So, noble reader, we approach that bright spot in the eternal dullness that is February… yes, Valentine’s Day is almost here. Musically, it is a critical moment in our life stories. Because for some of us it will be the time when relationships get started or cemented and take us into the future happiness of lifelong togetherness.
All very wonderful. But wait, there is a cloud on the horizon. Is it white and fluffy? Or is it a dark foreboding of lightning and thunder?
You see… as you sit together in candlelight enjoying your overpriced steak and Prosecco, you may well be listening to Music. And if you are, then one of those songs could become THE SONG. Your Song – the one that is played throughout your lives together; the one that you take that first dance to at your wedding.
Choose wisely, my friends. For fuck’s sake please, please, YES PLEASE lock the Adele CD into a small box and drop it into a nearby river. No offence, Adele, but I do not want to spend the next 10 years of my life going to weddings and hearing you warble. Lest we forget the trouble we could be in… let me take you back to the late 80’s and utter two words…. “Eternal Flame”!!!!!
One piece of general advice on what you should choose:
Avoid the long! – At some point you could be wheeling each other around the dance floor under a spotlight to this song. Unless you are Anton DuBeke and Kristina Rihanoff, 4 minutes will feel like a lifetime; at 5 you will want the floor to open; you will be dead at 6. Choose a short(ish) song!
So, you want some suggestions. No?… tough – you’re getting them anyway. Here’s ten different thoughts across different categories. Something for everyone.
The Greatest Love Song Ever Written
Nick Cave is a genius. He can write heavy, dark, brooding, menacing, ugly music. He can also write uplifting and moving. So it should be no surprise to find this is the greatest love song ever written. It is simple and uplifting and wonderful. “Are You The One That I’ve Been Waiting For”.
A little bit of Ireland.
U2 and Sinead O’Connor are just about edging back into respectability. Van Morrison is timeless. Anything connected with Boyzone or Westlife should be avoided. Go for something a little less mainstream. Delorentos write great songs and this is charming and just ever so slightly quirky. And you can waltz to it!… “City’s Still Warm”
Something modern, and classy.
Yes, I am an old git… doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate newer stuff. Plenty of great songs written in the last few years. Aloe Blacc’s optimistic charm and plain voice make this an uplifting tune for anyone to have as their own… “Green Lights”
Where the hell do you start. There is so much of it to choose from it could be a separate article of its own. Smoky Robinson, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight…. Let’s go for Stevie Wonder. I love this one – “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”
The 70’s are cool again!
Of course there was loads of rubbish in the 70’s, but there was also good. This could very well be a description of the Stylistics back catalogue, so we should have something from the plus side of their balance sheet. Marvel at the intricate “move and sing” work here…. “Betcha By Golly Wow” (the title just Screams 70’s!)
The 80’s – a minefield
You have to pick your way carefully here. We’ve already covered Eternal Flame, but there is a huge choice of over-synthesised and over-produced banana skins to choose from. Or of course you could start by thinking “Every Breath You Take” is a love song and only later realise that it has that scary stalking overtone that makes it a big “no”. The core song here could be a banana skin for many, but in this it is given a lift and a make-over. PM Dawn are unsung heroes in the development of rap music… but some of the greats of today grew up listening to them. Here’s why… “Set Adrift on Memory Bliss”
There is so much to choose from here, another post on its own was needed. From Buzzcocks “ever Fallen in love” all the way to James Bay. You can go loud and lary – Pixies “Gigantic”; you can go cool … Paul Weller “You do Something to me”. I love it when noisy indie bastards go quiet and reflective… this is beautiful – Bloc Party “This Modern Love” (here’s an acoustic version)
So all I had to choose from here was two songs that I can think of. AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” was a bit obvious. Some people may not think of Meat Loaf as heavy, but this is just fun. Wish the start was a bit more over the top, though… far too understated, but you can’t have everything… “You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth”
Something different from across the pond
If you have to choose American, you are again flirting with the trite and the bland. Fortunately there is REM. Ignore “The One I Love”… far too obvious! This is the best song to contain a reference to dental health problems… ever! “You Are The Everything”
Mine (well ours)
So when my beloved and I were stood in a record shop in Ealing in 1991(ish) we heard this and it became our song. You can’t have it… it’s ours. But I’ll let you listen! We’re back to Nick. – “Straight To You”