Michel Polnareff – Love me, please love me

Love makes children of us all. It makes us fools. It is defiance in front of indifference, unabashed romanticism where cynicism seems rational. It makes us stronger yet vulnerable. Here I stand, wanting to be loved, yearning, pleading, bleeding, and while you keep mocking me I turn into a fool over and over again, despairing in such a public and passionate manner that it only grows into stronger determination.

This is the strength of Polnareff’s song. There is no fear of sounding naive, because the tone is very appropriate when singing about love. Words fail us, melodies fail us, for nothing can adequately express the longing to be loved, the fire and the obsession, the flame that burns the heart even when it seems on the cusp of being extinguished.

Love is hope even when everything seems hopeless. It is starting the day with the same thought while solitude seems to extend toward eternity, the night, the endlessness of space, the loneliness, the misunderstanding, the miscommunication, the inability to voice one’s feelings and the inability of the beloved to receive them.

Like in so many songs of hopeless love, such as For Me… Formidable, the feeling here seems strong, yet somehow superficial. The singer laments his lover’s eyes full of boredom, which makes me wonder what he sees in her in the first place. It paints a picture of an object of love that is so cold and indifferent that it starts to sound like cruelty, which makes me wonder what he sees in her in the first place. It doesn’t seem like the attraction is toward her personality, but more like infatuation with looks or simple sexual desire.

So while the it sounds romantic to the point of seeming saccharine, maybe it is closer to lewd rock songs than describing something everlasting or love as a spiritual experience. Yet there’s this air of innocence, as physicality is never mentioned. Comme Romeo et Juliet, to quote the title of another Polnareff song; Shakespeare’s play is also often considered extremely romantic, although the lovers never truly know each other. It’s physical attraction through and through, with poetry of longing thrown in.

And yet the bouncing melody, the falsetto, the pleading delivery takes us to a place of airy wonder, the moments when hope is on the brink of overcoming hopelessness, when pure feelings start to prevail, when everything is wrong but nothing seems like it. Perhaps if the plea is strong enough, the indifference will melt away, revealing something true. It is the hope that coldness is just a facade. Life has taught me that usually it’s best to believe it. But there’s still the possibility that maybe it’s just shyness or fear of rejection, and that’s the hope that seems worth clinging to, even at the risk of seeming foolish.