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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Well, I was engaging in that hallowed tradition among theology students—watching YouTube instead of studying—just now. As I left this morning, one of my favorite songs was playing: “Two Occasions” by The Deele (a band that included Babyface and noted producer Antonio “LA” Reid in the 1980s). Because I had to rush out, the video played to an audience of zero. But I have returned. So, it dutifully asked me if I’d like to watch that video again, which I did. YouTube shows you other related videos, so as I watched, I noted that Pebbles’ “Love Makes Things Happen” was an option. (This song shows you what beautiful things are possible with a keyboard before any words are sung.) And I like the song, I guess. That ambivalence is why I’m writing this post. From a Christian perspective, this is one of the worst songs ever written. Love is portrayed as a disease you catch, a mysterious force that leads normal people to commit adultery, (or at least fantasize about other people) and that it’s all really OK, because it’s so powerful. In the comments for the video, many people pointed out that it sounded like lust to them, and that’s right, I think. Here are the words. Interestingly, Babyface seems very aware of this when he wrote “Love Shoulda Brought You Home” two years later (1992) for Toni Braxton and the Boomerang soundtrack. (You’ll get a great line from the movie from a female character (Nia Long, maybe?) explaining that very thing, in the full video on Yahoo. The chorus of that song:

Love shoulda brought you (brought you) home last night
You shoulda been with me
Shoulda been right by my side, baby
If you cared anything for me
Then love woulda brought you to me last night

Yeah, this song only is poignant because of adultery, and that sucks, but it’s well-crafted, true, and well sung. No surprise there. Much better than “Love Makes Things Happen.” And that is too bad, because it too (apart from the lyrics) is well-crafted and sung.

1 comment:

Timothy R. Butler said...

There are few things more disappointing, I've found, then when I have a song melody I heard on the radio delightfully stuck in my head only to listen to the song more closely and realize the lyrics are bad.

Ah, well...