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A history of the love song in 10 tracks | Musique Non Stop

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

A history of the love song in 10 tracks

From gay anthems to online romance, love songs have charted our changing times. Here’s our guide to seven decades of swooning in pop

What do we sing about when we sing about love? Over the 65 years of the pop charts, songwriters have described love through similes: like oxygen, like a butterfly, like a heatwave. Love has also echoed loudly as a metaphor: as a tender trap, a battlefield, the devil, the drug. It flies over mountains and laughs at oceans. It makes me feel like I’m on another world with you. Nothing compares to love; without it, you’re like a bird without a song.

But love isn’t simply a small part of our individual stories. Love is about all of us in our most extreme states of being and it’s a concept that has changed as society has changed. Love songs tell us who we are and who we could be within the structures and systems that surround us: when we’re postwar survivors captivated by the possibilities of romance, film and fantasy; when sexual liberation surges; when love becomes something that can crush social barriers and boundaries or when it refuses to fit into any conventional categories. The progress of technology, diversity and equality has changed our definitions of love in tumultuous ways; no longer, for example, do gay men have to hide their love away, as John Lennon sang back in 1965. Songs about love are society’s soundtrack.

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by Jude Rogers via Electronic music | The Guardian
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