backdrop to her storytelling. But she can rock out too, when she wants. And her vocals--nothing drab there.
I think his complaints are plenty specific enough to understand what he doesn't like, kudos to him. Me, on the other hand, I think she's wonderful.
meh.
Boy, I sure do like her! Beautiful.
alux wrote:
Country? Commercial? This ain't even close. 100% folk, amigo. Its like I'm playing goddamn whack-a-mole here.
Hey, Alux, hand me one of those padded bat things and I'll whack these moles right along with you. Patty Griffin is a lyrical genius with a hauntingly beautiful voice. Her instrumentation does what it should for a voice and style like hers: it stays out of her way.
I Would have to say this is one of the most haunting songs I've EVER heard... breathless
Brilliant. I can't think of anything else to say.
...phuk this woman is talented! ...sorry for cussing but common kids this is brilliance!
Country? Commercial? This ain't even close. 100% folk, amigo. Its like I'm playing goddamn whack-a-mole here. fetch wrote:
Lyrically speaking, simply stunning. 9 Musically, too twangy. It's my fault. I listened to too much commercial "country" music in the 90s & early 00s and now break out in a rash whenever I hear it as a result. 2 Overall, 5.5, but I round down. A solid 5.
Specific? How about a "specific" complaint then? "Tired" and "boring" don't cut it, those are shortcuts of a shallow mind. Patty is from the same New England territory I grew up in and has a gift for describing relationships and landscapes that cut home for me like no other artist. I know exactly the unrequited small-town love and loss she describes in this song. She's a folksinger at heart, so maybe your problem is with the genre. Her guitarwork is a clean and often compelling backdrop to her storytelling. But she can rock out too, when she wants. And her vocals--nothing drab there. calray wrote:
Useless song. I do not get the Patty Griffin thing... what am i missing in her music? why does it always sound so boring and drab to me? Tired, uninteresting melodies and uninspired instrumentation... I would really like someone to explain what they like in her music and specifically this song, which I had to turn off because I'm not allowed to sleep at work. Neil is playing now, so I am awake. Thanks for the save Bill.
Knuckle-walk your way over here smartboy, and I'll explain this thing called "singing" to you, r e a l s l o w. eastcoast wrote:
good but does she open her mouth at all when she sings
Lyrically speaking, simply stunning. 9 Musically, too twangy. It's my fault. I listened to too much commercial "country" music in the 90s & early 00s and now break out in a rash whenever I hear it as a result. 2 Overall, 5.5, but I round down. A solid 5.
Calray wrote: "What am i missing in her music?" What are you missing? Well, one of the best songwriters of this generation. Music appreciation is idiosyncratic, so there's no shame in not "getting" her music, but a lot of us think she's easily one of the best out there. She makes my top five. Wow, can't believe I wrote that, but it's true.
Useless song. I do not get the Patty Griffin thing... what am i missing in her music? why does it always sound so boring and drab to me? Tired, uninteresting melodies and uninspired instrumentation... I would really like someone to explain what they like in here music and specifically this song, which I had to turn off because I'm not allowed to sleep at work. Neil is playing now, so I am awake. Thanks for the save Bill.
eastcoast wrote:
good but does she open her mouth at all when she sings
Spoken like envy.
good but does she open her mouth at all when she sings
Another great one from Patty. She sure is awesome.
Love! Love! Love! :heartkiss:
Is this really the first time this has been played?
Love this one. Let's hear it!