Why we write love songs
Valentine’s day is blooming and before the frost of unrequited love or stale chocolates or Tesco’s discount carnations can send you reaching for the vodka, we recommend that you reach first for your Spotify/iTunes fix.
Listening to love songs with a bad case of the broken hearts could be seen as a masochistic exercise, but hear us out. Or rather listen to what Elliot Smith, Bon Ivor, Roy Orbison and Neutral Milk Hotel have to say about it. It’s bound to be better than sending that ill-advised drunken text to your ex.
Not all of these songs are happy, mind. Love isn’t all about fluffy candy floss and sometimes we get spinach in our teeth or bad breath in the morning. Some of the best love songs embrace the brokenness of love, how it can rip you to pieces before putting you back together again.
And, of course, we’ve put Bon Jovi’s Bed of Roses on there as well because we know what the people want. And we give it to them.
Check it out here: Valentine’s playlist
Otherwise here are some video samples:
Scarlet Starlings – Anyone Can Say I Love You
Elliot Smith – Say Yes
Jose Gonzalez – Heartbeats
Skinny Love – Bon Ivor
Gino Paoli – Senza Fine
David Bowie – As the world falls down
So why do we write love songs? Maybe it’s about reaching for the common experience. Our favourite love songs just articulate what we’re feeling so much better than we can. We all go through heartbreak in our lives, just like we all (unless we’re very unlucky or have really bad B.O., in which case do something about it, fool) experience the bliss of being stuck on someone. Sometimes a love song is the only prescription for what ails you.
Here are some quotes about it from some people who might know more than us:
John Lennon : “We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it’s going to get on by itself. You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it.” (Right on, John.)
Billy Joel: “Musicians want to be the loud voice for so many quiet hearts.” (Sing it, Billy.)
Victor Hugo: “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.” (Preach, Vic.)
Maya Angelou: “Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.” (Yup. Indeedy, Maya)
Nick Hornby: “It’s no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record collections disagree violently or if your favourite films wouldn’t even speak to each other if they met at a party.” (Hey, we listen to Bon Jovi ironically, OK?)
Whether you celebrate it with whips and chains ala 50 Shades or a nice box of chocs or a trip to Paris or hastily written card, make sure you spend it with someone you love. Or really like, like.