January was the month of ‘New Beginnings‘ and February is the month of romance. This makes perfect sense since it is the month that has Valentines Day. People are buying flowers, eating dark chocolates out of gaudy heart shaped boxes or creating a sappy Spotify playlist of romantic music. Others may pick this month to propose or get married, as it is the month for lovers. But that isn’t the case for everyone. Some people are cutting the blooms from the flower stems in their bouquet of roses, throwing the candy in the garbage, or changing the music when a love song starts to play. These are the people who have been jilted, walked out on or just want nothing to do with another relationship. This Spotify playlist, ‘Love Songs?‘, is for the latter.
When I came up with this theme, I started thinking of all the songs about broken hearts or relationships. The first thing I thought was that I could use most of Taylor Swift’s discography. Because as my daughter’s tell me, that’s her best work, from broken relationships. But as promised, only one of her songs made the cut in keeping with my one artist/song per playlist. It is funny though how it seems so many of the songs about being fed up with love are from female musicians. Being a male, I knew that we had broken hearts as well, so I made sure to try to give equal representation.
It was hard to decide which song to talk about in this playlist. Having recently gone through a divorce after being married for almost 30 years, a lot of these songs struck a raw nerve. But Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back to Black’ is my choice for several reasons. Right after my divorce, the lyrics “We only said goodbye with words, I died a hundred times”, was how I felt. Winehouse’s songs are all so raw and the message many times tragically reflect the spiral to her untimely death at the young age of 27. This song was written about her relationship with her then boyfriend, Blake Fielder-Civil, who left her temporarily to go back to his ex-girlfriend. Her music does not seem like it should have been released in 2006, but is more reminiscent of the girl groups of the 60s. But no matter what the decade, Winehouse’s talent was undeniable.
One other person on the playlist, Aubrey Burchell, is the first person I heard cover Amy Winehouse. Believe it or not this was before I had heard of Winehouse. Hearing Burchell’s brilliant rendition of one of Winehouse’s songs made me want to listen to more of the original. Then a year or two later having become familiar with more of Amy Winehouse’s music, I went to a show where the main act was a band called Remember Jones. I only went to the show because I knew the opening act. When I heard that the lead singer of Remember Jones was a male, I very mistakenly assumed he could never do Winehouse’s music justice. But it was a phenomenal performance. So you can see I have some personal connections to Amy Winehouse’s music.
But enough about me, let’s get back to discussing my playlists. For all my playlists I encourage you to read more about the artists, as this continues to be increasingly enlightening for me. It is fascinating to continually see the pattern of their music reflected in their lives as well as to see the story behind the artist. This Spotify playlist has some other songs that almost made my personal story like Nazareth’s ‘Love Hurts’, Bob Dylan’s ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right’, or Pat Benatar’s ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’. But those stories will have to be shared over a drink or perhaps a future playlist article.
I wish all of you a happy February no matter what your situation. Perhaps next year at this time things could have a totally different feel for this year’s jilted lovers than this Spotify playlist ‘Love Songs?’.
Check back next month when my March St Patrick Day’s theme is ‘Import Charge’.