Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Postcoital power ballads. I made my friend Jason a two-CD mix of power ballads. I did it in about half an hour on Friday afternoon, in order to inspire Jason through the long-weekend peak-hour traffic, so it wasn't the impeccably crafted mix CD I could have made.

But still, I noticed that several of the songs I included on the CD were about lying in bed with your lover and feeling an intense feeling of lurve. Perhaps in your waking life you're a gruff manly man who can't really express his feelings, but in these tender moments, you're everything from the king of your partner's world to a vulnerable child in her arms. It's just you two, somehow out of reach of the world's demands.

This is a genre. It's pretty clearly written to please women, who perhaps want to imagine hidden emotional depths in their lovers that aren't revealed when the dudes just roll over and go to sleep. Penned primarily by Diane Warren and intended for Celine Dion, Aerosmith's 'I Don't Want To Miss A Thing' is the most intense and paradigmatic of them all. (That's actually the official spelling, despite the internet's conviction that it's called 'I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing'.)

Lying close to you
Feeling your heart beating
And I'm wondering what you're dreaming
Wondering if it's me you're seeing
Then I kiss your eyes and thank God we're together
And I just wanna stay with you
In this moment forever, forever and ever

Bryan Adams is on there as well, with 'Heaven':

Baby you're all that I want
When you're lyin' here in my arms
I'm findin' it hard to believe
We're in heaven

Peter Cetera chips in chivalrously with 'Glory Of Love', promising to "take you to my castle far away":

Tonight it's very clear
As we're both lying here
There's so many things I want to say
I will always love you
I would never leave you alone

If I had known about this subgenre while making the CD, it could have guided my song selections. Take, for instance, 'Hold Me In Your Arms' by Southern Sons:

The morning sunlight moves gently on our bed
Sounds of distant traffic float into my head
Eyes slowly open and words won't be enough
But what is left unspoken burns softly in your touch

10CC even have a song called 'Lying Here With You':

All our cares will drift away
Leave them all until another day
I don’t really mind
As long as I can find
That I’m lying here with you

There was some discussion in the car about whether '(I Just) Died In Your Arms' by Cutting Crew was part of this genre. At the time I disagreed because of the violent connotations of the phrase, but upon examining the lyrics more closely, the song doesn't fit because it's about postcoital entrapment and regret ("I should've walked away").

Can you think of any other songs in this genre?

Siouxsie and the Banshees – Night Shift
Necrophilia doesn't count, smartarse.
These songs are always used as the 'cool-down' track in Les Mills' exercise classes (pump, step etc). Oh dear.
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