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Love isn’t always of the romantic kind – and it’s not always kind, or loving, at all.

“Lay All Your Love on Me” is by ABBA, but here’s the version from Mamma Mia. ABBA lyrics here. Sophie and Sky frolic on a beach. They’re joined by a dancing group of his friends. The scene changes to Sophie’s hen’s night.

I’ve been wanting to write about this song for about eighteen months now, but never really had enough for a full post. Falling in love here is helpless, incomprehensible, scary, and a matter of one partner being dominated by a possessive person who will leave them without pride. It’s a bizarre and all too normalised brand of jealous monogamy.

“Don’t You Want Me” was originally by Human League, but I actually prefer the Glee version (!), so here that is. Human League lyrics here. The video is a fan-created one, a series of pictures of Rachel and Blaine, who are singing it.

“You don’t want me? It’s too late for that. I’m going to ruin your career and make us both sorry!” Yet she still loves him. If you’re wanting to destroy someone for love, you think this is justifiable, and you can still conceive of what you are feeling as love, you (and your society) need some new models for love.

A more positive song now. “Light” by Darren Hayes is a favourite of mine. Darren Hayes lyrics here. Another fan-created video, this one has pictures of various kinds of lights.

I think Darren wrote this song when, during a bad time, he learned that his best friend was pregnant. Love is transformative and blistering and the light to follow, and it will change your world absolutely.

“Black and Gold” by Sam Sparro is the most recent one of this collection. Sam Sparro lyrics here. Another fan-created video, featuring gold lyrics on a black background, and sometimes stars flashing different colours.

I remember when this came out in 2008 and was a huge hit, and we were all wondering what it was about. It turned out that Sam was a friend’s friend’s cousin (or something) and he said it was about his Christian belief. That totally changed how I understood the song, although in retrospect it seems quite obvious when one reads the lyrics! It’s all striving for faith, and the immense pain engendered by simultaneously doubting and loving. It’s beautiful.

Got any more love songs that work in unorthodox (or all too orthodox) ways?

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