The day on which chocolates have no calories, millions of flowers give their lives for our pleasure and Hallmark execs make room in their vaults for more bags of gold. People lose all good sense and Cupid reigns supreme.
Buncha crap if you ask me.
Now, don’t get me wrong…I’m knee deep in the shit myself. Oh, yeah, I’m hooked baby – found the man that makes my knees knock, my backbone slip and fills my tummy with flutterbyes. Married him even, and we’ve got Liam now to round out our bliss. Sure, most of the time laughter and sunshine and jasmine scented contentment wafts through our home. But in the midst of all that is sweet and idyllic in this scenario, make no mistake that this same LOVE can sometimes suck big green apples.
The two of us can cause each other teeth-grinding tension. We can annoy each other to the brink of fisticuffs, are both bullheaded in our complete belief of our own omnipotent correctness and quite often we could flat out bore the paint off the walls. Love ain’t for sissies, man. It’s REAL.
I’ve completely put off making a playlist for this holiday for two reasons. (1) Any one of us can be at a new point on the “love spectrum” any given minute, so HOW would I come up with a mix that could please everyone? and (b) do you have ANY idea how many songs are about love in one form or another? ALL OF THEM.
This morning, though, while I was making pancakes for breakfast, I realized that what’s wonderful and terrible about love is also what’s wonderful and terrible about music. If you surrender to them and really immerse yourself, then both can reach into your chest and push your deepest buttons…and there’s rarely a damn thing you can do about it. They make you feel, even when you’re doing your damndest not to. Sure, that loss of control can be infuriating…and enthralling. It can make you feel vulnerable and invincible. It’s friggin’ fabulous.
So, I sat down to make a list COMPLETELY without thinking. If I thought of a song, I added it. Good, bad, indifferent – and somehow, they’re all about love. I’m throwing some random thoughts in below – not for every song, but ones that stand out for me.
Id love to hear your suggestions for additions – because Lord knows it’s not nearly diverse enough. Just tell me which songs you’d have chosen in the comments – I’ll be adding more throughout the day, and I’ll put them on, too.
Regardless of your take on love right now, I hope you enjoy your day. I’ll bet you can find something on this list that fits your current mood. And, for what it’s worth…my family sends you lots of love.
From our lil’ syrupy, sugar-coated hearts to yours. <3
3. Lover’s Cross – Jim Croce: If you switch the lyrics for a girl singing, this could have been written from me to my ex-husband. “Tables are meant for turning, and people are bound to change. Bridges are meant for burning, when the people and memories they join aren’t the same. I never was much of a martyr before, and I ain’t ’bout to start nothin’ new…and baby I can’t hang upon no Lover’s Cross for you.” Now that I think about it, I’ll bet he could say the same things about me. Oh, well. Hope he’s having a good V-Day.
6. Valentine’s Day – Steve Earle: Nothing superficial about this song…matter of fact, I’d venture to guess that it’s closer to the truth for more folks than would like to admit it. “If you’ll take an IOU, I’ll make it up to you…till then I hope my heart will do for Valentine’s Day.”
7. Anyhow I Love You – Guy Clark: Y’know – this song is just about perfect. “Just you wait until tomorrow when you wake up with me at your side and find I hadn’t lied about nothin’. And I wouldn’t trade a tree for the way I feel about you in the mornin’, anyhow I love you.” Favorite line: “I wish I had a dime for all the bad times…but bad times always seem to keep the change.” I know I shove Texas singer/songwriters down your collective throats alot, but dammit – there’s a good reason!! Just listen, will you? 😉
8. Between the Bars – Elliott Smith: It feels like every Elliott Smith song is a love song. Can’t explain it – so much emotion in his voice.
10. Need a Little Sugar in my Bowl – Bessie Smith: Yeah, I know Nina Simone did the famous cover, and I love her too. But in this version, Bessie REALLY lays it out. “I need a little sugar in my bowl, I need a little hot dog between my rolls. I could stand a little lovin’ oh so bad…” Hell yeah, Bessie.
