Thursday, June 21, 2007

Creepy Love Songs

So, this post at The Vanity Press has been lurking in the back of my head. Then this morning, I was listening to this song, and the refrain began to creep me out:
"My salvation lies in your love"*

That got me thinking to another song that is really creepy:

I'm sorry that I hurt you
It's something I must live with everyday
And all the pain I put you through
I wish that I could take it all away
And be the one who catches all your tears
Thats why i need you to hear

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is You

Gag me with a spoon.

This CD was sent to me by a creepy** ex, who was stalking me. Interestingly, I was involved in an online support group and I wasn't the only one who'd had this exact same song sent to me. It's THE abusers' anthem.

Other notable mentions: Every breath you take; Escape ("You can run you can hide but you can't escape my love"); Never gonna give you up ("A full commitment's what I'm thinking of /You wouldn't get this from any other guy"); Figured you out, Savin' Me, and others by Nickelback; How am I supposed to live without you; Broken Wings ("you're half of the flesh and blood that makes me whole"); You're Havin my baby ("Havin' my baby/What a lovely way of sayin' what you're thinkin' of me")

It's so hard to like love songs when they are about unhealthy attachment and codependent love. Some even make excellent stalker songs. Don't some of them just make you feel like you're being smothered (Don't Want To Miss A Thing)? If this is what we hear on the radio, no wonder relationship "issues" are the new black.

As TVP says:
A lot of men are looking for their anima -- the term Jung gave to the feminine side of a man's personality. But what a lot of men in a patriarchal culture do not understand is that the anima is part of them, and is not to be found in another person. This is because men in a patriarchal culture are taught precisely that they don't have an anima: that there is nothing feminine about them, or if there is, that it is a bad thing and must be suppressed... I wasn't reacting to women as if they were real people. Instead, I was reacting to them as if they were the missing part of myself.

A lot of these so called love songs are of the "you complete me" variety, or "I can't live without you". Some are all about possession.

So, what creepy love songs come to mind for you?

* Turns out on reading the rest of the lyrics, Murdoch is talking about his brother and sister. Phew. It's a good song, and I was afraid I'd hate it after this.

** Sorry to use this word so much, but sometimes a better word can't be found. Definition: 1. Of or producing a sensation of uneasiness or fear, as of things crawling on one's skin. 2. Annoyingly unpleasant; repulsive.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you got this one and I missed it ... didn't Sarah McLachlan get some of the lyrics to Possession from a letter written by some fan who was writing her creepy letters /stalking her?

Anonymous said...

hey Jenny -

I was listening to the new JT album the other day (hey, what can I say, good beats for running to) and noticed that the persona JT displays in many of his songs is a typical Nice Guy (TM)! He's big on the "he doesn't love you like I love you, yuou'd be so much happier with me, I can make you happy if only you'd give me a try" kind of lyrics. I find this creepy, possessive, and sneaky.

How about Don't Stand So Close To Me - all about a teacher/student romance? that one always bugged me.

Red Jenny said...

Reminds me of the same creepy ex who used to tell me "no one will love you like I do". Well, I sure hope not!

That guy said...

Well, in defense of Sting (who's come up in both the post and the comments), "Every Breath You Take" is a self-consciously creepy song about a stalker, and "Don't Stand So Close to Me" is based on Nabokov's Lolita. What's interesting, though, is that so many people take "Every Breath" as a love song, which it isn't. That shows, doesn't it, how deeply ingrained codependency is in our romantic culture.

Thanks for the link, RJ.

two crows said...

hey, Jenny--
one of the healthiest songs, I think, is the Beatles' [don't remember the title] that said, "you're asking me will my love grow? I don't know."

SO much better than the "I'll love you forever" variety we get drummed at us day and night on the
radio. that's why I don't listen to music radio anymore.
give me Science Friday over that drivel any day.

Balbulican said...

I think you have to make a distinction between:
a) Songs that the author probably thinks are authentic love songs, but that are creepy (like the impossibly smarmy and condescending "You Look Wonderful Tonight"), and
b) Songs that are deliberately written from a point of view of a creepy character, like, oh, let's say pretty much any love song Randy Newman ever wrote.

I'd put "Every Breath You Take" in the latter category. I once heard Sting in an interview express real surprise that anyone ever thought it was supposed to be a "love" song: as he put it, "I should have thought the note of surveillance was a bit too foreboding. It was certainly supposed to be."

JJ said...

Interesting post, RJ. I always thought that "Every Breath You Take" was creepy and couldn't understand how anyone could think the sentiments expressed by the song were sweet and lovey-dovey. It always reminded me of the ex-boyfriend who just happened to show up everywhere I went, whose car I'd even see parked across the street when I went out on my balcony. Maybe having gone through the stalking experience makes us interpret things differently than the average person.

"Having my baby" was so creepy that even in the 70's it was widely regarded as high comedy.:D Ewwww but hahahaha!

Anonymous said...

(RJ I'm sorry I just suddenly popped up like that. I've been reading your blog quietly for a while and I guess I forgot that nobody knew I was here. )