Valentine’s Day. Never was there such a con. Saint Valentine had absolutely squat to do with love. Theologians actually haven’t got a clue why he was canonised, other than the dude was a martyr. He was probably a miserly old martyr. Yep. Take that, Clinton Cards. Chaucer and other medieval writers first associated the saint with marriage, and wow have they got a lot to answer for. This all might sound incredibly jaded, but I’m using this annual florist fest as an excuse to have a look at some lyrics that remind us that sometimes…love really isn’t all you need.



 

And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead – 'Mistakes and Regrets'

Robbie Williams sang about having ‘No Regrets’ but the guy’s a multi-millionaire tool. I know the adages: bitterness will eat you up; everything happens for a reason; you live and you learn – and thank you but save it for your bikram yoga instructor. Everyone’s got at least the one relationship they really could have done without. And no lyrics delve in to the anguish of a humiliation that pushes you to the edge, as well as …Trail of Dead managed. Our victim recognises that screaming won’t help restore his faith in women. All his optimism is turned to shame. And the last line, questioning whether the perpetrator even has a heart at all, is something we’ve all wondered before and probably will again.

  • If I could make a list
  • I'd put your name on top
  • Of my mistakes and regrets
  • And every line after it

  • Because every inch of hope
  • Becomes a world of shame
  • I've had to walk through
  • Each and every day

  • And if I screamed "you were wrong"
  • At the top of my lungs
  • It would never return
  • All the faith that I've lost

  • And there is nothing left to say
  • That has not been said
  • If I shout, you wouldn't listen
  • I don't think it'd even sink in

  • If you forget how to feel
  • Reach inside your chest
  • Is there a heart beating?
  • Is it just emptiness?


   

LCD Soundsystem – 'Drunk Girls'

Everyone’s favourite hedonist (and my favourite contemporary lyricist, but that’s for another column) tells his cynical tale of bed hopping in the big city. About as articulately as you can possibly get with the matter of casual sex, James Jeremiah Murphy explains that he believes in "waking up together," how much simpler could it be? Whilst putting it about town, in order to find some sort of momentary comfort, he sees the game (tricking drunk birds into bed) but sets himself apart from it – reporting of lies he’s heard that will “curdle your heartstrings” but explaining that he, himself makes “no promises.“ Ultimately he knows he’s a tart, offering excuses “just cos I’m heartless doesn’t mean that I’m mean” but accepting that the sweet shop of life has given him too many options and by golly he intends to eat it all up.

  • Drunk girls know that love is an astronaut
  • It comes back, but it's never the same
  • Drunk boys, drunk boys, drunk boys, drunk boys
  • Drunk girls can be just as insane

  • Oh oh oh I believe in waking up together
  • So oh oh that means making eyes across the room

  • Just 'cause I'm shallow doesn't mean that I'm heartless
  • Just 'cause I'm heartless doesn't mean that I'm mean
  • Sometimes love gives us too many options
  • Just 'cause you're hungry doesn't mean that you're lean

  • I've heard lies that could curdle your heartstrings
  • A couple truths, maybe burn out your eyes
  • Drunk boys leave their irons in the fireplace
  • 'Cause drunk girls give them too many tries

  • Oh oh oh I believe in waking up together
  • Oh oh oh I believe I'm waking up, but no promises
  • Oh oh oh I believe in waiting out the weather
  • Oh oh oh I believe in making up

  • The day becomes the night Honestly, honestly, honestly Unless it hurts, why do it?


Gang of Four – Damaged Goods

Probably the most standard way to be dumped; the culprit feigns care to soften the imminent blow they’re going to impart. Damaged Goods plays out just that. Alongside the patronizing promise of the opening line - “The change will do you good” is the confession, shortly afterwards that there was no love at all “I know it’s only lust.” A kick in the teeth and make no mistake. “A change will do you good” is repeated, as he convinces himself he means it. He doesn’t. The genius of this Gang of Four song is in the raw energy of the bass line that is utterly hypnotic, pulling you in whilst simultaneously being so rhythmically disjointed that it sounds like a smack in the face. You want to get really involved but the uncomfortable twang of the bass reminds you – no, no, you’ve been chucked.

  • The change will do you good
  • I always knew it would
  • Sometimes I’m thinking that I love you
  • But I know it’s only lust

  • Your kiss so sweet
  • Your sweat so sour
  • Sometimes I’m thinking that I love you
  • But I know it’s only lust

  • The sins of the flesh
  • Are simply sins of lust
  • Sweat’s running down your back
  • Sweat’s running down your neck
  • Heated couplings in the sun
  • Or is that untrue?
  • Colder couplings in the night
  • Never saw your body

  • Damaged goods
  • Send them back
  • I can’t work
  • I can’t achieve
  • Send me back
  • Open the till
  • Give me the change
  • You said would do me good
  • Refund the cost
  • You said you’re cheap but you’re too much
  • Your kiss so sweet
  • Your sweat so sour
  • Sometimes I’m thinking that I love you
  • But I know it’s only lust
  • The change will do you good
  • I always knew it would
  • You know the change will do you good
  • You know the change will do you good


If you want angry, bitter words Alanis Morrisette’s Jagged Little Pill album will provide, as will Eminem’s Superman. Both spit distain at the opposite sex in a general way that I don’t really condone but you know, it’s 14th Feb – what you listen to today, well that’s entirely your shout. I’ll be listening to Public Image Ltd: