With Valentine's Day approaching, it's only natural to start thinking about "Love Songs." Oddly, love has never been much of a topic for songwriters. It's really tough finding songs about love. Much harder than you'd think. Sure, there are songs like "Heard It In A Love Song" but that's hearsay! We need actual proof. Besides, the word "Love" has to be in the title. And most songs don't include that key word in their title and how else can you tell if a song is about love? By listening to the lyrics? Who does that? Sounds too much like work. I need to be hit over the head hard in order to understand anything.
Let's get to it!
"The Greatest Love Of All"--Whitney Houston: I only know her as the wife of Bobby Brown from that reality show, but I read somewhere that she was once a popular singer and, well, alright! I mentioned this song to a few friends and they shook their heads and said, "No!" But I don't see how you can not include a song that has both the word "greatest" and "love" in its title? Is someone lying?
"Silly Love Songs"--Paul McCartney: I actually did listen to the words to this one and McCartney, who was once part of that popular '60s singing group The Beatles, first posits that you'd think people would have had enough of silly love songs, then he observes that it isn't so and he asks "What's wrong with that?" and before anyone can answer or yell "STOP," he launches into an "I Love You" that clearly makes this song exactly what its title says. That's called truth in advertising and you don't see enough of it these days.
"Love"--John Lennon: According to the "Ex-Beatles Fair and Balanced Act of 1970" if I mention Paul McCartney in a column, I'm supposed to follow up with one of the other four--that's John, George, Ringo and some guy named Billy Preston, according to legal documents--so I opted for John Lennon since he did indeed write a song called "Love" and it's pretty and sounds like it could work in just about any setting where love is happening. Thank you, John, for making my job that much easier.
"The Way Love Used To Be"--The Kinks: I know what you're thinking! This list is nothing but a bunch of OLD PEOPLE. Well, old people need love just as much as young people. They just don't get as much because they're old, wrinkly and kind of scary in that way that they stare into space when The Golden Girls is on. It's like they're on something. So this song looks back at the way things used to be when things were apparently better, before the ravages of time took their toll and phrases like "Fixed-income" didn't carry such an ominous tone.
"I'm In Love With A Girl"--Big Star: Oodles of ink have been spilled on Alex Chilton and his old band Big Star. They even had to reform just to shut everyone up. If you're a guy, play this song for the girl of your dreams and if she doesn't think you're a hunchback (believe me, I've been called worse), chances are, you'll be in her good graces in no time. Just don't tell her about the different varieties of aluminum siding. I know it's a fascinating subject, but for some reason women don't seem to agree.