Monday, June 28, 2010

10 FAVORITE LOVE SONGS & 10 FAVORITE BREAKUP SONGS

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LOVE SONGS:

So the girl of (gorilla?) your dreams comes along and suddenly there’s that feeling that your heart is glowing like the sun
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and love is oozing out of your every pore like hot lava
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and every damn song makes you think of HER.

The following favorite love songs are in alphabetical order.
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No one to talk with, all by myself
No one to walk with, but I'm happy on the shelf,
Ain't misbehavin', I'm savin' my love for you.

Now I know for certain, you're the one I love,
I'm through with flirtin', just you I'm dreamin' of,
Ain't misbehavin', I'm savin' my love for you.

Ain’t Misbehavin’
Hank Williams Junior

It was written by Fats Waller and it’s been sung by everyone with a tongue, but no one ever had more fun with it than Hank Junior. The Countess and I – this was “our” song.

Song Sample: Ain’t Misbehavin’

At times I just don't know
How you could be anything but beautiful
I think that I was made for you
And you were made for me
And I know that I won't ever change
We've been friends through rain or shine
For such a long, long time

Beautiful
Gordon Lightfoot

A beautiful song titled what it is. I once told my Ma that this song made me think of her, and then I played it. Naturally, she cried.

Song Sample: Beautiful

What a dream I had
Pressed in organdy
Clothed in crinoline
Of smoky burgundy
Softer than the rain

I wandered empty streets down
Past the shop displays
I heard cathedral bells
Tripping down the alleyways
As I walked on

For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her
Simon & Garfunkel

To me, it’s not just a love song, it’s a symbol of 'The Unknown Girl'. [For mo’ info, see the link at the end of this Blog Bit.]

Song Sample: For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her

Somewhere there's got to be
Someplace where you and me
Can get away from this noise and worry
Just you and me alone
There'd be no telephone
We'd never be in a hurry
Just a hill with some tall trees
Where a creek comes movin’ right by
Minglin’ with the green of the grass
And the blue of the sky

Heaven Can Be Anywhere (Twin Pines Theme)
The Charlie Daniels Band


My old friend Louie George turned me on to the “Midnight Wind” album in 1977. The Charlie Daniels Band ain’t ordinarily my type of music, but this song is atypical of them and really, really lovely. I had to wait an awful lot of years before this was released on compact disc.

Song Sample: Heaven Can Be Anywhere (Twin Pines Theme)

As we eye
The blue horizon's bend
Earth and sky
Appear to meet and end
But it's merely an illusion
Like your heart and mine
There is no sweet conclusion

I can see
No matter how near you'll be
You'll never belong to me
But I can dream
Can't I?

I Can Dream, Can’t I?
The Carpenters

No, a person cannot be trained to sing like this; they either have “it” or they don’t. Karen Carpenter had “it” and then some. That unfathomable melancholy quality in her voice was being tapped at the soul level - good luck teaching that. Few people realize that Karen had an impressive vocal range from D below middle C to G above high C. But for her, it wasn’t about showing off her voice – it was about expressing the song’s feeling.

Song Sample: I Can Dream, Can’t I?

If Ever I Would Leave You
Richie Cole

The original version is from the movie “Camelot” and it includes lyrics. But this instrumental version by Richie Cole blows the original version away. Who needs words when the music says it ALL? [See my “film noir” review of Richie’s playing in the link section at Blog Bit’s end.]

Song Sample: If Ever I Would Leave You (Play Track #7)

Hey, have you ever tried,
Really reaching out for the other side?
I may be climbing on rainbows
But, baby here goes.
Dreams there for those who sleep,
Life is for us to keep,
And if you're wondering
What this song is leading to
I want to make it with you
I really think that we can make it girl.

Make It With You
Bread

I heard it when it was being played regularly on AM radio in 1970. Loved it then, love it now. The “Emily” I wanted to try to “make it with” never showed up, but a couple of songs still make me think of her – wherever she is.

Song Sample: Make It With You

I should go out and honk the horn, it's Independence Day
But instead I just pour myself a drink
It's got to be love, I've never felt this way
Oh baby, this one's from the heart

The shadows on the wall look like a railroad track
I wonder if he's ever comin' back
The moon's a yellow stain across the sky
Oh baby, this one's from the heart

This One’s From The Heart
Tom Waits / Crystal Gayle


Written by the brilliant Tom Waits, it’s a duet with Crystal Gayle and features the romantic trumpet playing of Jack Sheldon, who put on one of the five most memorable concerts I ever attended. Saw Jack Sheldon in Las Vegas, appropriately enough.

Song Sample: This One’s From The Heart

Just you know why
Why you and I
Will by and by
Know true love ways

Sometimes we’ll sigh
Sometimes we’ll cry
And we’ll know why
Just you and I
Know true love ways

True Love Ways
Buddy Holly

I’ve never been a Buddy Holly fan, but I gotta say, this song is as pretty as it is simple.

