Some songs have the wrong sentimentality behind them.
There are songs that are well meaning, but if you read between the lines it’s not quite as sweet as it seems. Like the song “Lovin’ You” by the very lovely Minnie Riperton.
“Loving you is easy ’cause you’re beautiful?”
The other side of that coin is that it’s hard to love somebody who is less attractive. So ugly people should be really happy someone loves them on account of all the effort it takes to. Beautiful song, well meaning, but between the lines is an ice cold diss. But it is pretty easy to love Minnie Riperton considering she was so beautiful.
Another song with a similar twist is Stephen Stills’ “Love the One You’re With.” That boppy melody with it’s “do do do’s” makes you think it’s about showing true love to people. What it’s actually condoning is living a lie.
“If you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the one you’re with.”
Did you get in a committed relationship with someone you don’t love despite being in love with somebody else? Well, just transfer the energy for the one you actually love to the person you’re actually with.
Just phone it in. Because when the truth is what they need faking it is a great substitute.
Then we get into the flat out creepy songs. Like “Into the Night” by Benny Mardones. What seems like a love song is really an argument for pedophilia. Don’t think so? Listen to the very first line of that song again,
“She’s just 16 years old.”
Yep. Creepy. The use of the word “just” indicates that even he knows she’s far too young for him.
While we’re on creepy songs, let’s talk about “Wait (The Whisper Song)” by the Ying Yang Twins. The song is basically just two dudes bragging to a girl about the size of their manhood and saying they can’t wait until she sees. The song is called “the whisper song” because they “rap” the whole song in a whisper.
Why are they whispering? Unfortunately not out of the embarrassment they should feel for their lyrics. Actually, they think the whisper adds to the mystic of the song when it just makes them like one of those perverts at the mall who say disgusting things to you.
These guys are jerks and should be ashamed of themselves. I hate the Ying Yang Twins music. Way to take us back several decades, guys. You’re the exact opposite of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Ever heard Jagged Edge’s “Let’s Get Married?” Those soulful, dulcet tones are perfect for any good R&B song. The problem with this song isn’t that it’s creepy or sends the wrong message. The problem is that the message is sent the wrong way.
“Meet me at the altar in your white dress/We ain’t gettin’ no younger we might as well do it/Been feeling you all along I must confess/Let’s get married, I just wanna get married.”
Oh yeah, he went there. He reminded you how old you are. Are you swooning yet, ladies? Maybe if they repeat this chorus 6 times like they do at the end you’ll be into it. This is the kind of sweet poetry you have to drum into a person’s ear until they cave in. Hey, you might as well.
Some songs have tried to be romantic by tricking you into thinking you’re being insulted. There’s the 80’s classic by The Deele called “Two Occasions,” and Michael Bolton’s “Said I Loved You…But I Lied.”
The Deele sing to their ladies:
“I only think of you on two occasions…that’s day and night.”
Bolton does the same:
“I said I loved you…but I lied/Cause this is more than love I feel inside.”
Both are front-handed compliments. They say something that sounds like an insult, but if you read between the lines you see it’s a compliment. It’s the opposite of a back-handed compliment. They smack you across the face then say, “You look so beautiful today.” It’s a mind game they play with you to express their love. Making your heart sink so they can lift it back up.
See, they know you ladies like bad boys so they’re playing the role then revealing themselves to be sweethearts in the end. Sadly, this works. Both songs were major hits and ladies loved them. What does that say about the sense of worth women in our society feel.
I hate you girl…for making me feel so good!
But the most romantic way to express love is to grab their attention at the beginning without the use of insults, phoniness, creepiness or general douche baggery.
Jim Croce best exhibited this with his hit song “Time in a Bottle.” Here are some of his lyrics.
“If I could save time in a bottle/the first thing that I’d like to do…”
Weird start, not sure where he’s coming from yet…
“…is to save every day until eternity passes away just to spend them with you”
Oh, now that’s nice right there. Put down the guitar, receive your warm embrace. But he’s not done, he goes even further with it!
“But there never seems to be enough time/to do the things you want to do/once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know/that you’re the one I want to go/through time with”
Man! That’s how it’s done. This dude is basically saying, “I’d like to save up all the time in the world so I can spend it with you…but guess what? That still won’t be enough.”
It would be just his luck that a girl would say he’s too needy and would go for a Ying Yang twin instead.