Thursday February 14, 2013
Songs for Valentine's Day
Compiled by KENNETH CHAW and ANGELIN YEOH
To mark Valentine’s Day today, the writers of Star2 share the songs that are heating up their playlists.
IT’S been said that 60% of all songs are about love. Think about it. The crushes, the first dates, the break-ups, the make-ups and not forgetting those, ahem, raunchy types – they’re all about love. The Star2 family came up with a list of songs you could play this Valentine’s Day as well as some others you’re better off without.
Songs for when you’re having a crush
Sharmila Nair: OMG, I found the perfect song to describe my love relationship with professional rugby player and boxer Sonny Bill Williams. It’s Janet Jackson’s He Doesn’t Know I’m Alive. These lyrics “I’ve got his picture, it’s on my dresser (it’s my screensaver actually), Right next to my bed, He doesn’t know me but I sure know him, I can’t get him out of my head” from the song totally fit this crazy crush I have on this awesomely handsome and insanely hot New Zealander. By the way, he’s currently playing for the Australian Sydney Roosters rugby team and I am born in the year of the Rooster. If that’s not fate’s way of saying that we’re meant to be, I don’t know what is.
Karyn Anne Krishnan: I don’t have a crush on a rugby player, ahem, or anybody … for now (wink). But I sure do have a crush on a song, ever since the first listen. Rod Stewart feat. Dianna Ross’ I’ve Got A Crush On You reminds me of all the times I’ve been a silly, blushing, giggly girl – from boy band crushes, to recent butterflies-in-stomach moments. My reminiscing has never failed to plaster a smile on my face.
Ann Marie Chandy: Ummmm ... I’m probably showing my age here, but does Little Peggy March’s I Will Follow Him count? There isn’t an ocean too deep, a mountain so high it can keep, keep me away!
William Kee: When I was in secondary school (many, many moons ago), Amy Grant’s Baby, Baby perfectly encapsulated how I felt. Urgh, making this playlist is a potential downer, I can already tell.
S. Indramalar: When I was 14, I had a crush on a boy who didn’t know I was alive. Well, he did since we were in the same tuition class, but he didn’t really care. Back then, I was a little heavy and dressed in the “uncool” clothes my mother bought for me from Fajar. My crush song was Whitney Houston’s How Will I Know? which I sang along to (on repeat) every day for months. It drove my mother crazy. I thought was in love, what can I say.
Songs you shouldn’t play on a first date
Angelin Yeoh: There are things to do on a first date like smell nice, look nice and be nice. Then, on your way to the first date, in the car; try to avoid these songs:
1. Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On – It’s just too soon. Really. Way too soon.
2. Any Bruno Mars song that is about catching grenades and “finding something dumb to do”. Because it’s dumb.
3. Adele’s Someone Like You – Pretty soon, you’ll be looking for something dumb to do like catch a grenade.
4. Boyz II Men’s I’ll Make Love To You – Read 1.
5. Ronan Keating’s When You Say Nothing At All – Yeah, that’s really just a buzzkill.
Nasa Maria Entaban: I Wanna Sex You Up by Color Me Badd. Creepy, much? Nothing says serial-rapist-axe murderer like the line: “Let me take off all your clothes, Disconnect the phone so nobody knows, yeah”. Another one is Every Breath You Take by The Police. Commitment is great, but not when it borders on stalkerism, like the lyrics of this song. Who wants someone watching you all the time and listening for your every breath?
AMC: Adele’s If It Hadn’t Been For Love ... you don’t want anyone noticing your Glenn Close/Fatal Attraction-type tendencies too soon.
WK: Taylor Swift’s We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. Haven’t started the romance; you want to jinx it with this song ah? And you wouldn’t want Swift’s bad track record when it comes to dating.
SI: Creep by Radiohead, of course. I mean, you want to hook the sucker ... err I mean, man of your dreams first, before showing him how terribly damaged you are, right?
Daryl Goh: Release The Bats by The Birthday Party. A post-punk classic bashed out by a young Nick Cave. Outside the Goth and hillybilly punk imaginery, I don’t think any first date would appreciate a shrieking Nick Cave going on about sex vampires, bats and biting (“A hundred fluttering in your skirt (don’t tell me that it doesn’t hurt).” This isn’t True Blood.
Songs about unrequited love
Kenneth Chaw: No thanks to the recent release of the Hollywood film version of Les Misérables, I’ve been hitting replay on the tearful ballad, On My Own. Watching poor Eponine walk along a dark, empty street as the rain pours, singing about her love for a man who will never love her back gets me every time. And then, there’s Taylor Swift’s You Belong With Me that is oh so sinfully catchy and I can’t believe I’m putting it in the same paragraph as the aforementioned musical masterpiece.
