I will admit to being a hopeless romantic! The music of the 1950’s and early 60’s told the story of pure romance. Each song emitted a feeling that was innocent, yet suggestive of raw emotion, with words that reached out and grabbed you, held you and refused to let you go. They drenched their audience in emotive words that communicated what was thought, but could not be verbalized.
This was the idyllic world that provided a crystal ball into a romantic respite that transformed the listener away to a comforting and soothing romantic world. The feeling of love that was projected by the artists was lustful but still anything but “dirty.” It was the expression of emotion, a feeling, without having to act it out completely. It was how a boy felt about a girl and how a girl felt about a boy.
The songs were not messy, they did not inflict a deep pain, but more a pining or a wanting. It was a classic commandment that advised the future would be like the present. It was like the world was making the music, just for an audience of one.
The music was pure, honest and unadulterated, disregarding age, religion, race or culture. And sometimes the words did not make sense. Vernon Green and the Medallions delivered a talking bridge in the song “The Letter,” that whispered, “the pulpitudes of love,” and talked of “sweet words of pismotality,” and, everyone knew exactly what he meant. Spellcheck has nothing on Vernon Green.
As you read the lyrics of some of the songs included, close your eyes and remember where you were, whom you were with, and how you felt at that time. The prose or poetry is better than a greeting card because it keeps being repeated every time the song is played or sung. The lyrics send the very message desired, or thought to say, but, for whatever reason, could not. Try these out on someone or just read them aloud. After all, the memories are still in the music!
OH, WHAT A NIGHT, TO LOVE YOU, DEAR. THAT’S WHY, I LOVE YOU SO!
I WON’T FORGET ALL THOSE THINGS YOU HAVE DONE TO ME!
FAITH IN MY HEART WON’T LET ME FORGET YOUR LOVE.
THAT’S WHY, I LOVE YOU SO!
THE DELLS – OH, WHAT A NIGHT
MY LOVE MUST BE A KIND OF BLIND LOVE, I CAN’T SEE ANY ONE BUT YOU.
ARE THE STARS OUT TONIGHT? I DON’T KNOW IF IT’S CLOUDY OR BRIGHT.
I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU.
THE FLAMINGOS – I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU
I DON’T HAVE PLANS AND SCHEMES, I DON’T HAVE HOPES AND DREAMS.
SINCE I DON’T HAVE YOU.
I DON’T HAVE FOND DESIRE, AND I DON’T HAVE HAPPY HOURS
SINCE I DON’T HAVE YOU
THE SKYLINERS – SINCE I DON’T HAVE YOU
I FELL FOR YOU AND I KNEW, THE VISION OF YOUR LOVELINESS
I HOPE AND PRAY, THAT SOMEDAY, THAT I’LL BE THE VISION OF YOUR HAPPINESS.
THE PENGUINS – EARTH ANGEL
WHY DO BIRDS SING SO GAY?
WHY DOES THE RAIN FALL FROM UP ABOVE?
WHY DOES MY HEART SKIP A CRAZY BEAT?
WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE?
FRANKIE LYMON AND THE TEENAGERS – WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE?
THEY ASKED ME HOW I KNEW, MY TRUE LOVE WAS TRUE, SOMETHING HERE INSIDE, CANNOT BE DENIED.
THE PLATTERS – SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES
The prose and poetry could go on and on with lyrics and memories but you get the idea. There is an agonizing awareness that transforms, not because they may be corny or even sophomoric, they are ours. The songs, artists and lyrics called out to the audience. One cannot repress what has been learned about ourselves listening to this music. It is in the artistry of this romantic music that causes a response in a mystical and magical way. It is a music to feel, not just listen to.