Friday, February 13, 2009

Love Songs for Society's Assault on Singles

10 Songs for Singles: The Dating Soundtrack

Songs for Valentine's Day

Let me start by saying this: I am fully aware of the potential that I may come off as a Bitter Single Woman by posting this. And if that's what you take from this, there's nothing much I can do about that. I vaguely remember one good(ish) Valentine's Day in my entire life. I think, if I remember right, that it took place about 9 years ago... I got surprise flowers for Valentine's Day from the guy I was dating. (That's right, ladies…I didn't even have to ask. It was a VD miracle!)

And since then? Meh.
Starting the very day after Christmas, every freakin' time I walk into my local Walgreens/CVS, I'm assaulted with pink and red reminders of my single status. So, in response to the super-sappy soundtrack that is foisted upon me, I've made y'all a mix tape and posted it as my playlist. These are the songs that I think tell the story of love. Obviously, there are tons of songs that couldn't make the cut or else my list would be thousands of songs long. So I mostly arbitrarily picked these out. Check it. TEN SONGS, my mix-tape of Valentine's Day songs for YOU.

1. "At Last" performed by Etta James. This is the beginning of the fairy tale. Everything is all peachy-keen and the idea that love can go awry is utterly unbelievable. Sit back and enjoy the fantasy…it won't last long. (In fact, it lasts about 3 minutes and 2 seconds, which is the average length of the honeymoon period in my own personal relationships. Yes, I did the math.)

2. "Love Hurts" by Nazareth. Then reality comes crashing in. This is the point at which our heroine realizes that love can be a giant bite in the…heart. She learns this nasty lesson from a young man who shall remain nameless. This heartache and pain lasts a long time, even though the song is only 3 minutes and 53 seconds long. Still, our heroine clings to hope, until she hears...

as performed by Soloman Burke

3. "Get Out of My Life, Woman" by Lee Dorsey. This is the point at which said unnamed boy decides his life/career/partying, playboy ways are more important than the love of a good woman. Note the line "You don't love me no more." This is a prime example of how certain people try to justify their inexcusable behavior with larger reasons beyond their own cruelty and control issues.

4. "These Boots are Made for Walkin'" by Nancy Sinatra. Finally, however, the young girl finds out that her loser boyfriend is playing around on her and so she reclaims her independence and self-respect and, pulling on her fabulous boots and hits the bricks. She starts over with a fresh outlook on life and love. The now ex-boyfriend finds her independence irresistible and comes crawling back. Stupidly, she takes him back.

5. "Cryin' Time" by Ray Charles. the boyfriend apparently has not resolved his own insanity and once again, he decides that it's just not alright to be together, so he's outta there. He leaves her for a really icky girl and she is left crying in her beer. Oh, wait. This happened more than once. >sigh<

6. "Why Didn't You Call Me?" by Macy Gray.
The girl dips her feet back into the dating pool and gets her toes bitten off by a giant, bloodthirsty shark. This shark looks suspiciously like any number of random guys that she meets at parties, goes out with, and then never hears from again.

7. "Do You Wanna Touch Me? (Oh Yeah!)" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Our Heroine is now rockin' hot. She is no longer messing around with love. She is toying with men left and right. She has recognized her power and owns her sexuality. She takes no prisoners.

8. "Tyrone" by Erykah Badu. This song is brilliant. Depressingly, this track could apply to almost every guy our subject has ever dated. But it goes to show what happens when our she's left to date the type of guys she truly thinks she deserves…this is how she ends up feeling.

9. "Just a Friend" by Biz Markie. A classic. Not just for this story. Who hasn't dated someone like this?

10. "I'll Stand by You" by The Pretenders. When doubting that anyone in the world really knows how to love and thinking that her standards are impossibly high, our heroine is comforted by this song. If Chrissie Hynde can recognize that all we really want is to be with someone who accepts us for who we honestly are, maybe other people are capable of that, too. Or maybe she'll have to go to Lesbian School and then start stalking Chrissie Hynde. Either way….there's hope.....

Honorable Mentions go to:
"Make You Cry" by Jonathan Coulton
"You Make Me Feel Like a Whore" by Everclear
"Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" by Aretha Franklin
"I Just Want Some Love" by The Mighty Hannibal
"Jailbait" by Andre Williams
"Careless Love" by Dr. John and
"You're Breakin' My Heart" by Harry Nilsson

Happy Valentine's Day from Sassy B. Johnson

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