Since I've been single for about six years now, the concept of being in love again somewhat eludes me. I don't remember what it's like to be in a relationship or how it feels to care so deeply for someone anymore. I wouldn't say I'm bitter about it, but what I'm more familiar with now are feelings of longing--longing for some semblance of the past, longing to be inspired in the present, and longing for a future that will sweep me off my feet. When I'm feeling a little lost and lonely, listening to songs that evoke certain emotions always helps. Whether they fan the flames of a blossoming infatuation or allow me to remember why I should move on, they're still a good way of calming frazzled nerves. Let me share with you my list of all-by-your-lonesome hits in no particular order:
1. "Just The Way You Are" by Billy Joel
And this I promise from the heart
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way you are."
It's hard to comprehend how Billy Joel wrote this anthem of love for a woman he eventually divorced. The lyrics convey such sincerity and acceptance that I can't help but get all warm and fuzzy inside when I hear it. We can only hope for someone who'll love us unconditionally, and this song is clearly a declaration of devotion from one person to another. At the same time, the story behind the song jolts you back to the reality that "forever" can be as short as nine years--which is the length of time Billy Joel was married to Elizabeth Weber Small, his first wife.
2. "Superstar" by The Carpenters
"Don't you remember you told me you loved me, baby
You said you'd be coming back this way again, baby
Baby, baby, baby, baby, oh baby
I love you, I really do."
This song just reeks of desperation, a feeling I'm sure most people who've fallen hard then got left behind are quite familiar with. It's completely unabashed and replete with yearning, which is what I like most about it. No more hiding behind the pretense of being over someone. Just let your true feelings show...no matter how pathetic you may sound. At the end of a relationship, the one thing I always refuse to let go of is my pride. "Superstar" describes how I feel inside to the letter. These are the lyrics you just want to scream out loud. Thank God, I haven't gone that far.
3. "Untouchable Face" by Ani DiFranco
"So f**k you, and your untouchable face
And, f**k you, for existing in the first place
And who am I, that I should be vying for your touch
And who am I, I bet you can't even tell me that much."
Nothing can get you over the pain of unrequited love better than some raw, angry songs. "Untouchable Face" is one of them. The first couple of stanzas discusses the feeling of unworthiness that befalls you when someone you like/love doesn't like/love you back, and the refrain gives you the strength to question said feeling. It is also peppered with curse words to drive a relevant point across--practically like saying "Who do you think you are?" or "Feeling mo ang haba ng hair mo..."
4. "Insensitive" by Jan Arden
I'm one of the chosen few, who went ahead and fell for you
I'm out of vogue, I'm out of touch, I fell too fast, I feel too much
I thought that you might have some advice to give
On how to be insensitive."
A sprinkling of self-pity can be therapeutic from time to time. Sometimes, you just need to admit that the reason someone made a fool out of you was because you let them. This song applies to people who've had an inkling of impending relationship doom, but stuck it out in the hopes that things will get better. We often commit the mistake of latching on to someone even if he's clearly just not that into us, and "Insensitive" even teaches you to watch for the signs. It also applies to S.O.B.'s who get a kick out of leading people on, even when they're not all that into them.
5. "Piano In The Dark" by Brenda Russell
"I know I'm caught up in the middle
I cry just a little, when I think of letting go
Oh no, gave up on the riddle
I cry just a little, when he plays piano in the dark."
When something's holding you back from making a decision and sticking to it where love is concerned, then the sweet strains of "Piano In The Dark" will cloud your judgment even more. It tackles the irresistible allure of a strong connection and how you stop caring about everything else when you're blinded by love. Combined with its soulful tune, the words become a tad too dramatic when you take them at face value, but it's still something you'd want to listen to over and over again because it's quite soothing.