Some people say
They’ve had enough of
Silly love songs.

- Paul McCartney, Just Another Silly Love Song

Let this Irish storyteller suggest a time when people could really say they’ve had enough of ‘silly love songs.’ It’s when they are dead. Before such time ‘silly’ loves songs may very well be silly but still they are attempts at the invitation to Love.

Some songs you will always remember. Such a song for me is “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by Lennon and McCartney. Actually, it’s a Paul McCartney song and a song that is one of this Irish storyteller’s ‘silly love songs.’

This Irish storyteller was around fourteen years of age when this silly love song became anything but silly. It became an invitation to what felt like unconditional love, an invitation to feel wanted in a way that I never felt before.

She was fourteen years old as well. She was blonde and very pretty. She was not exactly the girl next door but she did life at No. 27 whereas I lived at No. 1. That was thirteen doors apart. Thirteen might be considered an unlucky number for some but not for this Irish storyteller. Not on the night of the Boy’s Club Bop when The Beatles song “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was played.

I was dressed in a bright orange shirt and wore striped hipsters. Today I wouldn’t bee seen dead in that sort of thing but at the time I was wearing them I felt dead. All the colour was on the outside. I was living an existence of grey like a “lonely painter living in a box of paints” to quote a Joni Mitchell song of similar vintage. But all the colours had been mixed up and turned to mud.

It came out of the blue as wonder often does. At fourteen you know nothing about what it is to cross a threshold place where in the eyes of another you look drop dead gorgeous even in orange. I knew nothing of kisses or kissing but this kiss opened me up and prepared the way for something even in my wildest dreams I could not even imagine if I tried.

The great Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh talks about such an experience in another song/poem called Raglan Road. It is when “first you knew.” It is when, metaphorically speaking, all the lights go on and the house can never be quite dark again.

You know that you are ensnared. It is not quite like being caught in a trap or if it is you want to go back and give yourself up. You are being called along the enchanted way and what an enchantment!

Is any of this just ‘silly?’ It is when you defend against it and the blue of wonder becomes the blue of not so silly love songs but sad songs of regret that begin to harden the heart. Then the enchanted way becomes a far off place covered in thorn and briar. The more that such silly love songs are considered silly the thicker become the briars. Silly then turns to sorrow and you go to sleep awaiting a kiss that will reawaken the enchantment within you.

I held her hand. She kept inviting this holding and I fell deeper and deeper into enchantment. Her “ hair wove a spell” and her kiss did the rest. The young man of fourteen who was dead was raised in more ways than one. This you might say is just a sentimental remembrance. Not for this Irish storyteller and I suspect not for those of you who have been along the enchanted way.

There is plenty out there in this world of time and space and form to be cynical about. Cynicism is a practice of burying the suppressed ghost of Love. Only Love cannot be buried because it never was born and has never died. You are the one who chooses to live in a box of paints without the colour of silly love songs. This is your choice. It is not an easy choice. When you die to Love you find there is no such thing as death. This is a living paradox.

Patrick Kavanagh warns in Raglan Road that there is a danger. There is the possibility it will all come to grief and that what will happen is that you end up with ghosts of memory of what might have been – the ghost of regret.

For those of us who have risked the danger of the enchanted way we will live with ghosts. Only these are not hungry ghosts of memory but moments of remembrance. They remind you what it is to be a being created by a force that created you for the wonder of Love.

I held her hand. She held mine. For all sorts of ghostly reasons the enchantment did not become the full expression of what the mystic Alan Watts calls in Man and Woman ‘flowery combat. It did, however, add colour to this lonely painter. I had ventured along the enchanted way and in some ways came to grief. Only I never grieve the experience. If that was danger then take me to the edge and I will gladly jump!

This writer is still in love with silly love songs. Now the kisses come in different ways. Still there is the danger and still there is the enchantment. One is not available without the other. Enchantment comes out of the blue but is anything but blue. My Silly Love Song Love now is long dead. He danced 20,000 plus silly love songs that are still dancing. This is Jelalludin Rumi, the dance of the Beloved.

“ I Wanna Hold Your Hand” is one of this Irish storyteller’s silly love songs. He is better by far for such a silly love song. Be aware of silly. Play a heart song. Come along the enchanted way. It is dangerous but then so is dying without ever really having lived and loved.

Author's Bio: 

Tony Cuckson reckons 'silly love songs' are an under utilised life coaching tools. To find out more about the real nature of love you may visit his website and download his free report "7 Ways to a Wonderful Life."