October 15, 2004

Un-lovey dovey.

I'm not a very romantic person. I think it's because I out-romantic-ed myself out at age 17 when my then-boyfriend, of about six months, went to Greece for the summer and I almost lost my mind with grief. I wrote to him every day (and I mean every single day and I also mean actual letters, since email was just starting to happen and wouldn't be discovered in Greece for some time), sent him presents, made him mix-tapes and would burst out crying when someone mentioned his name. I drove around endlessly listening to sappy music (and I'm talking Celine Dion 'Power of Love' sappy) and his letters all said he was doing the same. By the end of the summer, though, I realized how easy it was to get over people, how quickly other people can capture your attention and how missing something or someone isn't an emotion that you can sustain 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. By the time he came back, I was a grown-up and we were pretty over. The memory of violently missing each other in the beginning of the summer remained, and so we went away to college together, and made it last another year and a half.

I think it was the aforementioned cheesy love music that I overdosed on that summer that has made me love untraditional love songs. One of my favorites is 'Always on My Mind' by Elvis, Johnny Cash or the Pet Shop Boys. It's sweet enough to be a love song but it doesn't gag you. In fact, it's more about not being quite right to your partner but letting them know that they're the only one that matters to you, and that you've never forgotten about them, even if you acted like you did. The song that I'd like to someday walk down the aisle to is Wilco's 'Reservations'. The lyrics are 'I've got reservations, about so many things, but not about you.' My favorite band is a British one called 'Pulp' and a lot of their songs are quirky and sweet in an unromantic way. Probably their sappiest song 'Something Changed', about circumstance that lead to a boy and girl meeting, has the female in the song telling the male to stop analyzing their relationship and 'stop asking questions that don't matter anyway'. Another good one is 'Dishes' about being a stay at home husband and attending to your wife's needs when she gets home: 'I am not Jesus, but I have the same initials. I'm just a man who stays home and does the dishes.'

So, what are your favorite love songs, cheesy or otherwise?

Posted by Karol at October 15, 2004 11:51 PM | TrackBack
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Best cheesy love song ever: "Glory of Love" by Peter Cetera.

Posted by: Jay at October 16, 2004 12:33 AM

I wonder about couples that only listen to gangsta rap. Do they have a favorite love song?

Does the girl get misty eyed when she hears “Imma call ya a bitch or a dirty-ass ho. You'll probably get mad like a bitch is supposed to"

Posted by: Jake at October 16, 2004 12:36 AM

Best love song: "A Little Less Conversation" by Elvis. Lyrics:

A little less conversation, a little more action please
All this aggravation ain't satisfactioning me
A little more bite and a little less bark
A little less fight and a little more spark
Close your mouth and open up your heart and baby satisfy me

I think it should be pretty clear at this point that I'm also not down with the lovey-dovey shit. Read my blog entries from December 2003 to learn why. But I think we can all rally around any song in which The King complains that he's not being sufficiently satisfactioned.

Posted by: Jeff Harrell at October 16, 2004 12:37 AM

The Spin Doctors CD "Pocket Full Of Kryptonite" came out at a time when I was very interested in a woman who was taken, so it has sentimental value, although I laugh at myself now.


"Brass In Pocket" by the Pretenders
"Big Bottom" by Spinal Tap

Posted by: Joe R. the Unabrewer at October 16, 2004 12:46 AM

Losing my Religion by REM

Posted by: Alex at October 16, 2004 01:25 AM

Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus
Heaven by Warrant
Africa by Toto
Boys of Summer by Don Henley
Lorelei by The Pogues
Lose Your Love by The Outfield
I'll see you in my dreams by Giant
Penny on the Floor by The Clarks
Drive by The Cars
Magic by The Cars
Amanda by Boston
Heat of the Moment by Asia
Always on my Mind by Pet Shop Boys
Every Rose has it's Thorn by Poison
And We Danced by The Hooters
Two out of three ain't bad by Meat Loaf
With our Without You by U2
Melt With You by Modern English
Time After Time
I Think Were Alone Now

Posted by: PAUL at October 16, 2004 04:05 AM


What are you doing tomorrow night?

Just kidding.

Great songs though.

Posted by: jc at October 16, 2004 06:32 AM

"Suspicious Minds" by Elvis.

Posted by: Dorian at October 16, 2004 07:43 AM

I always liked Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" - it always reminds me of myself in love. I consider "Asleep and Dreaming" by the Magnetic Fields one the jewels of love songs. For sexiness you can't beat Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get it On" (cheesy, i know!) - but oh so right. Another sexy song i am into at the moment is Gainsbourg's "69 Anne Erotique"
"Ghost" by Howie day is a good break up song. I always find myself vacillating from being a hopeless romantic to being tough cynic.

Posted by: Funnya at October 16, 2004 09:09 AM

Oh and "Fur Elise" (Bethoven) and Tom Waits' "I'm Your Late Night Prostitute" - ok i have stop.

Posted by: Funnya at October 16, 2004 09:32 AM

Sweetness = Until You Came Along by Golden Smog
Sourness = Let Love In by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds.

