Monday, February 13, 2006

No Hits 2.13.06

She'll Break Your Heart - The Loves

And you think that you love her
right from the very start.
But you know and I know
she'll break your heart.

Senior PromSomewhere I have a photo of my mother on the night of her senior prom. She leans against her parents' tiled fireplace wearing a white lace and tulle dress, her raven hair upswept, a half smile on her cherry red lips. She looks young (so young) and nervous. But at the same time, confident.

As much as I subscribe to the revisionist position that the mid-20th Century of our collective imagination--happy, intact families, widespread economic prosperity, safe neighborhoods--is a myth perpetrated for various ideological purposes (well argued, incidentally, in Stephanie Coontz's The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap), I'm intimately familiar with the truth at the root of that myth. My mother grew up in a small midwestern town, the beloved only daughter of parents who were, as the cliche goes, pillars of the community. She walked home at night from the library or choir practice without fear. She went on dates without the complications of binge drinking and early sex.

Ok, so maybe that's how we really were. Or not. I'm confused. We all are when it comes to borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered 50s (to paraphase James Murphy). It's not surprising if a song like "She'll Break Your Heart," which fetishizes the sonic milieu of teen dances of that era, sounds a little half-hearted about love. Pop songs of the late 50s, early 60s were lousy with hopeless crushes and adolescent heartache. But that didn't stop the fools populating their lyrics from rushing in, again and again. No one suggested you don't bother, or, at the very least, seriously lower your romantic expectations.

The Loves are a Welsh band on the uniformly excellent British label Track and Field. If you're in the UK, you can buy their singles collection Love there. In the US, purchase from Darla.

Fools Rush In - Frank Sinatra

"Fools Rush In" appears on Sinatra's 1960, Nelson Riddle-arranged, album Nice 'N' Easy (US, UK).


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