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Five 'Love Songs' That Aren't Really Love Songs

Andrew Payne Andrew Payne
July 30th, 2008 9:32am EDT
StingThe time has come. You've fallen in love. You just can't stop thinking about your significant other. You're ready to take the next step. You're ready to make them a mix tape.

Seems easy right? Just Google "Love Songs" and pop the first 15 you see into your iTunes, hit the circle in the upper right-hand corner and burn away. But not so fast, Romeo. There are pitfalls in the world of blindly including love songs.

In fact, there are many songs purported as anthems of adoration that are anything but. Tunes so misinterpreted that they turn into wedding standards and accompany final dances at the senior prom despite dealing with themes like peeping toms and even break-ups.

Read on, and discover five songs to avoid when making your next mix tape. Maybe your new relationship will last longer as a result.

U2"One" by U2

The "One Love, One Life" chorus has made this a love song standard, but one look beyond those four words leads into a breakup song filled with deception. Lines like "Have you come here to play Jesus to the Lepers in your head?" and "You gave me nothing/Now that's all I've got," are spoken by a bitter former lover who seeks to tear down more than his ex, but the idea of love altogether. Doesn't really fit alongside "Tupelo Honey."




Whitney Houston"I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston

This will make its way onto many love song playlists simply because of its title. But what about the first line? What about, "If I should stay/I would only be in your way/So I'll go?" Sure, Whitney over sings the entire intro to the point that you can't understand what she's saying half the time, but the self-deprecating breakup lyrics are there "Every step of the way." Most notably with the line, "We both know I'm not what you need." Is that really what you want to tell your new boyfriend?





The Eagles"The Best of My Love" by The Eagles

It's true, just about any song with the word love in its title seems ripe for inclusion on a love song playlist (except maybe J. Geils' "Love Stinks"), but that isn't always the case. This is the oldest song on the list and therefore the most often misinterpreted. Its title belies a melancholy song during which the singer laments that he couldn't be enough for his former lover. Specifically with the closing lines, "You got the best of my love/I guess that wasn't enough, whoa whoa." This is very close in tone and lyrics to Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe". Not exactly a profession of love there either.






The Police"Every Breath You Take" by The Police

This is the godfather of the misinterpreted love song. This haunting 80's standard has long been seen as Sting's grand love song. This is the same guy who wrote "Fields of Gold" and "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic." What this really is is a stalker-ish anthem about a desperately jilted lover who obsesses over the object of his affection with the voyeurism of a KGB double agent. If you want to give your new girlfriend the impression that you'll be in the tree outside her window watching her sleep, then by all means put this one on the disc right next to "Wild Horses." If not, then skip it and move on to "A Little is Enough."





The Dave Matthews Band"Crash Into Me" by The Dave Matthews Band

This is another peeping tom stalker anthem. This one with an S&M twist. "Crash Into Me" doubles as a misinterpreted love song and also an incorrect acoustic serenade: This is undoubtedly one of the top choices for the sensitive acoustic guitar guy who just happens to pull a six-string out from behind the bed the first time he gets a girl up to his dorm room. This is a fine choice if he wants the girl to run out screaming. Lyrics like "Oh I watch you through the window/And I stare at you" display the creepy intentions of the singer, and the lines "Tied up and twisted the way you like to be" and "I'm the king of the castle and you're the dirty rascal" show a desired affection closer to Depeche Mode's "Master and Slave" than Mary Chapin Carpenter's "Passionate Kisses." This is a twisted tale of voyeurism not apt for any display of musical affection.




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Andrew Payne
Story by Andrew Payne
Starpulse contributing writer