Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thoughts on Love Songs

Listening to this song, "Falling in Love" by The Flower Machine, got me thinking about love songs. In my interview for the Chronicle, I remember being asked if I could relate to love songs. I wasn't really sure what to say at the time, because the answer is that I don't know. I haven't experienced romantic love or "falling in love" in the traditional sense, but I do enjoy love songs as long as they're not corny or cliche. I relate on some level, but it might not be the same level as someone who's fallen in love with another person. I feel like if it's a song I consider to be good, I sort of experience through the music what's being expressed in the song. I usually can't relate to the situations being described, but I can relate to the emotions behind them in some way. A while back, whenever I had something really difficult ahead of me, it would make me feel better to listen to a certain song that was about selling cocaine and hollering when you see cops. I couldn't relate to that situation AT ALL, but something about it struck me on an emotional level, the idea of striving against obstacles. I think it's the same idea with love songs. I have no evidence that on a basic level, my emotional experience differs much from anyone else's (at least, on the basis of sexuality). I think my love-song emotions just might get expressed through different channels. Music might be where these channels come together.

My all-time favorite love song has to be Billy Bragg's "Strange Things Happen". You can hear it on Youtube here, although the accompanying video appears to be a random tour of someone's garden. I'm a big fan of Billy Bragg in general (he also wrote my all-time favorite song on any topic, "A New England"), but I really don't know what it is about this song that makes it my favorite, at least as far as love songs go. Maybe it's because he's such a strong lyricist, but a lot of people are. I guess, like falling in love, the reason I like this song might exist somewhere separate from my ability to express it verbally. So, what's your favorite love song? I wonder if there could be any difference in the types of songs asexuals and sexuals choose. True, I'll never get a big enough sample here, but it would be interesting to know.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think that the popular love songs I hear on the radio tend to say either "we belong together and we will never ever find anyone else who we feel this strongly for and we can never ever be apart ever" or "I love you, let's have sex." I had to think about this for a good fifteen minutes before realizing that the only romantic love song I really like is "Can You Feel The Love Tonight." Yes, the song made famous by The Lion King, though I like the Elton John version. It's not something I relate to on the level of "I know exactly how this feels," but it is a beautiful song and I know the feeling of wanting to stay by someone, even if it's not romantic love.
If I can go into non-romantic love songs, "When She Loved Me" from Toy Story 2. That sad song that Jessie sings that makes people cry. It's a song of deep love for a best friend that left, and isn't meant to be romantic at all, just about remembering a friend and wishing that the friendship lasted.

... yes, I like songs from children's movies. Modern pop music isn't my thing. :)

Becky said...

I don't know that I could name a favorite love song, but I definitely have love songs that I like. It's just that the fact that they're love songs doesn't really come into it. It's more if I like the music--I'm not generally a person who pays attention to lyrics, unless they're annoying or offensive.

Sabriel said...

One of my favourite songs is 'Better Man' by James Morrison. I love acoustic love songs, I don't know if I can directly relate to the emotions as I've not yet fallen in love, but I can connect to the feelings being expressed - I know what it's like to like someone romatically a LOT, and I know what it's like to love a friend or family member.

Ily said...

Thanks for your thoughts, folks! I think most songs I hear on the radio fall into the corny/cheesy category for me, which is why I've been forced to like the relatively obscure music I do.

edgeofeverywhere said...

"I usually can't relate to the situations being described, but I can relate to the emotions behind them in some way." This is how I feel as well. I've actually been meaning to make a post about songs about sex, because I realized recently that I can understand it better through music, when the various emotions surrounding it are expressed eloquently, than I usually can.

p.s. I love "A New England" too!

Ily said...

I'd like to see that post. And another "A New England" fan?!? Awesome!

heidi said...

BEST song ever - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGa7vqqRFOI - is a parody =D Otherwise, I'm a huge fan of country music (what?!) and can't relate to most of it because, well, I don't drink. Oops. Otherwise, I despise most love songs because they're utterly unhealthy. Seriously. Codependence doesn't even begin to cover it!

talia said...

i'm kind of picky about the love songs i allow into my brain, haha. a few i like:

-fidelity (regina spektor)
-i'm yours (jason mraz)
-smile (uncle kracker)
-banana pancakes (jack johnson)
-the way i am (ingrid michaelson)
-amazing (josh kelley)

Ily said...

I'm picky about them too :-) Regina Spektor is always good. Although her most recent single is a little weird, even for her...