Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Love Songs

Welp, here we are. Valentine's Day, Presented by Hallmark. It can be so easy to detest this day in the way one might dislike another overrated "holiday."

I had other examples, but I get myself in trouble too much, and today is about love. So I'm behaving.


The short answer is, when one is in love and is OK with the world, St. Valentine's Day (an effort to be proper) is fine. If not, then maybe not so much.

Your mileage may vary. That's it.

But let's talk music. Yes, we can all agree that there are some amazing love songs out there. "Unchained Melody", "Can't Help Falling in Love", "Love Me Tender", "When a Man Loves a Woman", "I Will Always Love You", and so on.

I remember, in the halcyon days at Majic 105, the request list on Saturday night would be long to play "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" by Bryan Adams. I would give the time that I'd be playing it. Get those requests in now!

But they don't always have to be slow jams, right?

You know, for instance, there happens to be this little dity...

I mean, that says a lot, right?
It don't take money. Don't take fame. Don't take no credit card to ride this train.
Granted, I have a bias. But the boys from the north of San Francisco did a few perfectly fine love songs ("Stuck With You", "Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do", etc).

Of course, we have Frank Sinatra, who just about perfected the art of the love song. I mean, "Fly Me to the Moon" and "Just The Way You Look Tonight" can produce some of the best feels.

"Come Rain or Come Shine." The utter masculine confidence of the opening line is a killer.
"I'm gonna love you, like no one has loved you. Come rain or come shine."
Ring a ding ding.

Then again, for me, utter perfection, in the form of one of the greatest songs ever written, was a song about a deep, complicated love.

Run for cover! Run and hide!

With Count Basie, well, we've flown to the moon.

Incidentally, and we could do a whole thing on Sinatra and love songs, but "One For My Baby" is just incredible. We've all been there.
"We're drinking, my friend, to the end of a brief episode. Make it one for my baby, and one more from the road."
That song is from Sinatra's album, Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Loney. I advise you to not be depressed when listening.

Ah but love songs can come from anywhere, and that's what we're driving at. Look at Led Zeppelin, for instance. There are people who have gotten married to "Thank You."

Then we come around to the Beach Boys. As we discussed perfection with Sinatra, well, come on...

I mean, that just about gets it right.
"If you should ever leave me, though life would still go on, believe me. The world could show nothing to me, so what good would livin' do me?"
Again. We've all been there.

Love songs can also be complicated, and we have plenty of examples of that ("Layla"). One, for instance, comes from the Lads (written, magically, by George Harrison).

Even Sinatra (who hated rock and roll) called "Something" among the greatest love songs of the past 50 years. He also credited it to Lennon and McCartney. Oh well.

Take this lyric: "You're asking me will my love grow? I don't know. I don't know." I mean, that doesn't exactly engender confidence.

Finally, we'll finish with Sir James Paul McCartney.

Yes, I know, this is the man who wrote "Silly Love Songs." But I ask you: what's wrong with that?


Macca also wrote "Here, There, and Everywhere", "Yesterday" (another complicated love song), "My Love", and perhaps my favorite: "Maybe I'm Amazed." Tastes change, of course, but as I sit here today, this is where my head (and I guess my heart) is.

Music needs to resonate. Whether it is in the melody or the words, it has to strike the listener. "Maybe I'm Amazed" isn't just a McCartney song, and as such it is great.

Remember, Paul committed the crime known as "Ebony and Ivory." Or whatever that thing was with Kanye West.

"Maybe I'm Amazed" is a Paul McCartney song, no doubt about it, and could never be a Beatles song. It screams of him, and of his Linda (he also openly sings of her in "The Lovely Linda").

This isn't a slow dance song. It's a mid-tempo rocker. But again, if one has truly felt anything, then they've been amazed. Amazed by everything.

McCartney isn't known for being modest, but read this and tell me if even Paul McCartney isn't vulnerable.
Maybe I'm a man and maybe I'm a lonely man
Who's in the middle of something
That he doesn't really understand
Maybe I'm a man and maybe you're the only woman
Who could ever help me
Baby won't you help me understand?
Um. Wow. Yeah. I've been there, and if there's a t-shirt, I'll take one.

Incidentally, while I love "Got to Get You Into My Life," well, that's not a love song.

It's about pot. Yup.

I know we've only scraped the top of the love song genre. We never got to "Your Song", "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", "Best of My Love" (The Eagles song), "Endless Love", and on and on and on...

We all have our love songs. Some we'd like to forget. Some are great, and we'd still prefer to forget them (not naming names or songs). Some we used as our own wedding song and...

Well you get the idea.

So Happy Valentine's Day, you crazy kids, and just remember, "Every Breath You Take" is not a love song!

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