Song of the Week: “Try a Little Tenderness” by Otis Redding

What is your soundtrack to violently falling out of love? My record collection contains several different types of covers of “Try a Little Tenderness,” subsequently becoming an overarching embodiment to my various heartbreaks. Otis Redding’s version is the most haunting, with the climax concave/convex of “squeeze her/don’t tease her/never leave her.”

What is your soundtrack to violently falling into love? In Pretty in Pink, Duckie (Jon Cryer) slides into the record store halfway through this song, lip-synchs it to Andie (Molly Ringwald) and Iona (Annie Potts). During “squeeze her/don’t tease her/never leave her,” he spreads his arms out as if being crucified, rolls himself across shelves of records, half-dancing, half-falling. This is his soundtrack, too.

-Katie Jean Shinkle

Katie Jean Shinkle is the author of one novel, Our Prayers After the Fire (Blue Square Press, an imprint of Mud Luscious Press, forthcoming), and three chapbooks. Other work can be found in or is forthcoming from Barrow Street, Third Coast, FLAUNT Magazine, Blackbird, and elsewhere. She is a doctoral candidate in creative writing at the University of Denver.

Questions, compliments, (hopefully not) complaints?

Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.

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