There are many different themes and emotions which provide the basic foundations to any great song. There’s money, comedy, tragedy, grief, laughter, family, friends, relationships, sex, the good, the bad, the ugly, and that all time favourite, the weather. Each attribute, whether displayed with others, or standing alone, gives songs, and music in general, a particular shape and form.
The most frequently used of these, is love.
Amore, adore, liebe. Whether you say it in French or Mongolian, it means the same thing. It is a universal concept which has stood the test of time. It can move mountains, repair that which is broken, and can cure even those sick at heart. It can make you feel like the luckiest man alive, or the most broken, desolate person to have ever walked the earth. It can make you feel like singing the soundtrack to the ‘Sound of Music’ along white cliff tops, and just as equally, it can make you feel like throwing yourself off from the highest point, into a raging sea below.
This is exactly what a great love song should do.
A great song, much like a great book, should toy with your emotions. If the music is sad, then you should feel sad. If the lyrics are hopeful, then you should be filled with hope.
More often than not, our language fails to adequately capture that which we feel, and expressing ourselves through music is certainly not a new concept.
When Danny sang ‘Sandy’ when he was stranded at the drive in, didn’t our hearts just break for him? When Helen Shapiro burst into the music scene in the late 60’s with ‘Walking Back to Happiness’, didn’t we just want to scream “go get him girl!” As Maria and Captain Von Trap are singing in the garden, our hearts melt, because we are all suckers for three little words; I love you.
Jose Gonzales’ ‘Heartbeats’ is just so poignantly beautiful. The words are so gracefully true that it is hard to feel anything but complete calm when listening to it. Regina Spektor’s ‘Samson’ is so haunting that you can almost feel the intensity of the love between Samson and Delilah radiating outwards.
It is no wonder that more and more couples are choosing Savage Garden’s ‘Truly, Madly, Deeply’ for their Wedding Song, the lyrics are compellingly puke - worthy, but, unfortunately true for so many couples in love. Even some of the more edgier music scenes are getting involved with the smushy stuff; Mary J Blige took home two Grammy Awards for her 2005 hit ‘Be Without You’. A meaningful song signifying the importance of standing by an established relationship, it moved struggling couples everywhere.
It seems that, regardless of whether or not you are a die hard anti - romantic, the love song is still going strong, and will continue to do so as long as the homo sapien has a song and dance left in him. My only solution to you cold hearted bastards is to climb on board and start feeling something whilst you have a chance. Music is emotional for a reason, and there is simply no crime in feeling.