12. All the Way – Frank Sinatra: When I was a kid – maybe 10 to 12 – I was enamored of all things ’30’s and ’40’s. Yes, I have a stand up Victrola, and a jillion 78 rpm records. I inhaled old movies. And, y’know…I think listening to songs like this helped me to realize that I should never settle. This is the kind of love we should all have. “When somebody loves you, it’s no good unless he loves you all the way. Through the good and lean years, and for all the in between years – all the way.” Glad I’ve got that now.
14. Goodbye, Earl – Dixie Chicks: …what? Why are you looking at me like that? Hey, it’s never a bad idea to remind folks to treat each other right. Revenge can be a bitch.
17. Paradise by the Dashboard Light – Meatloaf: Oh, yes. I went there. “And we’re glowin’ like the metal on the edge of a knife…” hee hee hee
25. Casimir Pulaski Day – Sufjan Stevens: Not appropriate, you say? Ohhh, I beg to differ. In sickness and in health. In the face of life threatening illness…that’s when love means most of all, Scarecrow.
26. Bless Me Father – Saw Doctors: Cause sometimes, it’s just gotta be about the sex. (But at least the good Irish boy went to confession…) “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned – she had big brown eyes, and silky skin. Bless me, Father, I couldn’t resist…oh, Father, you have no idea what you’ve missed!”
27. Christmas in Prison – John Prine: Less a Christmas song than a love song. “I dream of her always even when I don’t dream – her name’s on my tongue, her blood’s in my stream.” “She reminds me of a chess game with someone I admire, or a picnic in the rain after a prairie fire. Her heart is as big a this whole goddamn jail, and she’s sweeter than sacchrin at the drug store on sale.” John Prine writes a hell of a love song.
29. Sunshine – Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights: If you need a new song to get busy to…here you go. You’re welcome.
31. Nobody Knows Me – Lyle Lovett: Hard to believe something this tender is actually a song about cheating, eh? (FYI, Brian likes omlettes with salsa. Tortillas optional.)
32. Isn’t She Lovely? – Stevie Wonder: Got kids? Then this needs to be on here.
33. Whiskey Lullabye – Brad Paisley & Alison Krauss: Something about this song just gets me. “He put that bottle to his head, and pulled the trigger…and finally drank away her memory. Life is short, but this time it was bigger than the strength he had to get up off his knees. Found him with his face down in the pillow with a note that said ‘I’ll love her till I die’. When we buried him beneath the willow, the angels sang a whiskey lullabye…” Alison Krauss gives me chills in the next verse.
36. Electric Worry – Clutch: Who knew a “Screw you, carry your ass” song could be so much damn fun? “Bang, bang, bang, bang…vamanos, vamanos…”
38. Song for the Dumped – Ben Folds Five: “Give me my money back, give me my money back, you bitch. And don’t forget…and don’t forget to give me back my black tee shirt.” bwahahahahahahaha!
40. Over You – Jay Nash: If you haven’t checked out this California based singer songwriter, you should. His voice is like crunchy peanut butter – smooth, but satisfying where you need it to be. “Now I’m waiting alone in this Paris hotel, I look pretty good, but I feel just like hell over you.”
46. In an Aeroplane Over the Sea – Neutral Milk Hotel: Something about the seemingly thin vulnerability of his voice in this song gets me. “And one day we will die, and our ashes will fly from the aeroplane over the sea…but for now we are young, let us lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see…”
48. Boots of Spanish Leather – Bob Dylan: If you ever see my Blip stream, you’ll know I love this song – particularly a cover done by Justin Jones and the Driving Rain. This is my husband’s favorite Dylan song. (Is it any wonder I married him?) “I just thought you might want something fine, made of silver or of golden – either from the mountains of Madrid, or the coast of Barcelona. If I had the stars of the darkest night, and the diamonds of the deepest ocean…I’d forsake them all for your sweet kiss. That’s all I’m wishing to be ownin’.”
51. Down to Socks – Kris Kristofferson: If I didn’t already love him, I would just from the intro he gives for this song. “Here’s a song about a good ol’ girl with a big ol’ heart, who got broke because she was in love with some son of a bitch who didn’t love her back enough.” And the song itself? It’s for everyone who stayed too long…and the ones who need to get walking.
54. That’s All – Frank Sinatra: Finishing up with another tried and true. Every lyric is perfect.