What Is Love/Baby Don’t Hurt Me

Love is a human emotion that is universal and profound, and it is a well documented and exhaustively examined topic throughout all of human history and it has been most especially explored, dissected, analyzed and glorified through the medium of modern music…It is real, and the power of love can move mountains…


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At the risk of offending millions of people who have their own favorite love songs, from Frank Sinatra to the most modern day artists, I have included here a tiny sampling of the exploration of love, more specifically romantic love from the following selections of love songs, primarily because they are all personal favorites of mine and also because I am sure are all very well known and will resonate inside the heads and hearts of my core audience of baby boomers….I have included other sources dealing with love through the ages as well…

“What Has Love Got To Do With It?” Tina Turner asked bitterly in her famous song, a stinging reminder that love is a two sided coin…..Disco star Haddaway immortalized the song “What is Love” (Baby Don’t Hurt Me) in his classic theme song for the hilarious “Night At The Roxbury” movie sound track in the blockbuster comedy starring Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan, two zany brothers pursuing love in their own stumbling, bumbling way, believing and knowing it’s out there…. If they can only find it…

And of course the Beatles, in their usual upbeat bouncy fashion crystallized the feelings and aspirations of a whole generation of baby boomers with their immortal line “All You Need Is Love” a single first released in July 1967 at the height of the Summer of Love and then later added to the “Magical Mystery Tour album….

Romantic love is a relative new comer to world society in general, although that seems hard to believe in the context of our love saturated current times, with the eternal search for the perfect “soul mate,” the pursuit of love and romance seemingly dramatized and perhaps overly represented in thousands of songs, movies, TV shows, soap operas, novellas, Hollywood gossip magazines, endless talk shows; most every media outlet you may subscribe to.

But the historical truth is that romantic love has been with us as a concept only since the 17th century, in medieval times, and probably originated in the French court, along with the code of chivalry and the knights sworn devotion to and protection of the lady or ladies of his choice, and evolved from there throughout medieval society…



Before that the role of woman as property and as pawns in arranged marriages was the accepted and common sense way of developing dynasties, uniting kingdoms, strengthening families, cementing alliances and as a way of life…If the man and woman in such an arranged marriage did somehow manage to develop affectionate feelings for each other, it was an unexpected bonus, especially for the women, who were widely regarded as inferior to men in every way….

There has always been love in the world though, starting with maternal love, the love of a mother for her children, and sometimes paternal love, but with the fathers there was always the thought that sons were superior to daughters and could make more advantageous alliances down the road for him and advance and/or protect what he had already amassed…

Platonic love has also been with us for centuries, although not always as sublimated in older days as it is in the modern definition of being primarily asexual…In times past, platonic love was manifested by the strong bonds of friendship and camaraderie between men of common social status, such as soldiers or farmers or merchants and sometimes between men and women of different social rank….

Love is also a theme in various religious frameworks for centuries as well, such as “Love Your Neighbor As Yourself, or more often “Love (and worship) Your God,” whoever the God in question may have been….Patriotism, or love of your country has always been a rallying cry for nationalism…



But it has only been in the most recent days of women’s emancipation, and equality in the work place, with the advent of birth control, the woman’s suffrage movement giving women the right to vote, all these rapid fire changes in thoughts and attitudes in the last 100 years that has allowed the modern women of today the choices that had always eluded them through out all the other centuries of all recorded times…The more women have become regarded as equal, the more the concept of romantic love has grown and flourished….

In other words, the more independent women became, the more choices they had, the more rights they carved out for themselves, the more the concept of romantic love has evolved and advanced, until today it has flourished with all the nurturing and focus we see today on a daily basis, in a way that permeates all levels of our society, and this includes and embraces all gay and lesbian romantic concepts as well…

And once again, because of my generational bias, I have always been inspired by a much more profound and mature line the Beatles sang in what is perhaps the ultimate truth about not just romantic love, but love in general…. I am old fashioned, but truly believe in the concept of romantic love, and being aware of all the pitfalls of romantic love being a potential source of heartbreak and pain, rejection and disillusionment, still believe with all my heart in another old Beatles song, from “Abbey Road”:

“And in the End, the Love You Take Is Equal To The Love You Make”……

Just leave it like it is right now

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