For whatever reason, there may well be times when you find yourself in a relationship where you spend significant periods apart. You might be involved with someone you met on holiday. Your partner could be studying in a far-flung institution, or working in a distant location. Perhaps you met someone on a dating website like flirt.com who lives in a different country. But there’s nothing which will bridge the gap quite like a shared affinity for music. So if you’re craving songs which remind you of a distant partner, and you prefer alternative sounds rather than obvious mainstream stuff, here are five of the most recommended.
Radar Love, Golden Earring
As the title suggests, this song is about a love affair which transcends the normal levels of communication to become practically telepathic – which, if such as thing was factual rather than fantastical, would be ideal for couples separated by distance. “When she is lonely and the longing gets too much, She sends a cable comin’ in from above, Don’t need no phone at all.” Aside from the verve and optimism of that sentiment, the music by Golden Earring, one of Holland’s foremost heavy rock bands, is a classic of the genre.
You’re Still the One, Shania Twain
A talented singer/songwriter who has garnered a reputation (and small fortune) from striding the crossover point between country, rock, and pop, Shania Twain has released many memorable singles. But this 1998 offering, rewarded with two Grammy Awards, has a powerful chorus about a couple who have survived the odds. This strong emotion will also strike a chord with anyone who is feeling the hurt and frustration at being involved in a long-distance relationship.
London Calling, The Clash
London Calling, the third album by English rockers The Clash, marked the moment they jettisoned punk and moved into a whole new sonic universe, encapsulating everything from ska to lounge jazz, rockabilly to hard rock. Perhaps not an obvious choice for music to listen to when you’re geographically apart from a loved one, its instantly recognizable riffs, coupled with the late, great Joe Strummer growled vocal delivery, made this post-punk anthem a powerful antidote to any disconnection. While the band, musically, had certainly moved far beyond the three-chord thrash of their formative years at the forefront of the English punk scene of 1976/77, the lyrics remain poignant, dwelling on an uncertain future: “The ice age is coming, the sun is zooming in … meltdown expected, the wheat is growin’ thin.” Such sentiments are perfect for long-distance relationships when you and your partner want to think about deeper subjects than the banal lyrical content of the average top 20 single.
I Drive All Night, Roy Orbison
Written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly for Roy Orbison, the song actually became a top 10 hit when it was covered by Cyndy Lauper the year after his death in 1988. Because it was released posthumously, Orbison’s version carries a greater degree of poignancy. Driving through the night (possibly dealing with inclement weather conditions) presents such an emotive picture. As well as enjoying the relentless force of the song’s rhythm, there’s no denying the powerful imagery of grasping the wheel, eyes fixed on the unfolding road ahead, your mind’s eye fixated on meeting up with the one you love again.
I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), The Proclaimers
This is another song which inspires the listener to treat something as petty as geographical distance with disdain. One of my memorably catchy songs by the Scottish duo, the prospect of actually hiking 500 miles to be with someone might seem enough to cause blisters, but the sentiment is euphoric.