Posted by: Urbane McMeercat at October 16, 2004 10:15 AM

"A Thousand Years" by Sting
"Mandolin Rain" by Bruce Hornsby and the Range
"Another Time Another Place" by U2
"Another Rainy Night Without You" by Queensryche
"Time (Clock of the Heart)" by Culture Club
"Witchita Lineman" by Glenn Campbell
"Growing Pains theme" written by the immortal Alan Thicke

Posted by: Von Bek at October 16, 2004 12:30 PM

You MUST pick up '69 Love Songs' by The Magnetic Fields. Here's the AMG review:

As the sprawling magnitude of its cheeky title suggests, 69 Love Songs is Stephin Merritt's most ambitious as well as fully realized work to date, a three-disc epic of classically chiseled pop songs that explore both the promise and pitfalls of modern romance through the jaundiced eye of an irredeemable misanthrope. A true A-to-Z catalog of touchingly bittersweet love songs that runs the gamut from tender ballads to pithy folk tunes to bluesy vamps, the sheer scope of the record allows all of Merritt's musical personas to converge: the regular use of guest vocalists recalls his work as the 6ths, the romantic fatalism suggests the Gothic Archies project, and the stately melodies evoke the Future Bible Heroes. The whole is much greater than the sum of its parts, however; for all of Merritt's scathing wit and icy detachment, there's a depth and sensitivity to these songs largely absent from his past work, and each one of these 69 tracks approaches l'amour from refreshing angles, galvanizing the love song form with rare sophistication and elegance. Naturally, given a project of this size there's the occasional bit of filler, but all in all, 69 Love Songs maintains a remarkable consistency throughout, and the highlights ("I Don't Believe in the Sun," "All My Little Words," "Asleep and Dreaming," "Busby Berkeley Dreams," and "Acoustic Guitar," to name just a few) are jaw-droppingly superb. Also available as three individual releases, 69 Love Songs was nevertheless conceived as a whole and is best absorbed as such, with all of its twists and turns taken in stride; despite its three-hour length, the music boasts the craftsmanship and economy that remain the hallmarks of classic American pop songwriting, a tradition Merritt upholds even as he subverts the formula in new and brilliant ways.

Posted by: Andrew at October 16, 2004 12:46 PM

I have 69 Love Songs. Best song on it: 'Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side'.

Posted by: Karol at October 16, 2004 01:47 PM

Indeed. Disc 1 happened to be playing when I had a few people over last night, and it was their fave too.

Posted by: Andrew at October 16, 2004 02:06 PM

I'm with Funnya on "In Your Eyes."
There's something vastly epic, sweepingly romantic in both words and music that's impossible to resist.

Second favorite: "After All." Peter Cetera and Cher. "After all the stops and starts, we keep coming back to these two hearts... After all that we've been through, it all comes down to me and you." The sentiment seems so internalized that it has become a part of both voices. You feel like the couple's DNA has intertwined, and that experience has taught them to appreciate each other. Something so lovely in that, I think.

And yes, I am a cheesy romantic at the same time that I am a jaded cynic. It's a writer's curse.

Posted by: Esther/Madonna at October 16, 2004 03:22 PM

In your wildest dreams by The Moody Blues
I know your out there somewhere by The Moody Blues
Love Walks In by Van Halen

Posted by: PAUL at October 16, 2004 04:26 PM

I would say that the first disc is the best of 69 Love Songs. Luckiest Guy In Town is a great songs - also one of my favorites, i also love The Book of Love - but the other discs have wonderful songs too.

Posted by: Funnya at October 16, 2004 06:00 PM

Karol, excellent pick with 'Always On My Mind'. My favorite version is Willie Nelson's, although the Pet Shop Boys get me every time with that one.

I like love songs that are subtle, that have crazy romantic lyrics but are set to the tune of non cheesy music. The ones that come to mind at the moment:

Van Morrison's 'Into the Mystic' has great metaphorical love lyrics.
I wanna rock your gypsy soul...
And together we will float into the mystic

Leonard Cohen 'I'm Your Man'
If you want a father for your child or only want to want to walk with me a while across the sand. I'm you man.

Elliot Smith's 'Waltz #2', about a girl who
Stares into space like a dead china doll
I'm never gonna know you now
But I'm gonna love you anyhow

The Smiths 'There is a light that Never Goes Out'
And if a ten-ton truck
Kills the both of us
To die by your side
Well, the pleasure - the privilege is mine

Posted by: Jessica at October 16, 2004 09:13 PM

Oh and most songs by Roy Orbison. That guy makes me weep.

Posted by: Jessica at October 16, 2004 09:15 PM

"Time in a Bottle" Jim Croce

Posted by: Oschisms at October 16, 2004 10:02 PM

"Tupelo Honey", from Van Morrison.
Hands down.
No contest.
The final song on any mix I make for Mrs. E.

And if I had to choose a second, it would be "Crazy Love", from the same Irish Cowboy.

"I can hear her heartbeat from a thousand miles.
Yeah, the heavens open everytime she smiles."

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