May 27, 2010

Songs that equate the feeling of love to the symptoms of illness.

Help me compile a list of songs that compare the effects of love (or sexual feeling) to illness. I've been struggling with a virus — it's making the rounds here in Madison — that begins with the symptom called vertigo (the sense of reeling and whirling). I'm interested in the way songs often describe love or the effect of a lover's embraces as if it were producing this effect — and as if it's were wonderfully delightful. It's not.

I'll start with this:



There's a related category: Songs that equate the absence of love to illness (and love to health). I was feelin'... so bad, I asked my family doctor just what I had...

88 comments:

Paul said...

"You Give me Fever" Peggy Lee

"I'm So Dizzy" Tommy Roe

"Stop, Stop, Stop" The Hollies

danielle said...

Your love is like a heatwave .

Comrade X said...

No Vacancy:

Heal Me I'm Heartsick

AllenS said...

I remember Madonna's song I Love You So Much That I've Already Developed A Urinary Tract Infection

Ann Althouse said...

@danielle We'll need a separate list for love is like weather.

GMay said...

Man, what was the production value of that video? They probably spent more on his hair product than everything else combined.

Steve in Toronto said...

Nearly In Love on "Daring Adventures" by Richard Thompson

"I never felt like this before
That's why I want to make quite sure/ That it's not just a dose of the 'flu That gives me the chills for you"

http://www.richardthompson-music.com/song_o_matic.asp?id=144

Jon said...

"Doctor,Doctor", Thompson Twins
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_66L4wdNXw

rhhardin said...

Turn turn turn.

Kirby Olson said...

The ancient Greeks thought love was incredibly dangerous, and believed that a demonic force was generally responsible for it. Whatever happened to Helen was "caused" by Aphrodite, for instance. And the most terrifying nuisance was Dionysus.

Once he got hold of you, you were doomed.

Many rock songs celebrate a kind of Dionysian fervor, which constitutes almost a form of possession. Dionysus is an alarming god.

He looks just like Joe Blow, but if you don't recognize him, and render fealty, you are suddenly doing your mother a disservice with a knife in your hand. A very very dangerous god.

But rock music openly celebrates Dionysian fervor. It's like celebrating Charlie Manson.

What goes under the name of "love," is absolutely terrifying to anyone who's really paying attention.

And look at where it leads you: suicide, murder, madness, heartbreak, venereal diseases, and so on.

Of course there is a good side, too. It does feel good, I suppose, and for people on the left, that's all that matters.

danielle said...

@ann -- oh, that's true ! i was thinking of hot flashes, not weather.

but i've got a better one: Heartburn , by Alicia Keyes.

Meade said...

...Girl, you look so fine...

amba said...

I was looking for this

and I came across this. (Careful, it'll make you feel worse.)

Kovacs said...

"Bad Case of Loving You," Robert Palmer
"Doctor, Doctor," Thompson Twins

LarryK said...

"I've Got You Under My Skin" - because a virus isn't going to make you spin right round baby right round if it stays on top of the skin

"Sick as a Dog" by Aerosmith is another possibility, although it's not really much of a love song

El Pollo Real said...

The Little Rascals Good Lovin' is another classic from 1966, perhaps the best year in rock 'n' roll.

danielle said...

@amba -- hilarious !

El Pollo Real said...

Does mental illness count?

Count Five, Psychotic Reaction

bagoh20 said...

Why Does It Hurt When I Pee? - Zappa

Sofa King said...

I Want a New Drug by Huey Lewis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6uEMOeDZsA

danielle said...

You give me butterflies inside.

Remade by Michael Jackson, but far better by Floetry.

As my whimsy leads me.. said...

Olivia Newton John Heart Attack

(Thanks, JAL, for the tutorial.)

Toy

bagoh20 said...

That video is truly horrendous as is the song. And hair never looked so wrong.

New York said...

"Love like anthrax" by the Gang of 4.

" I feel like a beetle on his back ..."

lemondog said...

BG's

And how can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?
What makes the world go round?
How can you mend this broken man?
How can a loser ever win?
Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again.

