Last year I did an alternative Valentine’s Day post about actual hearts in books. This year, I would have done the same for songs, but I could only think of those which use the emotional concept of hearts. It would be interesting if we felt our emotions in other organs of the body. Then we might have songs such as Stomach of Glass, Kidney-Shaped Box and Tell It To My Bladder.
Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler (1983). ‘Once upon a time I was falling in love / Now I’m only falling apart / There’s nothing I can do / A total eclipse of the heart.’ A powerful dark love song with a dreadful video.
I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper by Sarah Brightman and Hot Gossip (1978). ‘Tell me Captain Strange, do you feel my devotion / Or are you like a droid, devoid of emotion?’ I make no apology for loving this space disco track.
Groove is in the Heart by Deee-Lite (1990). ‘Your groove, I do deeply dig / No walls, only the bridge, my supper dish.’ A funky smash hit about really ‘digging’ someone’s ‘groove’, man. The meaning of the title also suggests an in-built appreciation for music.
It’s Called a Heart by Depeche Mode (1985). ‘There’s something beating here inside my body / And it’s called a heart.’ It may be one of Depeche Mode’s worst singles, but at least it’s educational. I did wonder how the blood was circulating my body.
Heart-Shaped Box by Nirvana (1993). ‘She eyes me like a Pisces when I am weak / I’ve been locked inside your heart-shaped box for weeks.’ A striking track with an incredible video, the meaning of the ‘heart-shaped box’ is open to interpretation.
A Good Heart by Feargal Sharkey (1985). ‘A good heart these days is hard to find / True love, the lasting kind.’ A soaring anthem about wanting to fall in love but being wary of getting hurt.
You Have Placed a Chill in My Heart by Eurythmics (1988). ‘Love is hot and love is cold / I’ve been bought and I’ve been sold.’ Sung with Annie Lennox’s characteristic emphasis, this song is about having to leave an unequal and hurtful relationship.
Shape of My Heart by Sting (1993). ‘I know that the spades are the swords of a soldier / I know that the clubs are weapons of war / I know that diamonds mean money for this art / But that’s not the shape of my heart.’ The question is, are hearts heart-shaped?
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart by Elton John and Kiki Dee (1976). ‘Don’t go breaking my heart / I couldn’t if I tried / Honey, if I get restless / Baby, you’re not that kind.’ A sweet disco duet which topped the UK chart. The video is adorable.
Heart by Pet Shop Boys (1988). ‘My heart starts missing a beat / Every time / Oh oh oh, every time.’ A ridiculously catchy upbeat love song which reached No.1 in the UK. The video notably stars Ian McKellen as a vampire.
Tell It To My Heart by Taylor Dayne (1987). ‘Tell it to my heart / Tell me I’m the only one / Is this really love or just a game?’ This irresistible 80s pop hit is about adoring someone but wanting to know if they feel the same way.
Heart of Glass by Blondie (1979). ‘Once I had a love and it was divine / Soon found out I was losing my mind.’ This classic hit from Debbie Harry and Chris Stein has a disco vibe. The ‘heart of glass’ is transparent and easily broken.
My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion (1997). ‘Every night in my dreams / I see you / I feel you / That is how I know you go on.’ Composed for the film Titanic, this ballad is not exactly a favourite with me, but I’d feel guilty to say anything bad about it.
E-mail My Heart by Britney Spears (1999). ‘E-mail my heart and say our love will never die, and I / I know you’re out there and I know that you still care.’ If you had Britney’s debut album (don’t lie), you know this is the worst track on it. It doesn’t even make sense. It’s a song about sending a grovelling apologetic love letter via this new-fangled technology. Interestingly, I wouldn’t be surprised that if in the future when we are cyborgs, our hearts really will be able to send and receive emails.