Song Sample: True Love Ways

Claire had all but given up
When she and Edwin fell in love
She touched his face and shook her head
In disbelief she sighed and said
“In many dreams I've held you near
Now at last you're really here

“Where have you been?
I've looked for you for ever and a day
Where have you been?
I'm just not myself when you're away”

Where’ve You Been?
Kathy Mattea

Wow. If the end of this song doesn’t make you misty eyed, there is something seriously wrong with you. Seek treatment.

Video: Where’ve You Been?

I’m adding a couple of ‘Honorable Mentions’ because these songs only missed making my list by the mere width of a wiener dog’s whisker:

Hello, it's me
I've thought about us for a long, long time
Maybe I think too much but something's wrong
There's something here that doesn't last too long
Maybe I shouldn't think of you as mine

Seeing you
Or seeing anything as much as I do you
I take for granted that you're always there
I take for granted that you just don't care
Sometimes I can't help seeing all the way through

Hello, It’s Me
Todd Rundgren

I heard this song when I was still a boy in 1973. I always loved it but never knew who the artist was until I met “Toddfan Discman”, that is L.C. of DiscConnected. It’s a wonder L.C. even maintains a friendship with me seeing as how ignint I was until just the last 8 years or so.

Song Sample: Hello, It’s Me

You are the sunshine of my life
That's why I'll always be around,
You are the apple of my eye,
Forever you'll stay in my heart

I feel like this is the beginning,
Though I've loved you for a million years,
And if I thought our love was ending,
I'd find myself drowning in my own tears

You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
Stevie Wonder


Well, what do I need to say about this one? Everyone knows it, everyone loves it.

Song Sample: You Are The Sunshine Of My Life

BREAKUP SONGS:

So then the inevitable breakup comes and you’re left feeling as though your icy heart has a huge hole cut out of the center of it
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and you wonder if maybe you ought to just end it all in one big leap.
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No list of favorite breakup songs from me is complete without the inclusion of “Pagan Streams” by Van Morrison. Well, it’s not exactly a song because Van doesn’t sing, he simply speaks while music plays behind him. Nevertheless, no song reminds me of the most significant breakup of my life more so than does “Pagan Streams”. Unfortunately, I was unable to locate either a song sample or a video clip for it. Despite this terrible omission, the following alphabetized songs are otherwise my favorites in the “Breakup” category:

Broken bicycles, old busted chains
With rusted handle bars, out in the rain
Somebody must have an orphanage for
All these things that nobody wants any more
September's reminding July
It's time to be saying goodbye
Summer is gone, but our love will remain
Like old broken bicycles out in the rain

Broken Bicycles
Tom Waits

Lyrical brilliance from the brilliant songwriter, Tom Waits. The distant train whistle at the end just tears me apart!

Song Sample: Broken Bicycles

Where did your long hair go?
Where is the girl I used to know?
How could you lose that happy glow?
Oh, Caroline no

Who took that look away?
I remember how you used to say
You'd never change, but that's not true
Oh, Caroline you . . .

Caroline No
The Beach Boys


How great is this song? Well, when I was a young teenager, I would play it while lying on my bed in the dark and I'd cry about the loss of my girlfriend. And I'd never even HAD a girlfriend! That’s how great it is.

Song Sample: Caroline No

This time we almost made the pieces fit, didn't we?
This time we almost made some sense of it, didn't we?
This time I had the answer right here in my hand,
Then I touched it, and it all turned to sand.

Didn’t We?
Johnny Mathis


This one reminds me of the second and last time The Countess and I broke up. But we almost made it that time.

Video: Didn’t We?

If you could read my mind, love,
What a tale my thoughts could tell.
Just like an old time movie
About a ghost from a wishing well.
In a castle dark or a fortress strong
With chains upon my feet.
You know that ghost is me
And I will never be set free
As long as I'm a ghost that you can see.
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I never thought I could act this way
And I've got to say that I just don't get it.
I don't know where we went wrong
But the feeling’s gone and I just can't get it back.

If You Could Read My Mind
Gordon Lightfoot

I hear it, and Inga from Wisconsin is immediately in my mind.

Song Sample: If You Could Read My Mind

Wrapped around each other
Trying so hard to stay warm
That first cold winter together
Lying in each others arms
Watching those old movies
Falling in love so desperately
Honey, I was your hero
And you were my leading lady

We had it all
Just like Bogie and Bacall
Starring in our own late, late show
Sailing away to Key Largo

Key Largo
Bertie Higgins


In my book, one of the all-time great One-Hit Wonders.

