I get a magazine once a month called "Paste," which includes a CD sampler of up-and-coming artists. I'm one of those people who (sometimes) has an ear for what will be big, and I like telling people about my discoveries, because if I am right then I get to bask in some of the credit. Call it Vicarious Fame/Talent, with a mix of Nostradamus thrown in .

Anyway, a few months ago the CD sampler contained two back-to-back songs that really got to me. One of them was "Gravedigger" by Willie Nelson; not really an up-and-comer, but a really cool remake that I wrote about awhile back.

The other song that I just could not stop listening to was "Pretend" by Shelby Lynne. It is one of those haunting songs (just her on her guitar) that catches you just at the right moment.

Lynne isn't exactly unknown, in fact she won the Best New Artist Grammy in 2001, but she isn't exactly a household name either. I wanted to share this song with you, but it was absolute murder to find. (Turns out the reason is because "Pretend" is on a Dusty Springfield tribute album, and "Pretend" is the original "bonus" track at the end.)

Here are the lyrics

I know you want to leave
But I'm holding on to you
Begging you to play this game
You've already won
I don't hate to beg you for your empty arms
If that's all I can get
Hurt me one more night
Just pretend you love me

I'll show you happiness
I'll prove you need my love
And I'll bend over backwards to tell you
Every word you want to hear
Whatever you might need to reconsider
What I'm givin', say the words
Hurt me one more night
Just pretend you love me

I guess I've done all I can do
It's really true
I'm lost in you, it's over
If would change your devil mind
I'll even let you be more unkind if you want to

I'm falling on my knees
I know you're getting closer
To the door that opens your world
And only makes me colder
If you could spare another chance to dance with you
And lock me in your arms
Abuse me one more night
And pretend you love me

Some will listen to the song and roll their eyes. What a masochist, they'll say. I guess...if you haven't experienced it the song will make no sense, but if you have; I'm not sure this sentiment has ever been expressed more vitally.

You can find more of Miss Lynne's music on her website,

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