The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Look through the Window, It’s Time to Cry

(On the Updated Definition of Ballad or Love Song

n the olden days of music, a ballad or love song was generally described as a sentimental, narrative lyric set in mellow and slow-tempo music whose theme was love in any of its guises—joys, pains, heartbreaks, disappointments, longing, yearning, and expressions of resentment because of unreciprocated romantic feelings. To this day, many people still cling to this age-old description of ballad or love song—“mellow and slow songs of love.” To them, a ballad can never be fast nor can it take the form of a Rock-styled composition. However, this no longer holds true. Since the evolution of classic Rock n’ Roll music as early as the 1940s, which ultimately led to the development of modern Rock music in the 1960s, the meaning of ballad or love song has also evolved significantly. Just as the acknowledgment of the Rock genres of music has become popular and widespread, the parameters of ballads and love songs have also been expanded and liberated. The current, modern description of ballad or love song is no longer confined to being simply mellow and slow songs of love. Although the theme of the lyrics remains practically the same, the music on which this particular form of songs is set has become diverse. It can now be fast and intense and may take the form of perhaps any genre of music.

Therefore, while ballads or love songs can be mellow and slow like “Woman” (1980) by the late ex-Beatle John Lennon, “Somewhere Down the Road” (1981) by the American Pop artist Barry Manilow, and “My Heart Will Go On” (1997) by the Canadian Pop diva Céline Dion, they can also be as intense as “All that I Bleed” (1993) by the U.S. Metal band Savatage, fast as “Get the Time” (1986) by the U.S. Punk Rock band Descendents, or even comical as “If You Love Somebody, Set Them on Fire” (1993) by the U.S. Punk Rock band The Dead Milkmen and morbid as “I Love the Dead” (1973) by the U.S. Glam Rock band Alice Cooper.

Here are some more notable examples of ballads or love songs, grouped according to genres to highlight the modern concept and the diversity of the musical form known as ballad or love song.

File under Punk:
Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)” – Buzzcocks (1978)
“Kiss Me Deadly” – Generation X (1978)
“Barbed Wire Love” – Stiff Little Fingers (1979)
“The KKK Took My Baby Away” – Ramones (1981)
“Prove My Love” – Violent Femmes (1982)
“Woman” – Anti-Nowhere League (1982)
“Atari Baby” – Sigue Sigue Sputnik (1986)
“Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” – Green Day (1997)
“Hopeless Romantic” – Bouncing Souls (1999)
“Everything Sucks (When You’re Gone)” – MxPx (2003)
“I Miss You” – Blink-182 (2003)
Sending Postcards from a Plane Crash (Wish You Were Here)
– Fall Out Boy (2003)
“Pieces” – Sum 41 (2004)
Untitled (How Could This Happen to Me?)” – Simple Plan (2004)
“It Ends Tonight” – The All-American Rejects (2005)
“For the Nights I Can’t Remember” – Hedley (2007)
“Fallen and Alone” – Rockwood (2010)

File under New Wave / Postpunk:
“Heart of Glass” – Blondie (1978)  
“Kissing ’round Corners” – The Models (1980)
“Love Will Tear Us Apart” – Joy Division (1980)
“Fall in Love with Me” – Japan (1981)
“I Melt with You” – Modern English (1982)
“Hold Me Now” – Thompson Twins (1983)
“Love Moves in Strange Ways” – Blue Zoo (1983)
“Make a Circuit with Me” – The Polecats (1983)
“Punish Me with Kisses” – The Glove (1983)
“Are You Ready to Be Heartbroken?” – Lloyd Cole & the Commotions (1984)
“The Ghost in You” – The Psychedelic Furs (1984)
“Whatever Possessed You” – Care (1984)
“Like One Thousand Violins” – One Thousand Violins (1985)
“Smiles and Jokes” – White China (1985)
“Total Recall” – The Sound (1985)
“Walk Forever by My Side” – The Alarm (1985)
“You Move Me (One Good Reason)” – The Comsat Angels (1985)
“Blushing Girl, Nervous Smile” – The Wallflowers (1986)
“I’ve Been in Love Before” – The Cutting Crew (1986)
“Kiss Me Now” – Fruits of Passion (1986)
“Never to Forget You” – The Lover Speaks (1986)
“Tears” – The Chameleons U.K. (1986)
“One Last Kiss” – The Cat Club (1987)
“Plastic Flowers” – The Wake (1987)
I Say Nothing” – Voice of the Beehive (1988)
“The Last Beat of My Heart” – Siouxsie & the Banshees (1988)
“Only for You” – The Essence (1988)
Things We Do For Love” – The Darling Buds (1988)
“I Found Love Today” – The Painted World (1989)
“Butterfly on a Wheel” – The Mission (1990)
“I’m a Lighthouse” – The Wild Swans (1990)
“Burst” – Shelleyan Orphan (1992)
“For You” – Electronic (1996)
“Fall on Tears” – Love Spit Love (1997)
“When I’m Thinking about You” – The Sundays (1997)
Speak to me, Rochelle” – The Desert Wolves (2000)
“The Only One” – The Cure (2008)
“I Still Feel the Same” – The Lightning Seeds (2009)

