Sam Smith is being called the male Adele and I can definitely hear the similarities. He sings beautifully and high and his lyrics are straightforward, brutally honest and heartbreakingly sad. His EP Nirvana is out now and his first full-length album, In The Lonely Hour, comes out in June 2014.
He performed the song Stay with Me, on Saturday Night Live recently and I was blown away and (of course) in tears by his performance. It’s a pretty short song with only two verses but the brevity of the song strengthens its impact. I find myself thinking about the lyrics long after the song has ended.
Guess it’s true, I’m not good at a one-night stand
But I still need love cause I’m just a man
These nights never seem to go to plan
I don’t want you to leave, will you hold my hand?
The first time I heard the line I still need love cause I’m just a man, I had an Oprah A-ha moment about so many dubious, confusing and misleading decisions my previous partners and I have made in relationships. He was probably not a sociopath; probably not perfunctory, or unfeeling or mean. Sometimes you just need to be with someone. It doesn’t have to be dirty, secretive, primal or even romantic. It’s just a connection that can last from anywhere to a few minutes to a whole lifetime. I wish boys and girls grew up knowing that. I bet a lot of people would not waste their time trying to turn a connection into everlasting love.
This ain’t love it’s clear to see
But darling, stay with me.
I think love is so subjective; it ebbs and flows. Despite what Whitney Houston says, your love isn’t my love. My parents had an arranged marriage. They fight all the time and basically live like the Odd Couple – bickering and lambasting each other constantly. I remember vividly my mother telling me that loving my father had turned into an involuntary action which formed into daily habits like setting out his pills; making his dinner; and ordering him around all day. Their love is unlike anything I’ve ever seen: very little communication and even less touching but their affection for each other comes from their shared routine and the way they work together on daily chores and going out for tiny indulgences like Tim Horton’s coffee and walks around the neighbourhood. I guess it works for them most of the time but that’s not my love.
And deep down I know this never works
But you can lay with me so it doesn’t hurt.
Every relationship, romantic or otherwise, requires compromise. But in the beginning, I can’t help but romanticize everything. Past relationships can make some people jaded but you need an open heart to begin anything: a new job; a new relationship; a move to a new city. Of course, I get wary: I hear those all too familiar warning bells; I develop a growing sense of deja-vu; but if I have an inkling it could become something more, I remain steadfast – in retrospect sometimes for too long and sometimes for not long enough. But the key is to keep searching for the love that works for you.