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Old 07-01-2013, 08:22 PM
Antinor01 Antinor01 is offline
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Love songs with no specified gender

I was listening to the radio today and the Jason Derulo song The Other Side came on and it struck me that he never specifies the gender of the person he's singing it about. That got me thinking about love/relationship/break up/hook up etc songs that don't really even allude to the gender of the other party. I considered including Goyte's Somebody That I Used To Know but with the duet partner being female it didn't really fit what I'm looking for.

A few others;

Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers
Sweet Nothing - Calvin Harris
Halo - Beyonce

What else is there?
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:51 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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My Heart - John Denver
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:59 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
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Wouldn't most songs addressed to a "you" instead of about a he or she and don't alternately refer to the loved one as boy/girl work?

Wes Carr "You"
Mazzy Star "Fade Into You"
Nicolas Johansen "Crush Me"
Five Thirty "You"

This is more about breaking up but... "Yours" by Dan Black
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:19 PM
Antinor01 Antinor01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfkin477 View Post
Wouldn't most songs addressed to a "you" instead of about a he or she and don't alternately refer to the loved one as boy/girl work?

Wes Carr "You"
Mazzy Star "Fade Into You"
Nicolas Johansen "Crush Me"
Five Thirty "You"

This is more about breaking up but... "Yours" by Dan Black
Yea those work. I just find those sort interesting.
  #5  
Old 07-01-2013, 10:58 PM
astorian astorian is offline
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Most love songs don't specify gender. Heck, does the Beatles' "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" ever spell out that the hand they wanna hold belongs to a girl? Does "Nights in White Satin" state categorically that the singer loves a woman? Does Chicago's "Colorado My World"?

Too many songs to mention come to mind.
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:23 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Melissa Etheridge always makes a point of keeping her songs gender neutral.
  #7  
Old 07-02-2013, 12:30 AM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Melissa Etheridge always makes a point of keeping her songs gender neutral.
I was going to make the same point about her. I've been a fan of hers, since her debut album. I didn't know, until her second or third album, that she was a lesbian. For example, the song "Like the Way I Do", from her first album:

Quote:
Tell me does she love you like the way I love you
Does she stimulate you, attract and captivate you
Tell me does she miss you, existing just to kiss you
Like the way I do
Tell me does she want you, infatuate and haunt you
Does she know just how to shock and electrify and rock you
Does she inject you, seduce you and affect you
Like the way I do
There's nothing in there which would suggest the gender of the "you" to whom she's singing.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 07-02-2013 at 12:30 AM.
  #8  
Old 07-02-2013, 07:44 AM
Mr. Greenjeans Mr. Greenjeans is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astorian View Post
Heck, does the Beatles' "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" ever spell out that the hand they wanna hold belongs to a girl?
"Oh please say to me
You'll let me be your man."
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:02 AM
Eyebrows 0f Doom Eyebrows 0f Doom is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Greenjeans View Post
"Oh please say to me
You'll let me be your man."
...which doesn't say that the person being sung to is a girl.
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:16 AM
gallows fodder gallows fodder is offline
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In a twist, there's a great Placebo song called "Taste in Men" which I would argue also fits the bill because of singer Brian Molko's bisexual androgyny thing he's got going. "Come back to me and change your style again / Come back to me and change your taste in men" -- could be sung as a man to a man, man to a woman, woman to a (heretofore gay) man, woman to a (heretofore straight) woman, androgynous person to androgynous person, etc etc. It's so versatile!

Last edited by gallows fodder; 07-02-2013 at 11:18 AM.
  #11  
Old 07-02-2013, 11:30 AM
astorian astorian is offline
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Steely Dan's "Rikki, Don't Lose That Number" could go wither way, as Rikki is a sort of androgynous name.

In the Seventies, I assumed it was about a girl. But when gay rocker Tom Robinson covered the song, I suddenly realized... oh yeah, this actually makes sense as a come-on from a gay guy to a bi-curious or insecure straight male.
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:31 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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Cole Porter's So in Love (KD Lang version)

Most other Cole Porter love songs, come to think of it.

Last edited by Sampiro; 07-02-2013 at 01:31 PM.
  #13  
Old 07-02-2013, 02:44 PM
Roderick Femm Roderick Femm is offline
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I used to sing in gay or mixed piano bars, standards mostly, and it often seemed hard to find gender-neutral songs in that repertoire. I didn't want to sing love songs about a woman, so sometimes I would change the words slightly to fit better. Often it was possible to change "her" or "she" to "you", to make it gender neutral.

Of course, there are also good songs about men that I would sing.


