Monday, February 11, 2008

Love, Afraid: Coversongs
to Prepare the Heart for Valentine's Day



I spent all morning trying to script a post about songs which struggle with the infinite and indescribably complex mysteries of love. The idea was to celebrate this complexity, and acknowledge as valid the stuff that often holds us back from putting a name to what we feel, lest we call it wrong and mess everything up.

But every time I try to put words to love, things fall apart. Love's like that, I think. I guess that was the point, after all.

Instead, in anticipation of Valentine's Day, here's a mixed bag of folk-tinged coversongs that address the myriad and multiple fears we have about love: naming it, finding it, losing it, and losing ourselves to it.

May each of us, regardless of our romantic status, find something in the words of these poets and songwriters which speaks to our secret heart - the better to withstand the oversimplified, candy-red onslaught of emotion sure to come by Thursday.


  • Feist, Secret Heart (orig. Ron Sexsmith)
    (live at KEXP; also available on Let It Die)

  • Jose Gonzalez, Love Will Tear Us Apart (orig. Joy Division)
    (from Remain)

  • Marc Cohn, I Hope I Don't Fall In Love With You (orig. Tom Waits)
    (from the Prince & Me soundtrack; more Marc here)

  • Emiliana Torrini, I Hope I Don't Fall In Love With You (ibid.)
    (from Merman)

  • Aimee Mann, The Scientist (orig. Coldplay)
    (live; from the Lost In Space Special Edition)

  • Evan Rachel Wood, If I Fell (orig. Beatles)
    (from the Across the Universe soundtrack; Evan's not a recording artist, but her movies rock)

  • Jonatha Brooke, God Only Knows (orig. The Beach Boys)
    (from Back In The Circus)

  • Peter Malick Group w/ Norah Jones, Heart of Mine (orig. Bob Dylan)
    (from New York City)

  • Amy Winehouse, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (Goffin/King)
    (from the Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason soundtrack; more Amy everywhere but the Grammys)

  • Nanci Griffith, Are You Tired Of Me My Darling (Cook/Roland)
    (from Other Voices, Other Rooms)

  • Eva Cassidy, If I Give You My Heart (orig. Doris Day)
    (live 1994 bootleg; more Eva here)

  • Evan Dando, How Will I Know (orig. Whitney Houston)
    (live, unknown origin; more Evan here)



    As always, all artist and album links above go to artist websites and stores, the better to show our love for the folks who speak for us when we run out of words.

    Hoping for some more traditional Valentine’s Day fare? Never fear: we’ll back Wednesday with a short, sweet romantic soundtrack for the lucky ones.

  • 24 comments:

    Natsthename said...

    I am totally enamoured by the Jose Gonzalez cover of Joy Division. Excellent choice!

    a-silent-room said...

    Wow, great post! I'll put in my favourites websites in my computer.
    I knew The scientist cover by Avril Lavigne, it's cool to listen to it by Aimee Mann.

    Divinyl said...

    Just found this post BH...LOVE the Evan Dando cover! :oD

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