Music plays a huge role in our culture. It fills uncomfortable silences, speaks to our current emotions, and serves as a soundtrack to our lives. Many songs are about love; falling in love, unrequited love, being happily in love, falling out love, spurned love. I thought I’d take a look at what kinds of messages can be found about different stages of love, with Valentine’s Day having passed and White Day approaching (look it up; it’s like a Sadie Hawkins holiday with white chocolate). This may be the easiest blog to write since I can just turn to my iPod and create my own not-so-random sample. The blog is for the Office of Multicultural Affairs, though, so I will milk my Cuban heritage and Miami upbringing as it is reflected in the music I listen to.
Fool in the Rain by Led Zeppelin
“Now I will stand in the rain on the corner,
I watch the people go shuffling downtown.
Another ten minutes no longer
And then I’m turning around ’round.
And the clock on the wall’s moving slower,
Oh, my heart it sinks to the ground
And the storm that I thought would blow over
Clouds the light of the love that I found, found.”
This has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid simply because of the melody. Now I appreciate the self-doubt, insecurity, and dogged refusal to give up on love all wrapped up in a blindly hopeful Samba breakdown.
Valió Le Pena by Marc Anthony
” Valió la pena lo que era necesario para estar contigo, amor.
Tú eres una bendición.
Las horas y la vida de tu lado, nena,
Están para vivirlas pero a tu manera.
Porque valió la pena, valió la pena…”
A rare song about appreciating the opportunity to love rather than being bitter that it ended. Translation: It was worth it, what was necessary to be with you, my love. You are a blessing. The hours and the life by your side, girl, are there to be lived but by your way. Congratulations, because it was worth it, it was worth it…
Bleed to Love Her by Fleetwood Mac
“Once again she steals away
Then she reaches out to kiss me
And how she takes my breath away
Pretending that she won’t miss me
Oohh I would bleed to love her.”
It’s quite the risk to pursue someone who engages you in a push-and-pull relationship. The challenge can make the grass seem greener on the other side (or the blood seem…redder?) but is it really love and is it really worth it?
Tres Palabras/Without You by Desi Arnaz
“Oye la confesion de mis secretos
A base de un corazon que esta desierto
Con tres palabras te dire todas mis cosas
cosas del corazon que son preciosas
Dame tus manos ven toma las mias
Que te voy a confiar las ansias mias
son tres palabras solamente, mis angustias
y esas palabras son ‘Como Me Gustas’
I’m lost without you.”
This is an old Cuban classic by Osvaldo Farrés that has been covered many times. My favorite version is by Desi. It touches on the trepidation and optimism in pursuing someone. Translation: Listen to the confession of my secrets based on this deserted heart. With three words I’d tell you everything, things of the heart that are precious. Give me your hands, come, take mine. I will trust you with my cravings. They are only three words, my anxieties, and those three words are “I like you.”
Home by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
“Home, let me come home
Home is wherever I’m with you.”
It’s possible to find a sense of belonging and a mutual love. It is apparently such a joyous feeling that you will want to rhyme “Alabama, Arkansas” with “Ma and Pa.”
And “Pumpkin pie” with “Jesus Christ”.
Llorarás by Oscar D’Leon
“Por tu mal comportamiento,
te vas a arrepentir
muy caro tendrás que pagar
todo mi sufrimiemto
Llorarás y llorarás
sin nadie que te consuele
y así te darás de cuenta
que si te engañan duele.”
This is the ultimate ‘70s salsa song about karma and retribution from a scorned lover’s perspective by Venezuelan Oscar D’Leon. Translation: For your bad behavior, you will regret it. You will pay dearly for all of my suffering. You will cry and you will cry with no one to console you and so you will realize that if you are cheated, it hurts.
Not Fire Not Ice by Ben Harper
“The true love is priceless.
For true love you pay a price.
But there’s nothing can keep me from loving you.
Not fire, no not ice.
Not fire, no not ice. “
Love is sacrifice and it’s a choice to remain in love after a certain point. The giddy infatuation stage fades somewhat and you’re left with something more stable and concrete. There aren’t many songs about this stage of love because we glorify the fleeting burst of passion in the beginning of relationships and love. This stage is also worthy of fanfare.
Ten Words by Joe Satriani
You don’t need words to communicate comfort, faith, or hope. Or love. Sometimes words won’t do and sometimes words screw things up. A chord and a physical embrace can touch the same part of your core that makes you want burst with ecstasy or collapse in despair.