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  • Hannah Fielding - Romance Novelist

A very happy Christmas to you!

The radio station I listen to while pottering around at home waited until the 1 December this year before digging into its Christmas archives, but since then I have heard plenty of seasonal tunes. But only one makes me stop what I’m doing and listen. It’s so hauntingly beautiful, it gives me tingles, and the more I hear it, the more I think it’s the most romantic of Christmas songs. Here it is:

‘The Power of Love’ was a December number-one hit for the band Frankie Goes to Hollywood back when it was released in 1984, but it is Gabrielle Aplin’s version (number one exactly 28 years later) that really moves me.

First, I like the fact that this isn’t overtly a Christmas song. The connection to Christmas comes from the release date of the original song and the nativity theme in its original video, and a certain quality to the emotion of the song; as the song’s writer Holly Johnson put it, ‘there is a biblical aspect to its spirituality and passion’. The store John Lewis harnessed the Christmas spirit embodied in the music by making it the theme for its sweet Christmas advert in 2012.

But for me, it’s the lyrics of the song that earn it my vote for most romantic song.

Feels like fire
I’m so in love with you
Dreams are like angels
They keep bad at bay, bad at bay
Love is the light
Scaring darkness away

I’m so in love with you
Purge the soul
Make love your goal

The power of love
A force from above
Cleaning my soul
Flame on burn desire
Love with tongues of fire
Purge the soul
Make love your goal

I’ll protect you from the hooded claw
Keep the vampires from your door
When the chips are down I’ll be around
With my undying, death-defying
Love for you

Envy will hurt itself
Let yourself be beautiful
Sparkling love, flowers
And pearls and pretty girls
Love is like an energy
Rushin’ rushin’ inside of me

The power of love
A force from above
Cleaning my soul
Flame on burn desire
Love with tongues of fire
Purge the soul
Make love your goal

 

This time we go sublime
Lovers entwine, divine divine
Love is danger, love is pleasure
Love is pure, the only treasure

I’m so in love with you
Purge the soul
Make love your goal

The power of love
A force from above
Cleaning my soul
The power of love
A force from above
A sky-scraping dove

Flame on burn desire
Love with tongues of fire
Purge the soul
Make love your goal

The language is so carefully chosen for effect. Active, emotive verbs: feel, purge, desire, protect. Nouns that encapsulate all it means to fall in love: dream, angel, light, darkness, soul, power, flame, energy, danger, lover, pleasure. Descriptions that bring imagery to life: undying, death-defying, beautiful, sparkling, sublime, divine, pure.

The result is a song that conveys the message that Holly Johnson later said he wished to share: ‘Love is the only thing that matters in the end.’

What do you think? Do you like this song? Is there another song you put on the stereo to create a romantic mood at Christmas time? Please do share if you’d like to.

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