February is the month of St Valentine’s Day: “luv” , lurv” , “love” is in the air! And “love is all you need”: at least, that is what The Beatles sang forty years ago, and they should know. (I think Sir Paul does, too.)
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Love makes the world go around. Love is chocolatey, or sugary fruits. Love is red roses. Love is a weekend in Paris on Eurostar. (Unless you happen to live in, say, New York, in which case you have a problem. They haven’t extended the tunnel under the Atlantic. Yet.) Love is soft lights and sweet music from a solo violin in a restaurant over a good meal. (I could live with that: if the violinist is good.)
St Val’s Day is another day in the year when commerce tries to separate the soft-hearted, and soft-headed from their cash.
Do you love me?
Would you die for me?
No. Mine is an undying love.
You remind me of the sea.
You mean I’m restless, powerful, unpredictable.
No. You make me sick.
In tennis, love means “nothing”. It comes from the French word for egg – “l’oeff”, because, in profile, a hen’s egg figure resembles a zero. In modern parlance, love too means nothing if its association and interpretation is anything to go by in the context of popular song. Today’s Pop song lyrics see no further than one-night stands. What happened to the likes of –
“ … In time Gibraltor may crumble,
the Rockies may tumble,
they’re only made of clay.
But my love is here to stay.”
February 14th was the day when the birds began to pair off. It is a date built into avian diaries. Chaucer (a poet), in the Middle Ages (an old poet) wrote,
“For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s Day
When every foul cameth ther to choose his mate.”
So, because of what the birds were doing this was considered a good time for humans to exchange tokens of love. Had Chaucer been born in the southern hemisphere, then by February the mates would have been selected long before February. But that is just being otherwise, so let the poets have their licence. I wonder what Bill Oddy thinks? (Bill is a bird-man, and like Chaucer, English.)
I will tell you what I think; I think St Valentine’s Day should be everyday. A cup of tea; a packet of liquorice allsorts; washing the dishes; hanging out the wet washing. Love is growing old together. Love is respect given. Love isn’t just lyrical; it lasts. Love is expressed in patience, in seeing other points of view. Love involves brain as well as heart. Love is fidelity married to fondness.
This brand of love will help make the world go around, without making you dizzy and unbalanced. Long live love, and love lives long.