History Of Love

Published by Rick on Tagged Uncategorized

Perhaps a little misleading is the title, for I’ve been noticing lately that my blogs are showing more tendency to ramble. So the “History” will be confined to a rather vague and sketchy paragraph.

My favorite lyrics ever to a love song are from Larry Graham’s 1980 Soul hit, “One In A Million You,” where he says “Oh what a revelation to see, Someone was saying ‘I love you’ to me.” I’m not sure what it is that’s so real and heartfelt about that, perhaps it’s the “Who? Me?” vibe that the line sends out, but all I know is I damn near got teary-eyed just writing those lyrics down. I will most definitely be fitting that into this evening’s Valentine’s Day playlist for my DJ stint.

Valentine’s Day really hasn’t meant a whole lot to me over the years unless I was already in a solid relationship, and fortunately this year, I actually am. By the same token, I can only remember maybe one or two Valentine’s Days where I was truly alone and miserable. Three years ago, I was preparing for the inevitable, and as it turned out, my partner died a month later on another patron saint’s day, St. Patrick’s. So that particular Love Day was memorable, but for mostly wrong reasons. Seven years ago, my third marriage had broken down. Not exactly happy days, but I’m sure I’ll remember those two much more than any of the happier ones, just as I remember all my worst comedy shows.

In a little bit of research this time around, I found that the St. Valentine honoured on this day was a real person from 3rd Century AD, but there were as many as a dozen others who could be referred to as the namesake of this tradition. There was a Pope Valentine, for example, who served only 40 days in 827. As for joining the name and love together, a lot of theories point to Chaucer’s 1375 poem, “Parliament of Foules,” which linked courtly love to the celebration of St. Valentine’s Feast Day, an association that hadn’t been recognised before. The poem also made reference to 14th of February as the day birds mate. The commemorative day itself had more of its roots in Eastern Europe, but in the 17th Century, Britain started a tradition of cards and gifts, which the US adapted in the 1840’s. (These facts can all be disputed, as I only checked a couple sources.)

It’s a day we can take or leave I’m sure. If we have someone to love it’s great, but if we don’t, it’s not the end of the world. A card is nice, and I did get one this year, but I gave out four, so law of average plays a part here. As I started this blog with a quote from my favorite love song, let me then quote from a very irresponsible one, the one which said “If you can’t be with the one you love, Love the one you’re with.” Basically Stephen Stills was saying, “Any port in a storm,” and it’s doubtful that the acting out of this suggestion would be anything even remotely resembling love.

Still, have yourselves a wonderful day however you spend it, and I’ll attempt to do the same.

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