10 songs of unrequited love for Taylor Swift's discarded fan mail
|Photo by Steve Cohen|
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But we come neither to bury this story -- and is it a story at all? Really? To thousands of her fans, sure, a super newsworthy one -- nor to praise Taylor. Nor to rip her to shreds. We'd hate to end up in that special place in Hell Katie Couric taught her about. Instead, we come bearing songs of unrequited love, intended to soothe the aching hearts of so many obsessive fangirls, whose letters have gone unanswered.
10. Ray Charles - "You Don't Know Me" (1962)
Everyone from Elvis, Willie and Dylan to Meryl Streep have sung this Cindy Walker and Eddy Arnold-penned love song, but it's Ray Charles' version from his #1 Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music that took it to the top of the charts, and remains one of Charles' signature tunes. Notable Lyric: You give your hand to me, and then you say, "Goodbye." I watched you walk away, beside the lucky guy. Oh, you'll never ever know the one who loved you so. Well, you don't know me.
9. Conway Twitty - "It's Only Make Believe" (1958)
This song about fantasy love comes courtesy of Conway Twitty's early career as a rockabilly star, before his transition into fluffy-haired country balladeer. It's said Twitty wrote this tune while sitting on a fire escape outside his Ontario hotel room, after rockabilly star Rompin' Ronnie Hawkins instructed him to come to the country, a supposed promised land for artists like him. Not so sure about Hawkins' judgement on that one, but it's to be noted that he did play a hand not only in the formation of The Band, having recruited several of its members to his backing band years before they ever bumped into Dylan, but also in recruiting future members of Janis Joplin's Full Tilt Boogie Band. Notable Lyric: My one and only prayer is that some day you'll care. My hopes, my dreams come true. My one and only you. No one will ever know how much I love you so. My only prayer will be some day you'll care for me. But it's only make believe.
8. Everly Brothers - "All I Have to Do Is Dream" (1958)
This song always seemed fairly benign. Until it was featured in that creepy Rodney Dangerfield flick, Ladybugs. Game over! Notable Lyric: I need you so that I could die. I love you so, and that is why whenever I want you, all I have to do is drea-ea-ea-ea-eam, dream dream dream.
7. Hal Ketchum - "Past the Point of Rescue" (1991)
Ketchum's one of the unsung heroes of 90s pop country, and his 1991 album -- this is its title song - kicks all kinds of ass. Notable Lyric: Gotta let your love invite me, baby do you think it might be, no you don't. But I do. But I do, and I wonder if I'm past the point of rescue. Is no word from you at all the best that you can do. I never meant to push or shove you. Do you know how much I love you? No you don't, but I do.
6. Bonnie Raitt - "I Can't Make You Love Me" (1991)
According to Toby Cresell's book 1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time and the Artists, Stories and Secrets Behind Them, the idea for this song came to co-writer Mike Reid while reading an article about a man arrested after drunkenly shooting at his girlfriend's car. When the judge asked him if he'd learned anything, he replied, "I learned, Your Honor, that you can't make a woman love you if she don't." Notable Lyric: Lay down with me, tell me no lies. Just hold me close, don't patronize - don't patronize me. 'Cause I can't make you love me, if you don't. You can't make your heart feel something it won't.