Love Songs Through the Ages


Where would music be without love?  For that matter, where would love be without music?  Has there ever been an era when a young swain did not pick up his lute, his viol, or his electric guitar, plant himself beneath the window of his love, and pour his heart out in song?  There’s just something about a poem set to music that stirs the blush and sets the heart a-throbbing.

There’s the hymn of praise (“My Love’s Like a Red, Red Rose” “Ida, Sweet As Apple Cider”), the plaintive appeal (Can’t You See I Love You?  Please Don’t Break My Heart in Two”), and the sob of regret (“Oh, Lonesome Me!”).  There’s the boast (“Ain’t She Sweet?”), the declaration (“I Love You Truly”), and the invitation (“Come Away With Me, Lucille, In My Merry Oldsmobile”).  Whether it’s a request the the privileges of intimacy (“I Wanna Hold Your Hand”), the list of reasons (“A, You’re Adorable”), or the surrender to fate (“It Had To Be You”), the love song has been the perfect medium.

In this program we’ll follow the progress of the love song, from ancient Egyptian inscriptions to medieval times to the Beatles, paying visits along the way to Civil War camps, Tin Pan Alley, and Sesame Street.  We’ll see how the operatic impresarios, the country stars, and the jazz denizens, from different musical starting points, all arrived at the same place.


explanation to observers (“It’s in his kiss”)

assurance (“I Only Have Eyes For You” “I Will Always Love You”)

insecurity (“Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?”)

staking claim (“My Girl”, “My Guy”)



jealousy (“Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree With Anyone Else But Me”)

Linda, My Gal Sal, Irene, Margie, Peg, Dolly, Jeanie, Kathleen, Aura Lee, Maggie, Sweet Adeline, Sioux City Sue, Susie, Susanna, Bonnie, Katy, Mary, Nellie, Tootsie, Billie Jo, Billie Jean, Bobbie Sue, Lucille, Mona Lisa, Venus, Sweet Caroline, Ramona, Snow Deer, Red Wing, Annie Laurie, Annie Rooney, Rose, Rosie O’Grady, Alice Blue Gown, Clementine, Cindy, Barbara Ann, Sheila, Peggy Sue

Flattery (“Oh, Pretty Woman”)

advice to lovers (“Stand By Your Man”)

description of features (“Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair” “Beautiful Brown Eyes”)

questions (“Why Do Fools Fall In Love?”)

The depth of love (“I Could Waltz Across Texas With You” “I Think I’m Going Out Of My Head”)

resolve (“I Never Will Marry”)

plea for understanding (“I Can’t Help It If I’m Still In Love With You”)


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