You remember it’s Valentine’s Day, but the realization hits too late.
Stores are closed, restaurants are booked and you’re on a deadline.
Then, a brilliant idea arrives: “I know! I’ll write a love song!”
After all, many of the genre’s songs seem timeless.
Members of the local chapter of Nashville Songwriters Association International learned that while recently rehearsing tunes to perform for senior citizens in conjunction with Valentine’s Day.
They sang “Moon River,” “You Send Me” and many other love songs regarded as “classics.”
“The nostalgic feel of a Frank Sinatra song will grab anybody at any age,” said singer-songwriter Douglas Cox of Columbus.
Unfortunately, not everyone’s Sinatra.
In fact, mention love songs and you’ll often get a list of annoyances, rather than amorous musings.
That’s why, as you digest your candy hearts and chocolate-covered strawberries, we’d like to indulge you with the most saccharine love song cliches.
Here’s how to write the Worst Love Song Ever:
Consult your favorite nursery rhyme. Hmm. What’s the best line to follow, “You’re the girl I miss?” How about “I really love your kiss!”
No. When your audience can immediately sing along — without ever hearing the song before — you know you’re in trouble. It’s best to avoid rhyming words like “breakup” and “makeup,” not to mention “cry” and “goodbye.”
Local singer-songwriter Brent Lindley’s least favorite love song rhyme? “Love” and “above.”
Compare your significant other to a celestial being. You are my star. This relationship is heaven. You remind me of an angel.
Touching? Maybe — if those comparisons weren’t as common as pepperoni pizza. Focus your love song on experiences specific to your relationship, not just tired expressions, experts say.
“Try to avoid the cliches and the metaphors. Say it actually from the heart,” said singer-songwriter Darlene Dameron of Pine Mountain, who performs as part of local act Randy and Darlene.
Remind us you don’t have standards. I don’t care who you are, where you’re from, what you did — as long as you love me.
Creepy? Kind of. The line comes from the Backstreet Boys’ “As Long As You Love Me,” one of the love songs Lindley despises most. Avoid lyrics that border on the realm of desperation, which is definitely not a turn-on.
Make love your life line. Literally. Because nothing is more flattering than having a partner whose romantic relationship is his sole reason for living.
Dameron is leery of verses like “I love you more than life itself,” “I would die for you” and “My world would stop if I lost you.”
“That would — hopefully — be a cliche,” she said.
End on a low note. I lost you, I’ll never get over you and my entire life is ruined forever.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Let’s dance!
Sad relationship songs have a place, but for the most part, “the good love song is one that takes you back into the relationship,” Cox said.
That usually means ending the song with a positive emotional resolution, not just some line about crying in a dark room while dreaming about love sent from above.
Sonya Sorich, reporter, 706-571-8516.