I have a few songs about love and relationships that I really like. My wife will tell you that I am no romantic. I am a forthright person and “love,” for me, is not sentimental. Now, that can get me in trouble sometimes! That is probably the reason I am drawn to any love song by Bob Dylan. No sentimentality; just plain complexity, joy, heartache and sometimes redemption.
I am fond of Bruce Cockburn's Lovers in a Dangerous Time , U2's Get on Your Boots , Dylan's Sara and Love Minus Zero/No Limit, Wilco's Reservations and Johnny Cash’s cover of Hurt by Nine Inch Nails. Okay, I’ll stop. This is the stuff of popular music culture. The better side of pop culture as far as songs about love, romance, hurt and redemption are concerned.
Jakob Dylan captures the fight that is involved in love. By fight, I mean work. Here are a few lines from his song Love is a Country that evidence deep maturity:
The hardships of marching they’ve only just begun
Love is a country better crossed when you’re young
Love is a country better served with someone
Unfortunately but realistically, it seems that this song is pointing to a love that did not last:
Now her ring’s on the seat riding shotgun next to my hat. With her name on the window where fog settles down on the glass
Love is a country you leave and not welcome back
You leave and not welcome back
Yet it ends with a celebration that all is not lost even within the ruins. There is still redemption.
Love is a country that won’t be overcome
That won’t be overcome.