My Inner Ink: Love

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Mar 16th, 2011
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The Tattoos on My Soul

Part 5:  LOVE

I try to take a 5-mile walk at least 3 times each week. Now that our weather here in Metro NYC has improved, I have been able to hit the pavement once again. There is something so invigorating about walking outdoors rather than on a treadmill. I swear that I get in shape faster, and my doctor claims it’s just the “fresh air”. Whatever the case, I am thrilled.

As I walk down the tree lined streets of my small town, I marvel at how the grass is suddenly turning green, and small crocuses are already in bloom. Daffodil stems are poking thru the soil, and thousands of tiny pine cones line the sidewalks. Yes, Spring is in the air, and with that, we all know that the stirring of budding romances will soon follow.

Writing about LOVE at this time is very tricky. Because I am writing a book about love, most of my inner philosophies on the subject are ingrained in the pages of my book. What should I do?

After giving it some thought, I decided that rather than forego this next chapter in my “Inner Tattoos”, I would find another way to discuss the topic of “LOVE”. My wonderful blog partner, Sj,  sent me a story that she had written about love, and it was centered around a famous love song by Nat King Cole. This got me thinking.

After all, I was a professional musician for most of my adult life, and after listening to jingles and other commercial music tracks for 15+ years, it crossed my mind that maybe this particular blog could be dedicated to….. “LOVE SONGS”!!!

Think about it. There are love songs for every occasion. Falling In Love, Breaking Up, Getting Married, Getting Divorced, Making Love, Dreaming of Making Love, Unrequited Love, Silly Love, Muskrat Love, and just about any other brand of love that one can conjure up. In fact, just the mere thought of love songs probably has you humming one or two in your head at this very moment.

Pop Songs, R&B, Rock Ballads, Opera Arias, Broadway Show Tunes, Tragic Inde Tracks, Death Metal Rants, and of course, one must never forget the King of all song forms – the Country Ditty. After living in Nashville, TN for 4 long years, that form will resonate in my ears forever. I actually grew to appreciate country music when I lived there. It was hard to avoid.

Now, I am suddenly faced with another dilemma. What songs do I write about? This may take some serious consultation and research…….

A few days have passed, and I have decided that I will list some notable love songs, and why I chose them. This will allow everyone to comment and let us know what your favorites are, or simply leave a remark about mine. As an added surprise, I will be interviewing one of the writer’s of my choice for “Creepy Love Song”. A brilliant, yet slightly twisted lyricist, Allen Keller, formerly of the group, The Falling Wallendas, has offered to fill us in on what inspired him to write, “Sanctuary”, with co-writer Scott Bennett.

I am really excited about interviewing Allen, as it has been many years since he and his fellow band members were on imi Records, the Chicago record label that I was co-owner of back in the 90’s. The Falling Wallendas did two albums with imi. “Sanctuary” is a cut from their second album, “Belittle”, which includes such gems as, “Porn”, “Baby Talk”, “Homecoming Queen”, and my favorite, “Clove Oil and Demerol”.

But, enough of my waxing poetic about “the good old days”, and on with my list.

“Father Figure” – George Michael

This is the best stalker song I have ever heard. The track is a bit eerie, and George Michael sounds very convincing. I believe he played a cabbie in the music video.

“Heart Shaped Box” – Kurt Cobain/Nirvana

One is reminded that sharing a writing journal with one’s significant other may not be such a good idea. Especially if said person is a crack whore nut case and you are not feeling emotionally stable.

“Tears From Heaven” – Eric Clapton

I could not listen to this song for years after first hearing it, as I would break down and sob. I cannot imagine losing a child the way Eric Clapton lost his son, and his outpouring of love and grief in this song is more powerful than anything I have ever heard.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the 70’s love song that still makes me want to puke:

“You Don’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore” – Barbara Streisand & Neil Diamond


“More Than Words” – Extreme

So, the song itself is not much to write home about, but all of you ladies will remember drooling over hottie Nuno Bettencourt and his incredible long brown locks. (P.S. – He has a tattoo.)