Roddy
  #14  
Old 07-02-2013, 03:13 PM
FairyChatMom FairyChatMom is online now
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Jim Croce's I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song - going from memory, I don't think there's anything gender specific in the lyrics.
  #15  
Old 07-04-2013, 06:57 PM
eclectic wench eclectic wench is offline
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Almost all the Indigo Girls' love songs are gender-neutral. 'Don't Give that Girl a Gun' is the only exception I can think of offhand. Other than that, they use 'you'.
  #16  
Old 07-04-2013, 08:20 PM
Lamia Lamia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfkin477 View Post
Wouldn't most songs addressed to a "you" instead of about a he or she and don't alternately refer to the loved one as boy/girl work?
There are quite a few love songs that refer to the loved one by their first name, which in most cases strongly suggests a gender.* But I agree that there seem to be plenty where the loved one is just "you".

The first list of love songs I pulled up on Google was Rolling Stone's "20 Love Songs We Never Want to Hear Again", and it looks like most of them are actually ambiguous about the gender of the loved one. Several of the songs made this list because of the creepy or patronizing way the loved one is addressed, and love songs written to be about men don't normally address the guy like he's a dimwitted child. But as far as the actual lyrics go, a song like Extreme's "More Than Words" could be about trying to manipulate a reluctant underage boy into bed.

*Ray Davies tells a story about how when the Kinks were working on their first big hit, "You Really Got Me", one of their managers was concerned it might not come across as a totally heterosexual love song. "Who are you singing to, your boyfriend? You've got to put a girl's name in there!" Rather than going with a specific name, Davies decided he likes the sound of just "Girl, you really got me going."
  #17  
Old 07-04-2013, 08:48 PM
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Unforgettable
Always

And as posted earlier, most of the Beatles' catalog.
  #18  
Old 12-17-2013, 05:09 AM
Invisible Zombie Invisible Zombie is offline
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I could sure use a few more suggestions in this area! I'm making a playlist myself. I was really wanting "Happy Together" but they have that " To think about the girl you love and hold her tight" line in there like so many do and you don't realize it.
There are also great songs like "I Wanna Do It With You" that slip in a self-reference like "Say that I can be your man", which work if you need a M/M love song without mention of the sex it's sung to.
But thanks for the ones above, I know this is old, maybe needed for upcoming Valentine's Day though!
  #19  
Old 12-17-2013, 05:23 AM
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The most famous example I can think of is "Bobbi McGee" (when sung by Kris Kristopherson) or "Bobby McGee" (When sung by Janice Joplin). There is one line which contains the word "she", which was easily switched to "he" when Janice sang it.
  #20  
Old 12-17-2013, 05:29 AM
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Lola
  #21  
Old 12-17-2013, 10:22 PM
TBG TBG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyebrows 0f Doom View Post
...which doesn't say that the person being sung to is a girl.
If someone were to sing it today, maybe not, but in the context of when and by whom the song was written and became popular it does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PSXer View Post
Lola
Lol'd

I don't know if I can think of a song with more specified gender than Lola.
  #22  
Old 12-18-2013, 04:19 AM
Johnny Q Johnny Q is offline
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Green Eyes -- Husker Du
  #23  
Old 12-18-2013, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sampiro View Post
Cole Porter's So in Love (KD Lang version)

Most other Cole Porter love songs, come to think of it.
Yeah, "What'll I Do?" gets my vote.
  #24  
Old 12-18-2013, 09:14 AM
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Lovely Day - Bill Withers
Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart) - Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye
You're All I Need to Get By - Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
You Make Loving Fun - Fleetwood Mac
Cherish - Kool and the Gang
Wishing on a Star - Rose Royce
  #25  
Old 12-21-2013, 09:24 AM
RussellAhmed RussellAhmed is offline
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hello friends
  #26  
Old 12-21-2013, 09:30 AM
RussellAhmed RussellAhmed is offline
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Love songs....


Gender-Neutral Love Songs........
I'm not sure how to submit audio hip hop song, but Nerdfighterlike by Lauren Fairweather is gender neutral (as far as I can remember), and also sort of non-sexual in nature (there is one line that's like 'I just wanna touch and hug you/and something else
  #27  
Old 12-22-2013, 10:39 AM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astorian View Post
Most love songs don't specify gender. Heck, does the Beatles' "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" ever spell out that the hand they wanna hold belongs to a girl? Does "Nights in White Satin" state categorically that the singer loves a woman? Does Chicago's "Colorado My World"?

