Here we are once again celebrating that special day for lovers young and old. Given that love is the theme, I think it’s a little odd that the day is in honor of some obscure old Roman martyr (possibly more than one; history records several Valentines) that apparently no one, not even the Church itself, really knows much of anything about. My diligent (okay, it was one click) research shows that what we observe today as Valentine’s Day had more to do with later emphasis by Geoffrey Chaucer and Courtly Love (and no, that’s not a misprint, I didn't mean Courtney). The main focus back then, and for centuries afterwards, was the intimate exchange of hand-made heart-shaped love notes, no doubt discreetly delivered by servants, to the object of one’s affection. Nowadays of course it’s a mass marketing bonanza. A lot less intimate, I’m certain, but nevertheless, people, especially men, ignore it at their peril. The checklist has gone from simple cards to flowers, candy, jewelry, cars, real estate...who knows where the top end might be. Our interest here today is the music. One that gets featured (and covered) a lot is the classic oldie, “My Funny Valentine,” but really, any song about undying love will do. Here’s a couple of my particular faves. Both of them express their sentiments in astronomical terms, which is about as long term as it gets.
Everly Brothers – “Devoted To You” – A long-term declaration, all right. He’ll love her ‘til “the sun dries up the sea.” Eventually the sun will become a red giant, swell in size, and everything on all the inner planets, including Earth, will be toast – literally. That’s roughly 4.5 billion more years, according to some estimates, so if that’s the offer you get from your sweetie, I’d relax. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXeiExU8lrA
Beach Boys – “God Only Knows” – I’ve read comments about the opening lyrics to this one, saying that “I may not always love you” is a pretty strange way to start a love song. But listen on…it’s kind of like using a double negative. What he’s really saying is – “I’ll love you as love as there are stars in the sky.” As for that timetable, qualified people are still arguing over what will happen eons from now. Check out the Wikipedia article titled "Ultimate fate of the Universe.” No matter what happens to the Universe, love-wise it looks like an even better deal than the Everly’s are offering. Either way, you got nothin’ to worry about. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hi1HdLogwQk
Of course, not everybody out there will have a model Valentine’s Day. In case that’s you, here’s a little something for you, too. Kind of goes with the cookie picture, now that I think about it. I just added a link to a really neat video montage of Janis Joplin singing "Piece of My Heart" to my January 25/2007 on Fringe Benefits, so I won't post the same one again today. Instead, here's another vid of "Piece of My Heart" which I think is one of the cleverest I've found on YouTube yet. Same song, but juxtaposed with images from the BBC production of Jane Eyre! Ladies, you may wince at the very thought - pairing wild woman Joplin and the frilly ladies (and frilly gentlemen) of the 19th Century (kind of like wearing sneakers with a designer dress) but hey...it works! Anyway, I think it's an inspired choice. See what you think. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pme-S8WenRs
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY TO YOU ALL