Love Songs

¡Hola! Everybody…
Okay my people… I’m headed to the beach (again) today. It’s gonna be a scorcher and now – the beach! I’m avoiding the Russian Sex Kitten! Please remind why I don
t date women younger than 21!

* * *

-=[ Torch Song Trilogy ]=-

“And there’s a storm that’s raging through my frozen heart tonight… ”
— John Waite

It’s no secret to my lovers (and others) that I have a thing for wrist-slashing love songs. I’m really bad. I once wrote about La Lupe and her mastery of the bolero (ballad), and I still get goose bumps when she sings the opening lines to her La Gran Tirana (The Great Tryant):

Segun tu punto de vista/ Yo soy la ma/ Vampiresa de tu novella/ La Gran Tirana…

(According to your point of view/ I am the bad one/ Vampiress of your soap opera/ The Great Tyrant… )

As sung by La Lupe the words ooze with irony. Not an easy feat. Irony isn’t easy. Melodrama is easy (blah!). Anyone can do melodrama, but irony? Irony, you can’t fake irony. Irony comes from experience. No one else will ever sing that song like her. It’s hers.

While I will admit a fondness for cheesy love songs, I withhold my greatest admiration for in-yo-face-grow-a-fukkin-backbone-muthufucka love songs. I love angry love songs! In fact, I like to call my poems full-frontal angry love poems. LOL

For example, Tina Turner, one of my all-time favorite artists, sings a love song as if she were sucking a raw cock. This is not meant as a put down. What I mean is that Tina can milk every once of emotion out of a love song and somehow you come away from the performance not feeling all cheesy. Tina can do more with an arch of an eyebrow or sneer than most women can do with a whole script. Look at what she did to What’s love Got to Do with It? When she sings the title, you know you’re in the presence of someone who has felt deep, deeeeeeeeep pain and she’s slinging it out, no holds barred:

Muthafucka, what’s love got to with it?!!

If recovering from a broken heart or lost relationship is comparable to grieving, then denial and anger are the first stages. And many love songs, or at least the good ones, speak from that painful, barren landscape. One of my favorite love songs is John Waite’s (I Ain’t) Missing You. Waite sings this tough song of loss with a raw transparency reflective of the denial he’s feeling. It’s a denial he readily admits, but when he bangs out, I ain’t missing you… it’s more of a defiant cry of anguish. Left alone and abandoned by his lover, admittedly missing her and totally consumed by this loss, his only last ounce of dignity is to belt out…

I ain’t missing you at all!

And of course, we all know he’s missing her, she knows he’s missing her — he’s fuckin’I can lie to myself he sings defiantly. missing her with every fiber of his being, but he’s not going to admit it. He’s not going to fall into the finality of admitting it.

Because he can…

The song uses a heavy backbeat and there’s very little that’s tender in it and yet it manages to convey a raw emotion often missing from recent love songs. For example, the first line Every time I think of, I always catch my breath reads like major pap. But when sung by Waite with that hard backbeat, the line is morphed into something deeper, rawer. Like I said, anybody can do melodrama, crying and shit, but to convey genuinely that level of hurt, that level of awareness of feeling all alone and abandoned – that’s art!

I love these lines:

In your world I have no meaning, though I’m trying hard to understand/ And it’s my heart that’s breaking down this long distance line tonight

I think those lines captures the profound hurt we all feel when love goes awry. There’s a sense that you have no meaning in the other person’s life. It’s as if everything you shared, all the intimacies, all those tender moments, the vulnerability — all of it meant nothing. There’s no meaning. That’s a hard load to bear, isn’t it?

In the end, I come away from Waite’s rendition feeling a sense of liberation from the obsessive grasp of compulsive love because though he’s still in denial, though he’s raging, there’s a underlying strength to that denial. There is a sense that he knows she won’t come back and that his recovery process will be long and slow, but when he sings those words, I ain’t missing you at all, you sense that he will be OK in the end. It’s a howl, a challenge to the cold wind blowing through his broken heart.

In actuality, his cry of anguish is a plea to his lost love. Within that heartbreaking denial there’s expression of just how much he misses her, but his denial demands he doesn’t offer a full admission, because she’s gone and that’s it and the finality of it all is so painful.

You gotta love that shit!

Love,

Eddie

(I Ain’t) Missing You
John Waite

Every time I think of you, I always catch my breath
And I’m still standing here, and you’re miles away
And I’m wonderin’ why you left
And there’s a storm that’s raging through my frozen heart tonight

I hear your name in certain circles, and it always makes me smile
I spend my time thinkin’ about you, and it’s almost driving me wild
And there’s a heart that’s breaking down this long distance line tonight

I ain’t missing you at all since you’ve been gone away
I ain’t missing you, no matter what I might say
There’s a message in the wire, and I’m sending you this signal tonight
You don’t know how desperate I’ve become
And it looks like I’m losing this fight
In your world I have no meaning, though I’m trying hard to understand
And it’s my heart that’s breaking down this long distance line tonight

I ain’t missing you at all
Since you’ve been gone away
I ain’t missing you,
No matter what my friends say

And there’s a message that I’m sending out,
Like a telegraph to your soul
And if I can’t bridge this distance,
Stop this heartbreak Overload
I ain’t missing you
I ain’t missing you,
I can lie to myself

And there’s a storm
That’s raging through my frozen heart
Tonight

Every time I think of you, I always catch my breath
And I’m still standing here, and you’re miles away
And I’m wonderin’ why you left
And there’s a storm that’s raging through my frozen heart tonight

I hear your name in certain circles, and it always makes me smile
I spend my time thinkin’ about you, and it’s almost driving me wild
And there’s a heart that’s breaking down this long distance line tonight

I ain’t missing you at all since you’ve been gone away
I ain’t missing you, no matter what I might say

There’s a message in the wire, and I’m sending you this signal tonight
You don’t know how desperate I’ve become
And it looks like I’m losing this fight
In your world I have no meaning, though I’m trying hard to understand
And it’s my heart that’s breaking down this long distance line tonight

I ain’t missing you at all
Since you’ve been gone away
I ain’t missing you,
No matter what my friends say

And there’s a message that I’m sending out,
Like a telegraph to your soul
And if I can’t bridge this distance,
Stop this heartbreak Overload

I ain’t missing you,
I ain’t missing you,
I can lie to myself

And there’s a storm
That’s raging through my frozen heart
Tonight

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