--------------------------------------------
He drove his car to the racing ground he was the youngest driver there
The crowd roared as they started to race
Around the truck they drove at a deadly pace
No one knows what happened that day how his car overturned in flames
But as they pulled him from the twisted wreck
With his dying breath they heard him say
Tell Laura I love her tell Laura I need her
Tell Laura not to cry my love for her will never die
-------------
Un-break my heart
Say you'll love me again
Undo this hurt you caused
When you walked out the door
And walked out of my life
Un-cry these tears
I cried so many nights
Un-break my heart
My heart

Don't leave me in all this pain
Don't leave me out in the rain
-----------------------------
Fade To Black - Metallica

I have lost the will to live
Simply nothing more to give
There is nothing more for me
Need the end to set me free

New York said...

"Indigestion" by The Prams: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBTaLdSeGxQ

"When you're near me I have difficulty" by XTC

LutherM said...

"You're just in love" - Ethel Merman
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aI6LI4pNZQ

also see SOKO - "I'll Kill Her"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnEDSBriVXk

As my whimsy leads me.. said...

Patsy Cline Crazy

Toy

Kirk Parker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saint Croix said...

"Don't Stand Too Close To Me." Or you're gonna catch it.

"Double Shot of My Baby's Love." I think he was sleeping in the yard. Definitely semi-paralyzed.

"Ain't Too Proud Too Beg." OCD meltdown.

"Love Potion #9" If drug overdose is an illness. He was kissing cops.

Ann Althouse said...

Hey, Meade, that was a cool link to the right place in the video.

And I notice that immediately afterwards, Ringo does a modified Epley maneuver.

A.G. said...

Lucinda Williams, Ventura:

"Lean over the toilet bowl, and throw up my
confession/Clense my soul, of this hidden obsession."

Ann Althouse said...

Some people are mixing lyrics that equate love to an intoxicating substance. (FIrst on that list would be "I Get a Kick Out of You.")

Mark said...

You Really Got Me - Kinks
Tainted Love - Soft Cell
The Road to Ensenada - Lyle Lovett
Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash

nucint said...

"Infected" by The The

Ken said...

The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, from The Threepenny Opera.

Paul Zrimsek said...

No matter how love makes you feel, the prescription is more cowbell.

The Crack Emcee said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

Since my divorce, the mainstream radio sounds like a carnival of evil. I really have to catch myself, sometimes, before I scream, "Turn it off! I can't take anymore!" because I know most don't understand the cult messaging I'm hearing - like from the prolific Nuwaubian cult leader, Dwight York:

""You were listening to my hits back in the 60’s and did not know it, nor did you know that songs which were considered ‘message music’ in the 70’s were written by me."

They certainly were - and everyone took what this lunatic said as gospel - just as they accept the sonnets of NewAge cult lunatics today.

The whole set-up is sick.

sunsong said...

hot blood - lucinda williams


love hurts roy orbison

Paul Zrimsek said...

Love is infectious, and I was a victim
The worst case you'd ever see
But now I know no doctor or nurse
Could cure what you gave to me

'Cause you really, you left me sore
You really left me sore now baby
You messed me up for sure and I don't mean maybe
'Cause you really left me sore.
-- Todd Rundgren

tooclass said...

best use of this song ever is on www.meatspin.com

Kirk Parker said...

"... and as if it's were wonderfully delightful. It's not."

Well, C. S. Lewis in the essay "Transposition" (included in this volume of essays)--and Samuel Pepys whose diary Lewis quotes from--would disagree with you on the general concept.

[Oops, I left out the specific text I was referencing the first time around...]

Stephen said...

High Blood Pressure

Rocking Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu

Pain In My Heart

You're Driving Me Crazy

You Make Me Dizzy Miss Lizzy

Breathless

On the "disease model" of addiction, consider

All Strung Out

You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me

You Go To My Head

edutcher said...

Jackson "We got married in a fever"- June & Johnny Cash/Kingston Trio

I'm a Woman (W-O-M-A-N) (last verse) - Peggy Lee

Long Tall Sally - Little Richard

danielle said...

love is like an an itchin in my heart

MamaM said...

If addiction counts...

