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[personal profile] liv
[livejournal.com profile] redbird and some friends have set up a blog to collect songs that portray healthy love. This is a fun game; I think there are more songs about breakups than about happy relationships, but even among songs that are supposed to be positive, there is a lot of sexism, stalkery possessiveness, co-dependence, deeply back-handed compliments and other such junk. So, can you think of any songs which describe a relationship you'd be willing to aspire to?

My suggestions: Nothing else matters (Metallica); Independent love song (Scarlet); Hey there Delilah (Plain White Ts); When I was a boy (Dar Williams); and If I could save time in a bottle (Jim Croce).

I'm making a playlist of some of the suggestions, but as usual it's pretty random what is available at any given moment.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-14 03:12 pm (UTC)
ext_78: A picture of a plush animal. It looks a bit like a cross between a duck and a platypus. (Default)
From: [identity profile] pne.livejournal.com
Just adult-adult love?

Because one that came to my mind is Wenn du da bist ("When you'll be there" or "When you'll have arrived") by Pur, but it's about a father singing mostly to his unborn child (but also to, or at least about, his wife and how her belly looks beautiful to him). I think it counts as healthy love.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-14 10:36 pm (UTC)
siderea: (Default)
From: [personal profile] siderea
I dunno. Seems something of a cop-out to have to recourse to non-romantic songs. Isn't the problem being addressed the pathology in heterosexual courting norms?

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-14 03:37 pm (UTC)
ext_15802: (Default)
From: [identity profile] megamole.livejournal.com
Two Little Boys - Rolf Harris.

:-P

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-14 04:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dampscribbler.livejournal.com
What a great idea. At the moment I can't think of a single one, although I can think of two possibilities that I need to investigate the lyrics of further -- "Baby Baby" by Amy Grant, which she actually wrote for her daughter but the effect of that was destroyed by the music video which involved a sexy man not a baby, and "Butterfly Kisses" by some country singer which had thousands of little girls nationwide begging for him to be their Mommy's new partner. So, while lyrically both may qualify, their effects have been...interesting....

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-14 05:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] friend-of-tofu.livejournal.com
A few random thoughts;

Madonna - "Express Yourself"

Morrissey - "My Love Life", "You're The One For Me, Fatty" & "Hold Onto Your Friends"

The Righteous Brother - "Unchained Melody" (from [livejournal.com profile] darkfloweruk)

Ghosting - "My Mistress's Eyes Are Nothing Like The Sun" (version of the Shakespeare sonnet)

Athens Boys Choir - "Fagette"

Corpus Delicti - "Motherland" (about parental/filial relationship)

David Bowie - "Kooks"

Dragonette - "Get Lucky"

Spice Girls - "Wannabe"

Strangelove - "The Runaway Brothers" (actually about the sadness at the end of a friendship, but quite sensible and resigned)

Amy Winehouse - "There Is No Greater Love"

The Chameleons - "Music In The Womb"

The Decemberists - "Summersong" (incredibly rare positive relationship song!)

Desert Sessions 10 (Josh Homme/PJ Harvey) - "I Wanna Make It Wit Chu" (kiiiiinda...)

PJ Harvey - "Good Fortune"

Saint Etienne - "You're In A Bad Way"

Hole - "Skinhead Girl" & "My Beautiful Son"

Bandit Queen - "Frida Kahlo" (only if you think being very very very keen on dead artists is healthy...)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-14 05:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] j4.livejournal.com
How much do they have to be unambiguously about a relationship? I mean, is it okay if they're just basically "squee, I love you, you are great", or is that unhealthy because it's not clear whether the person being sung about reciprocates that -- ie whether the person/persona singing it is a crazy stalker fantasist?

