BBHQ Boomer Essays:
This essay is another celebration of the great boomer songs that were a part of our youth. (See our list below for other essays.) It is almost sappy sweet. So be it. I make no apologies. I am a real sentimentalist at heart. I love this stuff! I really do.
I offer these memories to you, on Valentine’s Day, to remind you of the sweet and gentle romance of our youth, a sentiment that seems to be lost in the hustle and chaos of the 21st century.
Sit back, relax; take your time. Enjoy the ride.
(Many of my selections include a short audio sample of the song. Click the reddish play button, listen, and sing along.)
Nope; the great love songs did not begin with Ricky Nelson. Or even Nat Cole. Remember reading and analyzing Shakespeare’s love sonnets in high school? Well, all I remember is that they were long, boring and flat. But, his audience was obviously different; he was not writing for a hormone-crazed teen of the 1960s. So I forgive him.
Though I do remember a poem that captured my spirit as a 16 year-old. Appropriately titled, “Advice to Virgins,” it was a poem by Robert Herrick. We alanyzed it in 10th grade. Why, I have no idea. But I still have warm thoughts of it, all these years later.
Go ahead... do an Internet search for “advice to virgins.” You’ll get about 5,000,000 hits. You’ll be up all night!
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
The glorious lamp of heaven, the Sun,
That age is best, which is the first,
Then be not coy, but use your time,
(Note that the advice is not somply to go out and make wonton whoopie... it is to do so under the auspices of marriage.)
Actually, the great love songs that I remember most fondly are ones that my mother played on the piano and listened to on her radio station. They were popular when.... well, when our parents were busy producing us. Nat Cole had an abundance of them:
Though it was a hit for Ricky Nelson in 1964, this one goes back to the 30s, and was a terrific love ballad by Nat Cole.
For Sentimental Reasons For Sentimental Reasons
I love you– Nat Cole, 1946.
for sentimental reasons
I hope you do believe me
I’ll give you my heart
Listen to the piano intro to this song. One measure and you know that something beautiful is coming. So simple; and yet, so elegant.
Unforgettable, that’s what you are– Nat Cole, 1951.
Unforgettable, though near or far
Like a song of love that clings to me
How the thought of you does things to me
Never before has someone been more
Unforgettable in every way
And forever more, that’s how you’ll stay
That’s why, darling, it’s incredible
That someone so unforgettable
Thinks that I am unforgettable, too
Like soft, melting butter, his voice is magic.... pure magic.
And my absolute favorite love song:
When I Fall in Love When I Fall in Love
When I fall in love– Nat Cole, 1956.
it will be forever
Or I’ll never fall in love
In a restless world like this is
Love is ended before it’s begun
And too many moonlight kisses
Seem to cool in the warmth of the sun.
Often it is not just the words and the music.... it is the great orchestration behind the music. The violins.... just beautiful!
I Love How You Love Me
I love how your eyes close– Paris Sisters, Bobby Vinton
whenever you kiss me
And when I’m away from you
I love how you miss me
I love the way you always treat me tenderly
But, darling, most of all
I love how you love me.
Unchained Melody Unchained Melody
Whoa... my love, my darling,– Righteous Brothers, 1965 (and others).
I hun-ger for your touch,
A long, lonely time.
And time... goes by, so slowly,
And time... can do so much,
Are you, still mine?
I need your love.
I need your love.
God speed your love... to me.
Well, nothing to say here. It did not take “Ghost” to remind me of this unforgettable love song. Wow! Just plain wow!!
Will You Love Me Tomorrow
Is this a lasting treasure,– Shirelles/Carole King, 1960/1971
or just a moment’s pleasure?
Can I believe the magic of your sighs;
will you still love me tomorrow?
It Was Almost Like a Song
Once in every life– Ronnie Milsap, 1977
Someone comes along
And you came to me
It was almost like a song
You were in my arms
I’ll Have To Say I Love You in a Song
Well, I know it’s kinda late;– Jim Croce, 1974
I hope I didn’t wake you;
But what I’ve gotta say can’t wait;
I know you’d understand;
’Cause every time I try to tell you,
the words just came out wrong;
So I’ll have to say I love you, in a song.
