Wedding songs

What is love? – The Newnan Times-Herald

That’s a very good question.

So Ali McGraw says to Ryan O’Neal in the 1971 film, “Love Story”, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” »

“I fully understand and agree with this statement,” no one ever said. Even Eric Segal, the guy who wrote that ridiculous line, doesn’t really know what it means. He admitted it.

A musical theater fan could think of dozens and dozens of musicals that attempt to answer the question. And not just what, but where is the love. A young orphan, Oliver Twist innocently sings “Where is the love?” wondering if she is falling from the sky or maybe she is under a willow tree he was dreaming of. Oh! my heart.

Cher asked, “Do you believe in life after love?” The quality of said life may be more to the point of the matter. However, I get his reference. Also, “Do you believe in the quality of life after love?” just don’t scan.

Foreigner, the group, asked, “I want to know what love is.” Whitney Houston belted “I-ee-I will always love you.” The Bee Gees needed to know “How deep is your love?” And Queen sang a “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”. Elvis confessed “I can’t help falling in love with you” and Perry Como sang two of my all time favorite love songs, “And I Love You So” and “It’s Impossible”. Tina Turner asked the ultimate question, “What’s love got to do with it?” With what? Do not ask. Tina insists it’s a secondary emotion. Whatever that means.

What is love, exactly? And who, where, why and when?

My 9-year-old self sat cross-legged on the floor, leaning my back against my parents’ console record player as I listened to Ricky Nelson. Overjoyed, I swooned over Ricky’s gigantic color head shot on his album cover. I cried when he sang, “Many tears must fall, but it’s all in the game…which we call love.” All I knew was that Ricky Nelson stirred a longing in my heart that hurt me physically, then made me cry. I thought I must be in love with him and that must have been true romantic love, albeit unrequited. Not the love I had for my parents, certainly, I told myself. Although I cried a lot because of them, especially when I got whipped for bad behavior. I felt love for my parents too, especially when we hugged, for no other reason than to say I love you. It was a different kind of love, obviously. I knew it well.

But the romantic stuff was hard.

Then came the sweet songs like “Put your Head on My Shoulder” and “They Called it Puppy Love”. Paul Anca. 1960. I was 10 years old. These are ballads that once again created high expectations for love in me which, as defined by the lyrics, required pain and pathos, aching heart, histrionics and hot tears. It made me wonder if my love for Ricky Nelson was real. I had tears. I had pain. But now I was troubled by this new brand of affection called Puppy Love.

Little Anthony certainly had tears on his pillow, and in 1961 Ella Fitzgerald sang the torch song “(You Can) Cry Me a River (‘Cause I Cried a River Over You)”. So now the tears and pain of love included sleepless nights and sardonic, passive-aggressive anger. What the hell?

I sang in 1962 with the Shirelle on “Soldier Boy”. I knew nothing about saying goodbye to a loved one going to war. As a newly minted teenager when Peter, Paul and Mary released their haunting song, “Cruel War”, I felt the same familiar message of pain and grief, but I was maturing and entering into a different and different understanding. deeper. In 1965, the Vietnam War was beginning to call our boys to war. I would soon begin to grasp all too well the pain of love and loss due to war.

The Supremes warned “You can’t rush love” and cautioned “Stop in the name of love (before you break my heart)”. By then, Little Anthony had aggravated his emotions and was “Goin’ Out of My Head (Over You)”. And when the Beatles sang “Yesterday” (“all my troubles seemed so far away”), I was devastated. Now love also included troubled times, sad memories and madness.

In 1972, I was married and really in love. I would often put a guitar in my lap and sing Roberta Flack’s elegiac ballad, “The First Time I Saw Your Face.” I loved the positive imagery of the sun rising in a loved one’s eyes, and the moon and stars as gifts a loved one could give to endless dark skies.

But none of us had really been tested yet. It is only through years of marriage and commitment to each other that we have learned the work, what true love gives and takes amidst trials and triumphs, mistakes and sorry, good and bad times.

It was during our marriage in 1971 that the true definition of love became clearer. You know this one: “Love is patient, love is good. He does not envy, he does not boast, he is not proud. He’s not rude, he’s not selfish, he doesn’t get angry easily, he doesn’t keep track of wrongs. Love does not rejoice in evil but rejoices in truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres. Love never fails.” I know it was originally written more as a warning to people who misbehave in the Bible, but I took it as a positive definition of how to love. And I took it seriously.

Since then, I have experienced love in all of these ways, and seen it in others.

Love is the guy who happily and uncomplainingly pushes his disabled wife in her wheelchair to Newnan’s town center plaza and to their home.

Love is our community’s response to those in need after the March 2021 tornado.

Love is caring about the Ukrainian people and giving food, clothes, shelter and sanctuary.

Love is silent service, sacrifice, trials, compassion, giving, receiving, forgiveness and grace.

Love is spending time devoting attention, affirmation, and affection to another person, or to a cause, or to a living being, or to a power greater than oneself. same.

And that brings me to this weekend. Easter weekend, and also Passover. Ramadan too. It’s a matter of love and sacrifice, all of you. We would do well to focus on this and choose it as the paradigm for each day we live. Love a stranger, love a neighbor, love a spouse, love a child, love a parent, love a friend, love a higher power, love life. Leave hatred, self-aggrandizement and aggression behind.

And for God’s sake and for Elvis’ sake, love means always being ready to say you’re sorry. Otherwise, how can we obtain forgiveness and grace?

A longtime Newnan resident, Susie Berta enjoys many creative pursuits including music, art, writing, cooking, gardening, entertaining and decorating. She is now pursuing her passion for writing and recently published her memoir, “The Veterinarian’s Wife”, which is available now on Amazon and locally at Corner Arts Gallery and Gift Shop. It can be attached to the susie.berta@gmail.com.