It’s funny, this time of year. There are so many jewelry, cards and flowers commercials (plus new horror movies — and I don’t mean reality TV shows), but I never think of this as a season for new love songs. Maybe it’s just escaped me, but it got me thinking about how love songs have impacted my life.
For me, exposure started young,
and continued to infiltrate my pre-teen/teenage years, which were primarily dedicated to unrequited love. Take this sappy one — the theme song for our junior prom, which I got to by having to ask not one, not two, but three guys before getting a “yes”! (ugh – my only consolation was that #s 1 and 2, who natch were the ones I wanted to go with – in that order – were each going to be out of town. Against all odds a very nice friend went with me):
Or this one from the same era:
Friggin’ Phil Collins. So not helpful.
After my teenage years, I graduated to grander and more inspiring love songs. Take my wedding song:
(Note we had a band play this like the simpler, much less schmaltzy version sung by Linda Ronstadt.)
The problem, you might imagine, is that I chose this song with the best intentions (and it was me alone who came up with it) but for the wrong person.
Which, years later, led to my listening repeatedly to Nightingale, a song by Norah Jones. The lyrics seemed to say it all for me as I agonized over what to do about my marriage — and ultimately decided to file for divorce.
I also fell in love with Patty Griffin’s song, Rain, when I first heard it. I’m not sure I’ve ever found (or ever will find) another song that expresses the grief and hope I felt after ending my marriage in quite the same way:
During my subsequent years of frequent, largely unsuccessful rounds of dating I found these “love” songs to keep me company:
Sorry, I can’t seem to find a good video of that one. No, no – noooo, no, no, no…but this one always put a little pep in my step:
And this is probably my favorite…although I’m not sure if I find it empowering because of the lyrics or the juggling:
…life is too short to be unhappy
And since I know what I’m worth there’ll be no settling for dirt
Knowing what I deserve is gold
If I want diamonds then I can’t settle for coal…
So now I find myself approaching a Valentine’s Day weekend with my honey, who is the most amazing man I’ve ever met — with not one love song in mind.
Something tells me I’ll find one that fits one of these days.
Happy Valentine’s Day, kids – there’s a song for each of us out there and I’d love to know what yours is.
Oh, and as a bonus while you’re loading up the iPod, here’s a little greeting from the Internet.
Couldn’t resist sharing 😉