File under Metal:
“You See Me Crying” – Aerosmith (1975)
“Goodbye to Romance” – Ozzy Osbourne (1980)
“Love Walks In” – Van Halen (1986)
“Always with Me, Always with You” – Joe Satriani (1987)
“When the Children Cry” – White Lion (1987)
“Kiss Me Deadly” – Lita Ford (1988)
“Patience” – Guns n’ Roses (1988)
“The Ballad of Jayne” – L.A. Guns (1989)
“Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” – Mötley Crüe (1989)  
“Everybody Loves Eileen” – Steelheart (1990)
“For the Love of God” – Steve Vai (1990)
“High Enough” – Damn Yankees (1990)
“Love of a Lifetime” – Firehouse (1990)
“More than Words” – Extreme (1990)
“More than Words Can Say” – Alias (1990)
“Silent Lucidity” – Queensrÿche (1990)
“Just Take My Heart” – Mr. Big (1991)
“Love Is on the Way” – Saigon Kick (1992)
Until You Suffer Some (Fire and Ice)” – Poison (1993)
All about Lovin’ You” – Bon Jovi (2002)
“Love Strikes like Lightning” – Warrant (2006)
“My Love (I’ll Always Show)” – Stryper (2009)
You and I” – Sweet Sybil (2010)

File under Pop:
“First of May” – Bee Gees (1969)
“Father and Son” – Cat Stevens (1970)
“My Love” – Paul McCartney & Wings (1973)
“At Seventeen” – Janis Ian (1975)
“Take a Chance on Me” – ABBA (1977)
“Fallin’” – Teri DeSario (1979, written by Carol Bayer Sager and Marvin Hamlisch)
“Honesty” – Billy Joel (1979)
“I Just Called to Say I Love You” – Stevie Wonder (1984)
“Knife” – Rockwell (1984)
“Because of Love” – Menudo (1984, by Carlos Villa, Eddy Guerin, and Juli Seijas)
“Where Are You Now?” – Synch (1986, by Jimmy Harnen and Rich Congdon)
“Superwoman” – Karyn White (1988, by Kenneth Edmonds
“Rush Rush” – Paul Abdul (1991, by Peter Lord)
“All that She Wants” – Ace of Base (1993)
“’Til They Take My Heart Away” – Clair Marlo
(1998, Antonio Reid and Daryl Simmons)
“First Love” – Utada Hikaru (1999, by Kei Kawano)
“Eyes on Me” – Faye Wong (1999, by Nobuo Uematsu and Kako Someya) 
“Hero” – Enrique Iglesias (2001, cowritten with Paul Barry and Mark Taylor)
“Through the Rain” – Mariah Carey (2002, cowritten with Lionel Cole)
“Catch Me when I Fall” – Ashlee Simpson
(2005, cowritten with John Shanks and Kara DioGuardi)  
“Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)” – Lady Gaga
(2008, cowritten with Martin Kierszenbaum)
“The One that Got Away” – Katy Perry
(2010, cowritten with Lukasz Gottwald and Max Martin)

File under Hip-hop:
“I Can Give You More” – LL Cool J (1985)
“Cold Summer Nights” – Francis M (1990)
“I Ain’t Mad at Cha” – 2Pac (1996)
“Ready or Not” – The Fugees (1996)
“All that I Got Is You” – Ghostface Killah (1996)
“I'll Be Missing You” – Puff Daddy and Faith Evans (1997)
“Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)” – Ne-Yo (2012)

