Hi, my name is Niall and I only finally listened to a Fleetwood Mac album for the first time six months ago. At 31. Worse still, it wasn’t even the album this song is from. I finally sat myself down a few months back and listened to Rumours start to finish. Then did so three more times over the next few days. I’ve been hearing various Fleetwood Mac hits my entire life and throughly enjoyed every single one but I would just always get sidetracked when I reminded myself to listen to their albums. Then again if you’ve read any of my previous posts it’ll be nothing new to you that I’m absolutely awful at immersing myself in new music, modern or classic. Anyway, confessions out of the way, I finally made it full circle to covering one of their tracks, probably one of my favourites.
I’ve done plenty of writing on love songs in the past and in general on songs that convey weighty emotions. I was once described as not being a hopeless romantic but just hopeless. I didn’t disagree. I do have a strong preference for two specific song types though, both on opposite ends of the spectrum. The first is the absolute tragedy songs, the musically morbid. The second is a great love song. For me, that list includes “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran, “Dream River” by The Mavericks and “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton amongst the greatest love songs ever written. For me this is because they are the simple ones. A 4 minute love letter to a childhood sweetheart, longing to have your loved one in your arms when far from home or simply remarking on how beautiful you find your significant other as they get ready for the party. That’s not to say I don’t like some of the more obscure or subtle love songs, but for me it’s the most basic emotion in the world and doesn’t need to be complicated.
I’ve tried my hand at writing a few love songs, namely “Castaway”. I feel like I was striving for exactly what I’m bigging up here, simplicity. See there’s a curiosity with love songs that if you get too specific, you’re holding on too tightly to the song itself. For me when writing a song you need to be conscious of the fact that you’re giving it away. Yes you are writing from a personal perspective, but you have to be aware of the fact that if you put it out in the public space that others will take it and relate to their own life experience. How may people have had their first dance to “Wonderful Tonight”? Far more people than have ever been in love with Patti Boyd yet that is who the song was written for.
This is a debate that arose amongst some of my friends years back. As hopeless romantic saps like myself are wont to do, I wrote a song about someone who was name-checked in both the title and chorus of the song. It wasn’t long before I was swapping out their name for a generic “girl” instead because for me, anybody not pining after someone of the same name couldn’t relate to the song. The argument thrown back at me was that the song lost all of the heart and soul once it became generic. I should point out that this debate was never settled and even as I type I’m running it over in my head again. For my money, I can see the argument but with the right commitment and practice even the ‘generic’ version could carry some weight.
That’s what love songs really boil down to though. We all feel emotions different ways. We act on our anger very differently to each other. Sadness is one that you just can’t find any consistency in. Love tends to be the most universal. Makes us feel the same way, drives us crazy the same way. Whether it be for friends, family, partners and hell, even pets, how we convey what we feel always remains the same and as a result so do the songs. The same applies to “Everywhere”, the chorus literally comprising of a wordless ‘ah’ followed by ‘I wanna be with you everywhere‘. Couldn’t really be anymore straightforward could it? That’s exactly what makes it great.
Enjoy and as always watch/like/share/subscribe!