Love Stinks! and other Love Lyrics

May 18th, 2010 / 67 Comments

I’ve often thought it would be fun to write a scholarly essay on love using song lyrics.  Music plays such an important part of our lives, and I confess that music has profoundly shaped the way I see the world.

The essay I might write could include grand statements such as, “All you need is love,” from the Beatles.  It could include a song many artists have sung over the years: “Love makes the world go around.”  I might add the lyrics of a song from Utopia, “Love is the answer.”

My essay would praise love’s immense capacity using lyrics from Huey Lewis and the News: “It’s strong and it’s sudden and it’s cruel sometimes. But it might just save your life. That’s the power of love.” Or I might use the lyrics from a song sung by Air Supply and Celine Dion, “Power of love.”

Popular music has plenty of advice about love too.  My essay might include these lyrics from the band, Sweet: “Love is like oxygen. You get too much you get too high.  Not enough and you’re gonna die.”

I could include lyrics from the hymns and spiritual songs I learned as a child.  I might include “Jesus loves me, this I know,” “I love you, Lord,” and “Love divine, all loves excelling.”  The chorus of one of my favorite hymns says, “The love of God, how rich and pure!  How measureless and strong! It shall forevermore endure: the saints’ and angels’ song.” 

Acknowledging the link between God and love isn’t limited to the church.  Howard Jones memorably sings, “I need an everlasting love. I need a friend and a lover divine — an everlasting, precious love.”  The multi-artist, feed-the-hungry hit, “We are the World,” tells us that “We are all a part of God’s great big family. And the truth, you know love is all we need. We are the world; we are the children. We are the ones who make a brighter day so let’s start giving…”

But love doesn’t always get great reviews in the lyrics of the songs we enjoy.  Tina Turner wonders, “What’s love got to do with it?” The J. Geils band complains, “Love stinks, yeah, yeah!”  With all the credit and blame given love, U2 asks, “In the name of love…what more in the name of love?”

Actually, I could probably write the whole paper using U2 love lyrics! I find myself often belting out U2’s new song, “Stand up for your love!”

Perhaps the perfect love lyrics for a paper on what love is and how we should express it comes from the band, Foreigner.  The vocalist sings: “I wanna know what love is.  And I want you to show me.”  Although the band likely had romance in mind, these lyrics express major questions in the wider study of love. 

The phrase, “I wanna know what love is,” expresses the ongoing question of how we best understand the meaning of love.  I’m really interested in this question, and I’ve written a great deal on this subject, including my recent book, Defining Love: A Philosophical, Scientific, and Theological Engagement.

The second phrase in this Foreigner song – “and I want you to show me” – asks for evidence.  We want to see love in action, not merely know what love is.

Of course, if we don’t have some inking of love’s meaning, we won’t know whether the action we observe deserves the label, “loving action.” Defining love and expressing love go hand in hand, although we don’t have to define love perfectly to express love well.

My hope is that by studying and practicing love, we will love more consistently. And if we love more consistently, perhaps the song lyrics of tomorrow will express what we mean by love even better. And they may better inspire us to act!


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Chris Desgroseillier

Don’t forget DC Talk’s song “love is a verb” smile

John Grant

Funny… just a couple of weeks ago I framed a sermon on John 13.31-35 (Jesus new commandment) around Tina Turner’s “What’s love got to do… go to do with it.”  Now everyone wants me to sing it at karaoke—and I don’t sing (not even in the shower).  Lenny Kravitz also has a song on love, “Love Revolution”

Jeff King


Ironically was listening to U-2 Rattle and Hum the other day and was thinking of asking you to analyze, “God Part II” in which Bono sings, “I believe in love”. It seems full of irony, metaphor and symbolism, but what is the songwriter really saying about love? Oh, you forgot to include Nazareth’s ” Love Hurts” in your list.


Great subject! I do enjoy U2 but my favorite arists are the The Alarm. They have quite a few “love” songs but let me share just a few…
“Love Don’t Come Easy” which has several grat lines including:
Love can make the time move quick
Or torture time so slow
Love can heal a gaping wound
Or make the pain explode
Love can be the difference
Between life and the hangmans rope

“Blazy of Glory” has the lyric:
I’m fighting back with feeling,
I’m fighting back with love.

And maybe my favorite is from the song “Only Love Can Set me Free”:
Only love can give me an answer
Oh I know that love can heal
From the dust a new hope rises up
Only love can set me, set me free…

Fun topic.

Alan Tjeltveit

There’s also “I’ve looked at love from both sides now,” which phrase slipped into a paper I presented on the respective contributions of scripture and science to our understanding of love.

Paul DeBaufer

After reading The Nature of Love and Defining Love (Not quite finished) in the context of some things in my life I realized that when people talk about love there are many things which they mean. We just seem to assume that others know what we mean by “love” when we use it. Mick Jones asks the right question when he pens, “I want to know what love is.”  How do we best define “love” so that we know what the other is talking about?


In response to your message I would like to express my opinion of Love.  You will never be able to find love any where in this world except through the Word of God.  Everyone is looking for love and in all the wrong places.  You are looking for some thing to fill you in the inside and it can only come through Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. Then and only then will you truly be able to find the real love that your soul longs for.Except Christ as your Saviour and read the Word, apply it to your life and you will see that the true love of God is the answer to ALL your problems.

Preston Ake

Our generation has to be very cautious when it comes to lyrics of love in our songs. For example take any Justin Beiber song. I have nothing against bands that are marketed to tweens, but he might not understand love in the same way that an old man in his 50th year of marriage does.
For example, in Justin’s song As Long As You Love Me As long as you love me. “We could be starving, we could be homeless, we could be broke. As long as you love me. I’ll be your platinum, I’ll be your silver, I’ll be your gold” Ya that sounds like love to me.
If you want quality love lyrics, it is best to go to the classics. Our grandparents music, although dated, has better quality lyrics.

Elisabeth Pena

I would say music is one of the most important components of my life. It is so incredibly inspiring. I feel it opens my eyes to treasures of the surrounding world. However, even with that being said, I would say that music regarding love can sometimes cause more harm than good. Personally, I feel that things like music and movies have perpetuated the idea that one NEEDs love to be happy. It leads people to long for this magical, romantic, life-changing love rather than just being happy with themselves. Songs about love have taught society rely on others for happiness, rather than ourselves. Yes, love is this crazy amazing thing. But rather than sitting around in solemn waiting for love people should be going along enjoy their lives.


Music is an amazing way to show love in my opinion. Playing, singing, and listening to music all have different ways of helping us to feel love, but in the end using any or all three expresses love in some way. Music plays a crucial role in my life not only through listening to it, but through playing it as well. I play the piano, and I am able to show love through it and make a connection especially with my mom who taught me and encouraged me to play. The other way music impacts the way I love is not only through the lyrics, but through the way I sing it. Belting out the words to any song that I and any of my friends know as we cruise down the road helps to deepen our friendship and solidify it more through the building of memories. We can sing it to each other to show love, or just to be goofy. Either way, music helps me to show and feel love in more ways than just listening to a song.

Sara Butkus

I love how there are so many different songs about love. Not only does this mean that there is a song out there that pretty much perfectly describes how you feel about the word no matter what your mood, but it also shows how many different descriptions there are of the word love. It seems that everyone has a slightly different definition. This just shows how broad the word is in our language, playing back to some earlier conversations that we have had in class. I love the love songs that seem to have real emotions behind them and lyrics and music to accompany that emotion.

Nicholas Carpenter

Firstly, I have to admit that the first song I thought of was “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin (great rock song, not so great on the “love” part). However, one song that uses love lyrics that stands out to me is David Crowder’s “How He Loves Us”, talking about how great/deep/beautiful God’s love is for us as “His portion”. It makes the love of God more personal for us, yet I sometimes take it a step further by replacing the chorus line with “How he loves ‘me’” to remind myself that God loves everyone, which includes myself.  I also have this thought that good worship songs are love songs written to and for God; not just praising and honoring Him but expressing deep, affectionate love through music and lyrics. If we are to be in a relationship with God, we must be in love with God and music really helps express that.

Steven Coles

I enjoyed this post because I grew up listen to most of those songs that you mentioned. This is due to my parent still believing it was the 80’s. With that being said, I fully agreed with your end statement of, “My hope is that by studying and practicing love, we will love more consistently.” I believe this to be key in the Christian faith. If we cannot understand what it means to be like Christ, then we cannot be Christ. And, if we believe that Christ is love, then we cannot love unless we know who Christ was and how to be like Christ. It do not think we can love well unless we can get a sense of what love is, or until we have the knowledge of how to love after experiencing love. This might bring about an argument of epistemology, but I think that we need to see and experience love in order to love fully. I believe this statement to be true: love is a virtue. We, as Christians, need to know that we have to practice love continually in order to have it become second nature and have it become a part of us. This takes time and constancy in our actions, but we must be shown how to act first in order to then act.

Kindra Galloway

I feel like love lyrics of the popular culture do not correctly define what love should be, but often express how the artist loves or how they view love, which does not always capture the true essence. For me, love—in the loving friends and family sense—is such a strong word that I don’t often use it. Maybe some of the songs about love that I listen to, though, help me convey the message that I do want to send about love. Overall, love, in all of its forms, is one of my favorite topics, and love is a little different for everyone.

Benjamin Messmer

The use of lyrics to explain love in every way is common thru many types of music.  Even those who define it differently than we do know it exists, but as with all things that have great potential it has a great ability to be twisted.  All of these people instinctively know that they need to love, but how is allusive.  Why so many songs about love, because love is hard.  If it were easy we would not care about it.

Shanna Rippy

I agree that music can shape how we view things and this is no different with love. Love as the subject of lyrics, can range from romance love, to Christ love, and still to not understanding love. I also agree with your statement toward the end that by better understanding what love is, we can determine if our actions are loving or not. And by understanding what love truly is and what God meant for love to look like, we can be examples of that love to others. For those that don’t read the Bible and may not know of God’s great love for us, our lives my be the only Bible some people ever see and we need to show Christ love through our lives.

Erin Rickart

Music has always had a special place in my heart. Whether the songs are about love or not, music has always been something that connected people together on common ground. Many times while rocking out at a concert you seem to become best friends with those around due to the similar love of the song and/or artist. This is another aspect of love that is important to keep in mind because it brings even the most different of people together. I really liked the lyrics that Oord brought up at the end “I want to know what love is, and I want you to show me”. For while it is very important to know what love is, it is just as important to have others that show you that love thought various ways. Whether that be spontaneously bringing you flowers, cooking dinner, or rocking out just as hard at a concert. Knowing how to show love to others is very important as well, for a loving relationship is a two way street.

Korri Dobson

I enjoyed this blog because it makes me think of all of the songs singing about love and how love can be described or expressed in different ways.  I also liked your statement about loving more consistently.  I think we all need to learn to love as consistently as God loves us.  It’s not easy and definitely takes practice.  Love is a choice and we need to chose to love more often to more people.  The songs in church express how consistently he loves us and even when we may not deserve it.

April Kerbyson

After thinking about all the different songs I have listened to over the course of my life, all of them seem to always talk about love either implicitly or explicitly.  As artists generally write about how they feel or an experience they are participating in, this begs the question, “Are all artists this concerned about love? And if so, why?”  To answer my own question, I would say that if they write about it, then obviously they are concerned about love; through their music, they are trying to understand love more fully.  In essence, their music can become a way to help them understand.  However, some people’s theory of love may be distorted, and in that case, the listeners of music should be active listeners and process the lyrics before accepting them as true for him/herself.  But as love continues to be the main theme for all the music produced, the definition of love and the quest to understand love will continue, it seems, to be the main concern for artists.  However, I do agree that if people practice love more consistently, then perhaps there will be songs in the future that will express what love truly means; and as songs inspire, those songs would most likely inspire us to love.

Derek Sepe

Love in music is something that will never go away. It seems that everything I wish I could have said or done to express my love for someone, has been put into a song lyric by my favorite artists. Yet, musical artists never seem to be at loss of finding some lyric to verbalize our feelings about loving another person. Music is what we cant say in words. One of the most valuable things in a relationship is being able to constantly change and be individual, but look to the other side to the person that you’re with and know that they’re changing as well individually, but somehow you two can mirror each other and be the other half of that world that you both create. I believe music has that ability to help us express out love for others.

beth castro

OOOOO.  I love sappy love songs.  Growing up, it was the heartbreak songs that got me through middle school.  Unrequited love, lost love, and brokenhearted love defined my life.  I was very lucky to know a new “love” about every other month.  But it’s funny to look at love songs about God.  Although gospel songs are about loving God, and those lyrics speak of a deeper love.  There is a new song by Justin Timberlake called “Mirrors” that is about a strong love.  It could be a song about God.  I think of the loves in my life when I hear it, but I can also think about Jesus and his love for me.  It is the love we feel for others and how they love us, that we love God.  If we love someone, “taller than the tallest trees” we must love them “All The Way.”

christabel leonce

Music does so much for the soul and using it to express how we feel about love because it passes that sentiment to us the listeners. In your closing comments you made a remark that we don’t have to define love perfectly in order to express it well. I hope that through this class, even though I come away with much definitions and interpretations of love, I can express love to those I meet the best I can.


