1. "Heart and Soul" by Hoagy Carmichael, performed by Eddy Duchin and His Orchestra. The old classic, learned by every piano student, has lyrics that can be taken as light and fun or as full of angst: fell in love madly, like a fool, his heart and soul have been stolen (does he want them back?) [The linked MP3 is of the Indianapolis-based Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra]
2. "A Heart Full of Love" from Les Miserables Original Broadway soundtrack. A sad love triangle, I find myself empathizing with Eponine.
3. "Heart, We Will Forget Him" by Aaron Copland, performed by Arleen Augér on Arleen Auger, American Soprano. From Copland's Emily Dickinson songs, I'm not ready for the darkness of this one.
4. "Heartache Tonight" written and performed by The Eagles on Eagles Greatest Hits Volume 2. "There's nothing we can do." "Everybody wants to touch somebody." Truth is found in California country rock.
5. "Hold On My Heart" written and performed by Genesis on We Can't Dance. While I really liked the This American Life episode that showed Phil Collins talking about heart-break songs, I find myself increasingly annoyed by his work. This song, however, is one of the more tolerable ballads, excepting Tony Banks' soulless keyboards.
6. "I'll Follow My Secret Heart" by Noel Coward, performed by Arleen Augér on Arleen Auger, American Soprano. Why keep it secret? I've been learning that open vulnerability is a good thing.
7. "My Foolish Heart" by Victor Young, performed by Bill Evans on Waltz for Debby. This performance gets all of the nuances, from hope to fear, love to anger, joy to sadness.
8. "My Heart" by Lilian Armstrong, performed by Louis Armstrong on The Hot Fives & Sevens, Vol. 1. Lil was Louis' second wife and a fine jazz musician in her own right. This Dixie styled piece gives some bounce that was missing from this playlist.
9. "Of One Heart, Of One Mind" by James Horner, from A Beautiful Mind soundtrack. I like this cut, especially since it quotes the title song. How much can a heart stand? How do changes in the mind affect two hearts?
10. "Piece of My Heart" by Rogovoy and Burns, performed by Janis Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company. In the Wikipedia article, Ellen Willis is quoted giving two different interpretations: "When Franklin sings it, it is a challenge: no matter what you do to me, I will not let you destroy my ability to be human, to love. Joplin seems rather to be saying, surely if I keep taking this, if I keep setting an example of love and forgiveness, surely he has to understand, change, give me back what I have given." I think both views can coexist, self preservation and hope.
11. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (and reprise) by Lennon and McCartney, performed by The Beatles on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. These are not about the heart, but instead are a prologue and conclusion to the fake concert.
12. "Shape of My Heart" written and performed by Sting on Ten Summoner's Tales. The lyrics suggest that we have control of our own heart, it isn't controlled by fate (as represented by the cards). But the mask isn't good news, perhaps he is fooling himself that the cards don't show the shape of his heart.
13. "Thy rebuke hath broken His heart" from Messiah by George Handel, performed by John Aler; Andrew Davis, Toronto Symphony, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. I found this blog post that has some relevance to my thoughts right now.
14. "Two Hearts" by Lamont Dozier and Phil Collins, performed by Phil Collins on Serious Hits...Live! Ack.
15. "Unchain My Heart" by Teddy Powell and Robert Sharp, Jr., performed by Ray Charles on Ray! Ray's woman has left him, but he feels she hasn't released his love. This is tricky, when two hearts have been entwined. How do they become separate, especially when one person leaves the other? Is Ray's heart his own responsibility, that he should unchain his own heart? Or does his ex-lover still have control that she needs to relinquish? Does she need to give him permission to stop loving her? Is it possible to stop loving someone?