Monday, September 22, 2014

One Way Love

[Chalk up another post under "better safe than sorry," as once again the song is recorded by Simon-as-Landis but the authorship is "unknown."]

"I love you/ Why don't you love me too?" Is this not a heading under which we can safely place a third or more of all songs, altogether? This answer-less question, so often asked, is the basis for much of poetry as well, and trying to come up with yet another poetic way to ask it begs the question-- what's wrong with just coming out and asking it?

The expression "one-way" brings to mind the traffic sign, and our speaker does not disappoint:
"We have hearts that never meet/ Mine goes down a one-way street/ Aching with the lonely beat/
Of one way love."

The subject, in case it is at all unclear, is unrequited love: "For your kisses, how I yearn/ But you never will return/ My one-way love."

The speaker has standards-- "Love should be a dream for two," Faced with his predicament, he has several options. One is to seek revenge. One is to pine forever. And there are dozens more.

But this time, a surprisingly mature tack is taken: "You don't care, so I decided/ I must break away from you."

Since she doesn't care, who is he telling? Himself. He is asserting himself, to himself, to reinforce himself.

He has had what some psychologists call "an attack of dignity." He has come to the conclusion that he is deserving of affection and, since this person won't provide it, he has the right-- the duty-- to seek it elsewhere. "There must be/ A true love meant for me," he declares, adding confidently, "I can find her if I try."

How will he know he has succeeded? Simple-- it will be a two-way street: "She will care as much as I."

And then? "Then my heart can say good-bye/ To one way love."

For a teenager, this is a remarkably mature work, on a psychological level. Faced with an unreturned affection, many teens would not have the presence of mind or self-worth to simply mourn and move on? How many songs do we have about "one-way love" that turn into a dead-end street? Isn't the Heartbreak Hotel  itself "down at the end of Lonely Street?"

Love should not be "one-sided," the speaker says. So, he leaves his one-way street and heads down another road. And if this one also leads nowhere... there are always still more roads.

Next Song: Dori Anne

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