Love. Few words in our language carry so much weight, yet are flung so frequently from the surface of every English speaking tongue. Romantic love is often lauded above all else, and despite its age equaling exactly that of humanity itself, remains garbed with wonder and mystery. Science has yet to explain or quantify the effects which artistic endeavors have been so often dedicated to express, how this phenomenon endlessly enraptures, bewitches, enrages, and further proves apt to puppet the full range of human emotion from a cortex of immense power we call love.
That cortex, that million-faceted expanse of human experience which we reduce to four letters, has remained a reliable constant, evident in all forms of human expression throughout history.
Less constant has been the process of romance, by which two individuals transition ultimately from strangers to marriage. In fact, culture has arguably seen more change in that process over the past century or two than across the rest of history combined. With changes in romance comes changes in the expression thereof.
One particularly observable example from modern culture is that of music. As romance is an expression of love, so music has long served in expressing romance. The explosion of variety in music introduced by the last century has opened the door to infinite nuances from which to conjure emotional reflection.
However, following the birth of smooth jazz, countless listeners and players alike have relied on that specific genre for just such expression.
Jazz now sits enthroned among musical genres as a dominant champion in the field of amour.
The heading of this article bears the title of Herman Hupfeld’s profusely covered song, originally written for the 1931 Broadway musical Everybody’s Welcome. Among the singers who uttered Hupfeld’s lyrics is Frank Sinatra (pictured), an icon in his era of love songs. He and so many others sang those lyrics that bear sentiments less often reflected today than those which proclaim the changes being wrought in modern romance.
Perhaps such singers found comfort in the lyrics as they bore witness to the changes around them and the various tumults of their own love affairs. Singing of “The fundamental things” delivers a certain reassurance and refreshing honesty, stripping away all the gaudy garments shrouding romance to expose the core, which, as of yet, truly remains constant. After all, When two lovers woo, They still say: “I love you.”