Red Leigh Cooper

Red Leigh Cooper

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Silly love songs...

     "Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs...and what's wrong with that?" - Paul McCartney

     Nothing...if you can write them!

     I can't write love songs.  It actually says more about me than you may guess.  I can write songs about pain, anger, despair, longing, you name it.  I can't write love songs.  The urge doesn't even occur to me.

    I wrote one once...sort of.  On my previous band's first CD there was this kind of bluesy rocky song called "My Only Friend."  It's about my husband, but it's not mushy, or I guess for the purposes of this blog, silly, in the least.  It's actually somewhat wistful.  I mean, just look at the title; my only friend?!?! What was I..a member of The Smiths (please tell me everyone reading gets that reference)?  Sigh...I guess it's truly a problem.  Not just in my songwriting life, but my personal one as well.

    The reason I can write songs about things like pain and anger is because ultimately I am much more in touch with these emotions than I am with the unbridled joy that is love.  On the same CD's title track, "I Just Might," I actually make a reference to not understanding how unconditional love can exist.  Wow...troubled much?

     I shouldn't be surprised.  My Mother raised us to tell her "I love you" even if we didn't feel like it.  "Love" was about a show for the neighbors and not about truly feeling anything.  I should probably take this moment to inform you that my mother was a huge fan of Joan Crawford's parenting skills and idolized Hitler.  I should also let you know that last sentence wasn't sarcasm.  Unfortunately, this pattern emerged in my social life.  I can toss around the words "I love you" very long as I don't mean it.   When you think about it, a little girl ultimately loves their Mother, forced to or not. When that relationship turns ugly for whatever reason the fear grows that all love is that way.  The sheer abandonment issues are crippling.  Why would I have ever understood or have been expected to understand love?  I'm not cold or hard; just severely lacking in appropriate expression.  Trust me; I feel.  I feel deeply.

     Talking about coping skills lately (see "What Doesn't Kill You..." January 29, 2012) has led me to think about this area of my life a little more closely.  If  you are going to get to the "starfish," I realize that you may need some help.  You may need to be open to others. You just might have to stop being afraid of putting yourself out there and getting hurt. 

     I'm currently attanding a study of the book The Me I Want to Be by John Ortberg.  Ortberg says, “When you are loved, it is not just that you receive more from someone else, but also that you become more yourself.  You-ier.  Love brings the power to become the me I want to be.  Loving people are literally live-givers.  That is connectedness.”  I think the saying goes, "you gotta give love to get love," or something like that.  There is another saying that goes, "if you love something set it free.  If it comes back, it's yours.  If it doesn't, hunt it down and kill it!"  Okay; that last sentence did have sarcasm, but you see the problem here. 

     Ortberg goes on to say, "You can be loved best when you are fully known – willing to take off the mask and share your heart.  To be fully known takes courage."  He also has a personality test that shows you may behave, based actually on your strengths, when things don't go your way.  Guess what I do?  C'mon...guess...I withdraw!  I wallow in my despair.  I am in The Smiths (Okay, if you don't get that reference there is Wikipedia .  I never got as sorrowful as to write a song called "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now," but I can completely relate)!
     How weird is it that I'm thinking about all of this on Valentine's Day?  But I digress...
     You can be loved best when you are fully known – willing to take off the mask and share your heart. To be fully known takes courage...I guess that's it.  That's how you do it.  I guess that's what I am doing in a way.  I just have to do it more in front of the family and friends that are close to me instead of a faceless (okay...not totally faceless; my picture is in the "about me" section) blog.  Maybe the blog has become a coping skill.  This is the way I work things out so I can be a better friend, a better member of the community and world as a whole.  I write all the not so desirable things about myself and past events so I can be fully known...That's what I do..I write...
     Don't think that I'm going to go out and start writing love songs.  I may have to take the John Lennon position on that.  I am going to do my best to stop withdrawing and meet love head on.  It won't be easy, but I think I have a greater understanding how unconditional love can exist...oh yeah...someone is selling my band's CD on Ebay.  Go ahead...I don't need it...

Happy Fishing!



  1. I'm really enjoying your blog - this one really spoke to me today! Very thought provoking. Thanks! ~Cat P.

  2. Thank you! You write and you never know if anyone will enjoy it or think about it, etc. I am deeply humbled when someone does! : )