Home » Song Meanings » The Meaning Behind The Song: Love Is Strange by Mickey & Sylvia

The Meaning Behind The Song: Love Is Strange by Mickey & Sylvia

The Meaning Behind The Song: Love Is Strange by Mickey & Sylvia

“Love is Strange” written by Ethel Smith’s husband Jody is known for its catchy tune from the ’50s, and it’s a song that has stood the test of time. Throughout the decades, it has been used in movies and TV shows, sampled in rap songs, and has even been referenced in literature. But what is the meaning behind this classic song?

The Lyrics

The first thing that stands out about this song is the lyrics. Mickey & Sylvia’s version begins with the following verse:

“Love, love is strange
Lots of people take it for a game
Once you get it
You never wanna quit, no, no”

These lines communicate the idea that love is something that may be unexpected or even difficult, but once you experience it, it’s hard to let go.

In the song’s chorus, the lyrics say:

“Love is strange, whoa-oh-oh
Many people take it for comedy
Once you’ve had it, you’re in agony
Gone (so gone), is the pain I felt before
Love is strange, whoa-oh-oh”

These lines again speak to the idea that love can be both joyful and painful at the same time. Additionally, the repetition of the phrase “Love is strange” throughout the song emphasizes the central theme.

The Beat

Another notable aspect of “Love is Strange” is its rhythm and beat. The song has a slow and steady pace that is both relaxing and sensual. The music’s tempo is perfect for dancing, making it a popular choice at weddings and other romantic events.

The Inspiration

According to songwriters Curtis Mayfield and Bobby Womack, “Love is Strange” was written with actor Fess Parker in mind. Parker had a reputation for being something of a ladies’ man, and the songwriters wanted to create a piece that would poke fun at him.

Ethel Smith, the wife of Jody Smith, heard the song and approached the songwriters to ask if they could create a version that was more marketable. After some tweaking, Mickey & Sylvia’s version was born and became an instant hit.

The Legacy

Since its initial release in 1956, “Love is Strange” has been covered by various artists across different music genres. It has appeared in a number of movies and TV shows, but perhaps its most famous use was in the 1987 film “Dirty Dancing.” The song was featured in a famous dance scene between characters Johnny and Penny, and its presence in the film helped to introduce it to a new generation of fans.

The song was also sampled in a number of hip-hop songs throughout the ’90s and 2000s, including tracks by Wu-Tang Clan, Salt-N-Pepa, and Outkast.

The Meaning

Despite its origins as a comedic piece, “Love is Strange” has endured because it speaks to a universal experience. Love can be both wonderful and painful, and those who have experienced it can relate to the song’s message.

The song’s legacy shows that even something that was originally intended as a joke can find profundity over time. That’s part of what makes “Love is Strange” such a timeless classic.

FAQs

1. Who originally wrote “Love is Strange”?

“Love is Strange” was written by Jody Smith, the husband of vocalist Ethel Smith.

2. What movie is “Love is Strange” most famous for being in?

The song was used in the 1987 film “Dirty Dancing.”

3. Who popularized “Love is Strange” with their version?

Mickey & Sylvia’s version of “Love is Strange” became the most well-known.

4. Was “Love is Strange” successful when it was first released?

Yes, the song was a hit when it was first released in 1956.

5. What genre is “Love is Strange”?

The song falls under the genres of R&B and rock and roll.

6. How has “Love is Strange” been used in pop culture?

The song has been featured in numerous movies and TV shows, including “Dirty Dancing” and “Playing for Keeps.” It has also been sampled in rap songs by artists such as Outkast and Wu-Tang Clan.

7. Why is “Love is Strange” such a popular wedding song?

The song’s relaxing and sensual beat makes it a great choice for couples looking for a romantic first dance song at their wedding.

8. Who is Fess Parker, and why was the song originally written about him?

Fess Parker was an actor known for playing the character Davy Crockett. He had a reputation for being something of a ladies’ man, and the songwriters wanted to create a piece that would poke fun at him.

9. What other songs did Mickey & Sylvia release?

Among the songs released by Mickey & Sylvia were “I’m Going Home,” “Baby, You’re so Fine,” and “Dearest.”

10. What is the meaning behind the phrase “Love is Strange?”

The phrase speaks to the idea that love can be both wonderful and painful, and those who have experienced it can relate to the song’s message.

11. What makes “Love is Strange” such a timeless classic?

Despite its origins as a comedic piece, the song speaks to a universal experience that has endured over time.

12. Who are some of the musicians who have covered “Love is Strange”?

Musicians who have covered “Love is Strange” include Paul McCartney, Everything but the Girl, and Peaches & Herb.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top