Song Lyrics, Analyzed: Love

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Lovin’ You

  • Lovin’ you is easy cause you’re beautiful

                        – Minnie Riperton, Lovin’ You

Ms. Riperton finds it easy to love the object of her song, because he is attractive. Were he ugly, she would not love him, or at the least, it would be far more difficult to love him. Whether the object has a winning personality or not is unknown, but if he does, it’s not helping him. Fortunately, he is beautiful, so he and Ms. Riperton can head to the bedroom and “oooooh”.

All You Need Is Love

  • There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done,
    Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung.

    There’s nothing you can make that can’t be made,
    No one you can save that can’t be saved…

                        – The Beatles, All You Need Is Love

You are only capable of doing things which can be done. As an example, songs which you sing are capable of being sung. As well, if you can make it, then it is by definition possible for it to be made. Further, if you are able to save it, then it possesses the quality of being save-able. Finally, platitudes sell records.

Happy Together

  • I can’t see me loving nobody but you, for all my life.

                        – The Turtles, Happy Together

Oh sweet jes—that is quite the sentence construction. Let’s see if we can sort this mess out, starting with the end clause of “for all my life”. While this could refer to the “seeing” mentioned at the start of the line, we will charitably assume it actually refers to the act of loving. Whatever loving the singer will be doing, he will be doing it for the entirety of his life.

With that set aside, we’re left with a double negative in the form of “I can’t see me loving nobody but you”. Inverting that gives us “I can see me loving anybody but you”. In other words, the protagonist can visualize loving anyone else besides the object! Can that really be what it works out to? Let’s try removing just one negative: “I can see me loving nobody but you”. In that case, the line would mean that the singer does see a possible future where he loves no one but the object. So again, the opposite of that is that the singer does not see such a future.

At best, if we again invoke that end clause, perhaps the singer is unable to see a future where his love lasts for his entire life. Possibly he predicts the object will die first, or that they will have a few good years before breaking it off. No matter how you cut it though, a song which is ostensibly about love (albeit unrequited love), actually works out to a blow-off song.


If you enjoyed this post, get updates via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS.