Sunday, February 13, 2022

On Valentine's Day

I knew I was going to be pressed for time to get a post out this Sunday so a couple of days back I did some prep. I've fallen into the practice of doing music posts most weekends now and Monday is Valentine's Day. It sounded like a hook to hang some songs on. 

The first thing I thought of was the name of the holiday itself. (Is it a holiday? If it isn't, what is it?) My first thought was to go literal. I spent a mildly depressing and not very fruitful hour or two trawling YouTube and for songs going by the exact name or some near variation thereof. 

There are quite a few. Some of them are even good. Several extremely respected songwriters have taken a shot - David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Solange, Will Oldham... And very respectable, even worthy, they all are. Click through and see for yourself. There'll be something you like, I'm sure.

Not really what I had in mind, though. I toyed with ABC and The Dream Academy but those didn't sit just where I wanted either. I was looking for something... well, I wasn't sure what I was looking for. I just knew I hadn't found it.

I tried loosening the search to "Valentine" minus the day but that just gave me what seemed like a million versions of My Funny Valentine, which is a song you can tire of very quickly, let me tell you. If we're going to have a version of it at all, I guess we might as well have this one:

There. That's put a knot in it, hasn't it?

My next idea was to try some keywords relating to the day - hearts, flowers, love, that kind of thing. Yeah, maybe if I wanted to sort through ten billion results.

But how about if I stuck to the folder of songs I've downloaded over the last few years? There are only about three and a half thousand in there. (I have more but I'm onto a second folder now.) Let's try it and see...

  • "Love" - 115 matches.
  • "Heart" - 27 matches. 
  • "Flower" - 8 matches.

A lot of those are really mismatches. The word is in the band's name or there are multiple versions of the same song. It's somewhere to start, though. 

And so, in real time and without a net, before your very eyes I shall attempt to pull several Valentine's Day-appropriate tunes out of my folder! And to make it even harder I'll try and make them ones I haven't used here before! It means I can't use "Flower" by Sasha and the Valentines, which would have been a shoe-in but we all have to make sacrifices.

Drum roll please...

The Hobbes Fanclub - Your Doubting Heart  

Okay, maybe "doubt" is not the first adjective you want to see attached to "heart", when you open the envelope but come on! It's The Hobbes Fanclub! Hobbes! He's a cuddly toy! What could be more Valentine's Day than that? Double whammy!

The 222s - I Love Susan

Yeah. I think we all know who the 222s love and it's not Susan. It's Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and whoever's on drums this week. From the imaginatively named Musi-Video Show, which was apparently "iconic" in Montreal in the early '80s. Canadians, eh?

Snowpony - Chocolate in the Sun

Chocolate! I just thought of that one! God, I wish Snowpony had made more records. I love them so much. There's an empty void at the heart of that shimmering sound that's as cold as the space out near Saturn. Are we feeling the Valentine's mood yet?

Lana del Rey - Puppy Love

Of all the Lana songs with "love" in the title I went with this one. And with the lyrics in Spanish! I slay me! This is the Lana I fell in love with first, all those years ago - the Lana that smacked daddy in the head with the butt of a gun and threw him in the trunk of her brand new truck then sang about how much she missed him. Almost impossible to imagine where she was going back then. I'm not sure it's even called "Puppy Love." It might be called "Marilyn Monroe". It's from the mile high drift of unreleased songs. When I first found it I was hoping it was going to be a cover of the Donny Osmond classic. Okay, not really. But really. I guess you can call it what you want until it gets an official release. Which it won't. Unless... No, let's not go there.

Eve's Plum - Jesus Loves You (Not As Much As I Do)

Now that's a sentiment fit for a Valentine's card! We're in a noughties' revival right now, did you know? It's my lost decade so it'll all be new to me.

Soko - First Love Never Die

This one, however, is probably not what you want to hear your sweetheart whispering softly when you wake up tomorrow. Especially the "I wish I could go back to it" part. I thought I'd had this one on the blog before but search says otherwise. I bought an album by Soko on the strength of this and I was not disappointed.

British India - I Can Make You Love Me

Hmm. Probably don't want to hear anyone saying that, either. Taken from their album "Controller", it says. Is it just me or is it getting dark in here?

The Groove Farm - I'm Never Going To Fall In Love Again

I'm not bloody surprised after the last two! This lot were on the scene around the time I was in the last band I ever sang for or maybe it was the one before that. I saw them play several times. In fact, now I come to think of it, we might have supported them once. It's all bit of a blur now.

Surfbort - Les Be In Love

Big Valentine's finish! Cupid! Dancing! Puns! Thigh-high plastic boots! That's more like it!

And I think that's enough "Love" for one post. Happy Valentine's! Don't have nightmares!

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