A Ubiquitous Kind of Love
Anyone who grew up in the ‘90s had no way of escaping the classic power ballad ‘Love is All Around’. It ruled the airways from night until day. A romantic anthem that was ingrained in the minds and hearts of music enthusiasts around the globe. The song reached a peak thanks to being the main single release off the film ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral.’
“Love is All Around” was originally recorded by the British rock band The Troggs. The song was written by the late Reg Presley. It was inspired by The Joy String’s Salvation Army Band’s Song “Love That’s All Around.” The song was first released in 1967 and reached number 5 in the UK charts.
The Version, The Hit
While there have been many cover versions of the song the most famous was by Wet Wet Wet. Wet Wet Wet reworked the song for the soundtrack of ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ in 1994. The remake was a huge hit spending 15 weeks at number 1 on the UK Charts, a record only second to Bryan Adams’ “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You.” As of February 2018, the song had sold 1.9 million copies in the UK alone making it the highest-selling love song of all time by the band.
Watch “Love Is All Around” Music Video by Wet Wet Wet
The song deals about unrequited love. Its beauty lies in its simplicity. The straightforward arrangements and hooks are a recipe for infectious songwriting. The catchy verses that build-up to the big choruses are anthemic in its singalong glory but also resonant of being an emotive ballad that captivates and draws the listener in.
The Lyrics Review and Song Meaning of “Love Is All Around”
Love which is an undefinable emotion in its presence washes through the singer. The first verse talks about love like a tingling wave. A sensation of pure emotion felt from the protagonist’s fingers all the way to his toes. ‘Love’ is such a force that it surrounds him and continues to grow.
Such is his ‘love’ it’s etched in the wind. It trails after and follows him. He proceeds to then turn the table. He says ‘if you really love me’ which is interesting. It depicts a certain degree of uncertainty with regards to the person reciprocating his feelings back. He challenges the individual to let it show.
The choruses are all the same lyrically.
The protagonist brazenly declares his love, his mindset and feelings decisively.
“You know I love you, I always will / My mind’s made up by the way that I feel“
He goes further to emphasize that ‘there’s no beginning, there’ll be no end’. A powerful statement that his love is infinite and eternal. He then says that his love is dependable and therefore cementing that it is safe and secure.
The third verse deals with him reminiscing about his love. How he keeps seeing her face before him as he lays on his bed. He ponders though trying not to, about all the things she said.
By the fourth verse, there is an interesting arc that builds where he reminds her that they made a bond and pact. In the world of love, a promise is sacred; “You gave your promise to me and I gave mine to you.”
The storyteller then admits that he needs someone beside him in everything he does. This is a profound admittance to the power she holds over him.
The chorus repeats thereafter until there is an interval leading to the song’s climax.
The ballad ends with the protagonist challenging the love of his life. He compels and coerces her to return the sentiment. To respond kindly. It borders on him pleading with her where it’s his way of telling her she need not be guarded any longer. She need not be hesitant. She needs to take a risk and she can let herself go, and she needs to open up and show how she really feels. There is a certain confidence in this finally. He is certain of his feelings for her and the song ends with him sure that she feels the same.
There is a quiet quality of strength in this man’s conviction. He relates the story through a lyrical arc as to the magnitude of his feelings. The feelings that make him evidently vulnerable and gullible. ‘Love is All Around’ is partially an ode and lament as much as it is an anthem. There is a reality to how helpless this man feels in the face of love. Especially in the wake of unrequited love. Because let’s face it, we have all been there at some point. Which perhaps makes the romantic ballad even more beautiful in its subtlety. More real in its authenticity. Upon face value, it is an open declaration of love. Yet upon close scrutiny, it is a love letter revealing the feelings of the storyteller, but it is also an invitation to his true love. It is a physiological and psychological confession that is masked in a confrontation.
But isn’t that love? Doesn’t it make the sane go insane and make fools of us all?