Oh yes, it’s that time of year again. CVS has become a glycemic nightmare, the LikeALittle posts are increasing in frequency and desperacy, and you can’t take a walk around campus at night without stumbling upon canoodling couples. Awkward.
Bust out the Disney pop-out valentines and the predictable romantic comedies, ’cause it’s almost Valentine’s Day.
This post serves primarily as a warning to any intrepid young men hoping to pull a John Cusack boombox scene like in Say Anything: some love songs are stupid. Yeah, sure, well-intentioned, maybe. But stupid. Follow along as I assess some of Western culture’s favorite love songs… and why they’re so dysfunctional.
His gift is his song and this one’s for you. “How wonderful life is while you’re in the world.” Awww. Until he gets to the part where he, um, forgets the color of his sweetheart’s eyes. Boys: you should know this. If you don’t, Facebook-stalk your girlfriends, quick! Girls: if he can’t remember the color of your eyes and doesn’t have amnesia, he’s not exactly committed. Run away, run away!
This song attempts to romanticize death. More specifically, an allusion to the death of Romeo and Juliet. In case you weren’t paying attention in eighth grade English class, Romeo dies by poison and Juliet stabs herself with a dagger. Um, creepy much?
In what is also known as the stalker song, Sting insists that no matter what you’re doing, he will be watching you. He dreams and “can only see your face.” Yes, it’s a catchy song, but the level of obsessive adoration and devotion approaches that of a psychological disorder.
“Friday night I crashed your party / Saturday I said I’m sorry / Sunday came and trashed it out again.” So he trashes your parties. Routinely. “I may be crazy / but it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for.” Remember Jack Nicholson in The Shining? Ladies, I can assure you that you’re not looking for a lunatic.
Even the driving guitar riffs and British accent aren’t enough to make up for the fact that he calls you a “hot tramp” and “tacky thing,” admits a degree of confusion about your gender (“not sure if you’re a boy or a girl”), and he’s encouraging your use of sedative-hypnotic drugs…. At least the catchy song puts some fun in the dysfunctional?
Um, can you say emotional baggage? This guy was just engaged to some girl, and has since become a drunken mess (“out doing in my head”). Now he needs your help “get[ting] her out of [his] heart”?? Just say no. This is like Oprah 101: if he hasn’t moved on, he is not worthy of your time.
The flattery is all valid and well executed – she’s pretty, she’s confident, she loves to dance. “She’s so fine.” But, oh hey, wait, she’s TAKEN. And it’s your fault for giving her up. And now your best friend snagged her. Dude, sucks to be you.
The concept of a compliment clearly eludes this guy. “You’ve got the teeth / Of the Hydra upon you.” Please see the mythological beast at right for a Hydra. Also – “You’re built like a car / You got a hubcap / Diamond star halo?” – seriously?!? I don’t care if you’re in love with your car, boys; do not compare your love interests to motor vehicles.
Okay, so this particular “love song” is clearly farcical. But it sends a message to the ladies: don’t be clingy! It’s no fun to have someone “hanging off [your] ankle like some kind of ball and chain.” Also, please don’t break up the greatest musical group of all time. Or sing like this. Or this (3:37).