I wrote this as guest post for my friend, Kayla Dean. It ran Saturday, February 28, 2015. I loved being part of her Love Letters guest post series.
It’s February again. You know. The month we associate with sending flowers, candy and pretty cards to those we love. While such tokens of affection are nice, nothing compares to receiving a love letter from your sweetheart.
The topic of romantic missives makes me think of the song, “Love Letters (Straight from the Heart”). (I’ve been singing it since I read the topic Kayla chose for our guest posts.) When I looked to see who originally recorded “Love Letters,” I was surprised to find it was written way back in 1945.
“Love Letters” first appeared without the lyrics in a movie of the same name, starring Joseph Cotton and Jennifer Jones. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song that year. Edward Heyman penned the lyrics and Victor Young composed the music.
Anyone who has been in love and separated by circumstances—especially war—can relate to the song’s message:
Love letters straight from your heart/ Keep us so near while apart/
I’m not alone in the night/ When I can have all the love you write
I memorize every line/ And I kiss the name that you sign
And darling, then I read again right from the start/ Love letters straight from your heart
Love letters straight from your/ Love letters straight from your heart/
Love letters straight from your heart
Dick Haymes was the first singer to record those soulful lyrics in 1945. Since then, many performers have included “Love Letters” in their repertoire. Nat King Cole crooned about it in ‘57, Ketty Lester in ’62, Elvis in ’66, Joe Walsh in ‘83 and Diana Krall in 2001. A YouTube search turned up recordings by Etta James, Perry Como, Andy Williams, Toni Tennelle, Elton John, Bonnie Raitt, Alison Moyet and more.
Diana Krall (freedownloadmovie.tv)
Some artists, like Nat King Cole and Diana Krall, included this introduction.
The sky may be starless/ The night may be moonless/ But in my heart there’s a glow
Deep in my heart, I know that you love me/ You love me, because you told me so
Many people can’t bring themselves to commit their feelings to paper. There are risks involved, you know. What if the sentiments aren’t welcomed and returned? Even when feelings are mutual, what if your letter gets into the wrong hands?
Remember how humiliating it was for both parties when a teacher intercepted and read a love note aloud to the class? No wonder we think twice before pouring out our hearts in writing.
Even so, I believe the joy of being in love will always spur brave hearts to keep the art of writing love letters alive. As the recipient, and occasional author, of such declarations of affection, I will tell you that the reward is worth the risk.
While some folks are eloquent in expressing their feelings, you don’t have to be a poet to tell someone how you feel about them. Simple words of admiration warm the heart of both sender and receiver.
Alexandra Stoddard turns the process of letter writing into an art form. I love her beautiful little book about stationery, pens and hand-written correspondence. Even though she loves all the fancy accoutrements, Stoddard’s main focus is on saying what is on your heart to the important people in your life.
Even if you don’t have a sweetheart just now, you can still write a letter to someone you admire or appreciate. After all, there are many kinds of love, and they all bear conveying to the person or people involved. Why not give it a try?
Write that note today.
I’m pretty sure you will bring joy to someone’s day.
It is right for me to feel this way about you all,
because I hold you in my heart, for you are
all partakers with me of grace,
Copyright Reflections from Dorothy’s Ridge 2015. All rights reserved