Too many songs to mention come to mind.
Come to that, maybe Carly Simon knew a vain lesbian who dressed like Annie Hall.
  #28  
Old 12-11-2017, 08:11 AM
irisheyes38 irisheyes38 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
I was going to make the same point about her. I've been a fan of hers, since her debut album. I didn't know, until her second or third album, that she was a lesbian. For example, the song "Like the Way I Do", from her first album:



There's nothing in there which would suggest the gender of the "you" to whom she's singing.
"And just when it feels right you say you found someone else to hold you
Does she like i do"

"Tell me does she love you like the way I love you."

A gender-neutral song doesn't use the words he/she, him/her, man/woman or boy/girl.
  #29  
Old 12-11-2017, 09:17 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Every Breath You Take. WHAT? It gets played at a lot of weddings.

I went to a gay wedding where one of the grooms belted out Marry Me Bill (changing the line to And now I'm finally going to see our wedding day).
  #30  
Old 12-11-2017, 09:29 AM
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That doesn't say anything about the gender of the person being addressed, though. The song tells us that the person addressed is into women, but we'd already know that from the fact that Etheridge is singing it. It does still present issues for a man doing a cover (though he could probably just change all instances of "she" to "he"), but it could equally well be a straight woman singing to a man, or a lesbian singing to a woman (or bisexual in either case).
  #31  
Old 12-11-2017, 09:51 AM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is online now
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"You Needed Me" Sung by Anne Murray, written by Randy Goodrum
  #32  
Old 12-11-2017, 10:41 AM
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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"Onward," by Yes (on the "Tormato" album) is a nice love song, which a Yes fanatic friend of mine attests is directed at God.
  #33  
Old 12-11-2017, 01:32 PM
blondebear blondebear is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astorian View Post
Steely Dan's "Rikki, Don't Lose That Number" could go wither way, as Rikki is a sort of androgynous name.
Rikki is female (and a real person--Donald Fagen had a crush on her in college).

Pete Townshend wrote many love songs that were not gender-specific (sometimes they were directed to "god" as opposed to a person). A few examples:

Bargain
Our Love Was
Sunrise
You Better You Bet
I Can't Reach You
Let My Love Open the Door

Last edited by blondebear; 12-11-2017 at 01:32 PM.
  #34  
Old 12-11-2017, 05:07 PM
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Drunken Butterfly - Sonic Youth

One could quibble that "Butterfly" qualifies as a woman - YMMV.
  #35  
Old 12-11-2017, 05:47 PM
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"Alone" by Heart comes to mind.
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  #36  
Old 12-11-2017, 05:54 PM
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I Got You Babe works about the same way whoever sings which part. Given that Cher's voice was deeper than Sonny's, that was fortunate.

Never My Love by the Association.

Annie's Song by John Denver, despite the title, is gender neutral.

As for a breakup song, Go Your Own Way works nicely.
  #37  
Old 12-11-2017, 07:20 PM
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'Oh my love' John Lennon

I had it sang at my wedding.

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 12-11-2017 at 07:21 PM.
  #38  
Old 12-11-2017, 09:02 PM
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Really? Do I really need to mention that song from Annie?


"I Love the Dead" - Alice Cooper
  #39  
Old 12-11-2017, 11:28 PM
Lord Mondegreen Lord Mondegreen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Melissa Etheridge always makes a point of keeping her songs gender neutral.
Many years ago, but after Melissa Etheridge was out, I attended a concert of hers with a group of mixed sex friends. One of the women said, "I don't know that I would feel comfortable being a man in the audience, given the lyrics of her songs." (Meaning that the songs tended to be negative about their subject(s).)

I thought about pointing out that the songs never reference a gender and that the singer was a lesbian, but I let it go.
  #40  
Old 12-12-2017, 12:16 AM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irisheyes38 View Post
"And just when it feels right you say you found someone else to hold you
Does she like i do"

"Tell me does she love you like the way I love you."

A gender-neutral song doesn't use the words he/she, him/her, man/woman or boy/girl.
You created an account, and resurrected a four-year-old thread, to correct me on that? When the creator of the thread specifically said:

Quote:
I was listening to the radio today and the Jason Derulo song The Other Side came on and it struck me that he never specifies the gender of the person he's singing it about. That got me thinking about love/relationship/break up/hook up etc songs that don't really even allude to the gender of the other party.
(I know, I know, the odds of that poster being a one-and-done are over 98%... )
  #41  
Old 12-12-2017, 09:01 AM
TCMF-2L TCMF-2L is offline
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I'll throw in Elton John with Your Song and Judas Priest with Last Rose of Summer simply because at the time they were released it was not generally known that Elton or (Judas Priest lead singer) Rob Halford were gay.

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