Call that a love song?

Last year, as we started to think about the King’s Barbers’ Valentine campaign, I asked staff if they would give me some ideas of love songs which meant a lot to them and which we might be able to arrange for a Valentine Video. I then put all the songs together in a Spotify Playlist called ‘King’s Ely Old Romantics.’ It was a really interesting project as all of a sudden people would recommend a song and say it was the most romantic, the most important song to them.

I remember more than once thinking, “Really? Call that a love song…..” and being surprised at some of the songs that people chose. There were some that had been listed more than once, for example, ‘All Of Me’ by John Legend, which became last year’s ‘Online Valentine’ and others that seemed slightly more unusual (‘You shook me all night long’ – AC/DC). So it got me thinking about what actually makes a love song.

Now I’ve sat through more sermons than I care to remember on the Nature of Love to know that it is a huge topic. A huge idea. And possibly the most important thing that anyone of us ever feels. The love of a parent for a child, a child for a parent, a family member; the love of a friend, a pet, a place, a house, a country, a way of life, another time, another way. Love of God, of Nature, physical love, sibling love, and of course romantic love.

Because of course most love songs are about romantic love/relationships. But within that there is obviously a huge range as well: lost love, unrequited love, deep commitment, farewells, arrivals and of course lust.

Interestingly, in a survey carried out for the Psychology of Music in the 1960s, 70% of all songs in the American charts were about love/relationships. In the 2000s it was 64%. In the 1960s 18% were about sex/sexual desire, but by the 2000s it had risen to 42%. And this of course explains why I now seem to be saying to the Barbers more and more that we can’t sing that song!

Let’s come back to now though. To February and to St Valentine’s Day. Essentially, singing is about communicating a message. Often and hopefully with a great melody and a wonderful arrangement sung skilfully by one of our favourite singers. But as with most songs it is the message that means something to us. Listening to songs also sometimes transports us to another place, another emotion, often reminding us of something that happened.

And so while you listen to ‘King’s Ely Old Romantics’ trying to imagine which teacher chose which song, tell us your own ‘best love song’ and we’ll create a ‘King’s Ely New Romantics’ list.

At the same time you can book an online or in person ‘Barbers’ Valentine’ so that you too can let the music do the talking.

Best selling love song of all time in the UK:

Spotify Playlist King’s Ely Old Romantics:

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