Sunday, September 28, 2008

On Love

During our discussion on love songs, I had two recurring thoughts. The first was that I had incredible trouble thinking of a love song that wasn't about breaking up or falling in love, but somewhere in the middle. All the intense emotions are in the beginning and the end of a relationship--this is where all rationality is thrown out the window and the floodgates are opened full-blast. From the feelings of total devotion and desire, to heartbreak (which i always thought was a very idiotic way of putting the pain of separation, or however you want to phrase it), only the most turbulent times in a relationship are written about. Most likely this is because we don't really pay attention to our emotions until there is a sudden change. A relationship just starting off is full of energy and so high-strung on emotion that lyrics like, "I would cross the ocean just to see your face," make perfect sense and are completely plausible until an objective viewer actually asks the person in question, "Would you? Really?" Because, of course, nobody thinks straight when they're falling in love. The same is true for breakup songs. Feelings are raw and exposed and throbbing with hurt. People write about it to release all the pent-up energy created from the emotions, and more listen because everybody can relate. I don't think there's any BS in either form of these two main forms of love songs, because as long as the artist is writing from feeling alone and not based on what he thinks people want to hear, what is said is exactly what was felt at the time. Sure, he won't really cross an entire ocean, but he won't realize how illogical that is until somebody else points it out to him. So maybe she won't curl up and die because her man left her, but she feels like she might at any minute. Because they truly believe what they're writing is true, it isn't complete bull, it's just lacking in logical thinking.

That turns into a completely different matter once emotions are settled, and everybody stops singing love songs because, yes, they're in love, but the whole thing's under control now and they don't need a song to release pent-up emotions. On top of that, it's pretty difficult to imagine a million songs all about how things are going swimmingly for a couple who have been together for quite some time. I've heard songs out there--for instance, "Dear Bobbie," by Yellowcard, is about an old man writing a love letter to his wife--but there's a reason there aren't too many songs in the 'middle stage' of a relationship. They're boring. Emotions aren't running high, so there's not too much to say.

The other thing I kept thinking of was a song that I think is a complete exception to everything we talked about with love songs. I may be completely wrong, but to me this song is about falling in love and keeping your head about it. The song is called, "On Love, In Sadness," by Jason Mraz, and the lyrics imply that the man is falling in love, but realizes the world is still exactly the same as it was before; as opposed to most people falling in love, who insist there is no sorrow, hardship, or darkness of any kind in the world anymore, he says in passing, "inevitably, well, it still exists/ pain, and fine, I can't dismiss/ and I won't resist/ and if I die, well at least I tried." I loved this song when I first heard it because the one thing I don't like about love songs is how they are all either denying any darkness in the world, or only seeing the sorrow of everything. This song is somewhere in the middle, completely levelheaded but still emotional. It's about people falling in love (or lust, as the song states in the chorus...isn't lust a very big contribution to the beginnings of love?) while bearing in mind the sad state of things around them. I just found it interesting how many times I was reminded of this song during our discussion.

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