Anyway, my suggestions:

"The Book of Love" by the Magnetic Fields

"You and me song" by the Wannadies

"This Kiss" by Faith Hill

"You're still the one" by Shania Twain

"I want to be your girlfriend" by Mary Chapin Carpenter (unless "nobody else's but yours" makes it unhealthy because it's pro-mono [though I suppose in that case "still the one" is just as bad] ... though to be honest the whole thing is probably already disqualified on the grounds of sexism because it's a girl wanting to be a boy's "girlfriend" ... but I still think it's sweet)

[livejournal.com profile] addedentry suggests "Are we ever gonna have sex again?" by Amy Rigby. :-D It's realistic at least!

Sorry these are all so heteronormative.

And it's amazing how quickly all love songs start to look unhealthy because they say things like "I'll always love you" or "I love you more than anything else in the world" or other sick nonsense like that. In fact the more I think about it the more I think "love" is probably a very dangerous word to use and should be banned on grounds of health. :-(

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-14 09:17 pm (UTC)
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)
From: [personal profile] redbird
As far as we seem to have this defined, it doesn't need to be about a relationship, but we're looking for healthy: so "I love you, I want to be with you always" is okay, but "I love you and I cannot live without you" is problematic, and "I love you, I cannot live without you, marry me or I will kill myself" [1] is unhealthy.

[1] Lehrer was reassured, if that's the word, when he saw that the envelope was addressed to "Occupant"

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-15 09:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] j4.livejournal.com
Out of interest, is "I love you more than anyone/anything else" allowed? If not, I am somewhat saddened that hyperbole seems to be considered unhealthy even between consenting adults as part of a balanced poetic diet...

And if we're going to be strict here, I'd say "I want to be with you always" is verging on the creepy. I mean, I don't necessarily want my whatever-the-polylitically-correct-term-for-partner-is-these-days to be with me when I go to the loo, I don't want them hiding under my desk when I'm at work, etc.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-15 12:12 pm (UTC)
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)
From: [personal profile] redbird
I would say that "I love you more than anyone else" is fine, as long as it isn't "so I have to have you, or else" (that would include threatening to hurt or kill anyone else the person expresses interest in and "so don't you dare leave me," as well as the "and I will die of heartache if you don't marry me" sense).

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-23 11:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lavendersparkle.livejournal.com
It depends what people find comfortable. My husband and myself both don't really need 'space' away from each other and so are quite happy and even prefer to be with each other all of the time if that were practical. (One possible exception is that I'm more of a morning person so when I wake up it's a bit better for me to potter about in the next room than to fidget in bed and wake him up.) Of course, in reality we have to potter off to different places of work etc.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-14 06:02 pm (UTC)
mathcathy: number ball (Default)
From: [personal profile] mathcathy
Eternal Flame - The Bangles
Lady in Red - Chris de Burgh
Every little thing she does is magic - The Police
Secret Smile - Semisonic

This is a fabulous idea!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-14 06:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rysmiel.livejournal.com
"Time in a Bottle" feels a little bit more obsessive than is entirely healthy to me. And I tend to think of "Nothing Else Matters" as a political anthem first and a relationship song second, which is all Gravy Bath's fault.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-14 06:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rysmiel.livejournal.com
A positive suggestion, to make up for moaning in the last post; how about the Waterboys' "Whole of the Moon" ? That feels like a relationship where the singer really respects the person sung to, and thinks in terms of sharing good stuff with them.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-14 06:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rysmiel.livejournal.com
Also, U2's "One" seems to be the only song I can think of concerning a relationship in trouble that is both offering to do healthy things to fix it, and pointing out and refusing unhealthy simplistic solutions. Or indeed one of the very few that acknowledges that real good relationships have imperfections and this is OK.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-14 06:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] awful-dynne.livejournal.com
"My Johnny was a Shoemaker" by Steeleye Span
"A Girl in the Valley" from the musical "The Secret Garden"

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-14 06:29 pm (UTC)
ajollypyruvate: (Cunning)
From: [personal profile] ajollypyruvate
Jeez, I don't think I know any "healthy love songs." My "love songs" tend to be more along the lines of Nine Inch Nail's Closer or Revolting Cock's cover of Do Ya Think I'm Sexy. Still, I'm sure there's something hidden in my collection that I can contribute.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-14 11:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] friend-of-tofu.livejournal.com
Oh I don't know, I think RevCo's 'DYTIS?' is quite heathy - it is encouraging the interested party to be open and honest about their sexual attraction, which is surely a good thing?

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-14 11:42 pm (UTC)
ajollypyruvate: (Cunning)
From: [personal profile] ajollypyruvate
Well, it's not exactly a love song.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-15 09:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] friend-of-tofu.livejournal.com
No, but it's definitely sex-positive. It suggests that the aim is for everyone involved to have a cracking good time, which seems like a reasonable approach.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-15 10:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lisekit.livejournal.com
"Closer" is my kinda love song!

Ooo, a contribution!

Date: 2008-09-14 08:35 pm (UTC)
ajollypyruvate: (Cunning)
From: [personal profile] ajollypyruvate
Something by the Beatles.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-15 10:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lisekit.livejournal.com
"Imperfection" by The Tears - a beautiful and passionate song about loving someone warts'n'all.

"You Got the Love" by The Source and Candi Statton - I think it's really a gospel song and therefore probably about a higher power rather than a person, but it could be read as being about loving support in times of need.

"Never be the Same Again" - Mel C and Lisa Lopes. All about friends finally getting together.

Far too syrupy for my tastes, but "You're Still The One" by Shania Twain is about love and marriage lasting in the face of cynicism from others.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-15 10:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lisekit.livejournal.com
Oh, I somehow forgot "Just Like Heaven" by The Cure!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-15 09:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] friend-of-tofu.livejournal.com
Arguably "Lovesong" too, although it possibly veers a bit too close to the border of "I'm useless without you", which is not so healthy.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-15 02:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] woodpijn.livejournal.com
Great thread :)

"I Got You Babe" - Sonny & Cher
"Heaven is a place on earth" - Belinda Carlisle
"All I Ask Of You" from the Phantom of the Opera
"Happy Together" - the Turtles (I think)
"The Wonder of You" - Elvis Presley
"I will be here" - Steven Curtis Chapman

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-15 07:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ceb.livejournal.com
A few off the top of my head....
Queen - I Was Born To Love You
Eurythmics - There Must Be An Angel
Pet Shop Boys - It Always Comes As A Surprise
The Mission - Tower of Strength

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-15 08:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ceb.livejournal.com
Marillion - Waiting To Happen

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-15 09:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] friend-of-tofu.livejournal.com
Ahhh, closet Marillion fandom revealed!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-15 10:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ceb.livejournal.com
You should come and see my CD shelves, it isn't very closet ;-)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-15 10:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] friend-of-tofu.livejournal.com
But do you still have the version of "La Gazza Lardra" with perfectly folded poster inside?

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-15 10:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leora.livejournal.com
Ghost of a Chance (http://www.lyricsdomain.com/18/rush/ghost_of_a_chance.html) by Rush.

That works very well for me.

There are others, but my files are down so I can't just browse the songs that I categorized in the "love" directory or otherwise look at my notes.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-15 10:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leora.livejournal.com
A friend suggested this one, which I've heard and also think is good: Fleming and John Comfortable (http://www.lyricstime.com/fleming-and-john-comfortable-lyrics.html).

The actual song repeats the lyrics, "I really don't mind being this comfortable" a lot more than the lyrics make you think. And it's nice having a song that puts some positivity on a long-standing relationship that isn't overly exciting, just good.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-16 03:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kathrid.livejournal.com
Led Zeppelin - Thank You.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-23 11:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lavendersparkle.livejournal.com
I would suggest:
"It's Getting Better" by Mama Cass
"What Moe can I Say?" from Falsettoland is one of my favourite love songs. http://www.allmusicals.com/lyrics/falsettoland/whatmorecanisay.htm

Soundbite

Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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