Well, if ever there were a Valentine’s Day where you need to get creative in gift giving for your special someone or ‘someones’, (just because I’m married doesn’t mean you have to be) it’s this one. Dine in restaurants are a no go, shopping malls to find that perfect provocative present are closed and you’re not even supposed to be with anyone outside of your own household (friendly reminder: worldwide pandemic STILL going).
So some will use this as a perfect opportunity to get out of acknowledging Valentine’s altogether, promising a big trip or gift NEXT year, you know when things are back to “normal” (or hopefully, much better than that).
But I’m here to tell you that this year, 2021, is the perfect year to up your Valentines gift game. Not with expensive gifts or inexpensive grocery store flowers that will go bad even before the grocery store raspberries do, but with something that truly comes from the heart: an original love song. Especially for men who may have trouble expressing emotion to their special someone but who have openly wept with joy, or sadness, over one play in professional sports.
Now, when I’ve expressed this thought over the years during live comedy performances to live audiences (it was a thing, really) the response that I’ve usually gotten from men is “I can’t write a love song, I’m not talented that way!” To which I have always replied, “listen to the love songs that are out there already. You can’t be worse than THAT.”
Most love songs that we hear from accomplished songwriters and performers don’t make much sense.
Toronto’s own “The Weeknd”, who performed to great praise at the Super bowl halftime show last, well, weekend (famous singers are held to a lower spelling standard than the rest of us) has a lot of very catchy tunes. But perhaps his best known love song is a little ditty called “Can’t Feel My Face” where he expresses such fondness for some mysterious woman that he literally can’t feel his own FACE when he’s with her. And he really likes it! That’s a red flag to me. If you’re with someone and suddenly you can’t feel your face, at BEST that’s an allergic reaction. Or it could be a stroke. In any case, you should seek medical assistance immediately. Not take the time to write a song about it.
Fellow Canadian superstar Drake doesn’t often write love songs, but when he does, they don’t make sense either. His hit “Hotline Bling” is about a female that used to call him on his cellphone, late at night, when she needed his love. She used to be a “good girl and always be at home”. Now she isn’t anymore. That’s the entire song. I assume the female in question was still living with her parents at the time, then got older, moved out and found another gentleman caller. Not sure how that one got so popular. But you know what they say about Drake: that’s the word for ‘male duck’. True story.
Then there’s legendary Canadian singer and songwriter Paul Anka whose 1974 song “Having My Baby” is simply a statement of fact to a woman that he, for some reason, felt needed the reminder that a) she was pregnant and b) he was the father. With lyrics like:
The seed inside you baby do you feel it growing?
Yes Paul, she does. And despite the woman that has been coerced into singing the response “I’ m a woman in love and I love what’s going through me” that is not a truthful human woman response to pregnancy. The song should have been written by a woman and called “You did this to me you sunuvabitch!” Though the fact that Paul then goes on to sing “you didn’t have to keep it/I wouldn’t put you through it/you could have swept it from your life/but you didn’t do it.” makes for a catchy pro-choice PSA jingle. Or a really gross ad for brooms.
Even seasoned international superstar Elton John and his longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin have trouble writing love songs that make sense. Look no further than “Your Song” which is basically just a self-critique of a love song with lyrics like, “I know it’s not much but it’s the best I can do” (which, btw, is not a great way to introduce your significant other to others) And when you say “you can tell everybody, this is your song” without naming who the song is actually about, well, it kind of loses something in exclusivity. Hell I tell everyone younger than thirty-five that it’s MY song. They usually believe me.
All of this to say, whether you recently started co-habitating with your significant other, have been married for several years, or are still searching for a significant amount of significant others (I get it. You’ve been locked down a while. You have some catching up to do.) this Valentine’s is the one you should put pen to paper, write out a heartfelt poem and then put that poem to music and create a love SONG. Even if you aren’t a poet. Or a musician. Or you haven’t written anything on paper in quite some time. Whatever you come up with, it will NOT be the worst or weirdest love song ever written.
Of course, it would be easy for me to just criticize songs without writing one of my own, so below is a link to a love song I wrote called “Song For Significant Other”. If you’d like you can tell everybody this is YOUR song. But I have a feeling you’re not going to want to do that. Happy Valentine’s Day 2021 everybody. Now go write YOUR love song!