Three words: Sappy. Love. Songs.
Growing up that is the one thing i could not stand about turning on the radio. Every time i turned it on i felt like all they talked about is love, every station, every genera, and every artist. I think the only artist i began listening to was Avril Lavigne because her songs were so rebellious and they made sense to me. Looking back at it all, i realize that i felt that way because i was in a relationship that made love so negative for me. Listening to all those great love songs on the radio made me resent the type of love the singers talked about and made me believe that there is no way it was real.
Music does and says so much to and for people but in the end i think the way they respond to it is based on their life and the experiences they have been through. In my teenage years i couldnt stand to listen to those sappy love songs while today most of my music library is made up of what i once thought were old sappy love songs.
To think, what a year of a completely different experience does in a persons life.

Abbey Askren

While many love songs share a similar view or theme, usually when singing about romantic love, every song presents a unique perspective on the subject.  This results in a wide spectra of definitions of love being blasted on repeat in our cars, on our headphones, and on our TVs.  Considering music’s capacity to have a permeating effect on our souls, it makes sense that the vast assortment of love lyrics contributes to shaping our individual views and definitions of love.  In my own life, I think that an awareness of this phenomenon is key to establishing and maintaining my personal view and definition of love.

Taylor Watson

I think you hit the nail on the head when saying “we don’t have to define love perfectly to express love well” but then went on to say that by understanding love better, we often are better at expressing love. Love is a funny thing in that, for some people, it is very natural to express, but for others, it takes much conscious effort. But I do agree that when we make a conscious effort to understand what love is, we are often much better at sharing that love with others.

Priscilla Cuevas

I am such a sucker for love songs. I enjoy listening to love songs that stir my emotions and make me wanna feel the love those people are feeling. I agree that we don’t have to define love perfectly in order to do it correctly, love isn’t perfect but it’s an amazing feeling that I believe everyone should be able to encounter sometime in their life or express it.


Love songs definitely never go out of style, and no matter how many of them there are, people always seem to find new ways of expressing love in music. However, the main theme of love songs seems to be predominately romantic. There are not a lot of secular love songs, at least that I am aware of, that speak of brotherly love. An exception would be country music, which often depict love between children and parents, or just kindness of strangers. Christian music speaks of our love and relationship with God, but it also speaks a lot about loving other. I find it interesting that such love is often not depicted in mainstream music.

Elora Drake

I love music and really enjoy pulling meaning from song lyrics and relating it to my own life. Therefore, this is something I relate to very well. As I have gotten older I have quickly realized of all the topics to write songs about love is one of the most popular topics. Why? I think it is because it is such a major part of our world and as the last song mentioned, by the band Foreigner, so many people still don’t understand “what love is”. Defining love and determining how we show it is a major part of our society.

Kendria Werner

Love songs are a great example of expressing love. We can look throughout the ages and see many different songs about love. We can see the ones about being in love, about losing love, about love for family, friends, or even animals. We also have the songs that are sung in church singing about the love of God. There has always been music and with music there has always been love songs.

Kellie Miller

Songs about love have always hit a spot in my heart. It could be a gut wrenching story between a man and a woman or a cry or praise to God. Songs about love make me emotional, whether it’s happy or sad. I think people are so curious about love, and no one can really define it. Music is one way to express your view of love with other people, sharing your life, heartache and joy.

mike jaquess

song lyrics in general have crafted how humans cope and see the world of today. anywhere from african tribe songs to the mainstream hits by foreigner u2 and the beatles, songs put words to feelings that we express. i know my world has a huge connection with songs and the way i look at them compared to the world. one of my all time favorites is foreigner “head games” to me it depicts the use of double standards in a relationship and how he copes with the madness.

Natalie Evans

Now that I am studying “what love is” I have been looking into my own life and although I have not experienced love to a full extent I find myself searching for the love they portray in music.Love can hurt and love can make you do things one would never imagine at least that is what a friend told me. She always dreamed that a love song was enough but the sad thing is that she was the one loving and the other was using her love to sustain himself. A lot of songs can be deceiving in the fact that they show the initial “high” that love gives you and not the work behind the growth. It is almost like a plant in the sense that it needs not a whole lot but definitely constant, fulfilling and sustainable care. Music serves as a reminder that love can come with pain but also with joy and satisfaction.

