One of the most intoxicating aspects of love is the initial feeling of attraction felt towards a crush. Hoping you’ll see him/her, yet praying you don’t because the jitters are too much, you walk around on pins and needles. Even simple gestures such as “Hello!” seem absolutely impossible. Christina Morris sums up this feeling of fresh love astutely in “Hello”, one of her many love songs. She wrote the song about a guy she was interested in who had no idea who she was… we’ve all been there right?
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I stumbled across this gem of a love song when I was on a hunt to find out what in the world happened to the Wilkinsons. If you’ve never heard of the Wilkinsons, you missed out on an amazing country group of the 90’s. Anyway, Tyler Wilkinson (brother of the former father-son-daughter trio) has been collaborating with folk-indie artist Alyssa Bonagura. They produced a beautiful tune entitled “Killing Me,” which speaks of the power love holds over the one in love, despite its ironic title. My favorite lyric is “If this is Heaven, lay me down to rest… and if it’s not it must be second best.” What a beautiful and powerful way to describe love…
The music of the 70’s doesn’t get enough credit. There are so many hidden gems that are left forgotten from this wonderful decade. Sure, Beyonce’s current hit “Love On Top” showcases her crazy ability to change keys about four times in one song, and I applaud her. Yet, there’s something so honest and simple about the music of artists like the Carpenters, James Taylor, or one of my personal favorites – Jim Croce. If you are familiar with any music from the 70’s, chances are you probably know his hit “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” which was a top 10 single in 1973. However, I want to focus on one of his other songs, a love song appropriately titled, “I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song.” Croce’s wife Ingrid tells the story of how the song came about:
I questioned Jim about our finances. After a year and a half of his working so very hard on the road, we were barely making ends meet, but Jim wouldn’t talk about it. He hated questions as much as he hated confrontation, especially about money. He stormed out of our bedroom and went down to the kitchen table to brood. The next morning he woke me gently by singing one of his new love songs. “Every time I tried to tell you the words just came out wrong. So I’ll have to say I love you, in a song.”
(Info obtained from: http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=5157)
The world lost Croce and his talent when he died in a plane crash on September 20, 1973. But he left behind a simple song with a simple message about love – sometimes love is so hard to grasp it cannot be expressed in words. In essence isn’t this why artists write love songs – to try to describe love in the most poignant and real way? And don’t many people (whether musicians or not) use music to express love? We can all learn a lesson from Croce and give the love songs of the 70’s a closer listen.