Friday, February 11, 2005

My Funny Valentine(s)

What's that you say? It's Valentine's Weekend and you're at a loss for what you want to burn on your honeybunny's super-special, "look, baby, I did this just for you" mix CD? You say you're not down with the unavoidable (and to some, unholy) Barry triumvirate (being Manilow, Gibb and his siblings, and, of course White) and you want to some cool, romantic tunes that won't be played to death by oldies station over the weekend and all day on Monday?

Well you've come to the right place, true believer! We here at Neverending Rainbow have a number of somewhat off-the-beaten-path love songs that we quite like and think might be a good place to start:

Feeling like gushing a little about the one you love with soulful (and almost but not quite corny) gushing? "Have I Told You Lately" does that trick sweetly. Rod Stewart's version is okay but you want the real stuff so go right to the source...Van Morrison's lovely Avalon Sunset disc...and be amazed by the devastatingly tender power of "The Man".

"My Funny Valentine" is probably the unofficial theme song of the day and, of course, there have been more versions of it than we would care to count. We nudge you towards Chaka Khan's reading (gritty and smooth at once...and again, it goes without saying, soulful as all get out) from the soundtrack of Waiting to Exhale.

Looking for a less familiar theme song? Seek out Across the Borderline...a wonderful collection from my man Willie Nelson...and cue up "Valentine", it's sweet and utterly disarming without being overly cloying.

Feeling wary but, deep down, still wistfully hopeful about love? Consider this:

...'cause I got 10 miles to go on a 9 mile road,
and it's a rocky rough road,
but I don't care
for life's nothing
if not a blind rambling prayer,

you keep your head held high,
a'walking and a'talking

'til the power of Love deliver you there...

That's Jim White's "10 Miles to Go on a 9 Mile Road"...from No Such Place...speaking to the hearts of jaded (but still wistfully hopeful) romantics everywhere.

Feeling connected to one who understands you like no one else can? Consider:

I'm going to take you to my secret place,
it's a place that you,
like no one else I know,

might appreciate.

I don't go there with anyone,
but you're a special case for my special place...

Joni Mitchell (in a duet with Peter Gabriel) on "My Secret Place" from Chalk Mark in a Rainstorm.

And if you're missing someone, then Warren Zevon left behind a bittersweet valentine, "Keep Me in Your Heart", just for you:

If I leave you it doesn't mean
I love you any less

keep me in your heart for a while

When you get up in the morning

and see that crazy sun

keep me in your heart for while

Sometimes when you're doing

simple things around the house

maybe you'll think of me and smile

You know I'm tied to you

like the buttons on your blouse

keep me in your heart for a while...

Or, if you want, you can just skip the words and luxuriate in the lush and romantic mood of the day with Miles at his most accessible and sublime on Love Songs.

And what about you, gentle reader? C'mon and share the love...tell us what would you put on your personal Valentine's Day mixtape?

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Shameless cross blog promotion: A love story...appropriate enough considering the Valentine's Day posted at my other site, Bread and Roses


Micah said...

I'm not a fan of Zevon (not that I don't like him, just haven't delved into his catalog), but "Keep Me in Your Heart for a While" chokes me up, given his death.

If I were to recognize Valentine's Day, I'd go for the classics. "More" by Bobby Darin, "Cheek to Cheek" by Louis and Ella, "Paper Moon" by Nat King Cole, "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank, etc.

birdwoman said...

I really, really like the barry trio description.

I like you can't change that by Raydio and Babe by Styx

ChickeePoo said...

"Shave Yo' Legs", Keb Mo
"Ain't Even Done With The Night", Mellenhead
"Bliss", Liz Larin
"Silver And Gold", Darden Smith
"The Best Is Yet To Come", Stacey Kent
that's all I've got so far LOL of course, we don't do the big V day, so these are just on my 'love songs' playlist :D
p.s. thanks for visiting and commenting!

SwissToni said...

I'd say the Barry triumvirate is definitely unholy.


I'm a fan of The Smiths, so valentines is not a great time for me

"If you're so clever,
Then why are you on your own tonight?
If you're so very entertaining,
Then why do you sleep alone tonight?
... Because tonight is just like any other night"

Sleep tight!


Quo said...

Loved your list, and it made me feel all mushy inside, (smiles).


uao said...

Hey Mike--

I've been admiring your blog for a while; it's very thoughtful and well written. Miles' music was transcendant; My Funny Valentine is great.

Can't really nominate an alternative worthy of comparison. But if we go way back before you and I were born, I'd say "In the Still of the Night" by the Five Royales has got to be among the most romantic of all tunes, with "I Only Have Eyes For You" by the Flamingoes coming in the top somewhere, too. Maybe even Bridge Over Troubled Water, Lay Lady Lay, and The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. Call me schmaltzy sometimes.

uao said...

Oops, meant "Five Satins" for In The Stll of The Night. Sorry.

Funky Fresh Freddie said...

Believe it or not, I do get laid. And when I lay the girlies, I lay them to this album.

Lorianne said...

Hey, I surfed by on blogclicker...I didn't know you had two blogs!

(btw, I'm a huge Gabriel fan, but I've not heard the duet with Joni Mitchell. I'll have to check it out!)

Zen Mama/aka Lorianne