There simply aren’t human words that can accurately articulate how much the combination of this song + this experience means to me.
Besides the entire onslaught of words I’m about to unload on you.
Ohhhh, The Cranberries. Any of you who were real-life friends with me back in the day might remember that there was no shortage of Cranberries obsessiveness in my life. From t-shirts to wall posters to bootlegged copies of this single or that single, IT WAS MY LIFE.
From the moment my high school boyfriend placed their very first album Everybody Else is Doing It, So Why Can’t We, as a CASSETTE no less, wrapped in newspaper and tied with a string on the front porch of my New Mexico house in the spring of 1993, I was hooked. A goner. Soul destroyed for the rest of time.
“Linger” blatantly and unapologetically became my life soundtrack back then. So much in fact that my mom was so sick of hearing it blast from my room, she’d knock on the door, “Do you have to, do you have to, do you have to KEEP PLAYING THAT SONG?”
Clever, Mom. And yes, I do.
Now, fast forward to the point when my little sister Barbara became the queen singer of the universe. And I mean, pipes that will stop your heart. Her control, her range, her ability to transition from wispy, tender vocals to power notes within the same breath will forever bring me to literal tears. There is NOTHING IN THIS WORLD like Barbara’s voice.
But you know this already.
So I’ll tell you what happened. This past Thanksgiving when we ventured over to Bar’s house for taco night, she and her husband Dustin looked over at me with a wink in their eye (they share an eye. one eye. it’s very odd.), “We’ve got something for you, Bev. And we want you to add all the layers and harmonies.”
Mind you, I was coughing up mucus from the underlore and I sounded like a drunk Muppet in a trashcan. But when Dustin pressed play and those oh-so-familiar three notes hit my fragile soul ears, I cried, fainted, heard their arrangement and her voice and basically yelled at everyone, OKAYYESLETMEREFILLMYWINEANDLET’SDOTHIS.
A word about my brother-in-law Dustin. I don’t think anyone understands just how talented he is. I mean THEY DO, but let me tell you anyway. He laid down all the instruments. Everything. Right in their home studio. His guitar playing is haunting, ethereal, so creamy dreamy. You guys, they came up with this arrangement and mood together and recorded a version of “Linger” that my heart honestly cannot handle without falling apart 14 times in a second.
And I mean truly, I sobbed my entire face off the whole time I was adding harmonies and all the opening, middle, and closing “ooooos”. I have no idea how my voice did it. But it did. And we have this.
I know Bar has her own memories with “Linger.” But the combination of her voice, my harmonies, my own life memories, her presence and closeness in my life, all of it wrapped up in one song like this is simply more than I can deal with. Except I can and will listen to this 150 more times in the next hour.
Also, RIP, Dolores. I’ll never forget our matching bleached pixie cuts.
Also also, why don’t I have that sweet green coat anymore?
Without a word or tear more (yeah right), I give you . . . “Linger.”
SEE I’M CRYING AGAIN.
Thank you endlessly, Barbara and Dustin for having me on this track, and letting me be a part of this with you both. Let’s make a dang album, already.