Davis Halle

I really do believe that songs are a big part of life and that they do impact our lives in many ways. I have always heard it said that what you listen to can affect how you act. I believe this to be true so I find it important to fill our minds with Godly things, which a great way to do so is by listening to Christian music. The emphasis of showing love through music is also powerful. Many times music can portray emotions in better ways then many other outlets. It can describe a situation perfectly with the combination of a story being told and the feelings being expressed through the sounds. I find music to be one of the best ways to express emotion and show emotion to others.

Diane Vander Hulst

First of all, every song you mentioned, I sang along to in my head! Was kind of fun having all of these tunes stuck in my head!
I was thinking the other day, before I read this blog post about how many songs talk about love. Love makes the world go round!! I think love is written about the same reason we are studying in this theology of love class. We really can’t express exactly what love is. Love is different to all but I do believe love is an action of promoting well being.
I thought it was quite funny when you mentioned Foreigner’s song and you stated “The second phrase in this Foreigner song – “and I want you to show me” – asks for evidence.  We want to see love in action, not merely know what love is.” This phrase is so true. We really want to see love in action. The final thing I really liked that you said and agree with is, “Defining love and expressing love go hand in hand, although we don’t have to define love perfectly to express love well.” I think to love means to express is to express it in the way you know how to.

Tara McClees

One of the most interesting songs about love I have heard is Good Charlotte’s “Victims of Love.” This song puts love in a negative light, the lyrics including “Everybody’s hurt somebody before, everybody’s been hurt by somebody before,” suggesting a correlation between love and hurting others. This is in stark contrast to your idea that love promotes well-being, and probably comes from a poor definition of love.

Andy Yue

I am personally not a fan of popular music; in fact, I actively reject popular music. Please notice that I am not try to deny popular music as a whole and I am not try to say that no one should to like it. Nevertheless, I personally reject popular music for the exact reasons that were mentioned in this blog post. The popular music definitions of love are often inconsistent, and on top of that, such definitions often overly simply the notion of love and define love very narrowly.
Popular music, as a major component of the popular culture, is critical for the formation of a healthy public culture. For this reason I think the popular music artists really ought to consider the potential effects their songs have on the culture. However, the fact is that people often do not care about anything other than financial benefits.

Shantay Perry

Isn’t funny the impact that songs and music in general have on our lives. Driving home listening to a song can either lighten our mood on a stressful day or make us feel even more upset. I also think that this post has been the most entertaining to read since how can you not think of all those songs as you bring them up. It is also true that many people want to understand the concept of love and to also discover it for themselves. I feel that love usually relates to romance and everyone wants that “love relationship” with someone. Music has communicated some good messages about love and some not so good. This just emphasizes how our society wants to define love and find its true meaning. This gives an opportunity for Christians to share with others the love that God has for us and the love that we share in our community of believers.

Noelle Parton

When reading this post, I was reminded of something I learned when I was much younger. One day as I was reading the infamous passage on love in 1 Corinthians 13, “Love is patient, love is kind…” someone told me to replace the word “love” with the word “God.” To this day, I still will often replace that word with “God,” as it makes me recognize the fact that God equals love, and that love comes from God. Our source of love that we show in our lives should come directly from Him. When we show love to others, we ultimately should be showing Christ.

Curtis S Mostul

I think for me when I hear love being used in pop music, its effect is drastically reduced on me. When the love they are describing sometimes is encased by two elicits the ground seems to fall away from love. Given that there is many wonderful songs about love that compel the soul and make everything better. In this case it would be the fact that the love that is supposed to be described by the artist is not always that soul compelling.

Cassidy Ball

Music has always played an important role in my life. Growing up we always had music on no matter what. Still to this day we have music in the background during dinner or make special CDs when we go on road trips. Each song can elicit specific emotions. Since music has always played a huge part in my life I attribute many songs to specific events that have happened. If an old song comes on from my childhood I will instantly be flooded with memories from that time. Love songs specifically can elicit emotions and provoke the listener to feel or think about their own love lives. I think that the lyrics of some of these songs can harden us or make us feel more open to love.

Kara Den Hoed

I will willingly admit that music has played a part in the way I see the world. I love music. In many situations, a song can come on the radio, and it instantly gives me a feeling. It can pump me up for a game, it can bring me back to a good/bad memory, or it can make me think. Or at other times, a situation makes me think of a song.
I have become strangely more and more okay with the fact that a ton of our music revolves around some form of love. I think that if it is the Greatest Commandment, and we can’t live without it, it is okay that so much of our conversation and thoughts is spent on it. Not meaning of course, that it should be all the same kind of love like Taylor Swift songs, but about all kinds (worship, family love, love nature etc).


