Romantic Snippets from Popular Culture

We talk a great deal about purple prose and silly sex in Laurie's News & Views. I like very much the idea of celebrating instead prose that works for us. We will continue to point out instances of purple prose and silly sex, but let's also enjoy some heart-warming and pulse-quickening prose as well.

In an effort to do so, I've started this page. What can be found here are snippets from songs, books, movies, television, and other sources of popular culture that are romantic and wonderful.

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From god1@pacbell.net: One of the best quotes I've ever encountered about love is an endearing quote from Charles Shultz spoken from the mouth of Charlie Brown about the little red-headed girl:"There's nothing like unrequited love to ruin the taste of a peanut butter sandwich." It captures a sweetness and innocence that makes me feel warm and happy inside.

From reader Lucia M. Hill: This one's in a song from the band Journey, and is sung by Steve Perry, entitled, When You Love a Woman: "When you love a woman, you see your world inside her eyes, a joy that lasts forever, you know she's standing by your side."

From reader Marty: The most romantic thing I have ever heard is when my husband said to me: "I love you so much, that I wish I could pull you inside me, so you will be with me where ever I might be."

This is from the song Anything for You by Mr. Big:

I would do anything for you
Anything for you
If I only had you by my side
I would do anything for you
Anything for you
So wave goodbye
Anything for you

I really love the song That's What Love Is For by Amy Grant:

Sometimes I see you
And you don't know I am there
And I'm washed away by emotions I hold deep down inside
Getting stronger with time
It's living through the fire
And holding on we find

That's what love is for
To help us though it
That's what love is for
Nothing else can do it
Melt our defenses
Bring us back to our senses
Give us strength to try once more
Baby, that's what love is for

From Judith McNaught's A Kingdom of Dreams (this is one of my favorite endings of any romance ever read):

"What were you thinking about just now while you were looking out the window?"

To his surprise, the question flustered her. "I - wasn't thinking."

"Then what were you doing?" he asked, his curiousity aroused.

A rueful smile touched her inviting lips, and she shot him a sideways look before turning back to the window. "I was. . . talking to God," she admitted. " 'Tis a habit I have."

Startled and slightly amused, Royce said, "Really? What did God have to say?"

"I think," she softly replied, "He said, 'You're welcome.' "

"For what?" Royce teased.

Lifting her eyes to his, Jenny solemnly replied, 'For you.". . . .

. . . This morning, his life had seemed as bleak as death. Tonight, he held joy in his arms. Someone or something - fate or fortune or Jenny's God - had looked down upon him this morning and seen his anguish. And, for some reason, Jenny had been given back to him.

Closing his eyes, Royce brushed a kiss against her smooth forehead. Thank you, he thought.

And in his heart, he could have sworn he heard a voice answer, You're welcome.

From Eve Byron's Love Me Not (these paragraphs, which close the book, are almost worth the price of admission):

One by one, she [Kathy[ had dragged his secrets from him like old clothes packed in the attic. One by one she had shaken them out and held them up, forcing him to see what he'd hidden even from himself for so many years. He'd become accustomed to sharing with her. He needed it as much as he needed her touch.

He sat up abruptly and leaned toward her. "I love you, Kathy. I've said it countless times in the last two months, yet it's not enough. I want to tell you how much. I want to describe it - " He shook his head and raked his hand through his hair. "Goddammit! There are no words to describe - "

She, too, leaned forward and reached out to press her fingers against his lips, silencing him as she was wont to do when she had a point to make. "I know how much you love me."

He grasped her hand and held it between his. "How can you know when even I can't measure the fullness of it?" he asked.

"I know that you love me enough to die for me.' She met his gaze, letting him see the love in her eyes, hear it in the small catch in her voice. "More importantly, I know that you love me enough to live for me." (emphasis mine)

Damien squeezed his eyes shut as her words swept through him, as he remembered how dull the white light seemed compared to Kathy's vitality, as he realized that life was nothing without the miracle of love.

From reader Humaira: Most people consider alternative music angst-ridden generation X garbage, but as is the case with many misunderstood genres, this is not always true. Consider the following line from Pearl Jam's song, Black:

"I know someday you'll have a beautiful life,
I know you'll be the sun in somebody else's sky.
Oh, why can't it mine?

This may not translate well into the written word, but when sung, you can feel the singer's pain about being denied his one true love.

From reader Judith: The song Love Changes Everything from the musical Aspects of Love says just about everything about the power of love, IMHO.

"Love, love changes everything, hands and faces, earth and sky
Love, love changes everything, how you live and how you die
Love can make the summer fly, or a night seem like a lifetime
Yes love, love changes everything. Now I tremble at your name
Nothing in the world will ever be the same.

"Love, love changes everything, days are longer, words mean more
Love, love changes everything, pain is deeper than before
Love will turn your world around, and that world will last forever
Yes love, love changes everything, brings you glory, brings you shame
Nothing in the world will ever be the same.

"Off into the world we go, planning futures, shaping years
Love bursts in and suddenly, all our wisdom disappears
Loves makes fools of everyone, all the rules we made are broken
Yes love, love changes everyone, live or perish in its name
Love will never, never let you be the same."

The lyrics are by Don Black and Charles Hart, the music is by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and it is powerful when sung.

From reader LaJuana: How about this one from The Who's song, Bargain:

"I do anything just to win you
Surrender my good life for bad
To catch you, I'd stand naked, stoned and stabbed.
I'd call it a bargain,
The best I ever had."

From reader Kathy: I was just visiting your archive site and read your romantic snippet exchange with another reader about what works for each of us. You asked for suggestions and the very first thing that came to my mind was something I saw on PBS several years ago, a documentary about the Civil War by Ken Burns. I see parts of it every time it's on TV and I even have it on tape! The romantic snippet (a tame description) I'm submitting is a letter from Sullivan Ballou to his wife Sarah during the Civil War. To my mind the letter is the most loving, bittersweet, achingly romantic, poignant piece of writing I've ever read. It touches me in a most profound way every time I read it. It's rather long, so my apologies.

July 14, 1861 Camp Clark, Washington
My very dear Sarah:
The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days - perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more. . .

Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me urresistibly on with all these chains to the battlefield. The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them so long. And it is hard for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grown up to honorable manhood around us. . .

Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have often times been! How gladly I would wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness. . .

But, O Sarah, if the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they love, I shall always be near you, in the gladdest days and in the darkest nights. . . always, always, and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath, as the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.

Sarah do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again. . .

Sullivan Ballou

Maj. Sullivan Ballou died 7 days later at the 1st Battle of Bull Run.

It works for me.

(Thanks, Kathy, for sharing that. It works for me as well.)

From Sharon Ihle's release Tempting Miss Prissy: ". . . Payton glanced at the floor to where the scarf had fallen, picked it up, and started to toss it on the chair with his jacket and vest. As he swung it beneath his nose, he caught Priscilla's scent and froze. The bit of silk was redolent with her essence, sweet like honey, but also filled with the pristine fragrance of unsullied woman."

From reader Linda (who didn't enjoy that as I did. She wrote as in response): You ask me what I thought of that quote - well, all that came to mind was "great, she took a bath". Sorry, but it didn't do a lot for me. Now, in Brian Adam's song from the movie Don Juan DeMarco, he sings, "When you see your unborn children in her eyes, then you know you really love the woman" - that sends shivers down me. Actually, the whole song is a beautiful tribute to the love a man has for his woman.

 




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