By February 3, 2021 Read More →

SongwriterView: I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song

SongwriterView: I’ll Have to Say l Love You in a Song
By Patty Castillo Davis

Ahhhhhh, February.
A month which brings to mind African American history, valentines, presidents and groundhogs. We are also nearing the grim anniversary of California’s first cases of the Coronavirus which led to Governor Newsom initiating a statewide order to shelter at home. Life was altered forever as we knew it, many folks lost their serenity, their livelihood and their very lives. Lest I put a pall on another conversation about the way things are today, I’d like to note what continues to still be fine about February.

With a focus on Valentine’s Day, as a musician, I feel strongly about the value of love songs. The first song I ever wrote, “Ladybug”, is a love song to my youngest daughter, Maya, who was three years old when she became my Muse. This composition has been my most requested original song and has served me well.

After navigating through a year of trauma and drama we have had to muster up a sturdiness and self-reliance that has revealed a new utilization of love. Simple as that. If you didn’t know it or feel it before, love became the premise of how we traversed through 2020 into the now.

Love may be all you need, as the Beatles immortally sang like humans have tried to put into words the longings of their hearts and regrets of their souls. You might think that much of the love expressed in such classic love song may be as anachronistic as cassettes. I am a child raised by am radio therefore, I came up in a time when songs of romance ruled the airwaves. It is estimated that more than one hundred million love songs have been recorded in an astounding variety. The love song appears in many guises-new love, old love, platonic, contrition and forgiveness, seduction, sex, sad and unrequited.-(you know, the essential threads in the emotional tapestry of music) A study by the University of Montreal in 2016, published in Frontiers in Psychology, offered a scientific basis for “the paradoxical enjoyment of music-induced sadness”. Researchers found that sad songs induced a biochemical response in empathetic listeners, triggering beneficial hormones. Most people cannot express their feelings organically so a love song becomes quite relatable which is psychologically beneficial.

To give a voice to humanity’s most powerful emotion discussing love as that alchemy of need and commitment. American culture is in love with love.

Watching the beautiful display of PDA by President Joe Biden and his First Lady, Dr Jill Biden, continually embracing each other throughout the inauguration festivities felt like a renewed modelling of the best kind of behavior steeped in respect and admiration. Like Waylon Jennings so purely emoted, “Maybe it’s time we got back, to the basics of love”.

The stack of vinyl in the jukebox evolved into the mixtape and that into the playlist which proves that a soundtrack will never ever go out of style. It’s said that you can tell a person’s psyche by their playlist, let’s see if you can get inside my head.

Here is my personal Top Twenty Five Love Song Playlist-
Just Like a Star-Corinne Bailey Rae
As-Stevie Wonder
Like Red on a Rose- Alan Jackson
Don’t Give Up- Peter Gabriel
Colors-Black Pumas
I Will Always Love You- Dolly Parton
We Ran-Linda Ronstadt
El Crucifijo de Piedra-Miguel Aceves Mejia
I’ll Stand By You-The Pretenders
1000 Oceans-Tori Amos
Message to Michael-Dionne Warwick
He Stopped Loving Her Today-George Jones
Baby I’m Yours-Barbara Lewis
Godspeed-The Chicks
Let’s Stay Together- Al Green
The Story-Brandi Carlisle
Possession- Sarah McLachlan
Nessun Dorma-Giacomo Puccini
Flesh and Blood- Johnny Cash
God Only Knows-Beach Boys
Can’t Hide Love-Earth, Wind and Fire
Tiny Dancer-Elton John
Superstar-Luther Vandross
You Belong to Me-Carly Simon

We have lost so much globally and as Californians and especially residents of a community that continues to be a leader in the statistics representing COVID hospitalization and death, we need some good fortune. Do something that costs nothing. Do something fundamentally necessary that will create a shift and release our hold on the top spot as a disaster area in this pandemic. Create “herd” tactics by extending some love. When you wear a mask you GIVE love. When you maintain composure and patience you DEMONSTRATE love. When you help others falling down the slope of poverty you RATIFY love.

Living in the most surreal of times in history, living in the terrifying conjecture of what could possibly happen next, it is solely on you to check yourself. Who are you gonna be? Are you going to follow a cult of heresy and nonsense that is self-serving or are you going to rise to the top?

It seems like the trend being demonstrated here, where we live, is to be the squeaky wheel, to exploit the loopholes, to be the tantrum thrower-to wear foolishness as armament is in fashion. There is nothing innovative or cool about a lack of empathy, at press time over 400,000 people have died of the Coronavirus with no end in sight.
Do something bland yet significant, something old fashioned yet optimum. Give a damn. Go out and love somebody.
Love never goes out of style.

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