More Cassandra Wilson

Here’s more for our enjoyment:

The song “You Don’t Know What Love is” is one of my favorites.

It is interesting to note that most people in the United States and many other countries, listen to popular music in one vein, especially what are called ‘love songs.’   Love songs are usually about heterosexual couplings, monogamy and desire, longing and separation.  So when the lyrics are created, they are often taken this way.  Also, this works in the other direction.  Many songs are written with certain lyrics to make the most money possible among the population.  So lyrics are done so that the words can have the meaning of monogamous lovers, plus being able to be heard/read in various other and very different ways.

I, not always having grown up in the United States, and also being the person that I am (ha ha), listen to lyrics differently often times, not to say I do not think of lovers when listening to some songs.  I also understand some of the lyrics to mean different things, contexts, situations, not just lovers.  For instance, it is interesting to note that the song “Every Breath You Take” which the Police (Sting’s former group) sang, could be taken to be about a stalker, or just a jilted lover who imagines the other will never forget him.  Another view, is that it is about a God, watching humans in their folly.

In the previous post, the song ‘Solomon Sang’ is well-liked and many people just listen to this as a love song about a woman’s love for Solomon, a man.  If we understand history and ‘The Song of Solomon’ and the various African, Islamic, Christian, Jewish, Kurdish and other interpretations of the historical period when Makeda, or Queen of Sheba supposedly lived and the experiences alluded to in the song  Cassandra Wilson sings, then it is a whole other project.  This is what makes music, words and histories so incredibly rich!!

The song “You Don’t Know What Love is” was written in 1941 and is one of the greats in the American songbook lexicon.  Of course, those who have been jilted, separated, divorced, ignored by their lovers, can relate to this song.  I also take  this to mean for me, that this can be about privileged people who ignore or do not understand the plight of those who suffer, who love differently, who love their lands, or the ecology or who love non-heterosexually, etc.

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