Anyway, I was out in Richmond visiting the in-laws for Thanksgiving and we were listening to Susan Boyle singing Hallelujah on her newest cover CD release, and discussing the lyrics. My mother-in-law couldn't hear them all clearly except for the part about being tied to a chair, so we read the liner notes and my husband starting explaining the Biblical references to King David and Samson, but Mother-in-law already knew the stories and dismissed further explanation as the "tied to chair" reference made her uncomfortable.
I wanted more. And I'll tell you why (has to do with the chair...).
Songs about love resonate somewhere deep in my being. Especially songs about crazy, passionate, heated, can't think about anything else, helplessly devoted, devoid of logic and reason and control, obsessive love. The kind of love you don't want to tell anyone else about because they will raise their eyebrows and shake their heads. They're just jealous.
King David being so overcome with desire for Bathsheba: "you saw her bathing on the roof, her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you" that he seduces her, impregnates her, baits her husband into coming back from war to trick him into thinking the child is his, then sends her husband back to the front lines to die after he refuses himself the pleasures his troops could not experience, is crazy love.
Samson sharing the secret source of his God-given gift of strength with Delilah so that she could betray him and weaken him for defeat from the Philistines: "she tied you to a kitchen chair, she broke your throne, and she cut your hair and from your lips she drew the Hallelujah" leaving him weak and vulnerable. He's captured, eyes gouged out, imprisoned and forced to grind grain until his hair grows back and pleads with the Lord for his strength to return, then breaks the pillars of the building in which he is held captive, bringing it down on his enemies and himself. That's helplessly devoted love.
There are two other songs I heard this morning where the singers, so infatuated, that after sharing their feelings are reduced to wailing in their joyful misery. Oh Bruce, I'm on fire too. And Bono, I'd give myself away to you.
"Tell me now baby is he good to you, can he do to you the things that I do, I can take you higher, I'm on fire". This woman keeps him up at night, makes him soak his sheets with sweat, nothing can put out this fire but her. I won't even share where this song takes me. Dark sticky happy places (sorry Dad).
"My hands are tied, my body bruised, she got me with nothing to win and nothing left to lose." He waits on a bed of nails for this woman. This woman who tortures him, doesn't give him enough of herself, he can't stand it.
Look at them (see videos below), they can't even control themselves. They sing, they moan, they wail, beg and plead for that love.
THIS is the kind of love I love. Drive me crazy, take me to the abyss, cry for me in your pleadingly beautiful tenor voice. Be utterly devoted. Let me tie you to a chair (or the other way around works for me too...), watch longingly as I bathe in the moonlight, give yourself up to me. And be a strong enough man to break the ropes I tie you down with, if only then to rise and hold me down with your strength.
Or at least, this is the intense desire these songs makes me feel is love. And don't even get me started on Robert Plant.
Enjoy the videos. :-)