“Reaching for the Rail” by Richard Wright

“Reaching for the Rail” song is from Richard Wright’s Broken China album. He wrote this after his then-wife’s more serious episodes of depression. This is his most beautiful and most depressing work.

It’s all sad.
It starts with long, low synthesizer notes. Sinead O’Conner whispers about being fearful and cold in the dead of night. She drags out the occasional vowel to make “And it’s so unoriginal” become a long, moaning “And it’s soooooooooo unoriginal”. “And I know it’s not terminal” becomes “And I knoooooooow it’s not terminal”.

After being scared all night, she sleeps thru the day because it’s all the same and it’s all worthless.

Then there’s a segment that sounds like a lounge/bar with people talking over a piano that plays short, single, lonely notes.

Rick sings a verse describing her depression. He drags out the vowels in the same moaning style. He also sings about her slipping beneath the waves without leaving a trace of herself.

The only let-up is the bridge where a Dave-Gilmour-sounding guitar has long stretched-out notes leading you to the last verse.

Then Rick and Sinead sing together about endless heartbreak. “Just take these and you’ll really never feel it.”

<deep cleansing breath>

I gotta go watch a sitcom or something.

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