Make Love Your Goal – a case for the greatest love song ever

Love has been at the heart of popular music since way beyond the birth of pop in the 1950s, probably way beyond the days of the folks wandering around with lutes in the 1350s.

There may well be as many different perspectives on love as people who have ever walked the earth, maybe more as we all pass through different stages at different times, but there are shared experiences as we go through love’s journey. I’ve always loved The Who’s I Can’t Explain as a great starting place – lots of The Who’s early material captures the puzzling mystery of early love quite nicely (and certainly helped me through those difficult teenage years).

But all this said, there’s nothing like that astonishing feeling when you first fall in love, when you open up the flood gates and are swept along by it all. I can still feel and picture it strongly and I firmly advise all of you to hold it close to your heart, no matter how far time has taken you from the last moment you felt that way.

This magical – but scary – feeling is captured comprehensively and sensitively by Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s The Power Of Love, it’s complicated mix of religious and pharmaceutical imagery capturing the sheer force of when you first fall in love. On reflection, it probably needed a gay Liverpuddlian to construct and deliver a song of such drama, passion and power, complete with both religious and pharmaceutical allusions.

The rollercoaster thrill of falling in love is all there. Holly sings of the feeling that “ay… feels like fire..” that is “rushin’ an, rushin’ inside of me” describing it as “the force from above, cleaning my soul… love with tongues of fire…” He also steps back to share why pure love is so important to the people it touches “…dreams are like angels, they keep bad at bad, love is the light scaring darkness away…”

Wrapped around this is the wonderful altruistic streak that comes with falling in love, where you want to use this amazing power you suddenly feel to enhance and protect your special person (think I’d do Anything from the musical Oliver!). It’s the feeling where you wish you had superpowers that you could use to defend the one you love “…I’ll protect you from The Hooded Claw keep the vampires from your door…” and to take this power to its very limits “…when the chips are down, I’ll be around with my undying, death defying love for you…..” Quite something!

And then when you fall in love (and should you fall in love again) the power of the experience wipes the slate clean, erases all memories of previous disappointments and loss and provides the energy and inspiration to grasp the opportunity with both hands and jump in wholeheartedly “….This time we go sublime, Lovers entwine, divine, divine. Love is danger, love is pleasure. Love is pure, the only treasure….”

In only five minutes Holly and the boys capture the essence of this unearthly power “…a force from above…” and how truly falling in love feels as energising as being hit by lightning, but in a positive way. The telling of this pure and powerful experience is all the more remarkable given that Frankie Goes to Hollywood made their name with the seedy sexual charge of Relax!

Amidst the thousands and millions of songs about the various experiences around falling in, out and over love – the good, the bad, the happy, the sad, the frustrating and annoying – nothing manages to capture the electrifying magic of falling in love, the purity and warmth, the hopes and dreams quite like The Power of Love.

What alternative do any of us have when faced with something this wonderful and magical? “…Make Love your goal!…”

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