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October 22, 2005
"The unhappiest people I know, romantically speaking, are the ones who like pop music the most; and I don't know whether pop music has caused this unhappiness, but I do know that they've been listening to the sad songs longer than they've been living the unhappy lives." – Nick Hornby, "High Fidelity"
I've been thinking (unduly I might add) about love songs.
Funny how they are mostly depressing exercises in pulling out your own heart-strings, droning on as they do about the heartache of love; whining about the bitter sweetness of loneliness; groaning over the agony of unrequited love. How pretty agony sounds when its all wrapped up in strings and minor chords. Yet after a while they all start to sound the same – saying the same thing using the same rhyming couplets.
I generalise of course, but think about it: are the love songs that stick in your throat not always the ones that tell of relationships gone wrong?
And so I commence my mission, futile though it may be, to comply a lovingly crafted list of uplifting music that, while quite clearly woven with romantic undertones, says something unusual about the human quest for love. No clichés allowed.
I'll start with Mardy Bum by the Arctic Monkeys.