Over the past few weeks I have been listening to the radio and analyzing love songs. Love is complicated, if it weren't would there be sonnets, operas, plays, novels, and songs all focused on love? I am a firm believer that love is not black and white, it it multiple shades of gray, all of them beautiful in their own right.
But as I have been analyzing these songs, I realize that almost all love songs fall into three categories: "blissful" "bitter" or "pining".
Blissful is all those songs about how wonderful love is, how it is so right and perfect. Those songs are great, and I love them. They remind me of my now.
Bitter is all those songs about how horrible love is and how it has scarred someone for life. These songs are an important because hey, we've all been there.
Pining is the collection of songs about how great it used to be, and now the singer can't live because they need the other person back. Um, yeah been there too.
I guess you could say I was boy crazy from an early age. I have memories of my first crush in kindergarten. I can tell you his name and give you a brief description of what he looked like. Sadly, he moved away in first grade, to the horror of my young heart. I think in those early years of grammar and middle school, I would equate my "style" to the Lady Gaga song "Paparazzi". The key line of course being, "I'm your biggest fan, I'll follow you until you love me." I guess I was probably a bit of a stalker, which is actually really funny when I think back on it now.
Luck for me (and the poor few I tortured in school), I outgrew the stalker style. I would say that as I went through high school and college, love was in two categories: those relationships that were serious and the "Oops, I Did It Again" (thank you Britney Spears).
The more serious of my relationships from this time are still very vivid memories. How do you forget the loves of your life? Do you ever stop loving them? I don't think so, I just think it changes over time. There weren't many, and all are still a part of my life in some way or another, for which I feel very fortunate. Each of these relationships taught me something and helped make me the woman I am today. Sometimes I wonder, if I knew then, what I know now, would that change things? Maybe, but I do believe that people are put into your life at certain times and places and for certain reasons, all to teach you something along the way. I can only hope in some small way, I had a positive impact on these guys and they learned something they took into their future relationships.
Lucky for me, it turned out that the true love of my life was someone I had known for a really long time. There is a saying that "Love is friendship set on fire" and that really is true for me. It never ceases to amaze me how lucky I am to have my best friend turned love of my life.
But this is a blog about the soundtrack of my life, and the point of the this post was to share the "My History With Love" playlist. A mix of blissful, bitter and pining representing exactly what the title says, my history with love.
Paparazzi...Lady Gaga - I described this one above, a pining song with a lyric that completely reminds me of my younger self.
Oops! I Did It Again.... Britney Spears - I am not really sure what category I would put this into, maybe reverse pining? But the joke is this is my theme song from college, because on a few occasions the guys my roommates brought home, wound up pursuing me.
I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)... The Proclaimers - This was the first song that someone told me, was how they felt about me. This was in 1993. Which makes me think of another song by Taylor Swift, Fifteen, with the lyric "'Cause when you're fifteen and somebody tells you they love you, You're gonna believe them"
Hey Jealousy... Gin Blossoms - Click the link, you'll see what this reminds me of.
You Belong with Me... Taylor Swift - A pining theme song if ever I heard one. And definitely my pining theme song from high school. Read more about it by clicking the link.
My Heart Can't Tell You No... Rod Stewart - Again with the pining. Anyone sense a pattern here? Here is the chorus to this song, "When the one you love's in love with someone else, Don't you know it's torture, I mean it's a living hell, No matter how I try to convince myself this time I won't lose control One look in your blue eyes And suddenly my heart can't tell you no" This song has some very specific memories attached, and while I never was with anyone with blue eyes, you get the idea.
I Can't Make You Love Me... Bonnie Raitt - I feel like this is a cross between bitter and pining, this song has been knonw to bring me to tears.
Linger... The Cranberries - Pining... yup, this song really does remind me of my first love. Read the "You Belong With Me Post"...you'll understand.
Someday... Mariah Carey - Ah yes, the bitter. The "fine break up with me now, but you know you are gonna want me back" anthem. This one started it and there are a few others further down on the list. These songs really did help me get through certain months of my high school/college years.
If... Janet Jackson - Pining with a twist. This one tells you all the things that could be happening if you were together. Key Lyrics..."If I was your girl...Oh the things I'll do to you"
The Hardest Thing... 98 Degrees - Ever have to turn down what you want because you have a love at home? A pining song about taking the high road.
I Love You Always Forever.... Donna Lewis - Blissful... speaks for itself. LOL
Goodbye to You... Patty Smyth & Scandal - Another "fine break up with me now, but you know you are gonna want me back" anthem. This was my feel good song of the summer of 1998. Whenever I was depressed over that break-up, plugged this in and felt so much better!
You Make Me Wanna...Usher - Not as clean cut as the 98 Degree song above, but really about having one love, but wanting someone else. Only in this one, the wanting wins out.
I Do (Cherish You)...98 Degrees - Blissful. A song you have heard a hundred times at weddings.
You Had Me From Hello... Kenny Chesney - Another Blissful. This one is specifically tied to the instant I met this particular love. It involved me crying, and the wiping away of my tears.
Back At One... Brian McKnight - Blissful, but played to me in an unusual way after a fight while trying to make up, via my pager. I know pager technology is old, but it was sort of like voicemail, someone would leave a message in 30 seconds or less and you would get "beeped", then dial in to a phone number , enter an access code and get your messages. The system forced you to listen to the newest message first, so I got to listen to this song backwards, in 30 second clips.
It's Gonna Be Me...N*Sync - Another "fine break up with me now, but you know you are gonna want me back" anthem. I love the chorus, "Every little thing I do, Never seems enough for you, You don't wanna lose it again, But I'm not like them, Baby, when you finally, Get to love somebody, Guess what, it's gonna be me"
Satisfy You... Puff Daddy - This song is from one of my "Oops!" moments. I was in a relationship with a love of my life, and my "Ooops!" wanted me to end that to be with him. He gave me this song. Key Lyric "He don't understand you like I do, No he'll never make love to you like I do, So give it to me, Cause I can show you 'bout a real love, And I can promise anything that I do, Is just to satisfy you"
I Can't Be Your Friend...Rushlow - I guess I classify this as pining, but read the link, the poor Hubs of mine, he literally had to put it all on the line for me to come out of denial and figure it out.
Complicated... Carolyn Dawn Johnson - This is just a classic chick confusion song, put it into the pining category. The "I want but I can't because I make things more difficult than they have to be" song. Yeah, this one is also about the Hubs and I.
Let Me Love You... Tim McGraw - Blissful/Pining - Sexy. All rolled into one.
Forever From Here... Brad Little - Blissful. Our wedding song. Little known, rarely heard. Perfectly the Hubs and I.
So I leave you with this final thought, a tag line to a movie I just saw a preview for but couldn't tell you title of, "The Greatest Love Story Ever Told Is Your Own". That is so true.