But, love songs of the 80s, 90s, and the 21st century? Well, they are kinda’ scarce. That is not a good sign. I mean, much as I admire the talent of Rod Stewart, “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” is not my idea of a great love song, for cryin’ out loud! And, of course, I could go on, right up to Grammy-nominated albums, including Jay-Z’s “Dead President’s II”: “Factions from the other side would love to kill me....” But there is no reason to spoil the mood. You get the point, I am sure.
One extremely noteworthy exception is the music that Michael Buble sings. Though most of the songs on his albums are great songs of the boomer era, his signature song, “Haven’t Met You Yet,” is very good. You can hear a sample and read about him here.
All You Need Is Love - The Beatles
L.O.V.E. - Nat King Cole
Can't Help Falling In Love - Elvis Presley
My Girl - The Temptations
Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell
Stand By Me - Ben E. King
You Are So Beautiful - Joe Cocker
Your Song - Elton John
This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) - Natalie Cole
I Just Called To Say I Love You - Stevie Wonder
The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson
Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper
Take My Breath Away - Berlin
Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler
Listen To Your Heart - Roxette
My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion
Can You Feel The Love Tonight - Elton John
I Do (Cherish You) - 98 Degrees (originally by Mark Wills)
Believe - Cher
God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You - 'N Sync
Love Somebody - Maroon 5
Just The Way You Are - Bruno Mars
All of Me - John Legend
Love Song - Sara Bareilles
What Makes You Beautiful - One Direction
Love Story - Taylor Swift
Just A Kiss - Lady Antebellum
Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran
What’s it All About?
I have several objectives here. One is to remind my fellow boomers of the very special love songs that reached into and became a part of our souls. For you younger readers, I want to let you know what a true love song is, how music can calm the soul and help make love grow.
Note that the best of the love songs, most of the love songs, come from the 40s and 50s. The decline began in the 60s and has continued to today. How sad!
Imagine if you were a young teenager and your mind was filled with, oh, say, songs about killing cops, beating up your classmates, shooting drugs into your veins, and dying in the street. What would that do to your soul? That explains a lot, huh?
The love songs of our youth spoke of innocence, hope, faith, loyalty, eternity, and devotion. As far as I can tell, the love songs of today... contain absolutely none of that. We are so very, very fortunate.
Social commentator and president of Media Research Center, Brent Bozell, wrote, “How many [young people] will fondly look back two or three decades from now and say, ’I really loved those rap songs about thugs, drugs and pimping’?"
Where are the great love songs of the 21st century?
Where is the love?
Flowers and candy are fleeting. Love songs are forever. They are, indeed, a lasting treasure.
And love may grow
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|The BBHQ Feature Album is "Old Friends Live on Stage (Deluxe Edition) (2 CD/1 DVD)," by Simon & Garfunkel. If you were fortunate enough to see them in concert in 2003, I do not have to sell you. The concert was terrific! This album collection includes 55 songs, plus their new recording, "Citizen of the Planet," and one of the songs sung by the Everly Brothers during the concert. The DVD was recorded during their concert in Madison Square Garden in 2003. For any S&G fan, this is a must have! But then, you knew that already, didn't you?|
|The BBHQ Feature Book is “Bobby Rydell – Teen Idol on the Rocks.” This is a “behind the scenes” story of one of the boomers’ first rock n’ roll stars. Told in the first person, Bobby chronicles his short ride to the pinnacle of fame and fortune, his glide through the 70s and 80s, and how he nearly lost it all. Relax; it has a happy ending. Bobby was (and is) a “normal” Philly guy... with an absolute love of music and an amazing gift. For any fan of early rock n’ roll, it’s a wonderful story. And yes, Bobby Rydell is still on tour, playing to boomer fans all over the world. Click here for a closer look at the book.|