Thursday, June 13, 2013

30 Day Song Challenge (The Sequel), Day 13: Your Favorite Make-Out Song

First things first, if you don't know the story of that Vancouver Kissing Couple to the left, one of the greatest stories and images of the last decade, read about them here. Love and Revolution are two of my favorite things.

Picking my favorite "make-out song" violates more than a few of the Don't-Get-Too-Personal rules I've tried to uphold on this blog over the many years I've maintained it, but whatever, I'll just keep the details to a minimum.  I also probably should have read the prompts for this version of the 30 Day Song Challenge in advance, because if I had I might've have saved my pick from Day 9 (Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On") for today.  Since I vowed not to repeat any selections for the whole 30 Days, that meant poor Marvin had to set aside for today's make-out sesh.  What a shame.  Good thing there are a million good ones to choose from on my iPod.

My pick for today, "Bring It On Home To Me," is a classic.  It's been recorded by practically everyone.  It's a story of love and longing, like most great make-out songs, but it's got both a sweetness and an edge to it that sets it apart from the others.  What is clear from the lyrics is that the possibility of the singer's love coming home to him is far from assured.  And so, to make it sure, he's promising a lot.  Jewelry and money and forgiveness and tenderness and even his own servitude, even after he's dead and buried.  He's outright begging.  Begging for one thing and one thing only: just bring that sweet lovin' on home.

Now, sometimes-- most of the time, really-- begging is completely un-sexy.  It can be feeble and pathetic, or it can be histrionic in the way that motivates people to investigate the ins and outs of restraining orders.  But the kind of begging in "Bring It On Home To Me" isn't that way.  It's sweet.  It's impassioned.  And, most importantly, it's believable.  My guess is that the version of this song that most people know and love best is the one by Sam Cooke.  But I'm picking the Percy Sledge version, for a number of reasons.  Here it is:



Percy's version is a little slower than Sam Cooke's version, it has that great organ, some really stellar female backup vocals and, just in general, it's about a thousand times sexier than any other recording of this song, imho.  What makes this a great "make-out" song is quite different than what makes Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" a great make-out song.  This one is still aiming at the same (ahem) goal, I suspect, but it knows it can't get there without a healthy dose of good-ole-fashioned romance thrown in.  I mean, he's not technically asking for a make-out session; he's just asking for her to bring her sweet loving home. 

What happens when she gets home may be a fait accompli, to be sure, but all that beseeching sure is nice.

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Nostalgic?  Check out my entry for Day 13 of the 2011 version of the 30 Day Song Challenge.

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