Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Piano Concerto in C Minor is my vote for the Ultimate Love Song for Valentine’s Day because this song provides the perfect forum for love and music to “osmosis-ize” one into the other. As love is abstract in its purest concept yet can leave a tangible trace that is, at times, ineffably indescribable, it still compels one to share what one cannot touch.
Certainly music, in its abstractness, can intuitively express love, even without the use of words, and can not only reach and touch all who hear, but also capture all the feeling that love can endow. For me, Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Piano Concerto embodies the climax of this perfect union of music and love.
Okay, for a song (with words) closer to the three-minute mark, I look to two love songs by Nat King Cole—“Unforgettable” and “That’s All.” These songs speak to the joy, the appreciation, the commitment, the whimsy, and the risk that love inspires.
Like a song of love that clings to me
How the thought of you does things to me
Like never before has anyone been more…
Indeed, true love is unforgettable.
I can only give you love that lasts forever,
And a promise to be near each time you call
And the only heart I own
For you and you alone
My Mom sang that to me with love and intent in every word. I’m sending her a spiritual Valentine this year.
My signature song is the ubiquitous “My Funny Valentine”:
Your looks are laughable
Yet you’re my favorite work of art
Now that’s love!!!
If I had to choose my favorite lyric that speaks to the paradox of love, I would draw from a song I wrote called “You’re in Love”:
Should I follow the road less traveled
Or should I stay with the path I’ve endured?
My brain’s in my heart
And my heart’s full of thoughts of you
This article originally appeared in the Feb. 3-16, 2011 Beachcomber. Jones is a multiple Beachcomber Music Award winner and is nominated in several categories this year, including Musician of the Year.