by Berry Simpson
Being in love is not something that casually happens to us; We do it on purpose. Falling in love may be pure emotion, random and unpredictable and unexpected, but staying in love is an act of the will, intentional and specific.
This July marked the 33rd anniversary for Cyndi and me. We were married July 28, 1979. A few years ago it occurred to me that instead of expecting gifts on our wedding anniversary, I should make it a habit to give something away. The anniversary itself, the fact that we are still together after all these years, is gift enough for me. (I learned this from my friend Fred Walsh. At least, I’m giving him credit.)
So I decided to give away love songs. I figure that if listening to love songs reminds you how to be in love, well then, we all should listen more often. In fact, for that very reason I have been a collector of love songs for decades. My iTunes “love song playlist” is gigantic; you’ve probably heard some of it if you’ve been to our house for any kind of party. Music is a social medium and it should be shared. In fact, it must be shared to have its full impact, so giving away some of my favorites seemed the appropriate thing to do. This is my 6th collection of love songs to give away since I started, and I expect there will be many more
I am aware that a couple of these might not meet the strictest criteria for love songs, but they make me smile when I hear them, and that’s close enough. I hope at least one of these songs will speak to your own heart and push you closer toward your own true love. If you would like a CD containing this collection, send your mailing address to email@example.com.
And another thing – I intend to stay with Cyndi for many more anniversaries so I'll be cobbling together another collection for our 34th in 2013. Since I don’t hear a lot of current music unless they play it on NPR or at Gold’s Gym, I need your suggestions. I’ll add them to my big playlist
There is my 2012 playlist:
1. This Time It's Real, Tower of Power, 1973. OK, it’s not as if I had a long history of being in love before Cyndi. Maybe once. But I’m convinced that this time, it’s real. (And I can’t resist the horns about 3:15. Nothing says love like kickin’ horns.)
2. I'm Into Something Good, The Bird and the Bee, 2010. This is the sweetest version of the old Herman’s Hermits song I’ve ever heard.
3. Echoes of My Mind, John Rivera, 2011. While on the Island of Kauai in July, we heard John Rivera playing in the farmer’s market at the Kukui’ula Village Shopping Center. He sang this Harry Nilsson song, and I couldn’t resist the line, “Going where the weather suits my clothes.” It reminds me of Cyndi, who always wants to wear warm-weather clothes.
4. That's Life, Paul Thorn, 2010. I like the line, “You’re in my prayers every night, enjoy the journey that’s life.”
5. Someone Like You, Doris Day, 1945. Doris Day appeared on Fresh Air for her 88th birthday, and I loved this song.
6. The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing, Kurt Eling, 1998. I don’t remember dancing more than once before I married Cyndi. Of course, she lives to dance. Her eyes become electric, her smile contagious, and she rises tall with confidence. She takes over the room. How can I not be part of that? In spite of my lack of skill, I dance with Cyndi whenever I can. Like the song says, “Even guys with two left feet come out OK if the girl is sweet.”
7. Rhythm of Love, Plain White T's, 2010. This was simply too contagious not to use. You must smile, and move, while listening.
8. Everybody, Ingrid Michaelson, 2009. A Pandora discovery, from the Love Song station.
9. Zoo Be Zoo Be Zoo, Sophia Loren, 1960. This song had a rebirth this year because of the TV show, Mad Men. It’s a reminder of how simple love can be.
10. Just You and Me, Zee Avi, 2010. Here is another Pandora discovery. I couldn’t resist a song that references Kierkegaard.
11. Nice 'n' Easy, Frank Sinatra, 1960. Sinatra didn’t treat women, or love, like he should’ve, but he sure did sing it well.
12. Right Down the Line, Bonnie Raitt, 2012. I cannot resist Bonnie Raitt, especially singing Gerry Rafferty. My favorite lyric: “I know how much I lean on you, right down the line.”
13. Love, Matt White, 2007. This song came from Katie (Simpson) Noss. It makes me happy.
14. Lifening, Snow Patrol, 2011. Another song from Katie (Simpson) Noss. I liked it even more when she told me her favorite lyric. (You’ll have to ask her yourself.)
15. When We're Together, Mark Harris, 2011. From the movie, “Courageous.” Listen to it and dance with your daughters. Don’t waste those moments.
16. Romance in the Dark, Catherine Russell, 2012. I heard this song on a Fresh Air podcast while cycling down Highway 191; it was all I could do to keep from turning around and going back home to Cyndi.
17. Love Makes the World, Carole King, 2001. One of the books I read this year was Carole King’s autobiography, “A Natural Woman.” I had to include one of her songs.
18. From Here to the Moon and Back, Dolly Parton, 2012. This is from the movie, “Joyful Noise,” about a love that lasts longer than life itself, which is exactly what I’m hoping for.
19. Just for You, Sam Cooke, 1957. It’s the reason I make these CDs year after year. It’s the reason I do anything and everything. It’s just for you, Mrs. Simpson. Just for you.
“I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free.” Psalm 119:32
To learn about Berry’s books, “Running With God,” go to www.runningwithgodonline.com , or “Retreating With God,” go to www.retreatingwithgod.com ,… Follow Berry on Twitter at @berrysimpson or on Facebook … Contact Berry directly: firstname.lastname@example.org … To post a comment or subscribe to this free journal: www.journalentries.org