Thank goodness that St Valentine’s nonsense is over with. Please say we can now get back to buying normally pricey rather than outrageously priced flowers for our loved ones and get back to working at the much harder challenge of loving each other throughout the year rather than focusing on one day.
You can probably guess that I’m a bit of Scrooge regarding February 14th but like poor old Ebenezer the reason is from bitter past experience. For me, not so much the entire lack of ever getting a Valentine’s card (even in jest) but the sublime experience of being dumped by the then object of my affections (by email of course) on that date. Basically she panicked – we had been going down to Dorset to see her parents and spend the weekend wandering around the local area but I guess she had already decided to put an end to it and the possibility I might get all romantic on her obviously was too much to bear. In the end I went anyway and it was a perfectly nice weekend – but then I had still months of obsessing over this one to go through (I know… I cannot believe I was so stupid, but many of us can attest that the delusion of love can make you completely unable to see sense).
So I have a personal little hatred for the thing. Thankfully, the Lovely Wife is not very keen either so I can largely ignore it without creating undue stress on our relationship.
About the only thing I do get out of Valentine’s Day is being amused at the music played on the radio under the mistaken premise that particular songs belong to the romantic style of love song, as opposed to those that are about lost love, obsession or worse.
We tend to start Sunday mornings with the BBC Radio 2 programme ‘Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs’, a couple of hours of slightly tongue in cheek romantic tosh. Well, that’s what it is supposed to be, if it were not for the fact most of what is played is wildly inappropriate (and please tell me that it is deliberate).
This last Sunday my particular highlights were James Blunt’s ‘You’re Beautiful’ a song of a delusional and drugged up man’s fantasy (he’s not ‘flying’ high on the album version, it’s another word beginning with ‘f’ which gives quite a different perspective on the song) about someone he had just seen and never even spoken to, with the video suggesting (in my reading at least) it will drive him to suicide. Lovely – could they top this? Oh yes, my friends they could. A few minutes later it is Hot Chocolate with ‘It started with a kiss’, a song underpinned right from the start by the line ‘You don’t remember me, do you?’.
Still, it could have been the Beach Head feel of ‘Emma’ so maybe I should be thankful.
Does anyone actually ever listen to these lyrics?
Pick up any ‘Greatest Love’ compilation and have a look at the track listing (and then put it back down with a shudder). I’m looking at one now. Let’s see… ‘I heard it through the grapevine’ – great song but hardly happy love-wise. ‘The Tracks of my Tears’… ‘Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)… It goes one and on. Goodness sake it’ll be the Police’s stalking record (‘Every Breath You Take’) or REMs dismissive ‘The One I Love’ next.
Actually the CD I’m looking at (given out free with the Daily Mail in 1996 if you must know) finishes with one of my favourite examples of the unhappy love song – Engelbert Humperdinck’s ‘The Last Waltz’, a song that leads you along in fluffy land until half way through the second verse before punching you in the guts – in much the way the object of Engelbert’s affection in the song does to him
Yes, there is nothing left but his tears and the orchestra playing. Happy belated Valentine’s Day everyone, personally I am more looking forward now to World Pangolin Day http://pangolins.org/world-pangolin-day/
My favourite for an inappropriate love song, often played at weddings, is “I will always love you”, albeit the one that tends to be chosen is the one butchered by Whitney Houston. This starts, “If I should stay then I’ll only be in your way. So I’ll go…..”