Monday, 29 August 2011

What's More Important: Love or Silliness?*

Love songs are silly. I like to sing along to most of them, but very few of them ever have me saying "Yes! That!" in reference to their lyrics. For example, I've never known my heart to beat like an 808 drum, and I would not stop a grenade for anybody. I also wouldn't stay awake just to hear somebody breathing, and I'd really rather nobody stayed awake to listen to me breathe, either. That's kind of creepy.

Likewise, I do not wish to be hosed down with holy water if I get too hot (okay, I guess I'd take the holy water, as long as it was cold, but I think regular water would be fine, too). I think the wise men are right--only fools do rush in.  And I don't even know what a kiss from a rose on the gray is supposed to mean or how anyone would compare to it. That makes no sense.

I do embrace the silly, even in its extremes. For giggles (many, many of them!), Bo Burnham's "Love Is" takes the spot of number on love song in my heart. Bo Burnham is the funniest guy ever. And I'm not just saying this because people have told me that he's a "successful, male, funnier, all-round better version" of me.

Silliness aside--and even though I don't advocate putting silliness aside very often--most love songs, however great they may be, are just kind of generic and "Oh, I love you so much, blahdiblah blah blah" rather than deep and meaningful. There are, however, two "love songs" whose lyrics resonate with me as being about something more than superficial. I'm sure there are others, but these are the ones that do it for me.

One is "Something in the Way She Moves" by James Taylor:

My love of James Taylor is probably a big factor in why this song makes the very short list, but I think the lyrics are about something grounded and realistic and simple and lovely. I think it's because he says "I feel fine" and not "I feel some ridiculously hyperbolic way."

My number one, forever, all-time favourite love song, though, is "Somebody" by Depeche Mode. I first heard this song when I was a teenager, and it's the only one that after fifteen years still makes me say "Yes! That!" every time I hear it. It's also the only song whose lyrics I know from beginning to end without the recall aid of the music, so it's my go-to shower-singing song. I'm sure the neighbours are very happy about that.

*That's a quote from Friends. For the record, I think love and silliness are both equally important. You can't really choose one or the other, because a life without either would be boring and that would be, well, just plain silly.


  1. Somebody. Best love song ever! We should all experience a love like for at least one moment in our lives.

  2. Yes, and I thank YOU (and Tami) for the introduction to Depeche Mode!