A few weeks ago, I wrote in this space about my pending second journey on the annual Cayamo music cruise. It’s now just nine weeks and three days away, not that I’m counting the minutes. I am, however, beginning to think about talk number two in which I’ll be participating. (The first is a discussion about women in music – you can chime in on that over here.)
This second facilitated discussion will see myself and Lee Zimmerman counting down some great love songs. This makes sense. After all, this year’s Cayamo journey sails right through Valentine’s Day.
Being not particularly in love myself at the moment, I’m going to cut the crap away and avoid going near the touchy-feely starry-eyed types of lusty crush-on-you love songs which seem to have meaning for about a week or two per person (Bruno Mars “The Way You Are,” ahem). Because I can be a real pain in the ass sometimes, I’m also inclined to look at songs which may come from a place of great love, but which wouldn’t generally be something you’d put on to romance your lover (Greg Brown’s “I Want My Country Back” comes to mind).
At any rate, though, I find myself in the mood to come from outside the expectation of what “love songs” as a phrase refers to. It would be too easy to start with “All You Need Is Love,” slide down to Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” or Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.” Let’s be frank – those are the three greatest love songs of all time, and between themselves sum up pretty much every single angle any songwriter should ever feel inclined to take toward the big L-word.
I suppose we could throw in “Jackson” and “Love Hurts” to round out the top 5 with something playful and something wrung with absolutely devastated heartbreak. (Incidentally, Buddy Miller and Emmylou’s performance of the latter on last year’s Cayamo got me crying.) Or I could just submit everything ever recorded by Patsy Cline.
But this is a Valentine’s Day talk. Who aside from me – on a romantic week-long music cruise, no less – is going to want to dredge up the utter loneliness of “Three Cigarettes”?
So, help me out here. Is it fair to bring up “songs written from a place of great love,” or is that stretching it? If not, cast some love songs into the comments and remind me of things I may have forgotten about. I have nine weeks and three days to make my list…