Love Song Analysis Essay
Love is “an intense feeling of attraction” - Love Song Analysis Essay introduction. This is how Webster’s Dictionary defines love. It is much more complicated than that though, or maybe we just make it out to be more complicated, either way it’s hard to explain. A few words that characterize love for me are sacrifice, safe, comfortable, commitment, selfless, trust, and bond. Love is more than just a word, it’s an action. It is accepting and appreciating someone for who they are regardless of their flaws and trusting that you’ll stick by one another through thick and thin.
It’s caring about another person’s well-being and happiness more than your own. There are different ways of expressing your love for another person. There is the romantic love, where there is sexual chemistry and passion, and then there’s also the kind of love you feel for your family or a close friend. Either way its love and its special and we all need it in our lives. The assignment we were given is to analyze love songs from a specific decade.
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The objective of this is to determine how communication in and about relationships has transformed over the years, as well as to show how standards that define good communication and good relationship has changed. The decade my group got is the 80’s. There was a lot going on in this era. As far as main events that happened, Ronald Reagan became president at the end of the same year that John Lennon was assassinated. (1980) Then in 1981 most everyone that had televisions watched as Lady Diana and Prince Charles had their royal wedding.
As far as love goes, this could give everyone’s romance level a little boost! In 1982 Michael Jacksons ‘Thriller’ came out, giving a little taste of what kind of music to expect this decade. To this day that album is still one of the best sellers ever. Compact discs were first released in ’83. Then something tragic, AIDS gets discovered in 1984. Thus all the free love going on in the 70’s comes to an end for most. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame opened in ’85. Then another disaster, the biggest nuclear disaster known, Chernobyl, USSR, takes place in 1986.
I’m not sure what the world our world’s population is today but in ’87 it reached 5 billion. Again, must have been from all the free love going on in the 70’s! Five years after being released, compact discs sell out vinyls for the first time ever in 1988. Last but not least, communism comes to a long overdue end in 1989 when the Berlin Wall falls. Now specifically about music in general, the 80’s had an emergence of pop, dance music, and New Wave. Rock also progressed but the disco music slowly came to an end. MTV also was discovered in the 80’s.
When choosing songs for this paper I was thinking about how my analysis would turn out, and I’ve listened to love songs from past decades as well as present day love songs, so in terms of how music has progressed over the years I went into this assignment thinking the 80’s were going to be a mix of it’s past and present years. To elaborate, I think songs from say, the 40’s have a really high level of pure romance in them whereas the 20th century songs really get into a great level of sexual explicitness and start to leave the romance behind.
This is where many mistake love for lust. I was told once that lust is the desire for one’s body whereas love is the desire for one’s soul. So in my opinion many of today’s songs are more about lust than love. Back to the 80’s, as I was saying before I went into my analysis thinking that this decade would be a little bit of both of these, kind of merging the romance with more sex and I was right, I heard a little bit of both in them. When we got assigned this paper I was really excited because what better to write about than music? I love music of all types.
When people ask me what my favorite type of music is I really don’t have an answer for them. I tell them that I listen to a little bit of everything which is true. And analyzing songs isn’t much more than listening to them and picking them apart. Then combine music and love and it doesn’t get much better. So needless to say this paper seemed a lot more fun than a research paper on the earth’s atmospheres or something. Before picking out my songs I had to ask myself how I was going to analyze them. I thought about what kind of artists I wanted to use. Did I want to use males or females, old or young?
Should I pick songs that are about new relationships emerging, old ones growing closer, old ones being maintained, old ones growing apart, or relationships that are ending? Am I going to use songs about romantic love or the friend/family kind of love? Should the songs I pick have a positive or negative opinion about love? What kind of message do I want the songs to portray? What do these songs mean to me? These are all questions I asked myself going into this assignment as well as while I was analyzing the songs. I decided that I was going to use songs that had a little bit of all of these in them.
I didn’t want to use just males or just females because personally I think that men and women sometimes have a different definition of the word love itself so I didn’t want to get just one side of that. Also, I didn’t want to pick just new relationships instead of new and old because again, love might seem different than how it really is. When you first get into a relationship it’s always fun and wonderful and two people against the world kind of thing, whereas people that have been in a relationship for a long time know that that’s not how it always is.