File under Filipino Alternative Rock/Pop:
“Keep Our Love Alive” – RP (1985)
Sana Hindi Minsan Mo Lang Akong Tingnan” – WUDS (1985)  
“Love Will Set Us Free” – The Dawn (1988)
“Paglisan” – Color It Red (1994)
“Pagsubok” – Orient Pearl (1994)
“Your Love” – Alamid (1994)      
Ang Huling El Bimbo – Eraserheads (1995)  
“Sirang Romantiko” – Pu3ska (1995) 
“Bilanggo” – Rizal Underground (1995)
“Kapalarang Kuwago” – Half Life Half Death (1995)
“Ikaw Na Nga” ­– Immaculate (1995)
“Puting Ilaw” – Advent Call (1996)
“Hinahanap-hanap Kita” – Rivermaya (1997)  
“Harana” – Parokya ni Edgar (1997)
“Torpe” – Hungry Young Poets (1997)
“Comfort in Your Strangeness” – Cynthia Alexander (1997)
“Torete” – Moonstar 88 (2000)
“Ewan Ko” – Soapdish (2005)
“Kung Ayaw Mo Na sa Akin” – Sugarfree (2006)
“Will You Ever Learn?” – Typecast (2006)
Alam Mo Na ’Yun” – The Bloomfields (2007)
“Lumapit” – Archipelago (2009)
“Love Me Forever” – Juan Pablo Dream (2009)  
“Ang Huling Yakap ng Mundo” – Imago (2010)
“Di Na Magdaramdam” – Top Junk (2010)

File under mellow Filipino Pop:
“Dahil sa ’Yo” – Pilita Corrales
(1973, written by Mike Velarde Jr. and Dominador Santiago)
“T.L. Ako sa ’Yo” – Cinderella (1975, by Snaffu Rigor)
“Pers Lab” – Hotdog (1975, by Dennis Garcia and Rene Garcia)
“Bakit Labis Kitang Mahal?” – Boyfriends (1978, by Gary Arriola)   
“Oh Babe” – Singsing (1978, by Renato Santos)
“Ako ang Nasawi, Ako ang Nagwagi” – Dulce (1979, by George Canseco)
“Tell Me” – Joey Albert (1984, by Alan Ayque and Louie Jocson Ocampo)
“Somewhere in My Past” – Julie Vega (1985, by M. del Rosario)
“Magkaisa” – Virna Lisa Loberiza
(1986, by Vicente C. Sotto III, Ernie dela Peña, and Homer Flores)
“Hey, It’s Me” – Jaime Rivera (1987, by Jimmy Antiporda)
Sana Maulit Muli” – Gary Valenciano (1987)
“Hindi Magbabago” – Randy Santiago (1987, Tats Faustino)
“Tamis ng Unang Halik” – Kristina Paner (1989, M. del Rosario)
“Hindi Ko Kaya” – Richard Reynoso (1990, by Aaron Paul)
“Narito Ako” – Regine Velasquez (1990, by Nonong Pedero)
“Just a Smile Away” – Jaime Garchitorena (1990, by Danny Morales Javier)
Sana Dalawa ang Puso Ko” – Bodjie’s Law of Gravity (1991, by Bodjie Dasig)
“Miss na Miss Kita” – Father and Sons (1991, by Rico G. Soliman)
“Closer You and I” – Gino Padilla (1991, by L.J. Ocampo)
“Forever Blue” – Cacai Velasquez (1995, by Jingle Sayson-Buena)
“Honey, My Love (So Sweet)” – April Boys (1999, adaptation of “Itoshi no Ellie”
(1979) by the Japanese Pop band Southern All-Stars)
“Basang-basa sa Ulan” – Aegis (1999, by Celso E. Abenoja)
“Pagdating ng Panahon” – Aiza Seguerra
(2001, by Moy Ortiz and Edith M. Gallardo)

File under Western Classical:
“Air,” or the second movement of Johann Sebastian Bach’s
Orchestral Suite no. 3 in D Major (written circa 1717–1723)  
“Für Elise,” or Bagatelle no. 25 in A Minor for Solo Piano
Ludwig van Beethoven (publ. 1867)
Canon in D MajorJohann Pachelbel (written pre-1700; first publ. 1919)
“Madeline’s Theme” – Giorgio Moroder
(1984, from Electric Dreams’ film score)
“For the Right Reasons” – Stephen Hague
(1987, from Some Kind of Wonderful’s film score)

A Life So Changed” – James Horner (1997, from Titanic’s film score)

“Chuck’s Lament / What the Tide Could Bring” – Alan Silvestri
(2000, from Cast Away’s film score)
Final Note

Considering music taxonomy as it is recognized today, ballads or love songs are no longer just the mellow and slow tunes which many people used to know; they can now be intense, fast, morbid, or even comical, and may take the form of perhaps any music genre.


Post a Comment

<< Home