Gary’s February Gems – The Silly Love Songs Issue
“You’d think that people would have had enough of silly love songs. I look around me and I see it isn’t so. Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs and what’s wrong with that. I’d like to know” – Paul McCartney
February, the “love” month is also,’ celebration’ – my birthday, Earl’s birthday, and our wedding anniversary all fall on Valentine’s Day. Yes, that day when we learn that money can buy us, love – we pay double the amount for flowers and chocolates. Getting a restaurant reservation is as likely as winning a lottery. And you’ll need to win a lottery to afford the “Valentine Special” menu. Thankfully, we have a continuous loop of love songs playing in our heads that keep that lovelight burning.
A K-Tel album of this Hallmark holiday would consist of love songs, sad love songs, happy love songs, country love songs and, very silly love songs. Somewhere among these is “your song” – the one that stops you in your tracks whenever and wherever you hear it and sends you off to “Loveland”
This upcoming Valentine’s Day will be Earl and my 16th wedding anniversary. It was the year after marriage equality was made law in Quebec and the rest of the country. The day the bill was signed, we started preparing for our stroll to the Chapel of Love.
Our civil ceremony was small, with no attendees are other than our witnesses, The reception, well, that another story. 🙂 And of course, there was music. No, not a wedding singer, but a boom box that contained a special playlist featuring my must-have song, “At Last” sung by Etta James.
So, on St. Valentines’ Day 2006, intent on making Earl an honest man ;-), we made our way to the Palais de Justice Montreal (Montreal Courthouse). As we entered the building, we made our way to the floor that held the ceremony room. Outside its door was a desk. Any illusion that romance was in the room was quickly dispersed. We approached a sturdy desk behind it sat a sturdy woman who welcomed us.
Now, we all have preconceived notions of what to expect at a wedding, even a civil one. Chapel, justice of the peace, etc. Well, there was nothing in the lobby or the wedding room that would give off any semblance of being a place where love was celebrated. Ok, so there must be a justice of the peace, this was a legal ceremony. So I asked the woman behind the desk if she could tell me where to find him. I preface the following embarrassing exchange with the fact that I like to consider myself a liberal, human rights guy. She looked at us, and with an ever so slight smirk told us that SHE was the justice of the peace who would be officiating our wedding. She went on to introduce herself, which gave me just the right time for my blush to fade.
We talk a lot about systemic biases, and I’m the first to point it out when I see it, but here I was, assuming that the justice of the peace would be a man. But, soon enough, it’s her turn to show her bias. Not once, not twice, but throughout the whole ceremony she kept mixing up our names. Her excuse – she was used to knowing who was who by gender. (head screaming – just make a note, already!)
I had this whole thing planned right down to the music playlist. But, I was not in control of the timing. I knew the ceremony couldn’t be as long as religious weddings, so, to be safe, I placed my “must-have” love song, “At Last” fourth on the list. Gary, uh, Earl pressed the play button and we made our way to the front of the podium.
“Blah, blah, blah, Earl, sorry, Gary, do you take …blah blah blah.” “Félicitations!”
“What?” It’s over? We didn’t even get through the third song. I was determined that Etta sing at our wedding. We thanked Madame Justice de Paix and stretched the time hand-shaking and small talking until the first violin strains of “At Last” played and we danced off into the sunset.
“At Last” is far from being a silly love song, but still, I mean really silly ones do exist. Here’s an example, “Loving You Has Made Me Bananas”. Do you have other ones?
What song or songs make you stop in your tracks whenever and wherever you hear them?
This song performed by Roberta Flack is one of those for me.
Have a fabulous February and a love-filled Valentine’s Day.