Tag: Valentine’s Day

Bobbie Gentry’s classic ode to crazy love

Thursday, 14 February, 2019

Love is in the air. It’s Valentine’s Day, after all. But be careful. Love has been known to drive people crazy. Once upon a time, the love-crazed Billy Joe MacAllister threw something (a flower?) off the Tallahatchie Bridge in Leflore County, Mississippi — and then jumped in after it. So, ladies and gentlemen, let’s give a big hand to the beautiful Bobbie Gentry as she recounts her classic Ode to Billy Joe.

“A year has come ‘n’ gone since we heard the news ’bout Billy Joe
And Brother married Becky Thompson, they bought a store in Tupelo
There was a virus going ’round, Papa caught it and he died last spring
And now Mama doesn’t seem to wanna do much of anything
And me, I spend a lot of time pickin’ flowers up on Choctaw Ridge
And drop them into the muddy water off the Tallahatchie Bridge”


The heart of the Valentine matter

Sunday, 14 February, 2016 0 Comments

According to the ancients, Saint Valentine of Rome was martyred on 14 February in the third-century and buried in a cemetery on the Via Flaminia. History and hagiography disagree on the exactness of all this, but Saint Valentine’s Day is widely recognized as an occasion for romance and E. E. Cummings provides suitable words for the occasion.

Love was Cummings’ main subject of interest and he approached it, and poetry, with a charming sense of linguistic invention that enabled him to create verse that was lyrical, visual and unique: “[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]” is classic Cummings.

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)

                  i fear

no fate(for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

e.e. cummings (1894 – 1962)

The heart of love


True Love on the Faroe Islands

Saturday, 14 February, 2015 0 Comments

“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” — J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers.

Tolkien is not your classic Valentine’s Day quote source, but his timeless sagas have much more to do with the true nature of enduring love than the modern industry that’s devoted to churning out “romance.” Our guess is that he would have loved Eivør Pálsdóttir, who sings in English and Faroese, one of four languages descended from Old West Norse spoken in the Middle Ages, the others being Norwegian, Icelandic and Norn. Life on the Faroe Islands may be hard but this does not mean that it lacks passion. Even Death can be persuaded to reconsider his grim business if shown True Love there.


Wordplay

Saturday, 15 February, 2014 0 Comments

Filmmaking as choreography, filmmaking as wordplay, filmmaking as wit. For Celia Rowlson-Hall, all three hold true. Right in time for Valentine’s Day, she created this clip, which was inspired by her “teeny tiny terribles” drawings. The result is “in tents”.


Why does Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ make everyone cry?

Tuesday, 14 February, 2012

“If ‘Someone Like You’ produces such intense sadness in listeners, why is it so popular? Last year, Robert Zatorre and his team of neuroscientists at McGill University reported that emotionally intense music releases dopamine in the pleasure and reward centers of the brain, similar to the effects of food, sex and drugs. This makes us feel good and motivates us to repeat the behavior.” The Wall Street Journal is famed for a rather arid style of financial reportage, but the paper can also produce features that match the best of cultural commentary. Right in time for Valentine’s Day, here’s “Anatomy of a Tear-Jerker“. And to go with it, here’s the great Adele.