I-I-I, I'm hooked on a feelin'
High on believin' that you're in love with me

I got it bad for you, girl but I don't need a cure
I'll just stay addicted and hope I can endure

From BJ to the Ooga-chaka

Sheepman said...

To the point,¨"Love sick" Bob Dylan

Robert G. said...

Devo - "Jerkin' Back 'n' Forth"

Too bad "Mongoloid" isn't a love song.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Then there is alway mental illness

Crazy On You

Out Of My Mind

Jim said...

"I'm so miserable without you it's almost like your here", Johnny Paycheck.

Robert G. said...

...and "Pac-Man Fever" by Buckner and Garcia.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Not exactly illness but certainly a pain.

How can I miss you when you won't go away?

Lynne said...

Love, they say,
Makes you pine away,
But you pine away with an idiotic grin.
I pine, I blush, I squeak, I squawk,
Today I woke too weak to walk.
What's love, I hear, I feel, I fear I'm in.
Ahh...

See what I mean?
Da da da da da da dum...
I hum a lot too.
I'm dazed I'm pale, I'm sick, I'm sore,
I've never felt so well before!
What's love, I hear, I feel, I fear,
I know I am-- I'm sure--I mean-- I hope--I trust--
I pray I must
Be in!


From A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
Leave out Broadway and you'll miss a lot of good ones, like this:

You can feed her all day with the vitamin A and the bromofizz
But the medicine never gets anywhere near where the trouble is.
If she's getting a kind of name for herself, and the name ain't his
A person can develop a cough.

And furthur more, just from stalling, and stalling,
And stalling the wedding trip
A person can develop la grippe.


That's Adelaide's Lament from Guys and Dolls.

k*thy said...

"Some people are mixing lyrics that equate love to an intoxicating substance."

"Candy" Iggy Pop

Lynne said...

Oh, and here's one more:

Couldn't eat, was dispeptic
Life was so hard to bear
Now my heart's antiseptic
Since you moved out of there


"Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered"- from Pal Joey

Ann Althouse said...

"The Little Rascals Good Lovin' is another classic from 1966, perhaps the best year in rock 'n' roll."

That would be the *Young* Rascals.

And I already said, back in 2005, that 1966 was the best year.

LutherM said...

"Some people are mixing lyrics that equate love to an intoxicating substance."

SEE:
KINGSTON TRIO - "Scotch and Soda"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Nc2GWytR0E

ALSO

Cole Porter - "I Get A Kick Out Of You"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtwO2tKZmwQ

El Pollo Real said...

Althouse That would be the *Young* Rascals.

Ooops! my bad

And I already said, back in 2005, that 1966 was the best year.

I missed that post. I realized it compiling a song list a few years back for my wife's 40th.

Ann Althouse said...

@Pollo There's some listing of songs in the comments at that 2005 post.

Nice to see Meade back there!

Kelly said...

Oh Ann, you poor thing! I had vertigo a year or so ago and it was awful. It was like that feeling we got as kids after we spun around and around in the yard. It was great fun for a few seconds, but not so much after that. It went on for 3 days.

Dave Cornutt said...

The Producers, "Operation"

Gerard said...

Diana Ross:

Upside down
Boy, you turn me
Inside out
And round and round
Upside down
Boy, you turn me
Inside out
And round and round

Gerard said...

Van Morrison T B Sheets

The cool room, Lord, is a fool's room,
The cool room, Lord, is a fool's room,
And I can almost smell your T.B. sheets
And I can almost smell your T.B. sheets, on your sick bed.

I gotta go, l gotta,
And you said, please stay.
I want, I want a drink of water,
I want a drink of water,
I went to the kitchen to get me a drink of water,

Gerard said...

Hendrix, Manic Depression

Woman so weary, the sweet cause in vain
You make love, you break love
Its all the same
When its, when its over, mama
Music, sweet music
I wish I could caress, caress, caress
Manic depression is a frustrating mess

EDH said...

Some people are mixing lyrics that equate love to an intoxicating substance.

Here's a song everyone love to hate that equates feelings of love with symptoms of illness and euphoria.

Love is Like Oxygen, by Sweet.

Love is Like Oxygen
You get too much, you get too high,
Not enough and you're gonna die.
Love gets you high.

