Silly love songs


My daughter asks me why all the songs in the world are about love. I answer that it’s the one thing in life that no one fully understands. It can’t be explained by science or faith, in any language. It’s bigger than us and all consuming, which is frightening to some and exhilarating to others. People write love songs to try to hang on to those feelings, because they’re magical and they make you feel invincible. Like fairy dust. Or drugs. She ponders my response.

I don’t tell her that some people write love songs because it hurts, and they can’t move forward without writing it down. It helps it all make sense. Sometimes it’s about loss. Sometimes it’s about difficult choices in situations that have no right answer. And sometimes it’s about the path not taken.

I like to think that writers of love songs live on the crazy, beautiful, romantic side of the fence, in the space between, where one note ends and another begins. That they make a deliberate effort to insulate themselves from words like “silly,” “mistake,” and “impossible.” That they don’t dwell in moral judgement, and that’s what makes their songs so arresting and necessary. I live on the business side of things, but I find myself leaning on the gate, yearning to be over on the other side. Telling my story.

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