Song Sample: Key Largo

Photographs and memorie
Christmas cards you sent to me
All that I have are these
To remember you

Memories that come at night
Take me to another time
Back to a happier day
When I called you mine

But we sure had a good time
When we started way back when
Morning walks and bedroom talks
Oh how I loved you then

Photographs And Memories
Jim Croce

It reminds me of a certain someone and it still crushes me.

Song Sample: Photographs And Memories

Put another log on the fire.
Cook me up some bacon and some beans
And go out to the car and change the tire
Wash my socks and sew my old blue jeans
Come on, baby, you can fill my pipe
And then go fetch my slippers
And boil me up another pot of tea.
Then put another log on the fire, babe,

And come and tell me why you're leaving me.

Put Another Log On The Fire
Tompall Glaser

This must be the funniest breakup song of all time. One person commenting on the YouTube video (see link below) had this to say: “Oh baby, wait till I play this for my old lady. I got my suitcase in the truck already!!!!!!”

Video: Put Another Log On The Fire

Softly, I will leave you softly
For my heart would break
If you should wake
And see me go
So I leave you softly...
Long before you miss me
Long before your arms
Can beg me stay
For one more hour
Or one more day...

After all the years
I can't bear the tears to fall
So softly as I leave you there
As I leave you there
As I leave you there...

Softly, As I Leave You
Bobby Darin

So sad because it really did happen this way.

Song Sample: Softly, As I Leave You

No tears, no fears,
Remember there's always tomorrow
So what if we have to part?
We'll be together again

Your kiss, your smile,
Are memories I'll treasure forever
So try thinking with your heart,
We'll be together again

We’ll Be Together Again
Frank Sinatra

This is the song that was used in the last scene of the TV series “Moonlighting”. It made my Ma cry. I played it for her in 2005 at the hospice facility where she passed away after a few days. It was the right way to say “Goodbye”.

Song Sample: We’ll Be Together Again

Our conversation was short and sweet
It nearly swept me off-a my feet
And I'm back in the rain, oh-oh
And you're on dry land
You made it there somehow
You're a big girl now.

Bird on the horizon sitting on a fence
He's singing his song for me at his own expense
And I'm just like that bird, oh-oh
Singin’ just for you
I hope that you can hear
Hear me singing through these tears.

You’re A Big Girl Now
Bob Dylan

This is my favorite song from the “Blood On The Tracks” album – a collection of breakup songs that are absolutely great for drinking to. (Lock away all sharp objects first!) This song – as well as the entire album – is all about Terrill and me. But then you already knew that.

Song Sample: You’re A Big Girl Now
(Sadly, just 29 seconds and not the “Blood On The Tracks” album version)

I’m adding a couple of ‘Honorable Mentions’ because these songs only missed making my list by the mere width of a politician’s honesty:

I'm just a scarecrow without you
Baby, please don't disappear
I beg your pardon, dear
I got a bottle for a trumpet
And a hatbox for a drum
And I beg your pardon, dear

I got upset,
I lost my head
I didn't mean the things I said
You are the landscape of my dreams
Darling, I beg your pardon

I'd give you Boardwalk
And Park Place
And all of my hotels
I beg your pardon, dear

I Beg Your Pardon
Tom Waits

Name a better songwriter!

“I’m just a scarecrow without you” – is there a better opening line in recorded music?

Song Sample: I Beg Your Pardon

I followed her to the station, with her suitcase in my hand,
And I followed her to the station, with her suitcase in my hand.
Well, it's hard to tell, it's hard to tell, when all your love's in vain,
All my love's in vain.

When the train rolled up to the station, I looked her in the eye,
When the train rolled up to the station, and I looked her in the eye.
Well, I was lonesome, I felt so lonesome, and I could not help but cry.
All my love's in vain.

Love In Vain
Robert Johnson


Classic stuffs. One of the bluest of The Blues.

Song Sample: Love In Vain

BONUS TRACK:

And what do I do with this? . . .

Hasn't it been a long hard climb?
Everything taking its own sweet time
And hasn't there been some long, lonely nights
When you didn't think that anything would turn out right?

Woah, baby, come and lay by me
In the cool, cool shade of that old oak tree

Long Hard Climb
Maria Muldaur

Is it a love song or a breakup song? The words say love but the haunting melody says it’s over. If not now, soon. I love it but I'm not sure how to classify it.

Song Sample: Long Hard Climb

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

LINKS:
“For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her” (Or, “I Got Them ‘Bad Luck With Womens’ Blues”)

“If Ever I Would Leave You” – A Film Noir Review

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.
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12 comments:

welcome to my world of poetry said...

There were some songs I knew but sung by different singers over here.
A great selection in both love/break up. there is such a huge range to choose from one is spoilt for choice.

Yvonne,

arlee bird said...

