My Top 1000 Songs #239: Save Me

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]

A few days behind "Ballad of Easy Rider," here's another wonderful song written for a soundtrack (Paul Thomas Anderson's outstanding 1999 release Magnolia) which, again, manages to perfectly define the film for which it was composed while working no less well outside the original context.

It's a gorgeous piece of music, dramatic and melodic, with a punchy bassline and a gentle yet still hum-along chorus. But it's the lyrics that are just devastating, harrowing loneliness with a modicum of hope. "Why don't you save me... from the ranks of the freaks who suspect they could never love anyone."

And invoking "the long farewell of the hunger strike" just bowls me over and messes me up every time.

Bonus points for a killer video, filmed by Paul Thomas Anderson with Mann joining the movie's cast on the actual sets.

Fantastic live performance: