As a young, ego-fueled, pretentious, over-serious-minded songwriter/artist, I had decided that it was uncool to mention the word “love” in a song lyric … it was just downright uncool! These days – still a songwriter, but somewhat more mature – I revel and delight in the idea of presenting “love”, in its many guises, in as many creative ways as I can within my art; it seems to be the most noble thing I can do. After all, a little more of it is what we could all do with, isn’t it – Love. But when you’re a super-cool young kid making tough, real, underground, important art – image is everything, and “love” is … soft. I can’t quite believe that that was me, but it was.
Funny really, how seriously I took such things – how little we perceive when we’re over-serious and self-righteous (and young). I suppose it was part of my “right of passage” – a learning curve. Yeah, let’s just call it that.
I admired the modern ironic, tough, skeptical lyricists that somehow spoke of love in ‘round about ways – skirting around the sentimental aspect of the subject. I thought this was cool and I wanted to emulate it. But, come on, The Beatles – “All You Need Is Love”! There it is; let’s not hide the facts – nothing to be embarrassed about or ashamed of there. STICK IT OUT THERE – OUT IN FRONT. In fact, it’s rather brave and tough and real – actually rather cool – to speak of love, for in truth, it’s what we live for, strive for … and long for – even though we may not like to admit it sometimes.
As I loosened up over the years, love started to appear in my lyrics. I tried not to fall into the “Hallmark Card” trap, become over-sentimental, but I did allow the word to poke its face in now and then – here and there. And, low and behold – no loss of self-esteem! Love breeds compassion, and that’s alright in my book. So, let’s shout it from the rooftops – it’s a good thing. If we can, we should spread the news whenever we can. So my songs over the years have steadily allowed and incorporated love into its rightful place.
The word “love” (and its concept) is very often misinterpreted and frivolously overused, treated too lightly, without weight – its true significance banded around with carefree abandon. It can be easily taken so many ways – its power can be lost in the translation. We have become so used to using the word “love” for innumerable different reasons, that whenever I’m able to bring “love” into one of my songs, I try to show it some reverence and place it in a meaningful context if I can.
I don’t mean to beat the fun out of love by taking it all so seriously (as I did as a kid, banishing it altogether), but I do try to put it in a clear light – to be perceived for what it really is: a very big “little” word, with big meaning and overtones… probably the most powerful word in our language. For love is another word for “hope”, and that really is something we can’t exist without.
So, come on everybody – “All You Need Is Love”! Sing it loud and sing it proud!
|“All You Need Is Love”
“Everything You Do – do it for Love”