My Sunday Song – “Burden in My Hand” by Soundgarden

Happy New Year and let us kick it off with a new 10 song set of My Sunday Songs. And with #331, we are kicking off with the first of 10 songs that will feature Chris Cornell, First up is the Soundgarden song “Burden in My Hand” off their 1996 album ‘Down on the Upside’. It was written by Chris and was released as the second single September 18, 1996. It did really well spending five weeks at #1 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Chart.

The song is rather dark as it is about a guy that loses it and kills his wife. He admits it in the song. He is out in the desert where he buried her and his trying to deal with the grief and the guilt and coming to grips with what has happened. The lines “It’s just a burden in my hand / It’s just an anchor on my heart” reflects the guilt he is feeling. Kim Thayil of the band has called the song a modern “Hey Joe”. I can see that. Now, the song doesn’t say what happens to him or if he ever deals with his grief, but he is sitting there drowning his sorrows with alcohol and hopefully he drinks himself to death for what he has done

I love how the song starts out with Chris’ vocal going directly in to the first verse. The guitar comes in and it plays the song in C tuning (I read that on wiki as otherwise I’d have no idea). That opening verse with just the guitar, his voice and then the bass is perfect. The drums not coming in to until the bridge really adds a punch to the bridge. Then the full band is in for the second verse. I love the dark tone coming from the music as it matches the darkness and gloom of the situation. Chris vocals aren’t judgmental to the character, it is almost indifferent to what he has done, yet you feel a little empathy through his vocals. It is really interesting approach and it works.

Give the song a listen and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful and Happy Sunday despite how depressing the song may be.

“Burden In My Hand”

Follow me into the desert
As thirsty as you are
Crack a smile and cut your mouth
And drown in alcohol
‘Cause down below the truth is lying
Beneath the riverbed
So quench yourself and drink the water
That flows below her head

Oh, no there she goes
Out in the sunshine
The sun is mine
The sun is mine

I shot my love today, would you cry for me?
I lost my head again, would you lie for me?

Close your eyes and bow your head
I need a little sympathy
‘Cause fear is strong and love’s for everyone
Who isn’t me
So kill your health and kill yourself
And kill everything you love
And if you live you can fall to pieces
And suffer with my ghost

I shot my love today, would you cry for me?
I lost my head again, would you lie for me?
I left her in the sand just a burden in my hand
I lost my head again, would you cry for me?

It’s just a burden in my hand
It’s just an anchor on my heart
It’s just a tumor in my head
And I’m in the dark

So follow me into the desert
As desperate as you are
Where the moon is glued to a picture of heaven
And all the little pigs have God

Oh, no there she goes
Out in the sunshine
The sun is mine
The sun is mine

I shot my love today, would you cry for me? Yeah
I lost my head again, would you lie for me?
I left her in the sand just a burden in my hand
I lost my head again, would you cry for me?

Yeah, would you cry for me?

Written by Chris Cornell

10 thoughts on “My Sunday Song – “Burden in My Hand” by Soundgarden

  1. 10 Chris Cornell songs, oh goody. I will be surprised if you can find any “happy” ones. Just the way it is. I love every one of them. Will try to keep up with your Chris songs.

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  2. Excellent choice of tune (and group!) – I really like those singles from Down on the Upside.
    And well said about the delayed drums, I find I really gravitate to songs that make us wait for the drums to kick in (Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car is one that jumps to mind right away)
    Happy 2023!

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