Love songs can be … … nauseating. As my children assert their musical tastes on the household, my ears are increasingly besieged by the stomach churning bilge that is a pop music ballads. Not that rock ballads or, god forbid, country ballads are much better and I say that as someone who greatly appreciated when Bryan Adams’ “Straight From The Heart” or Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” started playing at school dances. Granted that gratitude stemmed more from the opportunity it afforded me to potentially feel breasts pressed against my chest during a coveted slow dance than any overwhelming adoration of ballads, but I didn’t hate those songs either.
Love songs are tricky. The line between classy and cringe-worthy is atom thin and the chasm on the other side of it is abrupt and deep. Too many songwriters accelerate towards that line with reckless abandon before hurling themselves over it a spectacular display of mortifying lyrical effluent. But for the few and exceptionally skilled, they shimmy up to that line and with graceful restraint and acoustic elegance tease our emotions to the fore. The result is pleasantly emotive especially if you’ve graduated to a point in life where breasts are no longer simply a cloaked treasure revealed through subtle pressure fluctuations during a school dance but are instead a glorious prize now fully within your grasp.
I believe this song falls into the latter category as, happily, do I. The lyrics are surprisingly progressive in for an eighties country song which sadly says a thing or two about the direction segments of our society have “progressed” over my lifetime. The melody is pleasing and the singer’s voice comforting, exactly what you’d want as you light the candles and join that special someone on the couch in front of the fire. Or as a cameo in a Smokey and the Bandit sequel (true story).
I’m going to kick off what I hope will be a romantic weekend for you all with one of my favourite ballads. Undo a couple buttons on your shirt, dim the lights on your three pod tension lamp, and spritz on the Stetson cologne. Now take your lady’s hand and sway around the shag carpet to the sweet, soothing sound of Don Williams’ “I Believe In You” from the 1980 album of the same.