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Songs of Love and Loss II
One day I may write a hub about lovers who stay the course and live happily ever after. Just off the top of my head I can think of two songs on the subject. Unfortunately, one of them is by The Captain & Tennille ("Love Will Keep Us Together"). Accordingly, for the foreseeable future I'll stick with the demise and aftermath of love.
Herewith, part two (possibly in a series) of songs about love and loss. Enjoy!
PP&M Leaving On a Jet Plane
The haunting harmonies of Peter, Paul & Mary remind me of my childhood. This song is the ultimate romantic leave-taking ballad. One partner's slipping out early in the morning and doesn't want to wake the other one. Isn't that considerate? Where is s/he going? Will s/he ever come back? Should the sleeping partner wait around? Would you? So many unanswered questions!
Cat Stevens - Wild World
The perfect ex
This is one of, if not the most famous Cat Stevens song. It's hard to believe it's a song aimed at an ex-lover. But it is. "Now that I've lost everything to you..." What kind of ex sends you packing with the admonishment to "take good care, hope you have a lot of nice things to wear...."? Guess it's no surprise that Cat Stevens ultimately went on to embrace his inner Muslim. He's now changed his name to Yusuf Islam and performs and rides the Peace Train under that name today.
Beatles - Baby's In Black
Classic love triangle
Let me get this straight. The chick in this song has both Paul McCartney and John Lennon crooning to her (in perfect harmony), but she's in mourning over some other dude? Is she insane? I just love this video. The boys look so wholesome and adorable and sexy as hell. I was too young at the time, but can definitely see why females went berserk for the Fab 4.
Janis -- Piece of My Heart
Here, let me rip it out for ya
God love her, Janis Joplin could belt out a tune like nobody's business. It's like she reached deeper and depper into her soul for each note.What came out flowed effortlessly from melody to animal wailing. In this song she pretends to be strong, but you know she's aching for the man she's singing to. The question is, will he take her up on her dare? Or will he stay "out on the streets looking good" and ignore her pleas?
BB King with Clapton -- The Thrill Is Gone
Free at last!
It definitely sucks to be in a relationship and suddenly find you no longer feel "it" for the other person. But that's not exactly what this BB King song is describing. In it, King is talking to a lover who done him wrong. He's pretty much convincing himself that he's over her. He knows he'll live on but will be lonely. In the last lines he says, "I'm free from your spell and now that it's over all I can do is wish you well." Hmmm. I wonder if he's buds with old Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam?
George Harrison - Isn't It a Pity?
Personal, global -- or both?
Hubby calls George "the spiritual Beatle." Known for his association with global issues like Bengali liberation (George organized the first ever concert for a humanitarian cause, the Concert for Bangladesh in 1971), it's easy to assume he's talking about international relations, human prejudice and cruelty in this song. Maybe he is. I choose to view the lyrics below as consummately personal.
Isn't it a pity
Now, isn't it a shame
How we break each other's hearts
And cause each other pain
How we take each other's love
Without thinking anymore
Forgetting to give back
Isn't it a pity
Paul Simon - 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
Lots of ways to get the hell out!
I remember listening to this catchy, kitschy Paul Simon tune in college. It's from his album "Still Crazy After All These Years" (another song that could easily find a place in this hub or Part III, IV or V). It's a tongue-in-cheek instruction manual for the man who can't "un-commit." Apparently it was written shortly after Simon's own divorce. I bet I know what happened: he refused to shave that caterpillar off his lip so she dumped him:-).
Sidenote: The distinctive, mesmerizing drumbeat has been sampled in a rap song my son plays. When I find out the name/artist I'll add it.
KC and the Sunshine Band - Please Don't Go
Stop singng and maybe I'll stay!
Now, being a good little disco diva, I grew up grooving to KC and the Sunshine Band.His dance tunes are incomparable (ok, that may be a stretch). And for a guy of that era, ol' KC is quite a hottie. I did not include this song because I like it (quite the opposite). I include it because I feel compelled to stick one clunker into the mix. Sorry, Mr. Sunshine. You can whine all you want, but as long as you continue singing this saccharine, cloyingly inane song, I'm outta here. On the next jet plane. Slipping out the back, Jack.
Andy WIlliams -- Can't Get Used to Losing You
He carries his torch in his sweater
Those of a certain age (middle and above) remember Andy Williams. Kinda sorta? You know, the smooth crooner with a sweater for every day of the year? Family Christmas specials? Perfect hair? I sort of stumbled upon this song in my research. It's not clear if the breakup is recent or he's still struggling months or even years after she's left. But at least he seems to be reconciled to his fate of living his whole life through still loving her. Not very realistic if you ask me!
Jimmy Ruffin-- What Becomes of the Broken Hearted
An anthem to moving on
First off, is the title supposed to be a rhetorical question? Although Jimmy Ruffin (I know -- Who?) is clearly referring to himself and his own heartache, the anthemic quality of this song calls out to any/all lovers. Are you, too, wandering around aimlessly, searching for peace of mind ,"maybe" like me? Have you had love that's now departed? Come along and join the cause. I'm on a quest to find someone to care. Hey! Maybe it could be you!
Nilsson- Without You
Could you be more dramatic?
I love Harry Nilsson's music. He has incredible range. Although not as prolific as they, the variety of his music reminds me of The Beatles. Fact is, he was good friends with them, especially John. Anyway, this song manages to get across a very simple concept with a melody that gets under your skin --- in a good way! If you've never felt that life would not be worth living without him/her, then you haven't (yet) had your heart properly stomped on!
Alanis Morissette - You Oughta Know
Moi? Oh no. I'm not the least bit bitter:-)
And last but not least we have what I consider a "normal" reaction to the end of the affair. From the 1995 album titled "Jagged Little Pill" this song burst Alanis Morissette onto the airwaves, notwithstanding a couple of words had to be "bleeped" out for the FCC (which only added to the song's impact). Yep, Alanis is pissed and she doesn't care who knows it!
There are so many great lines in this song it's hard to select just one, but if I had to choose the one that sums it up for me it's this: "And every time I scratch my nails down someone else's back I hope you feel it...well can you feel it." Still got the old hooks in him and still making him suffer. Atta girl!
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