Curtis Gore, a football player at Wilde Lake High School who usually listens to Jay-Z (“Parking Lot Pimpin’,” say, or “Streets Is Talking”) to sustain the euphoria of his existence, tells me there is one song so sad he thinks he can no longer listen to it.
“What is it? What’s the saddest song?” I ask him, figuring I wouldn’t know it.
“Amazing Grace,” he says.
“Wow. That’s a great answer,” I say. “That might be the best answer. Do you put it on when you feel sad?”
“I did,” Curtis says.
He had heard the song a few weeks earlier at the funeral of a friend who was shot at a party. A day or so after the funeral, he came home from school and put the song on, in his bedroom. He lay down and listened. Halfway through he stopped it.
“I couldn’t take it,” he says. “So I opened the file and I deleted it.”