The lessons packed in the love songs that are getting the most radio play today all seem to have a similar theme: if it isn’t dysfunctional, it isn’t love.
Take the song “Grenade” for instance, wherein Bruno Mars sings a litany of pains he’d endure for his beloved, ranging from catching a grenade, to throwing his hand on a blade, to taking a bullet through his brain. His beloved is evil, it seems. According to the song she’d “smile in (his) face then rip the brakes out of (his) car.”
Her response to his “loving” rant is total indifference. He goes so far as to lament that if his body was on fire she’d watch him burn in flames. Yet, despite all this, at the end of the song he still sings, “I would die for you baby, but you won’t do the same.”
It seems that Bruno has so effectively broken the stereotype of the emotionless, standoffish male that he has become the psychotically needy girlfriend. Good boy, Bruno. Contemporary, feminized society has trained you well in the ways of “manhood.” The lesson of this song is clear: If it isn’t codependence it isn’t real love.
In a recent drive to work I turned the radio dial in a vain attempt to avoid “Grenade” only to find it on three other stations. Moving on…
In one of the most popular songs of 2010, “Breakeven,” singer Danny O’Donoghue laments after a hard breakup, “I’m still alive but I’m barely breathin.’” Everyone who has had their heart broken can relate with those words. But he goes on to sing, “What am I supposed to do when the best part of me was always you?” Romantic words? Yes. Emotionally healthy words? No.
No offense Danny, but if the best part of you was her I can see why she dumped you. While a couple is called to unity, individuals still need to maintain autonomy for a relationship to be stable and lasting. If people lose themselves in one another, soon there is no self to give to the other. The lesson of “Breakeven”: If it isn’t enmeshment it isn’t love.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Dysfunctional Love Songs
Chris Stefanick has a great article on dysfunctional love songs: