Sunday, May 25, 2008

Love and Death

There are, according to the old saw, only two things worth writing about: Love and death.
Most of us want the first, and all of us eventually get the latter, so they are something to which all readers can relate. "All you need is love," the Beatles sang, and maybe that's not so, but if you have that, the rest is easier to work out.

In music, at least that which has words to go along with the tune, the maxim seems equally true. My favorite songs are love songs, and there are plenty of those around.

Many of the most moving songs are those in which the death of love is the subject, and for some, that's worse than a meeting with the Reaper. If you have found love, then the idea of losing it can be frightening, and I can easily see why such music would resonate widely.

Hey, Jude and Bridge Over Troubled Water are songs offering hope for love.

Three-quarters of the blues and country songs ever written, are eulogies for lost love.

A quick look at songs that have touched me, and which I can play on ye olde guitar shows a lopsided balance toward this kind of lament: Don't Think Twice. Hide Your Love Away. St. James Infirmary. Layla. Long, Long Time. Different Drum. Walk Away Renee. We Just Disagree. Hallelujah. Angel from Montgomery, Hotel California.



Dan Gambiera said...

Someone done someone else wrong
I'm in love
I want to be in love
I was in love and now I'm not

That's about 90%

If you add in
I don't have money and
I drink too much

You've pretty well covered Country, the Blues and most of the rest of songwriting

Kai Jones said...

Hmm? I've just looked a couple of my playlists, and while about half are lovesongs of one type or another, the rest are all over the place from dancing, to vacations, to random stuff--not about money or drinking, either.

Steve Perry said...

Well, this is a country where the top forty used to be filled with songs about cars and motorcycles, and while it's something of a stretch to call them love songs in the classical boy/girl sense, there is a car culture in the US that, at its peak, had guys who loved their wheels as much as their girls ...

Dance music just needs a beat, sometimes the words make sense, sometimes not.

But after listening to the oldies station this weekend on and off, their Memorial Day 500, and taking a gander at Rolling Stone's Top 500, we are talking way upward of 50%. I'll post the top 100 on the blog ...