Ahhh, the Love Song!
It has been estimated that more than 100 million love songs have been recorded! 100 MILLION!
According to experts, the oldest known love song is the love song of Shu-Sin, which was discovered in the library of Ashurbanipal (I can’t even pronounce that!) in Mesopotamia, written about 2000 BC. The Song of Solomon was composed sometime between 971 and 931 BC. But I have a hunch there were love songs written long before that and we just don’t know about them. Could it be possible that Adam and Eve had a “song?” Now, there’s something to think about!
As a songwriter, I’ve contemplated the question, do we really need more love songs? Hasn’t it all been said? I echo the sentiment in this lyric line from the 1934 Broadway musical, Life Begins at 8:40:
Lovers long before us,
Sang the same old chorus,
If it worked in days of yore,
What can I say in a love song,
That hasn’t been said before?
Why do we humans keep writing, singing, playing & recording love songs?
Because we keep trying to figure love out, and we keep trying to tell about it in our own way! We have the hope that the way WE say it will strike a chord, (pardon the pun,) and someone will say, “that’s how I feel, too!”
Feelings of love are so complex, so ubiquitous, so permeating, so common, yet so unique, that they provide endless fodder for the songwriter. We will never stop trying to give love our own musical spin. And we will never run out of ways.
After Tom and I put together our setlist for our “Lasting Love Songs” duet show, I decided to google “the world’s most popular love songs.” My interest was piqued when I saw list upon list: Top 50 Love Songs of All Time and The 60 Best Love Songs of All Time and the 80 Greatest Love Songs of All Time and the 20 Best Love Songs of All Time. All of these lists are based on objective data regarding time on the charts and album sales or the educated opinion of experts. I decided to check these lists out. And what did I discover? Not one of the songs that Tom and I had chosen for our show appeared on any list! Apparently “their” top 50 or 60 or 80 or 20 was not ours!
And honestly, that’s the beauty of the love song. In the eyes of the beholder, it is entirely subjective. In fact, it’s wholly a matter of the heart!
We all have our own love song setlists!
And that’s why there will always be new love songs.
There will be love songs written and never shared.
There will be love songs written and sung for just one special person or a small intimate gathering
There will be love songs heard on the airwaves by the masses.
As long as songwriters keep looking for ways to tell THEIR story of love, and as long as we all keep looking for the songs that tell OUR story of love, there will be more love songs.
And I don’t see that stopping any time soon! In fact, I think that could go on forever!
So songwriters, keep writing those songs! Keep telling your stories! Keep sharing the songs of your heart!
Always and forever, let there be love songs!
If you want to watch Tom and Andrea’s Lasting Love Song list, go to nestconcerts.com to purchase tickets for their in person show, or the livestream.