I have a confession to make: I'm a hopeless sap. When it comes to music, I always turn up the volume when a good crooner starts wailing. I chime in to the lovelorn lyrics of Frank Sinatra. When my husband sang a James Taylor song at our wedding, I got a bit weepy.
But when it comes to love songs, the line must be drawn between corny and romantic. Case in point: When Greg sang his love "rap"-sody to Trista on "The Bachelorette" many viewers cringed - including sappy ol' me. And some love-song "war horses" - beloved by many - prompt me to quickly change the station. Among them: "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion and - the worst offender - "Feelings" by Morris Albert and Louis Gaste.
However, only a coldhearted curmudgeon would turn down a serenade of, say, Elton John's "Your Song" or almost any love song by Ella Fitzgerald. Maybe what defines whether a song is cheesey is the story behind it. After I talked with several people, it seems that everything from sentimental ballads to line-dancing limericks can pass the romance test.
One couple fell in love with Joe Williams's version of "Come Rain or Come Shine" while eating waffles on a winter morning. They admit: "We always start dancing if we hear it, whether we're on the dance floor or the subway platform." My colleague Yvonne was surprised on her her wedding day when the guests sang for her Hank Williams's "Jambalaya." Her husband chose it because it was the only one he could find with her name in it. Another couple chose 1977's "You Light Up My Life" for their wedding dance because it "summed up how we felt." The band rolled their eyes.
Are their songs romantic or sappy? In the end, the answer may lie in the ear of each lover.