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Weekend Soundtrack

"Dancing With Tears In My Eyes"

Michael Raphael

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Greta Sproul
(Courtesy Greta Sproul)

It's time to listen to your weekend soundtrack - the songs that bridge the gap from Friday to Monday. Our latest story comes from Greta Sproul. Greta is the editor of the Penobscot Times in Old Town, Maine. She told us the soundtrack to her weekend is "Dancing With Tears In My Eyes" by Ruth Etting.


Bill Radke: Greta, unless you were in the Ziegfeld Follies, why would this be your weekend soundtrack?

Greta Sproul: This kind of music is featured in a program that MPR broadcasts at the time of day that I'm leaving my office to go home on Fridays. It began to just represent the weekend for me. It's a time I have no baggage from the 20s or 30s-the music is nothing but this distant surreal sound and it just is free of everything that I know and can relate to. And it's like I'm being transported into this different world-it has nothing to do with my job or the week that was or civilization as I know it or anything.

Radke: And why do you want to go to that world?

Sproul: Oh, because my job is very stressful and I'm forced to think about current events constantly and weigh them and try to analyze them. And the 20s have already happened, there is nothing to analyze and the music is so innocent- even though, I know there were incredibly difficult things during that period that people endured and bad things that happened-it doesn't sound like it from the music. You don't here voices like that anymore.

Radke: Huh, cause lyrically, it's pretty sad. Those are pretty droopy lyrics for a weekend getaway song.

Sproul: I know, but it's a sadness, its' like an old movie sadness. It's like watching Casa Blanca-I mean, you might cry but you are not really. You're crying really because it's poignant and it reminds you of something from the past. It can't hurt you.

Radke: Yeah. Take us back to the first time you heard this song on that Friday evening drive home.

Sproul: I'm not sure maybe the exact time I heard it, but I remember hearing her voice and thinking, this is just like a little cartoon-the kind of cartoons I used to play for my kids when they were little, those old public domain cartoons. And it just felt so safe and just so soothing and, again, like a lullaby, like it was drawing me into my world, my weekend where I didn't have to answer to grown-up or anything like that.

Radke: How have you changed since you've had this "jazz-age" experience?

Sproul: You know what, I know this sounds incredibly contrived, but it has opened my eyes up to a whole new level of pop culture. I've just found myself looking into the lives of people from that era. I've just become obsessed with it. Fatty Arbuckle case is fascinating but I probably wouldn't know that much about it if it were not for this music.

Radke: Greta Sproul. Thank you for sharing your weekend soundtrack

Sproul: My pleasure, thank you for having me.

More stories from our Weekend Soundtrack series


  • Comment | Refresh

  • By Candace Taylor

    From Cleveland, OH, 08/30/2008

    I know just how she feels. I have always loved that kind of music. It is true that sadness so long ago isn't so awful as what is happening right now. And it is, after only a song. I am going to look up that singer. Thanks.

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