… he can get a bit soppy and embarrassing to his mates.
A man can so swiftly move from the hard to the wimpish – see Wodehouse stories, Coriolanus etc. Hell, I’ve seen engineers reduced to putty before a woman they’re besotted with. And all it takes is the appearance of some new girl:
When a man gets all blubbery over a woman, nature gets co-opted a lot, e.g. rain, waves crashing on the shore etc. and the imagery – metaphor, simile, personification – can get all jumbled up in the emotion.
One interesting aspect is that a man’s love songs often have an aggressive, passionate intensity to them – they’re quite different to a woman’s and yet, a glance at Angel of the Morning, The Very Thought of You, The Dark End of the Street and so on – songs popularized by women – were actually written by men for women to sing. I’m still looking for one a woman wrote and sang.
Here’s one – The Second Element [Sarah Brightman]. Hmmm – nope, that was by Frank Peterson / Thomas Schwarz. OK, here’s one from a “love songs written by women site”: I’ll Never Love This Way Again [Dionne Warwick]. Nope, it’s by Richard Kerr (music) and Will Jennings (lyrics).
Now this is getting to be intriguing. The Bangles – all women – surely they have a love song. Eternal Flame, right? It was written by popular songwriters Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly and The Bangles’ own Susanna Hoffs. So at least there was a woman involved in it.
Aretha Franklin’s Respect is not a love song. OK, here’s one – The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – Roberta Flack. 1957 folk song written by British political singer/songwriter Ewan MacColl for Peggy Seeger.
There has to be some love song somewhere written entirely by a woman. Can anyone help out? Meanwhile:
There’s a nice subplot if it can be called that in Farewell My Lovely when the Moose ends up dead by the object of his soppy besottedness – the woman always remains hardheaded in love with all but bad boys and then they’re as soft-centred as a man in love.
Most of my mates have been fairly hard men in the sense of standing tall rather than coming on the hard man. I’ve seen a few of them with tears in the eyes over some woman who had done ‘em wrong and why such women mishandle their power says a lot.
Just as the woman falls in love with a bad boy or love rat – the one who ultimately doesn’t care and will do her wrong, so the man falls for the femme fatale and then wonders when she destroys him. But he’ll still come back for more, weeping and begging.
Major mistake. Watch a woman closely when she senses he’s gone all wimpish on her – suddenly she figuratively places her stiletto heel on his prostrated body.
No one does this femme fatale thing quite like Celentano – I’ve the best version downloaded on my computer but it’s gone from youtube – this version is OK:
The songs of Chris de Burgh leave me cold with all that talk of “we both break down and cry” – hell, I’ve never known a man go that far and I can’t believe a woman of any strength, who doesn’t need a man’s subjugation to assuage her power cravings, would want to see such innermost feelings on a man’s sleeve.
It’s enough, I think, that she knows he’s susceptible to her:
From the title and lyrics, it’s pretty clear what a man wants from a woman and it’s not what’s on offer these days in so many cases.
Filed under: Music