Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Top 10: Songs About Crushes

For as arrogantly and unnecessarily jaded as I am about lots of things in life, I love love. Well, more accurately, I love romance. I love the moments before anything happens, I love the courting process, I love the feeling that someone could light your entire world on fire with passion and possibility. Basically, I'm a thirteen-year-old girl at heart because I LOVE CRUSHES. Seriously, what is as simultaneously wonderful and devastatingly annoying as a crush? That all-consuming attraction to someone that makes you suddenly want to doodle someone's name and wear their letterman jacket? (Okay, I might just be thinking of an Andy Hardy movie.)
I am a big proponent of what I call the twenty minute crush. Basically, I will get a crush on everyone I meet for approximately twenty minutes. After that, it's done. It makes life quite exciting. If there's a lucky someone I think about for longer than it takes Domino's to deliver a pizza, I know it's getting serious. At the moment, I have one of those kinds of attractions and have had one for a few weeks now. (I KNOW RIGHT? IT'S GETTING SERIOUS FOR ME!)
In honor of Valentine's Day, I've made a playlist of my top ten favorite songs about crushes for anyone out there who is feeling the same way:

I Want You (Bob Dylan)

If he would have me, I would like Bob Dylan to be my valentine. I just adore this song so much -- it's one of my favorites off of the beyond brilliant album Blonde on Blonde. The song is a blend best described as folksy-country-rock-amazingness. I love the contrast between the strange, quite obscure lyrics in the verses (very typical of Dylan, especially in the mid 1960s) and the directness of the chorus "I want you / yes, I want you so bad." So simple, but so honest.

Can't Take My Eyes Off of You (Lauryn Hill)
Lauryn Hill is the only human in the world who could take a Frankie Valli song and make it legitimately cool ... okay, maybe Heath Ledger as well. (Guys, I still REALLY miss Heath Ledger.) 

I'll Be Your Mirror (The Velvet Underground)
Never mind, I want Nico to be my valentine this year. Her vocals are perfection on this track. Can we all just agree that "I'll Be Your Mirror" is one of the most romantic songs of all time? It's so pure and lovely and makes me feel like butterflies are dancing under disco balls in my stomach (a very specific image, but it's exactly how I feel). It's all about seeing your beloved truer than they can, being their 'mirror' to show them who they really are. "I find it hard / to believe you don't know / the beauty you are." OH LOU! Lou Reed has a knack for writing the most unbelievably resounding lyrics of any musician I've encountered (another discussion for another post), and this may be one of my favorite sets of lyrics I've heard in any song this side of forever.

Shakin' All Over (The Guess Who)
You know that feeling when you're talking to your crush and every fiber of your being is being used in order to keep you from screaming "HI I LOVE YOU LET'S RAISE ENGLISH SHEEPDOGS TOGETHER IN THE REMOTE U.K. COUNTRYSIDE AND BUY A GUITAR AND I'LL BAKE YOU MY MOTHER'S BANANA BREAD." This song kinda describes that feeling.

Funny Little Frog (Belle & Sebastian)
I've always interpreted this song (and correct me if I'm wrong, fellow B&S fans!) that the narrator has a crush on a celebrity ("I don't dare to think of you / in a physical way / and I don't know how you smell / you are the cover of a magazine / you're my fashion tip, a living museum") or, at the very least, has a majorly unrequited crush ("you are my girl and you don't even know it"). And who hasn't been there? Sometimes unrequited loves are the best because they can be what real people cannot possibly be: anything you need at a particular moment.

Be My Baby (The Ronettes)
The Ronettes were fab with this subject matter ("I Can Hear Music" was another top contender for this list), but this is perhaps one of the ULTIMATE, universally beloved songs about crushes. Brian Wilson  has referred to "Be My Baby" as the best pop song ever, and who am I to argue with a Beach Boy?

Lover (Devendra Banhart)
So direct ("Well I-I-I wanna be your lover / I wanna be your man"), at times funny ("I'll give you my sweet grass / I'm gonna mesmerize your ass") and kinda brilliant ("I-I-I wanna be your cow"). Devendra ('cause we're on a first name basis) is THE BOMB DOT COM. And that's not a phrase I break out very often, so you know I mean it.

Don't Make Me Wait (Locksley)
An up-tempo pop-ish rock song about crushes and the torture the objects of our affection often cause us  ("It's something so surreal / the stupid way you make me feel"). It's so swingy and dance-y and fun that it makes crushes (and the agony they bring along with them) sound downright delightful.

Thirteen (Big Star)
The most heartbreakingly beautiful song, it reminds me of the way young love should be (aka the opposite of the idiocy of Romeo and Juliet) -- a type of innocence where all you do is talk about the Rolling Stones and your biggest concern is if you have a date for the dance. Big Star is an amazing band that I've only really gotten into in the last six months, but even if (for whatever reason) you're only interested in having one song by them, "Thirteen" is genius enough to outweigh the entire catalogues of other groups.

I Want To Hold Your Hand (The Beatles)

That's it -- John, George, Paul and Ringo are ALL going to be my valentines this year! The Beatles won over the entire world with this simple little ditty, but there's really no surprise why. The title kinda says it all. We don't need diamonds or flowers or displays of love in grand, Nicholas Sparks-style proportions. All we really want is to hold someone's hand.


Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

i'll be your valentine :D

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

BIG STARRRRRRR!! Love that band so much.

Alexis said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Anonymous #1: Aww, thank you. I'd love to be.

Alexis said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Anonymous #2: They're the best, aren't they? So underrated, it's a shame. Love this song to pieces though xx

Emanuela Betti said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

YES! "Shakin' All Over" is a personal favorite. I always associate that song to "When You Walk into the Room" by Jackie DeShannon (for some reason?).. Also, good choice of Ronettes song.