This week marks that polarising of all holidays, Valentine’s Day! Because the Urchins love you (yes, you), we thought we’d cover all bases, so that depending on how you feel this Thursday, we’d be there for you in any case. Because that’s how loving we are.
Not only do I think this song is one of the best love songs ever recorded, but it might also be one of the best songs ever recorded, period. The song is completely transporting; whenever it plays, whether I am walking or at work, my heart goes somewhere else entirely. Where? I’m not entirely sure, but I know it’s entirely wonderful. The song’s simplicity cannot be taken for granted here, because in the song’s simple lyrics lies its arguably perfect words. And in the song’s simple tempo lies its arguably perfect pace. And perhaps the only thing better than listening to the song is watching a video of Al Green singing it to you.
Anti-love song: ‘All Day Sucker’ by Stevie Wonder
Musically, Stevie Wonder’s ‘All Day Sucker’ grabs your attention right away with the funky instrumental and even funkier time signature, which is just another example of the artist’s incredible virtuosity and musicianship. The lyrics add just another layer onto why I love this song. The poor singer takes us with him on his long-distance run of unrequited love, and anyone who has been through it before won’t help but laugh and feel for the singer’s stubborn, circular hope.
Florence Welch’s voice always speaks directly to the heart, but the combination of her voice with harps and drums in ‘Cosmic Love’ penetrates to the soul. Listening to this song is like spinning through space, surrounded by dazzling celestial bodies, quite akin to the feeling of falling blindly, wildly in love. My listening recommendation: blast ‘Cosmic Love’ at a wall-shaking, floor-rumbling level and spin and twirl around the room with your love like people possessed until you’re dizzy and exhausted. Collapse. Repeat.
Anti-love song: ‘Where Does the Good Go’ by Tegan and Sara
In this song, Tegan and Sara were able to put into poetry the questions that haunt a broken heart. Where does the good go? What happens to all of the happy memories and little secret moments, rituals, and jokes you shared? Surely all of that can’t just cease to exist. And how do you know when to let go? How long do you wait? How hard do you try? Heartbreak is one of the most visceral sensations humans can feel, and this song puts those emotions into words and provides a modicum of comfort in a shared human experience.
It’s completely sappy and completely wonderful! Released in 1964 when the whole world (or at least the girls) were madly in love with John, Paul, George and Ringo, ‘And I Love Her’ is a simple, lovey-dovey tune. That said, it was one of the first great love songs by The Beatles. John called it Paul’s ‘first Yesterday.’ ‘And I Love Her’ is that moment of new love when absolutely nothing else matters and you’re inspired to wax on about the stars and the moon and other Victorianesque ideas. Or it could just be about falling in love with The Beatles. See video below.
Anti-love song: ‘Expecting to Fly’ by Buffalo Springfield
It’s the aftermath of breakup. Stumbling, healing, apologising, forgiving. Between the melancholy instrumentation and Neil Young’s wistful lyrics, ‘Expecting to Fly’ captures that beautiful moment of feeling really, really sorry for yourself. It’s emotional, but it’s not sad-sap or melodramatic. You know that Neil will be all right—he’s just reveling in the memory of something wonderful and mourning its sudden loss.