I believe that the exact process of identifying love in music is present in christian formation. It is like the message of the hymns, which mold and form how we love God and love each other. Music has a special ability to engage us through multiple senses. We experience this when we are touched by a particular tune or lyric. These moments can be religious experiences for some, and reflects musics powerful ability to engage our spirit. This is why christian discernment and Wesleyan community is an integral part in identifying music that speaks to the common truth of Christ’s love and our stories in God’s story to spread that love.

Taylor Gould

Music has always been a way for me to express how I’m feeling without actually having to say anything. There is always a song to match the mood you are in and I love that. I’ve always been a music lover and can’t go anywhere without my iPod or mix cd’s. Each song holds a certain memory in my life and being able to flashback to those moments instantly is incredible. I don’t think there is a song today that doesn’t have some sort of ‘love’ as the meaning behind it, even if it is the wrong meaning. Our world is centered on love, and I think music gives us all an easy way of expressing our love in our own ways and our own words.

James Shepherd

I agree that music often shapes us to our very core. I think music shapes the way we do theology, and even affects the ways in which we love those who are around us. Not only do I think it affects our personal theology, but I think it affects our corporate theology. This is a personal belief I have held for a while, which contributes to why I don’t like many of our worship songs. Songs gives us a way to express what we are feeling, and at times a way to lament the hurts in our lives. Thanks for this article, it gives a new spin on music.

Lexi Sterling

I most definitely agree that music plays an important role in our lives. Personally, I can’t hardly get into my car to drive without thoughtlessly turning the radio on or flipping through stations to find a song I like. Music often equals memories for many people, and that is certainly true for my life. I can remember a song if it played during an important time in my life, or perhaps if I was especially sad or happy that day…the song would from then on be associated with that moment. To an extent, songs help me to remember things. If at church during worship a new song is being sung, or I am particularly connecting with God that day, the song can then help me remember that feeling or connection. Songs can so easily prompt us into response with our emotions… and I think that is a wonderful thing.

Cali Carpenter

This was a really fun blog post because everyone enjoys a good love song every now and then. Love is at the center of so many things in this world, which makes it such a popular topic for song lyrics. Some of the songs mentioned were secular while other were religious, but I found that they all had one key similarity, love was at the center of it all. Whether a song is about a good experience with love or even a bad one, music inspires people to express how they are feeling and get a certain message out to the world. Before this article, I never really took notice of how many songs were singing about love and everything else that comes along with it. I have a new perspective on music and the way that it talks about love in a variety of different ways.

Michael Delie

I thought this post was interesting in the way it talked about the implementation of love in music in our society. It is very interesting how much of a central role that love plays in not only the lyrics of our songs, but in our lives. Love is such a large entity because of the great emotion attached to it. I think that is why music plays such a large role in harboring this thing called love. Music is one of the pathways in which to portray feelings and emotion. I don’t know a single piece of music that doesn’t express some form of emotion, and typically love is the main one. Another very important perspective on love is that there are many types of love and different levels of love. This is based on the individual and how they choose to feel. With all of this in mind, within music there are many varieties of expression in how love is portrayed.

Connor Magnuson

I was recently having a discussion with a friend at dinner about how he tried to take music in moderation. Often, he will pop in a book on tape while he is driving to work instead of listening to music on the radio. I had never heard of this topic (music) being thought of in this way. You will often hear of people taking alcohol, TV, or eating in moderation but hardly ever about music. I asked why he did this. His answer was that the lyrics that are put into his head by the songs give him a false perception of how the real world works. He used an example of how country songs often will give a false perception of how an ideal couple will act in a loving relationship. I think my friend has a good point in that perhaps some people can become addicted to music, or moreover become addicted to the information that it portrays. While I personally listen to music more for the rhythm and beats than the actual lyrics, I need to be more careful of the words that are being put into my head–subconsciously or not.

Caleb Gerdes

So what is worry some then is when I hear my brother simply say, “I like listening to this song because it sounds good.” You’d think he didn’t know English or maybe he does know English and just doesn’t know a single French word.

