Posts Tagged silly love songs
No Love Lost
Numbing feelings dead
Synthesized broken hearts to bled
Without emotion your heartstrings played
Strummed and severed to the tune of a tragic serenade
[A tragic chorus]
Without emotion, your heartstrings break
Snapped and severed to the tune of a tragic, sad cliche
No love lost
When all is said and done
There’s no love lost
The low cost of loving
Human frailties and weakness are easy prey
How your poor heart will bleed
The modern conception of romantic love is nothing short of vulgar. I do not mean vulgar in the sense of it being lewd or lascivious, but more so remarkably crass and repulsively commercialized. One of the more humiliating acts that exist in our culture is that of picking out a card for a loved ones birthday. The well-intentioned shopper is immediately met with all forms of syrupy sweet, ersatz garbage that pass for a genuine expression of feeling. Being told “I love you” Hallmark style is the equivalent of having some dude in a lime green leisure suit approach you and tell you that we should get rid of all the letters in the way so that “U and I can get together.” Love can seem like an ill-concieved, ham-handed con with all the charm of one of those insidious pop-ups that try to convince the barely sentient of the rich rewards that will be showered on them if only they surrender their credit card number. It is not hard to understand the disgust that would motivate Jeff Walker to write the words in “No Love Lost”.
While I am in complete agreement with the notion that love has been trivialized, I can’t climb on board with the idea that there is no such thing as love. The following admission is probably going to get my universal skeptic license suspended for the next six months, but, in all honesty, love is the one con I simply cannot renounce. I want to believe that there is a category of human experience that transcends our own personal needs and allows us, even momentarily, to exist for another. I want to think that there is more to life than survival and that we have a deeper need for connection to other humans. There must be more than just dumb, barely animate material wandering aimlessly from cradle to grave. I believe that many people share an essential longing to understand each other, to see their neighbors as beings dealing with the same existential dilemmas as themselves, struggling to find some compassion or empathy and aspiring to give that gift to another even though nothing tells them they have to. The best approximation of these feelings and desires is the word love.
Maybe this understanding reflects the cynicism expressed in “No Love Lost”. Imagine desperately wanting to feel the connection to others and being given back nothing but Hugh Grant movies and power ballads. Trying to come to terms with love in our contemporary carnival of cheap thrills and easy answers is a demoralizing task. If I am ever to really conceptualize what love means my expression of it will be minimized by the fact that the language I have to communicate it has been co-opted by a bunch of soft-sell dream peddlers who are more concerned about appealing to a demographic representation of males 25-34 than finding deeper human truths. Why not look at the Love Industry with scorn? After all, it has robbed us of our full means to relate something significant and meaningful to the world. Instead of filling us with a feeling of awe and reverence, the word fills so many seekers of reality with bitterness and irritation.
Maybe the real demonstration of the transcendent power of love is whether it can overcome the cesspool of a market in which it now resides. Occasionally there are human truths that possess so much power that they can surmount any obstacle set before them. That’s what I’d like to believe, anyway. For us to believe that love is real maybe we need to see that it can be debased in every way imaginable and still carry meaning. Or maybe those who sell it have uncovered the terrible truth; that love is simply an inducement to get the suckers to buy more of what they don’t need. Give them the fantasy of love and they’ll gladly exchange it for safety, freedom and power over their own lives. I desperately hope that this isn’t so.
(This series is being co-published by the folks over at MindOverMetal.org. Check’em out!)
Dear Paul, Ringo, John and The Other Guy,
I was driving my children to swimming lessons yesterday and your song “All You Need Is Love” came on the radio. I had never really listened to the words in this song, but as a concerned parent, I decided to try to listen to the words that my children were hearing. What I heard was truly shocking! I find the message in this song to be deeply troubling and, as a concerned parent, I beg you to do what you can to stop radio stations from playing this song.
I’m sure that you thought that you were just writing another silly love song and, I mean, what’s wrong with that? But, if you really think about the message in the song, I think you’ll come to understand why it disturbed me so much. Imagine for a second, that an impressionable child heard this song and took it seriously. Clearly, human beings need a good deal more than love to survive. They need food, shelter, clothes (preferably from a decent designer), and air. What if an impressionable child heard this song and decided to stop eating completely? His concerned parents would beg him to eat but he would not. What if, as he widdled away to the size of a twig, slowly starving to death and his concerned parents, now grief-stricken, asked him why he was doing this and he replied “Because the Beatles told me all I need is love”? Could you live with your selves?
What if, even worse, he just decided to stop breathing? He could die within a moment or two giving the concerned parents only a few seconds to react. What if his friends saw him stop breathing and thought that it was the “cool” thing to do? What if hundreds, thousands of children stopped breathing just to not be “square”? It could be an epidemic of epidemic proportions! Children, falling over dead in classrooms across America, with the words “All You Need Is Love” passing though their blue lips as they meet their maker. Is that what you want?
Music has a major effect on the ideas of young people. Do you know what Jeffrey Dahmer, Adolf Hitler, and Ted Bundy have in common? As young men, they all listened to music. And look what suffering they caused!
I demand that you stop allowing this song to be played on radio stations everywhere. I also ask that you never fill our children’s souls with such blasphemous, anti-social ideas by playing this live. Until you agree to stop this madness, I and a group of like-minded concerned parents, plan to boycott love. We will not express love in words or actions. We even plan on starting all tennis games at 15 so that no person ever has love.
A Concerned Parent