Love is Like Oxygen: (Love is Like Oxygen)
You get too much, you get too high, (Love is like oxygen; Too high)
Not enough and you're gonna die. (Love is like oxygen; Gonna die)
Love gets you high.

Time on my side.
I got it all.
I heard that pride
Always comes before a fall.

There's a rumor goin' around the town.
That you don't want me around.
I can't shake off my city blues.
Everywhere I turn, I lose...

Time is no healer.
If you're not there.
Holy fever.
Set words in the air.

Some things are better left unsaid.
I'm gonna spend my days in bed.
I walk the streets at night,
To be hidden by the city li-ight. City li-ight.

Palladian said...

I attempt from Love's Sickness to fly in vaine,
Since I am myself my own fever and pain.
No more now, fond heart, with pride no more swell;
Thou canst not raise forces enough to rebel.
I attempt from love's sickness to fly in vaine,
Since I am myself my own fever and pain.
For love has more power and less mercy than fate,
To make us seek ruin and of those that hate.
I attempt from love's sickness to fly in vaine,
Since I am myself my own fever and pain.

From "The Indian Queene" by Henry Purcell. Libretto by Robert Howard & John Dryden

Kirby Olson said...

"Love Hurts" richard hell and the voidoids.

I think the worst part about love is that there are two kinds: one is Dionysian feeling, and the other kind of love is the promise to be together forever.

What's worst is when one person is just flopping around in the Dionysian mode, while the other one is in the promising mode.

You have to be on the same page.

Tide is High has a line that goes something like, "It's not the way you tease me that hurts me bad," that's acceptable, "It's the way you do the things you do, to me."

Also, rock songs are very illogical for some reason.

The Tide is High, but I'm moving on.

What does that even mean?

Ted said...

Bad Medicine by Bon Jovi.

rhhardin said...

Ravishing music heard.

Freeman Hunt said...

I had never seen the video for that song. Heh.

The hair. The church lady finger wagging dance. The flag line.

It's not heh. It's a feast of heh.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Like the Flu, Loving You" Bing Crosby
"Upchuck Lovin" Sam Cooke
"Barfing with My Boots On" Hank Williams

They're B-sides. Hard to find.

jr565 said...

Every time I hear this song, I wish there was a skit somewhere or a commercial where Elmer Fudd is singing the classics and sings this. Because this song is tailor made for his speech impediment.

Example: "You spin me wight wound baby wight wound wike a wecord baby wound wound wound wound."
That's an awful lot of words that start with an R for Elmer to mangle.

c3 said...

In a more modern vein:

Here's the illness

and here's the cure

(Yes, I know you may not feel very good after watching the video)

jr565 said...

Carole King I feht the earth move

I feel the earth move under my feet
I feel the sky tumbling down
I feel my heart start to trembling
Whenever you're around

Oh, baby, when I see your face
Mellow as the month of May
Oh, darling, I can't stand it
When you look at me that way

I feel the earth move under my feet
I feel the sky tumbling down
I feel my heart start to trembling
Whenever you're around

Oh, darling, when you're near me
And you tenderly call my name
I know that my emotions
Are something that I just can't tame
I've just got to have you, baby

I feel the earth move under my feet
I feel the sky tumbling down, tumbling down
I feel the earth move under my feet
I feel the sky tumbling down, tumbling down

I just lose control
Down to my very soul
I get hot and cold all over

I feel the earth move under my feet
I feel the sky tumbling down
Tumbling down
Tumbling down
Tumbling down
Tumbling down


Sound like love is like an earthquake or the end of the world. Not to pleasant sounding.

c3 said...

And for your '80's vibe you might like the vertigo of a jet plane combined with the dyspnea of infatuation

Never leave your wing man!

Grant said...

"Cat Scratch Fever" by Ted Nugent

"Sheer Heart Attack" by Queen

Meade said...

Kirby Olson said...
I think the worst part about love is that there are two kinds: one is Dionysian feeling, and the other kind of love is the promise to be together forever... What's worst is when one person is just flopping around in the Dionysian mode, while the other one is in the promising mode.