John Treyz

Although I agree that music is a massive part of our culture, I do not believe that lyrics on the subject of love (or any other subject for that matter) should be taken seriously as a reflection of what love means. The songs either are too broad and general about love and offer no actual insight, are one-sided and written about the “honeymoon” phase or just after a break up/divorce, or aren’t even about love at all but are mistaken for it. The artist(s) only have so much lyrical space in each song and seem to end up lacking a full and complete meaning of love (or any other meaning or story they wish to tell), and just hit the highlights of what it means to them. Granted, I don’t listen to lyrics in songs as having any real merit beyond being catchy and entertaining ways to create a melody and participate in the form of the song (because of the very limited constraints on the amount of lyrics) so my thoughts may be heavily skewed.

Kayla Sevier

When I hear lyrics like these ones mentioned, I believe them in the moment while listening to the song because i get caught up in the feeling. But when I read them in this blog or think about them more critically, I don’t fall for them. Also, so many songs relate to or are about “love” whether or not it is expressing it in romantic ways, sexual, comparing etc. Because so many songs are about love; what would the world look like if we were all on the same page about love? I like what the end of this blog mentioned about the song lyrics of tomorrow and basically, what they could be. This is interesting because what is our overall understanding of love, could we come to a conclusion?

Tyler Mahaffy

An interesting post, especially with love and music as one thing. Music often times have emotional feelings about them. And they do have a way of getting an emotional response. I myself, when walking to my next class or towards lunch, always have my ipod playing a song. And since Love can be a major part of music, it would make sense for me to say that I love music. Even love songs can be a favorite of mine. Certain songs get me thinking about things, especially when I write some things. Like right now, I’m listening to a song that tells how everyone is connected and such a union can last for ages to come.

Michael Gordon

A lot of times music plays a big part in our feelings for another person. We become infatuated with someone and date and have “a song” together that is “our song.” That song’s lyrics will reflect the way that we feel about each other and we think it is easier to use lyrics to tell each other how we feel instead of our own words sometimes. Nowadays there about as many breakups songs as there are love songs and the break up songs are just as popular as the feel good love songs. Why is that? It’s because we feel as if the lyrics tell us exactly how we are feeling. Once again, music plays a big part in our love life and it influences our feeling quite often.


I find it very interesting that we can define love with song lyrics. I personally enjoy it and enjoy that I can express deeper meaning into my life, into other peoples lives and to my God with songs. I find personally that songs help me express what i’m trying to say because sometimes I have a hard time expressing my feelings. Songs open up a whole new way of expressing my feelings towards others.

Linnea Phillips

Although I am personally musically inept, I have to admit that I can’t help but blast a great love song. After reading this blog, it made me think why that is? In today’s society, I believe that music is an extremely common way of expressing the effects of love. As most of us know by now, love does not always end with a “and they lived with happily ever after.” Sometimes sin wiggles it’s way into the relationship and soon love is transformed into pain, fear, and anger.

One thing in particular that I noticed from reading this blog, was that they were A LOT of lyrics about love. And even though they came from several shapes and sizes, they all had their own interpretation of love. With that said, I really do believe that discovering what love is an extremely personal journey. I don’t believe that you can read a definition straight from the Oxford dictionary and know how to love based on your findings. I think being able to understand love and then apply it to your life is something that you learn over the years and then must practice in your actions.

All in all, I think that music is an outlet to express how love effects us. From just looking at the lyrics, you can tell that love has both positive and negatives. But most importantly, I believe an important concept that love music teaches us is: despite it’s diverse nature, music about love has the ability to bring a wide range of people together.

Rachel Finley

Oh you also forgot, “Love is a Battlefield” by Pat Benatar! There are millions of songs on love, so we could literally keep listing them all day. That fact alone just goes to show that love is diverse and has many facets. Each one of us probably has a slightly different view on the subject because of our unique individual experiences. Some see love as a blissful feeling and others see it as heartache and pain. Others see both because they have known the ups and downs of love. No matter what your experience with love is, I think it is safe to say that love is a complicated thing that comes in many forms. That’s why we can write so many songs about it!

melissa verhage

Music has a big impact on today’s society. It is always on in the car, at the gym, at home, in the restaurants it is a way to fill the silence in some instances. We constantly are learning lyrics without knowing it and me, myself sometimes don’t even know what I am signing. In this way music is a very powerful so I think it is a really good idea to write songs about love and the important things in life. It can be a way to reach out to those who wouldn’t normally listen to someone preach or talk about such things.

Brianna Kinghorn

This article has shown something we all know really well; love in lyrics is vastly different. They all have a very different perception about love and what it means. Some say there is no such thing as too much, and then others say to much is unhealthy. There is this transition in society of what love is and how to make it work and it is really influenced by pop culture which music is. Hopefully as we start figuring out love more as a society, it will reflect in music and have a more unified understanding of what love is.