There is always going to be ups and downs, that’s life. I wanted to pick songs that the artist portrayed a message that means something to people, one that seems realistic and people, including myself can somehow relate to. There are the hopeless romantics out there that believe in love, love, love, and then there are people who hate love and would rather be alone the rest of their lives so I decided I would pick a few songs that each could relate to. I just wanted to make sure I got all spectrums of love in the songs I chose.
I felt like even I could maybe learn from this paper rather than going into it thinking I just had to write another paper for school. I like to get both sides of the story as often as I can. I picked the songs I picked not only for these reasons but we were also supposed to only pick songs that reached a large amount of people so without question I did so. I chose songs on the top 40 lists. I picked a few that I had heard before and then I picked some that I had never listened to.
Most of the titles of the songs drew me to them, and then the rest I just started reading the lyrics and after the first verse of chorus I knew right away whether or not I was going to use that particular song. The songs that I decided to use were, “Love on the Rocks”-Neil Diamond, “What’s Love Got to Do with It”- Tina Turner, “I Just Called to Say I Love You” and “Part-Time Lover”-Stevie Wonder, “That’s What Friends Are For”-Dionne Warwick, “Greatest Love of All”-Whitney Houston, “Straight Up”-Paula Abdul, “Sexual Healing”-Marvin Gaye, “Addicted to Love”- Robert Palmer, and Peter Cetera’s “Glory of Love”.
After choosing my songs I then decided how I was going to analyze the lyrics of them. I decided I would simply read through the lyrics before listening to the song and just jot down notes beside the lines about what I though each line or verse meant. I tried to put myself in the artist’s shoes and decide what they were trying to portray. I also tried to put myself in the shoes of the person in the song and analyze what the words meant to that person. It was fun! Most of the songs I ended up picking had a positive outlook on love. One that did not was the pop song “Love on the Rocks” by Neil Diamond.
This song in particular was about a past relationship that had ended. The person singing this song has a broken heart. He feels hopeless. He thinks that relationships are all good in the beginning but after a while it’s inevitably going to be over. “Not much you can do when the feeling is gone” That is true, once the sparks are gone, what do you do? He feels that once the woman knows that you’re in love with her she purposely will take your heart and break it. He says, “First they say they want you . . . need you . . . suddenly you’re out there walking in a storm”.
“When they know they have you . . . nothing you can do . . . just get away”. He thinks women take advantage of a man’s love. Personally I think this is pity talking. Why would someone in their right mind want to purposely hurt another person? I have had a broken heart though and it is a rather miserable feeling. When it’s over, it’s over. Another song with a somewhat negative approach to love was Tina Turners “What’s Love Got to Do With It? ” In this song the woman does not want to fall in love with a seemingly attractive male “. . . touch of your hand makes my pulse react”.
She has been in a bad relationship in the past and wants to protect herself so she doesn’t get hurt again (“I’ve been thinking about my own protection . . . ”) although it’s tempting. “Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken” And while feeling this way, she isn’t happy about being hesitant to fall in love again because she knows how good love can be and she doesn’t really want to be alone. She just doesn’t want to get hurt again. I can understand that. Who does? Although the next song has a positive feeling towards love, it may not be a very positive kind of love. It’s “Part-Time Lover” by Stevie Wonder.
This pop song is about two people having an affair. “We are strangers by day, lovers by night” In this song the person singing romanticizes about cheating on his significant other. He likes the whole planning to meet up idea and running around behind his wife’s back. It’s like he enjoys the adventure of being undercover. “Knowing it’s so wrong, but feeling so right” But this song does have a twist in the end. The man finds out that his wife is also having an affair “you and me part time lovers, but she and he, part-time lovers. . . ” and he actually seems okay with that idea. He says that “two can play that game”.
I don’t know how anyone can glamorize adultery so much! But like I said, I did want to observe all aspects of love. The next two songs are about a different kind of love. “That’s What Friends Are For” by Dionne Warwick is all about friendship. We love our friends, our good ones at least. It seems like we don’t tell them enough how much we love them though. It’s not like when you are in a relationship and you tell that person twenty times a day how much you love them. This pop song is all about celebrating friendship. It’s all about appreciating eachother and the friendship that you have with one another.