Yeah. I think what A. needs right now is the other mode -- the Apollonian mode.

from wikipedia: "Apollo is often associated with the Golden Meade. This is the Greek ideal of moderation and a virtue that opposes gluttony."

Uh, I might have a typo in there somewhere, but you get the idea.

c3 said...

And you can't get more direct regarding love and sickness
Disease

You left a stain
On every one of my good days

c3 said...

And in this case Rob Thomas wasn't quite as sick

Kirby Olson said...

Meade puts this in a better perspective. You need both Apollo (the structure of a promise) plus Dionysos (the thrill) and if you don't have both love is a drag.

I think that's what everyone is singing about.

"Thrill is gone." -- BB King

virgil xenophon said...

As a member of the Class of '66 I'll second that statement, Althouse.

Palladian said...

Let this be the epitaph for my heart,
Cupid put too much poison in the dart,
This is the epitaph for my heart
because it's gone, gone, gone.

And life goes on and on anon
and death goes on, world without end
and you're not my friend.

Who will mourn the passing of my heart?
Will its little droppings climb the pop chart?
Who'll take its ashes and, singing, fling
them from the top of the Brill Building?

And life goes on, and dawn, and dawn
and death goes on, world without end
and you're not my friend.


The Magnetic Fields, from 69 Love Songs

Palladian said...

Love as mental illness seems a common theme...

I don't want to get over you.
I guess I could take a sleeping pill and sleep at will
and not have to go through what I go through.
I guess I should take Prozac, right,
Somebody not too bright but sweet and kind
who would try to get you off my mind.
I could leave this agony behind,
which is just what I'd do if I wanted to,
but I don't want to get over you.

'Cause I don't want to get over love.
I could listen to my therapist, pretend you don't exist,
and not have to dream of what I dream of.
I could listen to all my friends and go out again and pretend it's enough.
Or I could make a career of being blue—
I could dress in black and read Camus,
smoke clove cigarettes and drink vermouth— like I was seventeen,
that would be a scream...
But I don't want to get over you.

amba said...

Some people are mixing lyrics that equate love to an intoxicating substance. (FIrst on that list would be "I Get a Kick Out of You.")

And second, "You Go To My Head."

Great vws today --
revulned
Recovered from last heartbreak and subsequent cynicism; ready to be hurt again

El Pollo Real said...

@Althouse Nice list from 1966.

I would add as personal faves:

God Only Knows--The Beach Boys
Rain--The Beatles
Love's Mad A Fool-- Bobby Fuller Four
What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted?-- Bobby Ruffin
You Need Lovin’ --The Small Faces
You Can’t Hurry Love--The Supremes
You Keep Me Hangin’ On--The Supremes
Ain’t To Proud To Beg--The Tempataions
Gloria--Van Morrison (Them)
Stroll On--The Yardbirds

showbiz111 said...

A person could develop a cold.

I need a new drug (Huey Lewis)

Love hurts (John Cougar)

Love Potion No. 9

Paint It Black, Rolling Stones

jr565 said...

Not exactly a feeling of illness, but this one describes love as a violent assault akin to being mauled by a shark.


Shark Attack by Split Enz


Loves got teeth and she bites so hard
Leaving you for dead like a deadly shark
And she doesn't leave a lot to be saved
I was swimming in the harbour of your smile
Splashing in the ocean like a child
I didn't know what dangers lurked there
Just beyond the waves

Shark attack!
Well she chewed me up and she spat me out
I didn't want to meet a maneater
Shark attack!

Please don't mess around with me
I'm a shark fatality, in the sea
I'm the one with the bleeding heart

I thought you were a real lifesaver
And life for once would do me a favour
But babys just a butcher, and her teeth are razor sharp

Shark attack!

Yeah she chewed me up and she spat me out
I didn't want to meet a maneater

Shark attack!

And I'm lost at sea and I'm an amputee
And there was slaughter in the water when I fought her

Shark attack!



Hey!.. Hey!.. Hey!.. Hey!

Sonic Lizzz said...

I guess you could say that "Rip Out The Wings Of A Butterfly" by HIM is this kind of song. It's a rather good one as well, from an album that's helped me a lot through tough times