Matti Munger

Songs are similar to movies in that while we are listening to or watching them, we get so involved in what they are saying that we feel like it’s real and we believe everything they say. I’m the kind of person that always listens to lyrics and gets really involved in movies to the point of crying when something sad happens to them. Once the movie or song is over, though, then that is when i actually think about them and realize it was just a made up thing. Most of these love song lyrics should never actually be analyzed about the meaning of love. The writer probably wrote them with the idea that the listeners would find it catchy and relate, not that they would make a new definition of love through them.

Toniessa Phelps

This post was definitely one of the more interesting ones. I think a great example of love using lyrics would be “your my inspiration” by Chicago. The lyrics just describe how someone else feels about their significant others and the impact that they’ve had on their lives. When I think of love I think of that. Not only does my husband and I go together pretty well because we are attracted physically to one another but and emotionally. That’s one thing that I caught from last nights film as well. You have to be selfless and care for the other. It’s not all about you and I think those lyrics describe it very well.!’

Cass Hinton

I really liked this post and found it pretty interesting. I also think that Disney does a great job of using songs about love.
“I can see what’s happening but they don’t have a clue. They’ll fall in love and here’s the bottom line, our trio’s down to two!” ” He’s a tramp, he’s a scoundrel, he’s a rounder, he’s a cad, he’s a tramp but I love him. Yes even I have got it bad.” ” Who’d have ever thought that this could be? True that he’s no prince charming, but there’s something in him that I simply didn’t see.””I feel it there beyond those trees or right behind these waterfalls can I ignore that sound of distant drumming for a handsome sturdy husband who builds handsome sturdy walls and never dreams that something might be coming? Just around the riverbend. Just around the riverbend. ” “When you meet this someone who is meant for you before two can become one there’s something you must do.” “Sha-la-la-la-la-la
Don’t be scared. You got the mood prepared. Go on and kiss the girl”

Rachel Ball

I heard once a youth pastor talk about how love is this thing that everyone on earth is searching for. Listening to secular radio will give you enough examples in a half an hour to accurately reflect your case. They sing about lost love, new love, forever love, want of love, and the feelings attached to love (among many other things). People know of and desire love that is real and can captivate and change them. Why else would relationships carry so much weight?

Love is sought after and often never found. He can only be found through the son. Love is there waiting in anticipation for us to look in the right place.

Brenden O’Neill

I too find myself belting lyrics in my car, but admittedly, it usually occurs without a true understanding of what the artist is really trying to convey. I believe that while songs are very powerful tools that can sway our emotion and feeling, rarely do songs, especially mainstream songs, provide insight on what love truly is, but rather on the feeling and emotion that comes with love. Even most hymns and worship songs are directed more towards a reverence and love of the one who created us and the love that He extends toward us all. What I struggle with the most is when acts of love toward others fail. It doesn’t seem like many artists are attempting to write songs about what happens when well-intentioned acts of love towards others, not romantically, fail. I realize that I should love others and extend acts of love to those around me, but how do I respond when those are not received?

Spencer Hassman

Practice, practice, practice. I super appreciate your emphasis on practicing as well as studying. Love can be studied and grasped, but not fully understood or expressed without practice. Conversely, love can be both correctly and incorrectly practiced; it takes study to ensure that you are behaving in a truly loving way. Music is a wonderful example of the variety of love practices and questions, with varying levels of study. I’m going to come off all Wesleyan here, but approaching love holistically is super important for us to have a solid understanding of all the different faces and expressions of love.

Kendra Wilson

Every morning when I get ready I always turn on music. What i have noticed throughout the years is that depending on what music i choose to listen to will determine what kind of mood I will be in for the rest of the day. I have learned to listen to good Christian music, primarily on love and it really does relay how I will be the rest of the day. I think it is a good idea to listen to and fill your head with stuff that will influence you to be the best you you need to be that day.

Kevin Field

I agree that the music we listen to can have a large impact on how we think or at least the content of our thought. There are more than a few songs that I can think of that sing about love and promote it in a positive way. I find these songs to be very inspirational to me and once I begin to consider love, I seem to be more aware of my surroundings and more willing to bless people around me. “Love Away” by Capital Cities, “Love Natural” and “Love is All I Got” by Crystal Fighters are just a few songs that inspire me and help color the thoughts of my day.

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