AY: Yuna’s Decorate – With lyrics like “Almost made me move out of town / You don’t want me to be around / But I stayed anyway / Just in case”; you’d want to avoid this song on those cold lonely nights. Jason Mraz’s You and I Both – “And it’s okay if you had to go away / Oh, just remember the telephones well, they work in both ways / But if I never ever hear them ring...” this song gets me. Especially for everytime I try to call for delivery.
AMC: Cee Lo Green’s Forget You (hey, we’re in Malaysia) for when I am mad with the jerk who ignores my existence. Bread’s Diary is perfect for those moments when I become extremely dramatic and think that everyone is better than I am and that’s why no one will love me. Ever. (Waaaaiiiiillll)
WK: Adele’s Someone Like You (“I heard that you’re settled down....”). I like Adele, but I think her CD should come with an anti-depressant because all her songs are about one-sided love affairs and sooo sad.
SI: I’m going to reveal my really mushy side here. The one that weeps at romantic movies and prays for a happy ending. My favourite song in this category is I Can’t Fight This Feeling by REO Speedwagon. OK, leave me alone ... I’m starting to tear up.
DG: The chilling murder ballad Henry Lee by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, which sees Cave trading sinister verses with his then main squeeze PJ Harvey. It’s a rewired traditional folk song that circles like a vulture around the themes of obssessive desire, jealousy, murder (nothing like plugging a lover with a pen knife – the old fashioned way) and throwing him (or her) into a deep well. All very macabre and mushy, no?
Songs for when you’re madly in love with each other
Bervin Cheong: When you have just fallen for someone, and the feeling of love is all fresh, songs such as Eternal Flame by Bangles, Haven’t Met You Yet by Michael Buble or A Thousand Years by Christina Perri, all touch on the magic of the moment. Gives you hope and soothes the raw doubt that would otherwise creep in.
AY: Spongebob Squarepants’ The Campfire Song song – “Let’s gather round the campfire and sing our campfire song/Our c-a-m-p-f-i-r-e s-o-n-g song”. If that song doesn’t get you in the mood for love, then I don’t know what else will. Another one has to be Steve Vai’s Tender Surrender – Sometimes words can complicate things; they can say too much and sometimes, they don’t say much at all. Try this instrumental piece by guitar hero Vai instead.
AMC: Paul McCartney’s I Will wins hands down ... who knows how long I’ve loved you?
WK: Shontelle’s T-Shirt. (“With nothing but your T-shirt on....”) It’s like when you’re obsessed with someone, you want to wear his/her tee so you can feel thatclose. Hopefully, got no BO-lah.
SI: Most definitely, without a doubt this has to be Maybe I’m Amazed by Paul McCartney. The lyrics are totally what I’d say when I’m lost in love. You know the early stages of love when everything is roses (oh wait, I hate roses. Lillies!): “Baby I’m amazed at the way you loved me all the time, Maybe I’m afraid of the way I love you, Baby I’m amazed at the way you pulled me out of time, Hung me on a line? Maybe I’m amazed at the way I really need you.”
DG: It has to be Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds again! I’ll roll out the mysterious wonder of The Ship Song every time this question is asked. Talk about a nakedly romantic number with a tint of savage lust and erotic play. “Come loose your dogs upon me/And let your hair hang down/You are a little mystery to me/Every time you come around.” Total surrender is well in sight!
AY: When my sister broke up with her former boyfriend (this douchebag of a person my father calls fei chai which means fat boy in Cantonese), I played her these songs to get over her break up – Beyonce’s Irreplaceable, Air Supply’s All Out Of Love and The Magic Number’s Love Is Just A Game. Of course, she was not amused. She thinks these are the worst songs to play when getting over a breakup.
SN: Gerimis Mengundang by Slam is one song that really gets to me everytime I hear it. Every single time. When I listen to it, I’m transported back to my “frust menonggeng” (a period of heartbreak) years and the lead singer’s voice literally breaks my heart (OK, maybe not or else I would be dead by now). He is so passionate and sounds extremely heartbroken that I just want to run to him, give him a big hug and tell him that the ex is not worth the pain anyway. *sob* Darn you, onion cutting ninja!
