Unrequited love...it's been fodder for novelists and songwriters ever since our ancestors sat around the fire, entertaining themselves with stories and music. So it's only appropriate to highlight some of the best of this genre on this most special day...
I Will Possess Your Heart – Death Cab for Cutie
Creepy, stalkerish, but oh, the beautiful clarity of the lyrics:
"How I wish you could see the potential, the potential of you and me.
It's like a book elegantly bound but, in a language that you can't read.
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Friends and particularly fellow author Wilkie Collins pressured Dickens into rewriting the end of this novel so that Pip and Estella could be united, but the original seems more suited to the tone and arc of the story. What a tale of scorned love. Pip spends the entire novel infatuated with a cold-hearted beauty who never returns his affection. Meanwhile, loyal Biddy loves him truly, until she finally gives up and settles for Joe Gargery instead.
I Want You to Want Me - Cheap Trick
The title says it all. This guy will shine his shoes and put on a new shirt if you’ll only pay him some attention and say those three little words.
Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre-Dame) by Victor Hugo
Poor Quasimodo, the deformed bell-ringer, loves the gypsy girl, Esmeralda, who seems to be the only Parisian who has ever shown him any kindness. But, alas, she doesn't "love" him "that way." When she is hanged as a thief, Quasimodo kills the priest who betrayed her and then lies with her corpse until he dies of starvation. All that and gargoyles, too!
You Don't Know Me - Ray Charles
A classic from a musical legend, about loving someone who sees you as just a friend.
Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmund Rostand
The noble Cyrano is a brave soldier, as well as a poet, a gentleman oh so talented in many way, one of those Renaissance men. He is head-over-heels in love with Roxane (not that one). She also happens to be his cousin. That's always a problem (LOL). He is also weighted down by that enormous nose. Being a brilliant writer, he selflessly agrees to write love letters on behalf of handsome but totally inarticulate Christian, who can't put three subtle words together to woo his crush, the same Roxane (not that one). Christian is slain and Roxane gets herself to a nunnery. It is only years later, as Cyrano bites the big one himself (not his nose), that she comes to realize it was he who wooed her so eloquently.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Boy meets girl is given a trailer-trash twist here because Cathy and Heathcliffe are brought up as siblings (okay, adopted siblings, but still). Their passion is as tempestuous as the stormy Yorkshire moor setting, and there are definitely more than a few indications that Heathcliff is more of a disturbed sociopath than your typical romantic hero. I mean, here is a man with a taste for murdering small animals and kidnapping potential partners.
F* You by Cee-lo Green
Admit it, we’ve all wanted to say the things that Cee-lo sings. A succint kiss-off to someone you never had a chance with. One for the ages. For those sensitive souls, I have posted the "clean" version. And I was too lazy to log in to YouTube to get the hardcore one.
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