The actual purpose of Valentines Day is by all accounts almost as widely debated as the origin of Saint Valentine himself.
Some argue he was a temple priest summarily dispatched by Emperor Claudius II for helping Christians enter into holy matrimony. Others argue he was a martyred bishop, a stubborn fool and a pagan devil worshiper. Whatever his back-story St Valentine has been widely celebrated on February 14th as he is commonly associated with “courtly love”. However, St Valentine is also patron saint of beekeepers, affianced couples, lovers, plagues, travellers, fainting, happy marriages and epilepsy, which are all equally as important. Based on this wondrous array of patronal issues I have in time honoured tradition, collated a smorgasbord of harmonious melodies tackling the theme of love and the lack of it. Please consume in order with due diligence and care.
The Clash – Train in Vain
Written shortly after his split with The Slit’s Viv Albertine, Mick Jones bares all in “a song that sounds like trains”. Joe Strummers usual raucous delivery makes Train in Vain pure melancholia with a hopeful tinge, perfect for the reflective Valentine’s Day commute.
Bobby Womack – If You Think You’re Lonely Now
Essentially: “If you ain’t got that money you can’t have that booty.”
Prince – It’s Gonna Be Lonely
The last track from Prince’s self titled 1979 album, It’s Gonna Be Lonely is the ultimate heart wrencher. Predicting a future without a lover is this constant, exhausting mental battle with anxiety, insecurity, anger and depression and Prince, The Sex Lord, sound tracks all those feelings so damn well. OH BABY DON’T GO.
[Prince may now be on Spotify, but finding him on YouTube is another matter. Here’s a Mac DeMarco cover instead. It’s what he would have wanted. Probably.]
Luther Vandross – Take You Out
Any music playlist dealing with love that does not contain at least one Luther song is just a distorted collection of words with no meaning. I listened to this song constantly in the car as a kid and I have only recently come to terms with its meaning. Basically, get your shit together and get on the wagon.
Jocelyn Brown – Somebody Else’s Guy
Are you in an emblazoned sexual affair with another man’s wife or vice versa or man’s man or woman’s woman or I don’t bloody know it’s all so complicated. Anyway, if the answer is no move along buddy. If yes, stop it scumbag.
D’Angelo – Lady
This is my favourite song. I have been trying to sneak it on to a playlist for years but to no avail. Please don’t make love with D’Angelo blasting on the phat stack, VICE said don’t do it so DO NOT BLOODY DO IT YOU FIEND.
Led Zeppelin – Heartbreaker
Nothing emits love like Robert Plant’s denim jean encased junk. Approach the solo at 2:03 with caution, it may cause a sporadic discharge.
Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar On Me
As we are on the subject of scrotal discharge, it wouldn’t be an empty meaningless vessel of a Feast Day without an equally pointless musical outfit in spandex.
Beach Fossils – 12 Roses
I’m more of a Sneezewort Yarrow or Virgin Thistle man myself but Roses are nice too.
Boy II Men – A Song For Mama
Big love to the leading lady in my life. Sorry love, Mama Powell wins every time.
Words by Aaron Powell