Come let me make your February a bit bluer

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Despite being inundated with ridiculous romcoms and even sillier pop songs, a rather boisterous part of me has resisted romantic love for a good part of my adult life. I remember at some point reading  that Frank Zappa quipped that he thought the expectations people had of romance actually killed any hope of that love could even occur.

To avoid any misunderstandings, I’ve bandied about plenty of assertions of ‘I love you‘ and I’m certainly not averse to getting intimate with someone I find particularly attractive. However, I find a lot of what we’re sold as ‘love’ in our society to be a heavy dose of illusion. More importantly, I think because so many stories that promote love and romance have such an unrealistic hue, that people in real, live relationships often find they don’t live up to the hype of romance that’s promised in popular culture.

Which is perhaps part of why I’ve tended to gravitate to melancholy love songs and stories of unrequited love. Well aware that I’m not alone, I’ve read plenty of accounts of people who feel particularly gloomy when others are celebrating Valentine’s Day.

Some send and receive chocolate and flowers on this special day, while I’ve tended to mock the whole thing from afar and think there must be better days of the year to express your affectionate feelings. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried to get into the spirit of what I’ve often assumed is a Hallmark inspired conspiracy, and I’ve certainly enjoyed trying to find that special gift that showed my sentiment without being too sentimental.

This time around, though? I’ve actually decided to share my love of melancholy music and am putting on a show called Blue February. It won’t be all doom and gloom, as I’m sure no one wants to be depressed as they leave the Hofspielhaus, where the whole thing’s going down.

Instead, my plan is to offer some sad songs interspersed with a mix of hopeful ones, as well. I’ve heard it said that those most vocally resistant to love are the ones who secretly hope for it the most.

Furthermore, the silliest love songs seem to mean more when one is swept up in the whirl of romantic love, so get out and hear music made by one of love’s most unwilling converts.

Come let me make your February a bit bluer, and perhaps you’ll even start to believe what the poets and the greeting card companies have been trying to sell us all along.

Follow this link to buy tickets: Verliebt in Melancholie – lovesongs 

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Stand reckless, stand rowdy…Stand true

Not sure why, but I’ve noticed that melancholy music often lifts my spirits more than an otherwise happy alternative. And one of the best options when I’m looking for something a bit brooding is the band Lambchop.

Here are the lyrics to Please Rise, which is on their OH (Ohio) release:

Stand about, stand aloof
Stand aside, stand apart
Stand back, stand away
Stand up

Stand over, stand to
Stand against, stand before
Stand with, stand alone
Stand in

Stand it out
Stand it out
Stand it out
Stand it out

Stand up, stand through
Stand down, stand around
Stand ready, stand inside
Stand me

Stand them, stand hurt
Stand strong, stand along
Stand reckless, stand rowdy
Stand true

Stand it out
Stand it out
Stand it out
Stand it out

Stand down, stand down
Your shoulder to the sea
Stand down, stand down
Your shelter from the rain

Stand down, stand down
Stand beside your enemy
Stand over me
Stand over me

Stand down, stand down
Your shoulder to the sea
Stand down, stand down
Your shelter from the rain

Stand down, stand down
Stand beside your enemy
Stand over me
Stand over me

You know, I could easily go through and pick the words apart. Discuss what the words might mean the same way I did when I was younger and would desperately try to discern what on earth Michael Stipe was talking about.

Instead, I’m just going to let the words wash over me. Put the song on endless repeat and let the words soak into my skin. Somedays trying to figure out what it all means is truly overrated.