Healing Song: Love More
By David Chou
“Love More” is a sorrowful song with a hopeful ending.
A pulsing accordion is the first thing to hit your ears. Then comes the haunting voice of Sharon Van Etten, drawn out and steady. Within moments her lyrics paint a sad picture of domestic turmoil.
In an interview with Pitchfork Van Etten tells the story behind the song.
As a struggling musician she had gotten little support from her boyfriend, who believed she lacked the makings of a songwriter:
I’m still a softy, but back then I was so defeated. He told me I wasn’t good enough and I really believed it.
The hurtful relationship emerges in her poignant lyrics:
Chained to the wall of our room
Yeah, you chained me like a dog in our room
I thought that’s how it was
I thought that we were fine
These words reveal how we can be enmeshed in unhealthy relationships yet not sense the inner disease.
Early on, abuse can be subtle. Kept from her passion and her potential she felt chained down. And then it grows darker. She sings:
Then the day was night
You were high, you were high
While I was doomed
And dyin’ for
With no life,
With no light.
The bright day turned to a bleakness that also speaks of seeing no way out. But she continues:
Tied to my bed,
I was younger then, I had nothing to spend
Time on you
But it made me love,
It made me love
As she explained to Pitchfork, a saving friend lifted her from her emotional rut. She had gone to visit a good friend in Tennessee. They got Diet Cokes and cigarettes, blasted some music and sang. “We wouldn’t even talk, really – we’d just sing. That’s how we got our relief.”
Over into the sky where I’ll soon fly
And she took the time
To believe in, to believe in
After being chained down she now saw the possibility and freedom of flight. Finally she cuts the bad fruit from the tree and leaves her partner. Soaring up and away from her toxic situation she began her next journey to a healthier state… a stronger person…
It made me love,
It made me love more.
She made it through hell and found that she could love again.