As our illustrious editor Roman Gokhman alluded to in last week’s column, I’ve got a girlfriend. Sorry ladies, but I’m off the market.
It’s become somewhat of a Valentine’s Day tradition for me to openly loathe romance and love songs and the like. And every time I do express my hostility I hear the same thing: That’s just because you’re single, if you were in a relationship those songs would hit differently and your opinion would change.
To those people: Your opinion is wrong and the songs are still garbage.
That said, I challenged myself to find some songs about romance that I don’t actively hate. This is what I came up with. I apologize for nothing.
RATT — “Round and Round”
If you don’t speak Hair Metal Vocals, well, that makes sense. The tone makes lyrics hard to understand and as far as fluency goes, in 2021 it’s about as common as Aramaic. But I assure you, this is a love song.
Turns out it’s about the early days of a relationship when everything is new and exciting and every date is an event. That is romantic! Kinda! I mean, it’s romantic compared to the next few songs. This all goes downhill really, really fast. So enjoy this relative sweetness of RATT while it lasts.
AC/DC — “Heatseeker”
Every AC/DC song is about sex.
Oh, you disagree? “Dirty Deeds” is about male prostitution. “Thunderstruck” is just an extended euphemism. “The Jack” is about catching Gonorrhea. And don’t even get me started on “Let Me Put My Love Into You.”
Basically, I just had to pick any AC/DC song. I think I’ve included all those others in columns already, so we’re down to “Heatseeker.” I told you it would go downhill fast. I’m not sorry.
W.A.S.P. — “L.O.V.E. Machine”
This is definitely also about sex. But to hair metal bands, this is peak romanticism.[Gokhman note directly to Willis’ girlfriend: I swear to God he doesn’t just think about sex. Don’t dump him because of this column].
OK, fine, power ballads were peak romanticism. But power ballads are terrible. Nobody likes those, least of which me. So once you rule that out, your choices are songs about sex with random groupies or songs about sex with one specific person the singer cares about, and this is the latter.
The ’80s were a very different time.
Whitesnake — “Still of the Night”
If a babe don't make you feel like 3:57 in Still of The Night by Whitesnake, you eject the tape and see what else is on the radio, you guys.
— Karl Welzein (@DadBoner) March 5, 2014
As always, Captain Karl is not wrong. Of all the profoundly true things he’s said, this may be the truest. Every tweet he makes that invokes “Still of the Night” is true. I even bought the T-shirt. I am not kidding.
Also, it was a great song before Karl Welzein/Mike Burns brought it to a very specific subset of the public consciousness. Easily the best Whitesnake song, and I will die on that hill.
Whitney Houston — “I Will Always Love You”
I joke, but my girlfriend really is great and I’m very happy, so I don’t want to keep the bit going and exclusively do hair metal through all five. She might read this, after all. And this is a legitimately all-time great song. Even Dolly Parton has said it’s basically Whitney’s song now.
But I do stand by my opinion. Sappy love songs and commercialized romance are trash. Don’t buy into the idea that someone must spend money on a specific list of overpriced goods or else they don’t actually love you, that’s too cynical even for me.
Follow editor Daniel J. Willis and tweet column ideas to him at Twitter.com/BayAreaData.