Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler...Former teacher... Scientist... Published author... Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published February 10th 2020
Love is real, no matter what
Last year (2019), I wrote a couple of columns for Valentine's Day, one about weird love songs and another focusing on the love songs of Eric Clapton. So this year, I decided to stick to music and try a different look at Valentine's Day.
Okay, this is not icky. These are songs by real artists where the love is not directed at a human object of desire. Simple, really. And there have been a lot of them! And love has been expressed for everything.
Okay, I might be cheating here a little. Some songs are not love songs per se, but the love for something not human is overt. So… a different Valentine's song list!
'I Love My Dog' by Cat Stevens (1966)
Cat Stevens was an amazing singer-songwriter, his songs filling the soundtracks of the lives of many. And here, in one of his earliest songs, he sings about how he loves his dog as much as his woman, but he is also sure the dog's love will be longer-lasting. A bit of a slap in the face to the woman, but a definite positive to the dog. And, I know, many people would agree with his assessment.
'I Love Onions' by Susan Christie (1966)
A song about… well, loving onions. The vegetable. Just the vegetable. She indicates that there are many things she does not like, but that does not matter because she loves onions. This was what used to be termed a novelty song; today, I am sure some-one today would read more into it than was ever intended. Just a fun, little song, really.
'I'm In Love With My Car' by Queen (1975)
Queen! One of Roger Taylor's early contributions to the band, this was originally released as the B-side to a slightly more well-known song that some readers may have heard of: 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. But that should not diminish the fact that this song is really, really good. Its impassioned delivery is amazing and it sounds like a love song. But… it is still about a car. Needless to say, I have seen this song used to advertise a few cars on television in my time. For a change, it suits. We'll come to a song a little later that does not.
'I Love To Boogie' by T.Rex (1976)
T.Rex were one of the vanguards of the glam rock movement, and this was one of their final songs to reach the charts. It is about loving to dance. Simple. But… Oh, look, it's glam rock, it's Marc Bolan. Some of the lyrical conventions used here, some of the metaphors, the mentioning of names, indicates that "boogie" might well be a euphemism. Oh well, when I first heard it, I was not even ten years old, and so to me it will always be about dancing.
'Dreadlock Holiday' by 10cc (1978)
"I don't like cricket/ I love it…"
"I don't like reggae/ I love it…"
"I don't like Jamaica/ I love her…"
Three things to love in one song! How could you not like this? Based on an apparently true story, this is a great track that is still played at cricket matches around the world some forty-plus years later.
'(I'd Love To Have A Beer With) Duncan' by Slim Dusty (1980)
Slim Dusty, Australian country music icon, released this song about the love of having a drink with your mates. It was one of the most Australian songs ever recorded, even if it does not mention the country by name. This is the anthem of every Saturday night in every pub in all of the country. So perfect. Because we'd all love to have a beer with [whoever] because [whoever] really is our mate!
'I Love A Rainy Night' by Eddie Rabbitt (1980)
My guess would be that if anyone heard the title of this song, they would assume that love was there because it would hide the tears or some other cliché. That would probably be made more definite to an unilluminated person if they learnt it is a country-rock song. But, no, Eddie Rabbitt loves a rainy night because, well, quite simply, he loves a rainy night. He loves the rain, the thunder, the lightning. He just loves it. Cool.
'I Love Rock'n'Roll' by Joan Jett And The Blackhearts (1982)
Ah, yes, Joan Jett's cover of that glam rock classic. And it is about what it says in the title – they all love rock and roll. The music, that is; nothing else. It is that straight forward. There is very little else to say here except this song is awesome, and 'Weird Al' Yankovic's version ('I Love Rocky Road') stands to me as one of his middling efforts.
'Who Would Love This Car But Me?' by Brian Setzer '68 Comeback Special (2001)
After fronting his big band for so long, Brian Setzer went back to the three-piece rockabilly group, which would eventually lead to the reformation of the wonderful Stray Cats. However, this track is by that other trio he fronted, named for an Elvis Presley TV special. Setzer catalogues a litany of things wrong with his car, but then declares he still loves it because, well, no-one else would or could. This is a fun song that I think should be the theme song for a used car yard. So good.
'I Love It' by Icona Pop featuring Charlie XCX (2012)
"It"? What is it? Is it the wanton destruction of property? The abuse of someone else's belongings? The realisation that she and he and are from different generations? What? I don't really care. She loves "IT", whatever "IT" is. This is one of my workout songs; it has a really good beat for training to, and I think that's why I enjoy it so much.
Brief diversion: There is a repeated line in the song, "I crashed my car into the bridge, I watched, I let it burn…" No big deal; it's a song lyric. And yet, this is the other song I have heard used in a car commercial! What moron okayed a song where a prominent line is about crashing a car and it burning in order to advertise a car? I will never understand advertisers.
And there you have it! Ten Valentine's Day songs about loving things not human. I am sure I have missed some (or ignored some because I don't really like them – and I am looking at you, 'Muskrat Love', a song about the romance between two muskrats), so feel free to comment below and add your own. I love getting comments! I don't bite! Not really…
And for those, like me, without a Valentine of your own, I hope a list like this makes you realise that love is not all it is cracked up to be.