KC: Jennifer Hudson’s cover of And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going on the musical drama film Dreamgirls has go to be the most dramatic break-up song ever. Unwilling to let go of her man, Hudson’s character Effie White takes the stage in an empty auditorium and with snot dripping out of her nose, passionately belts out the last line “And you, you, you, you’re gonna love me ... ” This, ironically, will drive any man further away.
AMC: Elliott Smith’s Say Yes and Jeff Buckley’s version of Hallelujah when I’m feeling cerebral and trying to rationalise what went wrong. Toni Braxton’s Unbreak My Heart or Natalie Imbruglia’s Torn when I want to wallow in my own drama. George Michael’s Careless Whisper for when I realise it was all my fault!
WK: It Would Take A Strong Strong Man by Rick Astley. Disclosure: I actually listened to this over and over again when my heart was broken one time. Urgh, bad memories.
SI: Well, break-ups suck. You’re either angry, hurt or both. I’d go with being angry. It’s healthier (well, it sure beats being suicidal, right?) and much more therapeutic – try singing Carly Simon’s You’re So Vain at the top of your lungs. Completely healing! “You’re So Vain, I’ll Bet You Think This Song Is About You, Don’t You? Don’t You?” There, I’m feeling better already.
DG: There’s no reason for a hissy fit if the relationship has turned gangrenous. Just remember to crank up the volume on No Pu**y Blues by Grinderman (Nick Cave’s thuggish project band), which has just the right amount of self-ridiculing and sexual frustration to cheer up the bitterest blues on the most desolate of nights. Or if you need a bad a** cousin for No Pu**y Blues, can I suggest the deranged I’m Gonna Kill That Woman by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds (a cover of the John Lee Hooker classic).
Wedding songs (in case you’re getting married on Valentine’s Day)
Michael Cheang: Yes, I understand that you’re very much in love, and that you want everyone to listen to the songs you and your bride-to-be fell in love to. But please, think about the rest of us, who have to sit through the same 10 songs on your wedding playlist on loop for the entire four hours of your ceremony or dinner. Oh, and for the love of well, love, please stop wearing these particular songs out:
1. Shania Twain’s From This Moment On – At one point, this was the most overplayed song at weddings, that is until this came out:
2. Bruno Mars’ Marry You – It’s not just Mar’s annoyingly nasal, shrill voice that bothers me, it’s how everyone just seems to accept that getting married is something you do when you need “something dumb to do”.
3. Elton John’s Can You Feel the Love Tonight? – If you play this during your wedding, I’m going to go all Simba on your Pumba.
4. Bryan Adams’ Everything I Do (I Do It For You) – I was once at a wedding that played this song over, and over, and over, and over again.
5. Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On – No. Just no.
KC: Since Michael made a list of love songs that are begging to be laid to rest, I’m taking the liberty of suggesting some love songs you can play on your wedding day. My sister has this fantasy of walking down the aisle to Edwin McCain’s I Could Not Ask For More which isn’t as overplayed as his other wedding favourite I’ll Be and actually sounds better. Then of course there’s Coldplay’s Yellow which ... well, you just can’t go wrong with Coldplay. Period. If you’re into country, like I am, Rascal Flatt’s Bless The Broken Road and Brad Paisley’s Then are sentimental and sweet enough for the occasion, but not sickly sweet.
AMC: Say A Little Prayer ... I love Aretha Franklin; but I’d settle for the Diana King version especially if it involves watching Rupert Everett dance (“Maybe there won’t be marriage, maybe there won’t be sex, but by God there’ll be dancing!”) Also, if you’re an Abba fan, you just have to go the Muriel’s Wedding route and play I Do I Do I Do for when you walk the plank...oops, walk down the aisle, I mean. Yeah right.
WK: Since I’m the king of mushy love songs, it’s Boyzone’s Every Day I Love You. Don’t you want to marry someone whose love grows for you every day? I have envisioned using this number at my wedding since like, forever. But no one wants to marry me (Sob!). OK, commence laughing.
SI: I have to agree with AMC. I choose Say A Little Prayer ... I thought it was the perfect song for a wedding ever since I saw My Best Friend’s Wedding and though I didn’t get to play it at my wedding (frown, grumble, frown), I will if I ever decide to renew my vows (how very Mat Salleh, I know!)
DG: The gorgeous piano ballad Into My Arms by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds gets my vote. A song that touches the soul if you believe in such things. The lyrics, after all these years, can still stop cynics in their tracks. Interestingly enough, Into My Arms works equally well for funerals. Not to forget the tune’s gentle humour with an opening line like: “I don’t believe in an interventionist God, but darling I know you do.” Probably not a good idea to play it at a church wedding, though.