As the lovely, lanky, and GREAT Nick Cave says in "The Secret Life of the Love Song," all true love songs are, of necessity, sad (mournful, plaintive, desperate, hopeless, hopeful...) songs of longing. In short, and in matters of music and the heart, his message is clear: no pain, no gain.
In the spirit of cathartic suffering, I offer you a Valentine's listening sampler of sad but true (L-O-V-E) songs:
Beautiful Bob performing 'Girl From The North Country'; Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris's spare duet 'Love Hurts.'; the lean, mean, hard-loving Tom Waits calling 'Martha' long distance; and the enchanting Great Lake Swimmers re-living 'Moving Pictures, Silent Films.'
You have to be sad to be glad.
If you would like to give the gift of song to yourself or a sweetheart this Valentine's Day, I highly recommend the following album/artist links:
Bob Dylan, Nashville Skyline (1969)
Gram Parsons, Grevious Angel (1974)
Tom Waits, Closing Time (1973)
Great Lake Swimmers, self-titled debut (2003)