Please don't throw shoes at me, but I blame love songs for creating unrealistic and mushy ideas about love that spark more silly notions than help us fall in love.
I want to celebrate love as much as the next guy, but have you listened to the advice some of these tunes are pumping out over the radio airwaves as you drive along with the windows down now that the warm weather is upon us? Or these days you might be listening to your iPod as you jog on the treadmill at the gym or stroll along the city streets.
It's no wonder that the divorce rate continues to climb above 50 percent, and many single folks have turned to virtual yentas on the internet to meet a "soul mate." I'm hardly Dr. Phil (thank goodness), and I can't define love in a few words, but I know that most love songs are handing out pap and just plain bad attitudes about how to act in a romantic relationship.
I've chosen a few samples of what I believe are the worst love songs for content. I apologize if I pick on your favorites. I might like to listen to some of these songs because of the rhythm, but I certainly wouldn't want to pattern my amorous attitudes on any of these:
"I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" by Meatloaf -- I like other Meatloaf songs. He lives in Fairfield County and likes to play softball; he's got be a good guy. But this ditty just makes no sense to me. Consider these poignant lyrics: "And I would do anything for love, I would run into hell and back...And I would do anything for love, But I won't do that." Meatloaf croons on forever and I don't know what he won't do -- drive the wrong way on a one-way street or cheat on his taxes? You've got me on this one. I even like his voice in this song but what's he telling me about love? I get it; this song is like a murder mystery that you're supposed to figure out.
"How Can We Be Lovers If We Can't Be Friends" by Michael Bolton -- Here's another Connecticut resident with a great voice. There's a pattern here. Bolton over sings this love song that poses a lot of questions that he answers all at the same time. Read these mind numbing lyrics: "How can we be lovers if we can't be friends? How can we start over when the fighting never ends, baby?" We don't need Einstein to unravel this one for us. Duh, if we're fighting, we're not going to be lovers. Let me dry my tears; I think we have this one figured out at least.
"Muskrat Love" by Captain & Tenille -- Wow, is this bad. It was release in 1976, which might account somewhat for the ridiculous lyrics. But this is a love song about two muskrats. Couldn't they have picked a couple of cutesy deer or chattering chipmunks? I suppose this song is an allegory of sorts, but guys, this is plain bad, and we listened to it and hummed along. I leave you with these tender lyrics: "And now he's ticklin her fancy, Rubbin her toes, Muzzle to muzzle, now anything goes, As they wriggle, and Sue starts to giggle." Where are we going with this classic?
"Sister Golden Hair" by America -- Can we agree that the band, America, recorded some of the most obscure songs of all time. The band's hit, "A Horse With No Name," still baffles me. And Sister Golden Hair ranks right with it. Try these lyrics: "Well, I keep on thinkin bout you, sister golden hair surprise
And I just can't live without you; can't you see it in my eyes?
I been one poor correspondent, and I been too, too hard to find
But it doesn't mean you ain't been on my mind" Perhaps, the singer is a correspondent on assignment, and he's achin' to get back to his woman. What media outlet did he work for?
"Silly Love Songs" by Paul McCartney -- When I tell my kids how great the Beatles were, and they listen to "Silly Love Songs," they fall down laughing, and then tell me to never criticize their rap tunes again. This was a stinker. I know McCartney stands among the pantheon of rock greats, but he did more damage to love songs with this baby then an entire album of Barry Manilow tunes. The lyrics speak for themselves (feel free to sing along): "You'd think that people would have had enough of silly love songs.But I look around me and I see it isn't so. Some people wanna fill the world with silly love songs. And what's wrong with that? I'd like to know, cause here I go again."
Call me crazy but in my book, the Police love song, "Every Breath You Take," is an ode to stalking more than loving: "Every single day, and every word you say, every game you play, every night you stay, I'll be watching you."
And we play this at weddings and anniversaries. Enjoy your favorite love songs with your favorite muskrat, don't take the advice too seriously and be careful where you're getting your romantic advice from.
Frank Szivos is a freelance writer who thinks most love songs are pap. He can be reached at email@example.com.