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.