Thursday, April 2, 2015

     Imagine trying to write a love song different from any ever written. What can you write that’s new? different? memorable? There must be at least seven million love songs written by two million broken hearts, three million heartbreakers, a million dreamers and a million greedy songwriters who never had an effen crush on anyone. 

     I want to write the all-time quintessential love song that will go down as the “classic” love song of the 21st century. “Good luck with that,” says my evil conscience. 

     So to begin, one must think back to all past love relationships (or thought-to-be love relationships). I figure that during the six decades of my dating life, I’ve had about two real loves, 497 thought-to-be loves, 19 crushes and 264 hallucinations. This does not count my dreams about Tom Selleck when he didn’t have a pot belly and Dr. Kildare before he became a priest. This is one shit-load of relationships to analyze in my mission to write a love ballad. 

     My attraction to the opposite sex began in first grade when I fell head-over-heels in love with Brent Stahlbush (are you still alive, cutie?) He was tall and blond (kind of like Dr. Kildare, now that I think about it), and I remember at age six dreaming about what our children would look like. This may have been right before my Brownie Installation Ceremony--not sure.

     As I matured through the spin-the-bottle parties in fifth grade when I fell madly in love with a guy named Bill something, someone’s cousin from out-of-town. He didn’t write back after the third time I had written him on my wood-flecked wide-lined paper using my fountain pen with turquoise ink. wtf. His loss.

     As I continued into high school, I became enamored with another blond guy who was captain of the swim team and two years older than me. He was madly in love with some Sally chick who was a member of my sorority (“community club”) and who loved to haze me as a pledge. I figured they would break up sooner or later, and I would be ready to move in clad in white bucks and an A-line skirt above my knees. By the time this actually happened, I was infatuated with another upperclassman who was a musician (and not blond). They both discovered me after they had left for college, and I had abandoned dreams of either of them, focusing on a short little Italian dude who drove me crazy by showing up an hour late for every date. The two college guys appeared at the same time on my doorstep during their spring break, and I told them both to take a hike. The blond guy even sent me telegrams in German when I moved to California. Carpe Diem fell on dead ears.

     My love journey was peppered with love songs that to this day, when I hear them,  bring back memories of back-seat-Chevy drive-in movies and wrist corsages. Such melodies as “Chances Are,” “Love me Tender,” “Unforgettable,” “Twilight Time,” still produce goose bumps on my arms.


     My songwriter professor told us to analyze the songs that have survived so we can unlock the secret to their melodies and enduring messages. In doing this, I have discovered that George Carlin was right, “It’s all bullshit.” So I’m getting ready to sit down with my staff paper and pencil, a Baby Ruth on my right, a Slinky on my left, pencil poised. Stay tuned. George will howl from the grave when he hears my little love ditty.