Because All You Need is Love . . . Not

Watching the Red Sox try to hang on in their series against the Angels, I come up against a Blackberry ad using “All You Need is Love” as theme music. Love? I wonder. No, not all you need.

But “My Generation,” same as The Who’s, has been humming songs like this since the 1960s. They tell us, and we believe, don’t we, that we need nothing but someone to love us, or, same difference, “Somebody to Love,” the first big hit for Jefferson Airplane.

Why exactly did Crosby, Stills, and Nash tell us to “Carry On,” the first track on this album? Because “love is coming,” of course. “Love is coming to us all.”

Janis Joplin’s only #1 hit was “Me and Bobby McGee,” Kris Kristofferson’s bluesy ballad of romantic love. Kristofferson was Joplin’s “lover,” but how much good did that do her? Hey, but maybe “Feelin’ good is good enough for me.”

The  Doors’ 1967 super hit was “Light My Fire,” about the hottest sort of love, baby. Which didn’t do a lot of good for Jim Morrison, now, did it?

Is it any surprise that the biggest, longest-lasting hit of the 1960s was “(Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”? Well, not really, no.

Somehow, I end up at 1st Corinthians 13, which must be the Biblical text used most often in weddings since the 1960s. “The greatest of these is love?” Sure thing. But does anyone ever give a thought at any of those profoundly romantic moments about the two cardinal virtues that come first? 

Sox lose . . . What’s a good Catholic boy to do? . . . Root for the Angels, of course.

  • Colleen

    Great post. Loved the way you got to 1st Corinthians 13. I am of the same generation. And a Sox fan. Darn.

  • cathyf

    The older I get, the more I think that faith, hope and love are one thing. Like Father, Son and Holy Spirit are One God.

  • EPG

    And, of course, it matters what you mean when you say the word, "love." Love can encompass eros, but eros is only a subset of love — forgetting that creates all kinds of harm. And, as both Pope Benedict and JP II have reminded us, love is inseparable from the truth.1 Corinthians 13 has (as we all know) some pithy reminders of what love is and is not.

  • Brandy

    Love is all you need – if you understand that God is love.

  • Eugenio

    To Brandy, I say: AMEN

  • Anonymous

    Archbishop Chaput tells it how it is. God is first and then you can give to Caesar. He has my greatest admiration.