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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

You think that people would have had enough of...

come on, finish the line...silly love songs! Okay, so maybe that song was one of Sir Paul McCartney's weaker moments. He also wrote "Baby I'm Amazed" and dozens of great love songs during his years with The Beatles, so we can forgive him. Besides being a librarian, I am also a musician and you'll meet no bigger sucker for a love song than yours truly. I listen to my iPod almost every day during my commute, so if you're next to a Ford Focus and the driver is weeping uncontrollably (and looks like me), I've fallen under the sway of some smooshy ballad by Dan Fogelberg (may he rest in peace), the Moody Blues, Keith Urban, Steven Curtis Chapman, Martina McBride, Amy Grant, it just goes on and on.

With Valentine's Day a mere 13 hours away (still time to do some shopping, guys!), I'm here to talk about love songs. I polled the library staff and asked people to send me their favorite love songs. Much like the love stories I requested earlier, results were few. Does the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator demonstrate that lovers do not make for good librarians? :) Perhaps library types are just shy, and unwilling to reveal such a personal preference.

At any rate, I did get a few and here they are. Reference Librarian Joanie Sebastian figured the first song that popped into her head must be a favorite, so she's sticking with "We'll Be Together Again" as recorded by Chicago's own jazz stylist Anita O'Day. Two of our staffers chose different songs by the same artist. Readers' Services Assistant Laura Adler and Head of Public Information Heather Imhoff both chose Bruce Springsteen, but Laura likes "Incident on 57th Street" while Heather is all about "Thunder Road." Who knew The Boss was such a romantic?

Children's Librarian Kelli Phillips picked a sentimental favorite by a singer whose style (and swivelin' hips) made many a gal swoon: "Love Me Tender" by Elvis Presley. Marge Scholl, in Administrative Services, chose a more recent classic, "Through the Years" by Kenny Rogers. Dan Klobnak in IT Services named an artist known more for razor-sharp wit and a healthy dose of sarcasm, Joe Jackson. Dan particularly likes Jackson's song, "Fools in Love," from the 1979 album "Look Sharp." (Is it still okay to say "album?") Veronica Schwartz, Head of Youth Services, is torn between two love songs. First, there's Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes," a song immortalized for many of us by the cinematic splendor of John Cusack, hoisting that boombox over his head in the pouring rain during "Say Anything." (Don't get me started - I love that movie."You used to be warped and twisted and hilarious.") For cold, wintry nights, Veronica is digging Michael Buble's rendition of "Fever." Ah, love. What a lovely way to burn.

Now, technically, since I started this mess, I ought to include my own favorites. Got a few days? Seriously, for me to name a favorite of any type of song is like trying to explain why I like breathing - music keeps me alive. But I'll toss out a few, mostly in hopes of stimulating, YES, YOU GUESSED IT, some Comments here in our blog! This blogging thing would be a whole lot more fun if you'd pitch in with your comments and observations. You can even do it anonymously, without having to set up an account or sign in. So think about it - what's your favorite love song? A memory from Senior Prom? The first dance at your wedding? The song you heard on the radio the night you got engaged?

A quick survey of my favorites would include: "Be My Downfall" by Scottish rock band Del Amitri, "I Was Brought to My Senses" and "Mad About You" AND "Desert Rose," all by Sting,"Tonight It's You" by Cheap Trick (part of me will always be 10 years old and in love with Robin Zander), "Where The Streets Have No Name" and "Mysterious Ways" by U2, and "Until the Night", "This Is the Time," and "This Night" by Billy Joel. I have to stop, or this will end up in the Guinness Book of World Records for Longest Blog Post EVER. And I haven't even mentioned James Taylor, Joni Mitchell or songwriter Leonard Cohen (a trio of amazing songwriters who also happened to be lovers, at least for a time - Taylor with Mitchell, but Mitchell also with Cohen).

So cut me off at the pass and send us your own cherished love songs. Post 'em here. And, if you haven't seen it yet, watch our Valentine's Day video right here in this blog window, or see it at our YouTube channel:


  1. Your Valentine Video was really fun! A fantastic idea and very entertaining to watch.

    My favorite love song would have to be "At Last" sung by Etta James.

  2. Your video was great. and I think my favorite love song would be "At Last " also. When's the next vieo?

  3. "At Last" is a great song. It's one of my favorites when I perform at weddings and parties. As far as the next video goes - well, keep watching. We have one currently being edited and another project in the planning phase.

  4. "Ribbon in the Sky" by Stevie Wonder was the "first dance" song at our wedding.

  5. For power ballad/love songs, one needs to include "Open Arms" and "Faithfully" by Journey and "I Want to Know What Love Is" by Foreigner.

    That's what you get from a person who's stuck in a late '70s/early '80s time warp!

  6. One that chokes me up (in a good way) is Elton John's "Your Song" -- a nice, tender love ballad.

    I'll have to get my hands on Etta James' "At Last." I don't think I've ever heard it!

  7. Wow - I love every one of the songs we've received in our comments section! "Ribbon in the Sky" especially, but since I went to high school in the 80s, I have some major affection for those big-haired ballads. Elton John is another writer who has contributed many beautiful love songs to the canon and "Your Song," if I recall correctly, was probably the first song of his I ever heard. Great stuff!

  8. "Here, There and Everywhere" by The Beatles. Simple music, great lyrics, good for dancing. Accept no substitutes.


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