Music Monday: Love Songs That Don’t Want to Change You

2 Apr

I was first wowed with this concept when I heard Martina McBride‘s hit, “My Baby Loves Me (Just the Way That I Am)” which was released in July 1993 as part of her album The Way That I Am.  This song was written by American singer/songwriter Gretchen Peters, who also won awards for McBride’s rendition of Peters’ song “Independence Day” but listeners would easily recognize some of her other popular songs like “Heaven” for Bryan Adams (an artist with whom she has co-written over 30 songs).  For anyone interested in the process of songwriting, there is a moving and informative interview with Peters, speaking about her writing process and some of her work.  “My Baby Loves Me” was actually recorded and released the year before Martina’s rendition, by Canadian country music star Patricia Conroy, who made it to #8 on the Canadian charts with it, but Martina surpassed her success by hitting #1 the following year in Canada and making it to #2 on the Billboard charts.

I think my favorite part of the song can be found in these lines:

When there’s dark clouds in my eyes
He just sits back and lets ’em roll on by
Come in like a lion and go out like a lamb
My baby loves me just the way that I am

Plenty of men who don’t care about dating someone who looks like a beauty queen, but a man who can love you when your in a foul mood and take with equanimity is a total keeper.  This could be the reason that this song is the ringtone for my husband on my cell!

Probably the most popular recent hit falling into this category of love with total acceptance has to be from Bruno Mars, who won the heart of every woman when he came out with “Just the Way You Are (Amazing).”  The song has even more impact when you realize that it was Mars’ debut single in the music world, taken from his debut album Doo-Wops & Hooligans (2010).  This single has managed to sell over 12.5 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time.  And why?  Not only is it the creative lyrics or Mars’ distinctive, soleful voice, but also due to the beautiful sentiment of a person fully in love with a woman, exactly as she is.

Written by Mars as part of The Smeezingtons, or the group consisting of Mars along with writers Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine, Mars said in an interview that he was largely inspired by Joe Cocker and Eric Clapton who write love songs that are simple and get right to the point of how they feel about the woman in question. I refuse to quote from the song because most readers already know every single word and sing it in the shower, but suffice it to say, it’s what every woman (and I imagine a LOT of men) want to hear. Total acceptance from the person you love.  Enjoy!

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