THE ROSE, Bette Midler (1979)
This drunken, tearful karaoke classic is schmaltzy, sure, but who doesn’t love belting out the final verse: “Just remember in the winter / Far beneath the bitter snows / Lies the seed / That with the sun’s love / In the spring / Becomes the rooooooooose.”
STEM, Hayden (1995)
Hayden wrote a flawless one-and-a-half-minute love song. One scene. Perfect. “I bought a rose / To give to you / A windy day / The petals flew / From the stem / Onto the street / I tried to catch them / With my feet / I got to your door / You looked to see / Through the peephole / Right at me / You let me in / And I just froze / I gave you a stem / That was a rose / That was a rose.”
THIS BOUQUET, Ani DiFranco (1995)
Not sure what to say to your crush? Write a song instead! Ani DiFranco blushes “Got a garden of songs where I grow all my thoughts / Wish I could harvest one or two for some small talk” before shrugging it off with “We both have gardens of songs and maybe it’s okay / That I am speechless because I picked you this bouquet.”
FLOWERZ, Armand Van Helden featuring Roland Clark (1999)
It’s true: Every girl wants flowers. This disco-infused house track from the rave era is one lothario’s lament that flowers could have improved his relationship all along: “When you walk through the flowers, you get such a thrill / I can’t believe that was it, all this time / Your eyes lit up the room / When I gave you flowers.”
CHERRY BLOSSOM GIRL, Air (2004)
Chic electronic duo Air sings this unrequited love song for the mysterious “cherry blossom girl”—although, with lines like “I can pray every day for the moment to come, cherry blossom girl,” we doubt the eponymous chick would go for these milquetoast dudes.
WHAT WOULD I EVER DO WITH A ROSE? Rufus Wainwright (2010)
Our pouting Canuck troubadour pokes fun at typical lovey-dovey nonsense with the words “What would I ever do with a rose? How would it ever get me high? What would I ever do with a rose? How would it ever get the guy?”
APPLE BLOSSOM, Esperanza Spalding (2010)
The jazz songstress who launched a thousand angry Tweets post-Grammy upset sings a memorably mournful story of a widower remembering his lost love by an old apple tree—“Now he stands beneath the apple blossoms / Every year where they used to go walking / And he tells her about the summer and the autumn / The winter in his heart / And their apple blossoms.”
LOTUS FLOWER, Radiohead (2011)
The King of Limbs was met with “meh,” but no one could deny the charm of Thom Yorke’s kooky dance moves in the video for “Lotus Flower,” his lament for love lost—they once unfurled “as lotus flowers,” he sings, but now “there’s an empty space inside [the] heart where the weeds take root.”
Find three more flowery tunes in the “Petal Pushers” trend feature on page 160 of ELLE Canada’s May 2011 issue!
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