Sad Songs: I can't make you love me

Sad Song| Can’t make you love me if you don’t


Bonnie Raitt's sad song, "I Can't Make You Love Me" entered many lists of the greatest songs of all time. In 2000, Mojo magazine placed it at number 8 on its "100 Greatest Songs of All Time" list. The song is also ranked #339 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The website “Ultimate Classic Rock” placed the song at number 24 on their “25 Saddest Songs Ever”, praising Bonnie Raitt vocals, writing that “she sings in one of her most impassioned vocals ever. There’s real ache in every word that drips from her pained lips. Wikipedia.org

Michael, and Boyz to Men weren’t shy when they needed to display stellar smooth romantic vocal genius to make Bonnie Raitt proud.  “I Can’t Make You Love Me” is Bonnie Raitt was probably pleased.  Both Michael and Boyz to Men rose to the occasion at singing this sad song , each artist sounded just as sad as Bonnie did, Additionally, they exuded impressive passion in vocal delivery.

After all, if an artist has the audacity to even think about recording this ‘Bonnie Raitt’ ballad, they must have spell bounding authority. Knowing how to “bring it” is imperative.

Like most George Michael song sensations, he didn’t let fans down on this one. He delivered royally.

Great ballad lyricists naturally draw audiences in by intercepting unspoken signals, followed with an intimate display of knowledge in situations involving the heart. While all ballads don’t constitute a sad song, every timeless ballad tells a love story in a way that captivates the listener. Collectively, music is like medicine. Quality is measurable, lasting power varies, and brevity is not uncommon.

Furthermore, medicine comes in many different flavors, however, what separates a soulful ballad from a simple song is the potency, the power to soothe, and heal hearts.

A simple song amazes”teeny-boppers,” immature lovers, and one-night standers. Essentially a ballad is more than a step above a simple song. Ballad lovers come bearing prescriptions that legitimate ballad artists can fill.  Realistically,  only a chosen few of vocal/ instrumental artists can effectively fill these orders. Mere talented artists fall short, because to deliver a ballad artists need talent and special vocal chord perfection that entails a sense of empathy.

When either Bonnie, George Michael, Boyz to Men, Nancy Wilson, and Adele  lift up a voice to serenade this show stopping oldie, “I Can’t Make You Love Me”, neither  disappoints. English singer George Michael covered “I Can’t Make You Love Me” and released as a B-side of his single, “Older“, which was released on 20 January 1997 as the fourth single from the album of the same name.

While both versions are equally phenomenal, I’m partial to Nancy Wilson and George Michael’s rendition of “I Can’t Make You Love me.”

Mr, George croons, and Nancy softly rolls out melancholic magic, in  an effort to describe how it feels coming to grips with a rude awakening of being in love all by yourself!

Many lovers have flung hearts in the wrong direction. Once released you can’t pull it back. What’s done is done, and where love goes the heart follows.

I Can’t Make You Love Me is a mouth full. To go there requires sharp emotional and mental preparation. Who wants to admit to every trying to make somebody love them who doesn’t? Nobody!

Turn down the lights
Turn down the bed
Turn down these voices inside my head
Listening to voices inside the head troubles the spirit, especially if the voice is telling you, “you’re in love all by yourself.” In this sad song, the least loved longs to reconnect, but can no longer find common ground.  Not only that, there’s a sense of distrust. Even though there is a longing to lay together, a desire for unadulterated honesty over shadows the purpose of the encounter.
“Lay down with me, tell me no lies”
Just hold me close, don’t patronize
Don’t patronize me………
There is talk of a possibility of being patronized in the midst of darkness, and emotional bareness. “One warns the other not to patronize, nor tell lies.” Obviously the couple is in trouble, but only one is at war against a double-edged sword. Not only does he fear losing the love of his life, losing him or herself along the way seems to already be in play.
The one whose worried about being patronized feels betrayed, because to be patronized is to be treated condescendingly.  It’s like being told that it’s sprinkling a little outside when it’s really a flood. The same hands that held on tight have become contemptuous, and working overtime to feel from afar.
Though clearly a sad song, it’s so sensuous. By all accounts, the ballad element of the song convincingly evidences the epitome of a good love gone bad. Listening to what’s not said tells us that there was once a time when the love between the couple was sufficient.
Anybody whose ever been in love knows that “love is gonna love whomever it loves.” No matter how smart you are, good-looking, or great you think you are during intimate moments, you still can’t make somebody love you if they don’t.
My favorite lyric is ” You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t!’
In my opinion, one of the most hurtful moments to overcome in the midst of a troubled relationship is finding out that mutual love is missing in your life.
 More of “I Can’t Make You Love me’
Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power
But you won’t, no you won’t
‘Cause I can’t make you love me, if you don’t
I’ll close my eyes, then I won’t see
The love you don’t feel when you’re holding me
Morning will come and I’ll do what’s right
Just give me till then to give up this fight
And I will give up this fight
‘Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t
You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t
Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power
But you won’t, no you won’t
‘Cause I can’t make you love me, if you don’t
Songwriters: Allen Shamblin / Michael Reid
I Can’t Make You Love Me lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

 

What's on your heart?