Mistress of the Mix: Cupid’s Arrow

  

I'm starting to think Cupid's arrow might have been dipped in poison (instead of what I was hoping was perhaps absynthe). Hopeless romantic that you all know I am, I was intending to put together a list of incredibly sweet songs all pertaining to Valentine's Day. So I began to search high and low for songs that mentioned the word "valentine" and other than the classic My Funny Valentine, I was pretty disappointed with what I found. I came across My Bloody Valentine, Bullet For My Valentine, Toxic Valentine... egads! What's everybody got against valentines?

So I switched gears and started looking for songs about Cupid. But other than Sam Cooke's famous version of the song by that name, I was again let down. First by 50's star Connie Francis, who sang about Stupid Cupid, and then by current country star Carrie Underwood, who informs us that Cupid's Got A Shotgun! What the heck? Even the search for songs with "I Love You" in the title brought up things like I Hate You But I Love You.

OK, I thought, let's back up and try this from another angle. How about flowers? I found a song from Ray LaMontagne that sounded sweet, until the lyrics of You Can Bring Me Flowers ended with "when I'm dead and gone" and the R&B song Box Of  Chocolates included clips from Forrest Gump. Not exactly what I was looking for.

Let me tell you, faithful readers, it wasn't easy being all gushy and romantic (musically speaking) this Valentine's Day. I had to discard lots of deceptively titled songs that turned out to be filled with heartache and angst, like Fiona Apple's Valentine, about a woman who cuts herself because her valentine has eyes for someone else.

But if there's one thing anyone who knows me is well aware of, it's that I'm the most hard headed gal you will ever meet. I perservere. And finally, FINALLY, I found a song from an artist I'd never heard of before that says exactly what I think needs to be said on Valentine's Day. The lyrics were so sweet and perfect that just as I was on the verge of giving up, my faith in romance was renewed. And so, I offer you today's hastily assembled mix of musical bonbons full of love and romance, sugar and kisses, completely drama and heartache-free.

In the meantime, do a girl a favor, would ya? Perhaps you could oblige me by listing one or two of your favorite love songs in the comments section below, and hopefully we'll create a reader-generated playlist to share next year when we do this all over again.

P.S. For those of you who are planning a big, romantic night out with your sweetheart this Valentine's Day weekend, I encourage you to take to heart the advice of my favorite sex and relationship columnist Dan Savage. He has a steadfast rule of thumb for Valentine's Day lovers, that I give two thumbs up on: Get romantic BEFORE your dinner reservation. All those cream based sauces, red meat and rich, chocolately desserts are great for stirring up heartburn (and I'm not talking metaphorically here, I'm talking about actual heartburn) and gall bladder attacks and at the very least uncomfortably full tummies. So take a tip from Dan, and if getting naked is on your list of things to do with your lover on this particular holiday, put it at the top of your list, instead of at the bottom. Cheers!

  1. Valentine - Kina Grannis
  2. Cupid - Jack Johnson
  3. You're A Sweetheart - Benny Goodman
  4. Love You Madly - Ella Fitzgerald
  5. I Just Called To Say I Love You - Stevie Wonder
  6. My Funny Valentine - Chet Baker
  7. Embraceable You - Sarah Vaughan
  8. Cupid - Sam Cooke
  9. I Love You - Faith Evans
  10. I'm Still In Love With You - Al Green
  11. I Couldn't Love You More - Sade
  12. She - Elvis Costello
  13. Sweetheart - Mariah Carey
  14. Kiss - Tom Jones
  15. Happy Valentine's Day - OutKast
  16. Childhood Sweetheart - Chuck Berry
  17. I Love You - Django Reinhardt
  18. Sugar Sugar - The Archies
  19. Goodnight Sweetheart - The Spaniels

Valerie Ing-Miller has been the Northern California Program Coordinator for Jefferson Public Radio in Redding for over a decade, and can often be found serving as Mistress of Ceremonies at the Cascade Theatre. For her, ultimate satisfaction comes from a perfect segue. She's the mother of a teenage daughter and an adorable West Highland Terrier, and can't imagine life without them or music. 

She's often spotted driving around town singing at the top of her lungs to new wave hits from the 80's, but at work Valerie hosts the afternoon classical show Siskiyou Music Hall (at 90.9 FM in Shasta County or streaming at ijpr.org). 

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8 Responses »

  1. That is a funny take on Valentine songs. Never thought of it before, but it is so true. I guess that 'arteests' tend to turn to their art in times of pain. That aside, how about:

    My Romance - Frank Sinatra

    What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life? - Barbra Streisand (among others)

    and my very favorite of all

    What Matters Most - Kenny Rankin

    Those last two by my all time favorite lyricysts, Alan and Marilyn Bergman

  2. Not that I should share this, but AJ has seen it. My daughter and husband went out for a celebratory drink and upon arriving home, their 3 daughters (one an exchange student) had set the table with a red tabecloth, white napkins, white candles and a 3 course meal cooked by them that ended with sinful chocolate dipped strawberries surrounding home made heart shaped fudge!! Memories made for life.

  3. Hi Val ! I really "love" this whole mix! I'm wondering if you have an archive set up (in one convenient push of the button) of all of the mixes that you've posted here? I've been bored with my collection of tunes that I keep listening to because it's easy to access. I like the way your mixes have a theme to them and I always here something new from your list. I enjoy your choices and would be thrilled if I could just chose from one of the collections that you've published. Any chance of that?

    • Great question! One easy way is to scroll down a little bit and click on the "Mistress of the Mix" tag (right beneath the number of views). It'll take you to a list of all my columns, in order from most recent to older ones.....and it's a couple of pages long. And yes, all the playlists are archived. Know what? I do the same thing too!

  4. Oh, I forgot to commend you on a GREAT choice: Funny Valentine by Chet Baker. What a beautifully poignant cut that is!

  5. Ok, I do have to say one of my favorite love songs is Alison by Elvis Costello. I mean, there's AIM in that song! Cupid reference!

    xoxo

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