Real Fine Love: Great Love Songs Part I


Well, now, it’s Valentine’s Week. And I’m as sentimental as the next girl, but all the hoopla over cards and jewelry makes me feel more cynical than romantic (much to the relief of my much beleaguered spouse). Please note that I omitted chocolate from the mention of Valentine’s items that make me grumpy. So to get myself in a more receptive mood for Cupid’s bow, I started to think about all the really fine love songs out there. And I’m not talking about the wedding reception mix CD either. I’m talking about love songs that maybe make you a little melancholy or a more than a little grateful. There are a bunch out there, and they’re woefully underplayed. So consider this my Valentine’s gift to you — find some of these CDs, play them, and feel a little better about February 14th.

Today’s installment will concentrate on a singer-songwriter I’ve written about before, a man whose voice your mama might’ve warned you about: John Hiatt. Sure, you’ve probably heard the cover of “Thing Called Love” that Bonnie Raitt recorded, that Hiatt originally sang on his Bring the Family album (1987). But that’s not my favorite love song on that album. For that, you have to take a listen to “Learning How to Love You”:

And I don’t pretend to know how
You ever saw it through
‘Cause I only got to where I am right now
Learning how to love you

Or even more romantic (with a upbeat tempo, natch), try “Real Fine Love” from his Stolen Moments album (1990):

Well now the babies are all sleeping
And the twilight’s givin’ in
She looks like you, he looks like her
And we all look like him
Well maybe it’s just a little thing
The way I feel tonight
A little joy, a little peace
And a whole lot of light

Somebody comes at you with that kind of love song, you might just have to get a little sentimental. What are some of your favorite underplayed love songs?

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