“I Can’t Make You Love Me” – Bonnie Raite

For me, this song embodies unrequited love in a most profound way. How many times has this song hit home with you?

“I Get Weak” – Belinda Carlisle

Written by mega-hit songwriter Diane Warren, this song spells out exactly how women feel when they are overwhelming attracted to another person. They don’t call it “getting weak in the knees” for nothing. RIght ladies?

L.O.V.E. – Joss Stone Version

SJ’s favorite rendition of her favorite song, and obviously remembered by most as being one of Nat King Cole’s biggest hits. This one’s for you SJ.

“Wicked Game” – Chris Isaak

I love this song. It was really different when it came out, and it still cuts through. Chris Isaak’s voice can be a bit raspy, smokey and sexy all at once, then he yodels his way up into his falsetto, leaving the listener feeling his pain. Great track, great lyrics, great voice. He even looks a bit like Elvis at times. (My apologies to Elvis for leaving “The King” out of my list.)

“Before He Cheats” – Carrie Underwood

One of the best “Revenge” songs of all times. A woman’s scorn can be quite dreadful.

Songs that I do not care for that are “Cheesy”, “Sappy”, or just plain “Awful”.

(You can decide for yourself.)

“Muskrat Love” – The Captain & Tenile

“Silly Love Songs” – Paul McCartney & Wings

“I’ll Make Love To You” – Boyz II Men

“Because You Loved Me” – Celine Dion

“Lady In Red” – Chris De Burgh

I will stop with these 5. Feel free to add your own.

Sanctuary” – The Falling Wallendas

The songwriting team of Allen Keller and Scott Bennett produced some amazing songs during the 1990’s. “Sanctuary” is my favorite “Creepy” love song.  Please watch as Allen fills us in on the whys of his ways:

Thank you, Allen! I appreciate your honesty and am extremely happy to include you on My Ink Project. I hope you will write us a nice little bit one of these days. I must apologize for accidentally erasing my audio track.


There are thousands of love songs out there, and I know I’ve missed some of my own favorites, but I had to make a decision on where this blog post was heading, so you’ll have to just humor me for a bit longer.

D.I.V.O.R.C.E. – Tammy Wynette

When I was a kid, my mom always listened to Country music in the car. It was painful. I made fun of this song so much that she actually let me change the station when I was with her.

“I Don’t Know How To Love Him” – Time Rice/Jesus Christ Superstar

Imagine being Tim Rice. Andrew Lloyd Weber calls you up and says, “Tim, baby, I need you to write me love song lyrics. BUT….. it has to be a love song about Mary Magdalene kvelling about her love for Jesus Christ.” Tough assignment. I give him major kudos for this one, and as a child of the 70’s, I love this song.

“Fade” – Kara Francavillo

You do not know this song. If I played it for you, someone would take me off to a private gulag and set me before a firing squad. No questions asked. No plea for mercy. I hope you do get to hear it within the next year, as Kara is a very talented singer/songwriter, embarking on her first album project. This is a song about failed young love.  It makes me gently weep.

The thing is, love songs do come in many packages, and ironically enough, my love song choice for today’s dating scene is:

“What’s Love Got To Do With It?” – Tina Turner

Today is an era of “hook ups” and “F#*k Buddies” This is NOT love. True love and romance have no place in the 21st Century, or do they? I will reserve my opinion about that, as my book is not yet registered with the Library of Congress. One thing I observe, it that men and women today are being snowed into thinking that “relationships” are passe. Heck, most men are so commitment phobic that they would rather be 40+ and single rather than “tied down”. (Hmmm..maybe Allen had a point with “Sanctuary”.) The “L” word is now as profane as dropping the “F” bomb in  a holy place.

Of course, there are women who’ve been burned so many times that they don’t want to hear that dreadful “R” word either, but secretly, in the dark of night, they do. We can’t help it guys. It’s human nature. And, if you could just get over yourselves and how wonderful you are, you’d realize that being alone sucks.

My advice for both sexes, is to figure out what you want and go for it, but, just in case…….. arm yourself with a load of “LOVE” songs.

Your playlist, of course.

My Thanks to Rich Graham for his amazing drawing!

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