Greetings from Green Lake, Wisconsin! While I'm off shopping for missionary items for Judson Press's new World Wide Gifts Online, I've asked a former colleague (from my billboard advertising days) to take over the reigns with today's Freakin' Angel post. Enjoy Aimee's reflections on silly love songs!
"You'd think that people would have had enough of silly love songs. But I look around me and I see it isn't so" (Paul McCartney, "Silly Love Songs")
Personally, I can set my mood by the song on the radio. My car is a traveling jukebox. I'm fairly certain that Sarah McLachlan is responsible for my marriage, although my husband rethinks our relationship every time I play a Barry Manilow tune. He prefers heavy metal, but I wouldn't have heard Vertical Horizon's, "Best I Ever Had" if I hadn't met him, so it appears that we all have a soft spot for sappy music. It's kind of like bad pizza - even bad, it's still pretty good.
Thinking about this issue, I got just what I expected by asking some friends which songs they loved but were embarrassed to admit. I won't name names, but you all know who you are:
* "Total Eclipse of the Heart" (Bonnie Tyler)
* "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad" (Meatloaf)
* "Hard To Say I'm Sorry" (Chicago)
* "Eternal Flame" (The Bangles)
* "I Melt With You" (Modern English)
* "Crazy For You" (Madonna)
* "Lucky" (Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat)
This brief list says it all - silly love songs win. Today's "Lucky" will be tomorrow's "I've Got A Brand New Pair of Roller Skates," but that won't keep it from being at the top of the list for newlyweds' first dances together.
So why do sappy songs that we used to love now make us cringe?
Indulge me with a scene from one of my favorite movies, "High Fidelity":
Customer: Hi, do you have the song "I Just Called To Say I Love You?" It's for my daughter's birthday.
Barry: Yea we have it.
Customer: Great great... Well, can I have it?
Barry: No, you can't.
Customer: Why not?!
Barry: Because it's sentimental tacky crap that's why. Do we look like a store that sells "I Just Called to Say I Love You"? Go to the mall!
Customer: What's your problem?!
Barry: Do you even know your daughter? There's no way she likes that song! Oh oh oh wait! Is she in a coma?
Maybe time just makes people see things more clearly, but I doubt it. I'm still a sucker for songs like Peter Gabriel's, "In Your Eyes" and as far as I know, no one has ever made fun of that one. It may be as simple as a matter of taste. Or maybe the memory of the person attached to the song is still there. Worse, maybe we wish the song would fade along with the person we'd like to forget. Whatever the reason, there will always be that one song that either makes our day or ruins it. It's part of our memory. We can make fun of it all we want, but we can't run away from it and we can't get it out of our heads once we hear it again.
Me, I think playlists are the way to go. I have one for everything from "Melancholy" to "Margaritaville." Whatever the mood, there is a list of songs guaranteed to fuel it even further than necessary. But I can't tell you why. Even if I could, it would be bullshit. I mean, who are you to judge my personal taste anyway? Just kidding. I roll my eyes whenever I hear Whitney Houston's, "I Will Always Love You," too.
If we are what we hear, then there are plenty of saps running around - me included. Besides, "Some people wanna fill the world with silly love songs. And what's wrong with that?" (Paul McCartney)
Nothing, I say. "My Heart Will Go On." (Celine Dion)
Share your own silly love song favorites!