Valentine’s day is actually one of my favourite days of the year, because while some are frustrated by the constant gushing of adoration, or even disgusted, I think it’s quite sweet to see so many people around the world being nice to one another. The world is a tough place, as I’m sure you all know, so a little extra love, as disgustingly public as it might be, is right up my street.
With that in mind, I thought that today, I would share a few of my favourite love songs, that make up my perfect Valentine’s day playlist.
I have also uploaded a new short story that you can read here, so I hope you enjoy that.
Take Good Care Of My Baby – Bobby Vee
Yes, the song from the SMA adverts, with the rain and the car, and… wait, they changed it? Ugh. Anyway, “Take Good Care Of My Baby” is a two minute and thirty seconds ride through the tunnel of love, that highlights one of the most realistic aspects of romantic relationships, regret over treatment of someone you loved. While the voice of the song is initially in denial at his part in losing his lover, he quickly comes to realise his own part, and pleads with her new lover to be more careful with her heart than he was.
Bobby Vee emotes the lyrics perfectly, from the bitterness towards the new love, to his bitterness at himself for allowing himself to hurt someone close to him, and all the endless devotion for his lost love in between. It is a triumph for not only Bobby Vee, but the legendary songwriting team of Carole King and Gerry Goffin.
Lead The Way – Mariah Carey
I know that the Lambs will know this, but for those who aren’t as enthusiastic about Mariah Carey as we are (I don’t know how you live your life that way, but to each their own..), Glitter may be a masterpiece that passed them by, or a joke they laughed at without really knowing the context.
The soundtrack album that accompanied the unfortunate film venture contains several excellent tracks, that sadly don’t get the recognition they deserve due to the commercial difficulties of the project.
Lead The Way deserves to shine, as one of Mariah Carey’s finest love songs. It is a hopeful, and honest love song, showcasing the doubts and anxieties of allowing yourself to love someone else, and it goes without saying, but she sounds divine. Fun fact, it contains Mariah Carey’s longest sustained studio note, towards the end, so watch out for that.
Como La Flor – Selena and Cristian Castro
Is there anything more romantic than duet on Valentine’s day?
Selena Quintanilla Perez is an icon in Latin music, creating a legacy that is looked upon fondly by her fans, old and new, decades after her heartbreaking passing. One of her signature songs, Como La Flor, originally from the 1992 album Entre A Mi Mundo sheds light on the loss of a lover, but the strength in accepting that it’s over, even when it is painful to do so.
The song was reimagined on the 2012 album Enamorada de Ti, as a duet with Cristian Castro, opening up a completely different possible interpretation of the song. While the lyrics did not change, having two voices instead of one shared the pain. While before, Selena’s heartbreak was singular, with the addition of Cristian, is it possible that the flower has not withered after all? Could it be that the love she thought she lost secretly longed for her too, but couldn’t find a way back to their love?
This is all speculation, of course, but one of the most interesting things about the music of Selena y Los Dinos is that each of their songs pull you into the story of the singer. You discover a whole new world in those short minutes, and with the re-release of Como La Flor, another was born.
Hold Me In Your Arms – Rick Astley
I was overjoyed when Rickrolling became a thing. I have loved Rick Astley since I was a little girl, and to see him celebrated (sort of..) and make a return to music was my dream come true.
One of my favourite Rick Astley songs is the title song of his second album, Hold Me In Your Arms. Written by Astley himself, it is a mature and heartfelt ballad that showcases Astley’s abilities as both a singer and a writer. It examines the difficulties in taking down the walls and expressing emotions, which is something that sounds so simple, but could well be the hardest thing in the world to do. Astley perfectly describes the relief of being open and honest with a lover, as well as the struggle to get there.
He also looks cute as hell in the video, but I think he looks cute all the time, so…
Heaven’s Light/Hellfire – Tom Hulce and Tony Jay
Seeing happy couples, and feeling you will never share the journey of love with another is something almost everyone has experienced, and hopefully, we will all find someone who shows us that we are wrong. Heaven’s Light follows Quasimodo as he realises that contrary to how he has always felt, he is worthy and capable of being in love. While he does not end up with Esmeralda, her kindness and friendship shows him that he is not the monster he was always taught he was, and that he, just as he is, is enough to be loved.
It is followed by the lust driven Hellfire, a troubling look into Minister Frollo’s Catholic guilt (we’ve all been there) and the depths he will go to, to satisfy his desperate craving for Esmeralda’s affections. He blames Esmeralda for his own emotions, he blames God for not equipping him with will power, he blames the guards who allow Esmeralda to escape, he blames everyone for everything but himself. That is the difference between the two songs, and the two voices. One is honest, and thankful, seeking only to explore new things without hurting anyone. The other is a destructive, self asorbed pissbaby.
While Hellfire is
perhaps not definitely not a love song, and more a crash course in misogyny and entitlement, it does further showcase how gentle and genuine Quasimodo’s love and hope for a future with Esmerelda.
I hope you enjoyed the playlist, and the story, and I hope you enjoy Valentine’s day. Whether you are alone, with friends, with family, or a romantic partner, I hope you have a day filled with love.