I'm pretty amazed about the diversity among all of the participants lists--hardly any matches. You had a few songs that were new to me, though I know all of the artists. There were some great ones there that never entered my mind. I never cared much for "Ain't Misbehavin'" until I saw Hank Jr perform it on TV back in the 80s--on some award show I think. I immediately went out and bought the album and it changed my opinion of the song.

Your's was a good list with a good presentation.

Hope you came back from Vegas with more money than you had before you went there.

Lee
Tossing It Out

covnitkepr1 said...

Hi. I came across your blog through another blog I follow and have signed up as a follower. When you’re free, please do visit me and let me know what you think of my blog and leave a comment. If you like, do follow as well. I am always open to great new people and interesting websites. Look forward to hearing from you.

Trudy said...

Looks like a great list, I'll have to come back and listen to a few. I have never heard of so many of them! Love Key Largo!!!

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

YVONNE ~
Thanks. Yes, it was difficult narrowing it down since more songs have been written about "love" than any other subject matter.

R-LEE-B ~
Evidently I like "Ain't Misbehavin'" better than you do generally, but yeah, Hank Junior's version blows everyone else's totally out of the water. I've heard a gazillion renditions, but even Satchmo's doesn't come close. There's just such a playfulness about Hank's approach to it that makes it downright FUN to listen to.

And thanks! Glad ya liked the list, Brotherman.

--> Hope you came back from Vegas with more money than you had before you went there.

HA! That would certainly have been a first for me. :o)

COVNITKEPR1 ~
I'll check your blog out.
Thanks!

TRUDY ~
Yeah, I've always loved "Key Largo". It took me years to find out who did it. For some time I mistakenly thought it was Michael Franks but was confused by the fact that I couldn't find it listed on any of his albums. Finally found it one day on the jukebox where my Brother tended bar and I played it so many times that my Brother 86ed me. :o)

~ Stephen
"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly."
~ Proverbs 26:11

DiscConnected said...

Interesting Stephen-

While I am stunned that you almost included a Todd song (we'll get you to a Rundgren Radio Birthday Bash yet-Akron, Labor Day weekend in case you're mulling it over), I would have classified "Hello It's Me" more as a breakup song.

Obviously, I was less familiar with some of the country songs, but good choices all from the samples.

Going over these lists has really brought out just how good the "One From The Heart" soundtrack is.

-The Man Who Drives To Las Vegas For The Zia Stores

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Hi Stephen, thanks for your visit and kind comment. Yes Breaking Up Is Hard To Do was a foregone conclusion wasn't it?
I knew many of yours but sung by cover version here in the UK. I have had tremndous fun doing these lists shall miss them when over.
Yvonne.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

DISCMAN ~
Well, I wouldn't argue with you about a Todd song. I can only say that to me, "Hello, It's Me" has always sounded like it exuded Good love Vibrations.

And, yeah, "One From The Heart" just hits the right notes in so very many different ways.

I have been kickin' myself in the behind ever since I posted my "Fifteen Fantasy Island Favorites" album list. I think that since I knew "The Heart Of Saturday Night" HAD to go on my list, I kind of unconsciously dismissed Tom Waits after that; as if I somehow felt that I should only have one Waits album on there so as to have the greatest amount of variety possible on my list. And so I never even gave a thought to "One From The Heart" (OFTH).

But within a day or two, I was listening to OFTH and reflecting on how really GREAT the album is, and thinking about the fact that since purchasing it 20 years ago, it (along with the soundtrack to "Breakfast At Tiffany's") has unquestionably been one of my ten most frequently played albums. Easily!

I don't know which of the 15 albums on that list I should have left off, but I really do think I screwed up the list by omitting OFTH. Maybe I even should have listed it instead of "The Heart Of Saturday Night"? Nah. Uhm. Hmmm...?

Maybe I'll just vote my Brother off the island so there's room for a second Tom Waits album? Yeah, that's the ticket!

~ "Lonesome Dogg" McD-Fens

covnitkepr1 said...

Thanks so much for the visit and even more for the gracious comment. Here's hoping you'll become a follower and somehow my blog could be a blessing to you and at the same time...glorify Him.

This post you have here sure takes one down memory lane. I loved the '50s & '60s...but there's no going back.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

covnitkepr1 ~
Sadly, you're right about that. We can't put the toothpaste back into the tube. Gonna have to ride this thing out to the end.

But "Somebody's Coming".

~ "Lonesome Dogg" McMe

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Ello ello ello! Sorry didn't participate in this. Ain't got nuff time anymore. I've received Koyaanisqatsi ( I also bought Powaqqatsi), but have not yet found the time to devour them. When I do, you know I'll let you know :o)

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Okie-Dokie.
I own "Pow" also. Watched it once. How do you follow "Koy"? Well... you don't.

~ "Lonesome Dogg" McMe