From time to time I hear a song and I think, “Now *that* is the sound of love.” Don’t get me wrong — I have serious epistemological issues with the whole damned thing, but there is a sound that seems to fit the bill.
Now I am not talking about the sound of (ahem) making love (see Aerosmith, Back in the Saddle, ahem ahem, if you get my drift), or music which puts one in the mood for love (paging Dr. Barry White). Just the sound of the emotion itself.
The first song that seemed to capture that sound for me was Sara by Fleetwood Mac. There’s a story behind the song, layered and poignant, which sort of fits and not fits. But the sound is wun hunnert percent what I am talking about. There’s an echoing, swaying, almost *sloshing* ease; a wash of waves over an expectant shore, and it rises and falls to a longer rhythm of acceptance and recrimination, and acceptance again.
The actual story told in the song is difficult to pick out — I wound up reading it somewhere. The sound is the thing, and so I place it at the top of my list despite there being no particular order. Nor depth, as I only have two that come to mind right now. But I will update this from time to time.
- Sara, Fleetwood Mac
- Head over Heels, Tears for Fears
Brief note from work (de minimus): I have been sifting through Carpenters songs looking for what must surely be in there. Closest I can get is either Goodbye to Love, or Only yesterday. Goodbye to Love is not so much the sound of love, but of acceptance of its passage. Only yesterday comes close, but it isn’t exactly what I’m looking for. But pretty much anything by sung by Karen Carpenter, to include a phone book, sounds like love to me. She was special.
The search continues.
[UPDATE 11 May]
So, this is tougher than it would seem. Most of the “Love” songs are about longing or loss, and convey that in the sound. And while I have a plethora of favorites in those flavors, songs which seem to capture the sounds of love itself are surprisingly rare. Now the word “love” is a ridiculously broad (!) term, so I am positive that I am not explaining this well. Perhaps you know what I mean.
Meanwhile, the song Sara is emphatically not a love song proper. It is about longing and loss, but the sound of it puts it on this list.