Monday, 16 March 2009

Too close for comfort

Mickey and Sylvia got it right in 1957 when they famously sang 'Love is Strange'. Because it is. It's weird and frightening, obsessive and confusing. So all those compilations that weigh down the CD shelves between Valentine's Day and Mother's Day kind of miss the point with their 'raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens' view of love. Thankfully, there are songs out there which understand the darker side of love, although frequent airplay has, in most cases, negated their power and impact. So here are three of them that will make you think twice, next time you get that floaty, fluttery feeling in your stomach. If you're lucky, it won't be love, just amoebic dyssentary.

Every Breath You Take - The Police

Predictably found on pretty much every Romantic compilation ever pressed, this is actually a disturbing and oppressive song about a jilted lover turned stalker. Director Lewis Teague understood the song's haunting power when he used it on the soundtrack of his Stephen King anthology Cat's Eye, during a scene when James Woods' paranoia takes hold at a dinner party.

Possession - Sarah McLachlan

Another one that sounds like it ought to be a love song, but is actually a doom-laden threat. "And I would be the one to hold you down, kiss you so hard I'll take your breath away."
Here again is the theme of suffocation, literal and metaphorical. Cheery isn't it? In this live performance, Sarah McLachlan talks about the inspiration behind this cold but beautiful song.

You'll Never Stop Me From Loving You - Sonia

And now for something truly terrifying. Look past the rigor mortis grin, the ginger top-knot and the horrendous choreography, and you'll find a song of pure, unadulterated horror. I'd like to think that when Glenn Close's character in Fatal Attraction wasn't losing her mind to Madame Butterfly, she was probably dancing around her trendy apartment like this little scouse nutter.
"Even when you're home you won't pick up your phone and take my call...
When I know that you're alone I wander to your home to catch a glimpse or two."
This woman needs medication and restraints - she's a danger to herself and others.

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