Tuesday, July 30, 2013

With or Without You

In case the whole world didn't already think U2's With or Without You was the most romantic song on the planet, the makers of "Friends" decided to tip the scales by playing it during what is generally considered the most romantic episode: the one in which Ross and Rachel kiss.  So every time this song is played, a bajillion women who religiously watched the popular 90's sitcom turn up the volume and wish Bono was singing the song about themselves.  To be sure, who wouldn't want someone to say "I can't live without you?"

Except.  Bono doesn't just say "I can't live without you."  He also essentially says "I can't live with you, either."  So how is that romantic?  Sure, sure -- the music is great . . . touching, even.  But I can't get past the lyrics.  I don't ever want to hear these words out of a man's mouth:  "Hey -- look, babe.  I can't live with or without you!"  I mean, not only does this guy get irritated enough to want to not live with me, he also can't make a decision about us!  Frustrating!!!

Perhaps because of the music itself, though, the lyrics seem to lean on the I-can't-live-without-you side.  What do you think, readers?

While I was pondering this ever-complex and eternal contradiction on Saturday evening, I heard another great love song, this time by Led Zeppelin.  Since I've Been Loving You highlights a similar situation.  That is, a man loves a woman, but he's losing his mind over her.  We definitely get the sense that she makes him extremely frustrated and sad -- to the point of tears, actually.  Yet in the end, there's no resolution.  All we know is that he simultaneously loves and cries over her.

The tone of the music itself, though, is decidedly unromantic.  I wonder if we matched each song up to corresponding tones in a relationship, "With or Without You" would be the song playing as the relationship was dying, and "Since I've Been Loving You" would play right at the bitter end.  Or maybe "Since I've Been Loving You" plays during the breakup, and "With or Without You" plays after it's all over, when you're remembering the good parts and wondering whether you made the right decision to call it quits.

Ha.  I dunno why I'm even blogging about this, except I think these are both similar love songs, but neither of them are what I would call romantic.  But I could be swayed.  Does anyone have an opinion on the matter?

Thing I'm thankful for: perfectly ripe peaches.


Blogger Rob and Schaefer Bell said...

Rumor is- With or Without you is a song about Christ... U2 has Christian roots and themes in many of their songs. I wouldn't be surprised if that is true. It kind of makes sense to me. If not, then truly, how is a song that says "I can't live with you" in any sense romantic?? Agreed.

8:38 AM  

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