It's 9:30, my hair is down, my glasses are on, my earrings are out, and my eyes want to close. Why am I even venturing to post, you ask? Because I've started to post three times and lost it every time, and I'm a determined woman.
It was a chilly walk across the mall after my 8 pm class in Furman Hall-- fall is on his way. I do love South Carolina's Indian Summer, though. It's a slippers-and-hot chocolate kind of night, but since I'm not at home, and I have abandoned white sugar, I'm contenting myself with hot licorice tea, and socks-- one mine, and one Katie's. (long story) I'm crashing at her place tonight, since she has one roommate in France this term (so I get an actual bed!), and since I've got to get up uber-early tomorrow so I can get my workout in early, so she & I can get up to Seneca as early as possible (We're going to Seneca, SC, an hour away, where Katie is doing her teaching internship, as part of getting our required 20 hours of classroom observations in. It'll be fun going together. =D).
All right, to make it onto the "10 Best Love Songs Ever," the songs have to be all-around wonderful. Not too mushy, not overly idolatrous ;D, something musically appealing, and lyrics that sound somewhat more sincere and less jaded from use than a Hallmark card. Three rules (eheh I'll even alliterate I'm so tired):
1) Memorable lyrics; poetry, people!!...sincere sweetness said in an original, non-mindlessly-repetitive way
2) Melodic/Harmonic quality; none of this "alternate between two chords (and one line) for 3.5 minutes" crap
3) Minimally idolatrous message; nothin' sketchy, and as little displacement of God as possible ...which is why, much as it pains me, I don't think Chicago's "Inspiration" can make it...
[[drum roll, please!]] In no particular order, after compilation and communal consideration by committee and category (ok, ok I'll stop ;D), we have:
1. Springtime Indiana (Sandra McCracken)
Why? "Never been good with my thoughts/and even worse with my words/but you read like familiar poetry that I have never heard.../" and "you came in without notice, settled all around my heart/took up residence in the places that were vacant and dark..."
2) For My Love (Bethany Dillon)
Why? She captures the godly female heart's longings SO well throughout the entire song. Just take the chorus: "...let me know you'd fight/thousands, for my love/slip your hand in mine/ ask me to dance with you tonight/ just ask me/ for my love."
3) She's My Kind of Rain (Tim McGraw)
Why? Besides the fact that the music video shows him with his wife and children, the line "She's the sunset's shadow;/She's like Rembrant's light..."
4) Sweet Afton (Nickel Creek's version)
Why? The Celtic words catch so beautifully, but it's Chris Thile's melody-- lilting, tender, and a little haunting-- and Sean & Sara Watkins' harmonies that rank it here
5) Beautiful Soul (Jesse McCartney)
Why? Read a little of this refreshing break from shallow, lust-over-love pop: "I don't want another pretty face/ I don't want just anyone to hold/...I want you and your beautiful soul/ You're the one I wanna chase/ You're the one I wanna hold/...I want you and your beautiful soul."
6) If You're Not the One (Daniel Beddingfield)
Why? I was first taken in by the sheer sweetness in his voice, and impressed by his musical virtuosity (great falsetto). The lyrics are a cheesy enough to make you grin, and then he has to go and be ready to commit on top of that ;D: "If you're not the one/ why do I dream of you/ as my wife?"
7) All I Ask of You (music by Andrew Lloyd Weber, lyrics by Charles Strouse & Richard Stilgoe, sung by Sara Brightman & Steve Barton)
Why? Ummm...it's from Phantom, for one. I love the irony, too: demanding everything, longing to give everything, and saying "that's all I ask." "Say you'll share with me one love, one lifetime/ Say the word, and I will follow you/ Share each day with me, each night, each morning/ Anywhere you go, let me go too./ That's all I ask of you."
8) For the Longest Time (Billy Joel)
Why? The music is certainly quality. Then there's the famous "If you said goodbye to me tonight/ there would still be music left to write/ What else could I do?/ I'm so inspired by you/ That hasn't happened for the longest time." And you have to grin at the impudence of "I think you ought to know/ that I intend to hold you for the longest time!" At least he's letting her know... ;D
Also in the running are: Can't Hurry Love (first sung by The Supremes, lyrics & music by Doozer, Holland & Holland) , Front Porch Lookin' In, and I'm Already There (both by Lonestar), Better Than Wine (Derek Webb), Could Not Ask for More (Edwin McCain), You're Still the One (McGraw/Hill), That's When I Love You (Phil Vassar), Canaan Bound (Andrew Peterson), When You Say Nothing At All (Alison Krauss), Livin' On A Prayer (Bon Jovi), Everyday Love (Rascal Flatts), I Will Be Here (S. C. Chapman), Arise, My Love (Michael Card), Can You Feel? (Elton John), Tale as Old as Time (yes, the Disney), Alla Luce Del Sol (sung by Josh Groban), and Con Te Partiro (most recently sung by Sara Brightman & Andrea Bochelli, under the misleading English title 'Time to Say Goodbye.'). Ok...there you have our list-in-progress. Suggestions welcome, from any and all genres and eras. They just have to follow the rules! =D
You know, Christians should write the best love songs.