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Ramblin’ Joe Baxter LOVES Love

Bison Blinds

By Joe Baxter. Find Joe at Arcadia’s Round Barn

Bask a little bit. It’s good for ya. You can choose; the sun or the moon. Any basking is good basking, especially in winter.

Sometimes, good ol’ social media isn’t so good. We gripe and we argue and we blame and accuse. The noise dies down a little bit, then we take or give offense and it starts the ball rolling again. Lots of folks can relate to the longing for the kinder, gentler internet days of “more jokes and puppies and kitties” and less “hate and animosity,” but internet life is more, uh, “sophisticated” these days, quicker; more macro, and a million times more confused. Sometimes, it’s hard to keep an even keel. Despite my political ramblings, I have always tried to present a balanced social media outlook. I assume that if we have to live our lives virtually as well as in the “real” world, we should strive to cover all the bases. Lighten things up a bit, occasionally.

With all that in mind, I decided to have some fun and do a fun sociological experiment. For fun. We have about a month till St. Valentine’s Day. I could have saved all this till then, but it’s winter, and we need some….fun. I’m just prepping ya for Cupid’s little arrows. Get ready. No excuses. Being an (old) songwriter, and an (old) Irish hillbilly, I have long studied the art of the love song. I’ve always had a pretty good handle on love….so to speak. I’ve written a few love songs my own self. I LOVE love. I love to write love songs, and I love to sing about love. Musicians sometimes like to joke that “all songs are love songs”, but that’s just something cool to say in the mic. They aren’t. (See: “Ballad Of The Green Berets” “Sink The Bismarck” or “Camp Granada”.)

There’s the question of Sad or Happy love song? Are Sad love songs really love songs? In my opinion, yes they certainly are, but I also think that Sad love songs are an entirely separate genre of love songs. I asked, on FB newsfeed for people to tell us their favorite love song. The response was extensive. Everybody likes love songs. I admit that I hadn’t really given much thought to the Sad or Happy, till my sister Ruth asked about that parameter. I was in a happy mood at the time, so I decided I would prefer to know what songs were folks’ favorite Pro-love songs, as opposed to Anti-love songs. I was also interested in which folks would name which song. Yep, that’s me, snooping on ya, and you did good.

I ended up with a BIG list of love songs. People got a little carried away, but that’s OK, it’s a fun subject. The usual wags and pranksters had fun. Sarcastic. Bitter. Jaded. My peeps. That’s Amore …

It’s TOUGH to pick just one love song .

Ramblin’ Joe baxter

What was unexpectedly fascinating was the extreme range of genres, from good old “You Are My Sunshine” to Frank Zappa’s “Dirty Love.” Even cooler is that I ended up with a pretty good playlist of love songs that I’m not all that familiar with, but if my friends are telling me that “this is my FAVORITE love song” then that’s a pretty strong recommendation, huh? Honestly, my class standing in The College Of Song Knowledge drops off drastically after about 1998. Apparently, there are twenty-plus years of love songs I need to catch up with.

It’s TOUGH to pick just one love song, Happy or Sad, it doesn’t matter. There are just too many of them. I didn’t do all that good on my own picks. I wasn’t able to stay on the Happy side. (“Long, Long Time” Linda Ronstadt) and I could not for the life of me pick just one favorite, right off the bat.

Before I go any further, let me offer the titles of five of my own songs that I consider to be Happy love songs. That’s what I intended them to be when I wrote and recorded them.

  • I’ve Got a Hug For You
  • LIttle Love Song One
  • Little Love Song, Too
  • Little Love Song Three
  • Everything’s Gonna Be OK

There are more. We won’t even get into my Sad love songs. I’ve written quite a few of those. In fact, I’m willing to bet that the ratio of all the “Unhappy” love songs to “Happy” love songs ever written leans heavily toward the UNhappy. Let’s call it an 8:2. Is a broken heart more songworthy than a whole one? Probably so. That should tell us something about love, huh?

See below for a link to some of Joe’s love songs.

Here’s the list. I’m not naming artists on this list, mainly because I’m lazy and you can Google the song title if you’re interested. In any case, if you DO look them up, see who wrote them, as well as who recorded them.

We interrupt this column with a note from the Editor. SURPRISE. We made a Spotify list of the songs! See below.

Download the Spotify list below.

A Song For You
Islands In The Stream
Magnolia Wind
Every Girl
Wooden Ships (JA Version)
Wonder Where The Lions Are
Dirty Love
40 Days

Falling In Love With You
Harvest Moon
God Only Knows
I Don’t Believe In Love
In Your Eyes
Hesitating Beauty
I Will Always Love You
Tomorrow Is A Long Time
If Not For You
How Deep Is The Ocean? (How High Is The Sky?)
Come To Me
I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing
In My Life
The Story
Darlin’ Be Home Soon

Unchained Melody
To Make You Feel My Love
Raise The Spirit
You Asked Me
Play Me
Three Little Birds
The Last Nail
If I Needed You
Gypsy Eyes
I’d Rather Go Blind
Maybe I’m Amazed
In Spite Of Ourselves
Far From Me
Dance Me To The End Of Love
You & Me
Friends and Lovers

Let’s Stay Together
If I Can’t Live Without You How Come I’m Not Dead?
Wrecking Ball
You Are So Beautiful
Fly Me To The Moon
Never My Love

At Last
Right Down The Line
Love Letters Straight From Your Heart
Anyhow, I Love You
Romeo’s Tune
That’s How I Got To Memphis
You Are My Sunshine
Don’t Go Changin’
Big Hair
You Belong To Me
Long, Long Time
The Right Thing To Do
Love Song
Hope Can I Tell You That I Love You?
Three Hundred Pounds Of Joy
Let Go Of Your Plans
If We Were Vampires
Love Me Tender
Free Fallin’
The Way We Were

My Funny Valentine
Sometime Other Than Now
Scotch And Soda
Maybe It’s Love
I Don’t Know Much
Cathy’s Song
Keeper Of The Stars

Isn’t this a great list? Sure had fun putting it together. We’re talking about a LOT Of Love, baby! I guess now we’ll have to figure out what our favorite UNhappy love songs are … It’s almost not fair asking about a favorite song. Our favorite songs change. It’s always been tough to nail down any specific order. Probably best to go with Top Five.

My favorite love song (Happy or Sad or anywhere in between) is “Hallelujah.” It covers all the bases, and Leonard Cohen includes a nod to joy, heartbreak, and to God who ultimately bears much of the blame for all matters having to do with love. (It’s SAINT Valentine, remember?)

Hey – Y’all have a musical day. JB

RESIST: Bad music, or even worse, silence, when you are in your car. That’s your stage; your arena. It’s the perfect time to jam out to the tunes you like best. Rear your head back and sing at the stoplight. That’s what I do. JB

EDITOR’S NOTE. Joe Baxter is one of my favorite people. He loves music, the Round Barn, his wife Jean, a club sandwich from Farmstead Cafe, Route 66 and America (not in that order). A songwriter and musician, he has a way with words and can turn a phrase such that you want to listen, or in this case, read for a while. If you are one of his “face friends” on social media, you know he can get you thinking with his posts and musings. He’s letting us post them here on The Luther Register! We’re trying something new. Find Joe at the Arcadia Round Barn where he is the head conversation aficionado catching stories from Route 66 travelers from all over the world, and getting the band together eight days a week! Thanks Ramblin’ Joe! ENJOY! – dawn

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