NPR poses the question – “Does a confession of love require a soundtrack?“
BUT – I’m also a girl who grew up on a steady diet of pop culture and I’m kind of a sucker for the musical confession of love.
Or hell, even basic acknowledgment of existence.
Tom Cruise serenading Kelly McGillis with You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin‘ in Top Gun? It’s a great moment…even though he’s accompanied by a bunch of drunken flyboys.
Say Anything’s In Your Eyes moment is iconic and I’m pretty sure that 90% of all women who saw that movie had the same soft-focus daydream that maybe someday, someone would do that for them.
(Sidebar: This is a cheap, easy and effortlessly romantic gesture and yet, I don’t know one person whose significant other has shown up on their driveway avec boombox. What the hell? You don’t even have to do anything! Just show up and press play. Violation of noise ordinances aside, why hasn’t this happened more?)
I’m relatively certain that Heath Ledger’s brassy serenade of Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You can get a girl pregnant.
Oh wait. I’m right.
So, I say YES. A confession of love requires a soundtrack because LIFE requires a soundtrack.
When I’m cleaning the bathroom, I shimmy like Beyoncé. Yes, it’s as unattractive as it sounds. No, you cannot come by, watch and laugh.
When cooking (actually cooking, not just making popcorn and calling it dinner), I have to listen to music. Tomatoes simmering with basil and garlic need a little Sinatra to help them along. It makes them taste better.
And the science of sound is important. I mean, it’s all well and good to lumber under the weight of a boombox but if you’re lumbering while playing Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton – you’re doing it wrong because that song sucks. Seriously, it is insipid pablum propagated by unimaginative wedding DJs and when you play it, you’re announcing to the world that you’re a chowderhead incapable of original thought.
Wow. I really hate that song, huh?
Anyway, I started thinking about love songs. The love songs that I love – the ones that I want sung to me in a bar or blasted from a boombox or sung in a stadium with the accompaniment of a full marching band. In other words, the good ones that make for a perfect soundtrack when accompanying a confession of love.
P.Y.T. by Michael Jackson – C’mere. No closer. Seriously, lean in because I’ve got a secret to tell you. You ready? All girls want to hear that they’re pretty. Not hot, not cute but pretty. And we don’t want to hear it from some leering letch at the bar or some undersexed bozo on the subway. We want you to look at us and smile and tell us that you think we’re pretty. And we want you to mean it (because we can tell if you don’t). And if we’re real pains in the ass (which some of us are), we kinda want there to be a little choreography involved.
By Your Side by Sade – This is a song upon which to create a moment. I’m a big believer in tiny moments and have a tendency to remember those much easier than the big moments. So, put on the song, grab your girl or guy and dance barefoot in the living room. Trust Sade. Trust me.
Diamond Ring by The Black Crowes – I hate public proposals. You’re asking one person to marry you; not the whole world. It’s intrusive and woe betide you if the girl says no. But, if you must – make it a full scale production that involves your ass clapping and stomping around like Chris Robinson, a full gospel choir and a finale that culminates with you getting down on one knee.
Thirteen by Big Star – Having a crush turns you into Neurotic Mess Crazy Person. NMCP overthinks everything. NMCP changes her outfit more than any person alive. NMCP pores over mix CD tracklists with the intensity of a hardcore Talmudic scholar. But all of that ridiculousness is worth it when you hang out with the person and get a buzz on just being in the same room as them. That is what this song sounds like – the buzz and blissed out feeling you get just being close enough to touch. And if you learn how to play this on an acoustic guitar, you’re pretty much guaranteed to save the world and get the girl
Realizing you love someone is kinda a big deal and I can’t think of anything more deserving of a little pomp and circumstance than that.
Well, other than when you eat a really amazing sandwich and Handel’s Messiah kicks in, but that happens to everyone, right?
Guys? Guys…? Seriously, we all hear the Hallelujah Chorus when we eat sandwiches? Guys…?