FT5: Songs with the Word Valentine
Seeing as the Hallmark Holiday is hours away, I thought I would browse through my collection and throw out my Top 5 Favorite Songs with the word “valentine” in the title. Sure, one would think that songwriters have better things to do than sing about a nonsensical holiday with little or no meaning, but then again, they are just love songs in the end, aren’t they? Some of these bands have made appearances on our lists before, and some you might not be aware of, until now that is. So here is to you and yours on this most sacred of holidays. I hope your Valentine’s Day is as good as these songs.
This song has absolutely nothing to do with Valentine’s Day. It’s more about the various sides of a fictional character created by Austinite Britt Daniel. His former residence, of Austin, is reason enough for him to be placed on this list of ours, not to mention that the song is one of the better moments of Gimme Fiction. Whether or not you know of the two sides of Monsieur Valentine is irrelevant, as you will come to realize that this song just bounces you through the day. Sure, it doesn’t even pay homage to our celebrated holiday of choice, but it wins points for using the word “valentine,” which was the simple requirement.
4. Chuck Ragan – Valentine
Chuck Ragan flat out rules. He fronts, though rarely nowadays, Hot Water Music, one of the better post-punk bands that ever is/was. Then he flips us on our backs and tosses us a bunch of solo recordings with his acoustic guitar. His throaty vocals show every ounce of his passion. Here we find him singing about the enchantment of his valentine, or perhaps it’s the valentine that he wishes he had. The harmonica that echoes throughout the song just adds to the overall effect, increasing the power of his love for the one that he will lay with tonight. This song came from one of his first forays into the solo world, showing that he had the precise chops to go at it alone. On Valentine’s Day, you should hope to be as bad ass as Chuck Ragan.
3. Billy Bragg – Valentine’s Day is Over
Most of us know Billy Bragg for his dealing with Wilco, which is a true tragedy, as the man has a ridiculous catalog of incredible songs. It seems that Billy here is at odds with his lover, proclaiming that if he’s taken for granted that his lover will surely wake up to realize that Valentine’s Day is over. It’s a sad sentiment really, to know that someone you love could overlook you in such a manner, on such a truly important holiday. I mean, if you aren’t getting chocolate and cheesy cards, it’s best if you just skip the day entirely. That way, you too, can proclaim that “Valentine’s Day is over.”
2. The Get Up Kids – Valentine
The Get Up Kids again? How on Earth does this band seem to keep making our Top 5 lists? Oh, they write, or wrote, amazingly personal songs; in the late 90s every one could relate to them. Here, we find Matt Pryor begging his “valentine” to look beyond the distance, most likely due to touring, or traveling, if you’re taking it from your own perspective. We’ve all been there, hoping that our loved one could just go beyond the mistakes, the trials, the tribulations, only to hold on for one more day. This year, we hope that for everyone out there separated by distance from the one they love, or like, that he/she decides that it’s all worth it in order to be your “valentine.”
1. Richard Hawley – Valentine
Richard Hawley plays in Pulp, or played, I should say. Now he spends his day as a crooner of some of the most splendid songs I’ve ever heard. It’s lounge music with perfect arrangements in accompaniment, and some great lyrics to boot. Richard is so bad ass that he doesn’t “need no valentines,” he “don’t need no roses.” It’s all just a reminder to him that the one he loved has gone away, to where, we’re not quite sure, but we know that it definitely hurts the man. If you were to write a song about how Valentine’s Day could truly be a heartbreak, then this is the song that you want to write. It’s beautiful from start to finish; perfect for a role in some blockbuster movie about love and loss. After all, isn’t that what a great Valentine’s Day song should be about? You’ve got to love so hard it hurts, and if it doesn’t, then you’re not doing it right. Not like Richard Hawley.
In the end, there aren’t too many songs that incorporate Valentine’s Day. But, these songs are definitely the best options for easy listening tomorrow. They’re great songs with or without the titles; their titles just happen to hit home on this weeks Top 5. If we missed a great one, let us know.