Heartache is a Luxury

Janelle Donovan, Mark Cargill & Greg Cook


My collaborators/producers, Mark Cargill & Greg Cook, decided  we should record this song live and I'm so glad they did. It was a lot of fun and fit the mood of the song. Harvey Estrada played bass, Tim Kobza played guitar & Stephen Stevens played drums. I love the firm snap Stephen gives to intro the song. We quickly got into a nice easy roll. The ever lovely songstress, Cheryl McDowell Rooks, and the mellifluous Mr. W, provided tasty background vocals.

The lyrics had been germinating with me since my trip to #Seattle where I got to hear some phenomenal singer/songwriters @JazzAlley and the blues club Highway 99. I was inspired. I think many of us could identify with this woman's predicament and her decision. I like the humor in it. Enjoy my friends.




Copyright 2011

Janelle Donovan, Mark Cargill & Greg Cook


heartache is a luxury

she can not afford

though half a pound of crystal tears

came knocking at her door

she puts the children into bed

and cleans the house once more

and whispers to herself

 “heartache is a luxury

 i can not afford”


heartache is a luxury

for the leisure crowd

with precious time to spend on tears

Or was she just too proud?

Time to get the children up and fed

His letter goes ignored

 cause heartache is a luxury 

she can not afford

(He ran out of credit.)


she thinks about the first time

 he was gone

now the cost comes sadly

  multiplied (Oh, well)


Her good friends call her, tell her not to worry, tell her he’s sorry, 

ask her how she’s feeling, what she’s needing and she replies with a sigh: (Help me out here.)

Instrumental solo


his love is not a measure of my worth

I know there’s something better on this big earth


heartache is a luxury

 I can not afford

 through half a pound of cheap tear drops

 came knocking at my door

have to put my children before

 all that

 they deserve more

so heartache is a luxury

 I can not afford


Spoken word: “Hmm, pay electricity or buy food,hmm, I don’t know.outta dough. checking my pockets looking for a twenty. Aw, I got my kids. they’re plenty. Hmmm. That pot used to have a lot more pennies. We’ll get through. I know how to make do.”



I know there’s more. I know there’s more. “What’s on my mind?” You’re so kind to ask what’s on my mind. Not for me.

You’re so kind to ask what’s on my mind. Heartache I can not afford. To ask what’s on my mind. Heartache is a luxury.

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