Saturday, November 17, 2012

Great Love Songs (37)

Today, I am nominating Nina Simone as my 'Fantasy Girlfriend' over on Froogville. It doesn't matter that she was in her thirties before I was even born, and has now been dead for 9 years. Most of these selections have been 'impossible' in one way or another. It's the idea of Nina Simone that I'm in love with.

In addition to the good things included in the Froogville post, here's one of my favourite of her love songs, He Needs Me (which blog-friend JES once informed me was written by one Arthur Hamilton; not one of the more celebrated lyricists, but he was given a flying start in the business when old high school friend Julie London asked him to write her some songs and he came up with Cry Me A River).

This is a great song about 'difficult' love. I'm not comfortable with the suggestions of imbalanced affection, dependence, and self-delusion in it - but these all too commonly are elements of love. I prefer to think of it as suggestive of stoical, calmly optimistic perseverance with a partner who's just a little wayward - or perhaps just a little slow on the uptake, a little slow to realise or acknowledge the depth of the relationship that has formed. It's a complex and beautiful little song, and Nina's rendition of it has always sent shivers down my spine.

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