Or maybe they are love songs, who am I to judge? The point is that things aren’t always as they appear.
Regardless, a few key words (baby, love, want, need, etc.) and the occasional slow tempo sometime mask insidious lyrics. Like the Captain & Tennille’s “Love Will Keep Us Together,” quite a few top 40 songs about bad behavior and bad attitudes are misconstrued as musical love letters. Here are few of them from my stacks:
“Modern Love,” David Bowie. “Never gonna fall for modern love.”
“One,” U2. “You gave me nothing, now it’s all I got.”
“Every Breath You Take,” The Police. “Every move you make, every vow you break, I’ll be watching you.”
“The One I Love,” R.E.M. “Another prop has occupied my time.”
“Beth,” KISS. “I know you’re lonely and I hope you’ll be all right, but me and the boys will be playing all night.”
“What About Love,” Heart. “The love I’m sending ain’t making it through to your heart.”
“Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” Meatloaf. “I want you, I need you, but there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you.”
“Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’,” Journey. “He’s tearing you apart…’cause he’s loving, touching another.”
There you have it: Eight love songs that aren’t love songs. What did I miss? I’m listening.
“The One I Love” is one of my favorite R.E.M. songs, and the first time I heard it, musically it blew me away, and the lyrics were, in my opinion, probably the best “I am over you” lyrics ever written. When I saw the title of this post I immediately thought of it, but…..you beat me to it.
So, my contribution is Springsteen’s “Tunnel of Love”.