You must understand, though the touch of your hand
Makes my pulse react
That it’s only the thrill of boy meeting girl
You must try to ignore that it means more than that
Oh-oh, what’s love got to do, got to do with it?
What’s love but a second-hand emotion?
What’s love got to do, got to do with it?
Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?
From Tina Turner’s hit song, ‘What’s Love Got to Do with It?’
How did the human heart become associated with love? Google the phrase Chemistry Of Love, and you will get so many answers and theories confirming that the science behind love is more complex that we think. Nothing about love is associated with the heart. It’s all about various chemical reactions in your brain. Think of the time that you met someone you found attractive. You probably stammered, your palms may have sweated and you could have said something incredibly stupid. Chances are your heart was thumping in your chest. Probably because of these ‘symptoms’, people for centuries thought that love and other emotions originate from the heart. Now it turns out that love is a chemical reaction that makes the body behave like a robot who’s lost its bearings!
Love can be distilled into three categories: lust, attraction, and attachment. Though there are overlaps and subtleties to each, and each type is characterised by its own set of hormones. Testosterone and estrogen drive lust. Dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin create attraction while oxytocin and vasopressin mediate attachment. So much for all the romantic notions about roses, chocolates, perfumes, poems, love notes etc. Imagine coming straight to the point and saying my testosterone is acting up, let’s reproduce. Or: my oxytocin and vasopressin are in need of balance, so let’s get married. Or: the hypothalamus in my brain is reacting very strongly to your body not to mention the need for pleasure and comfort, caused by dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin, which are all on overdrive, causing a compulsive need for reproduction.
Perhaps the answer is, as Tina Turner asks above: Who needs a heart when the heart can be broken? It’s a simple question of lust.
Nevertheless, I still prefer the original connection between love and heart and all the literary and artistic (music, poetry, article, novels, paintings, sculptures and much more) connotations of love. The heart is the first functional organ in the human embryo and the last, if it stops beating. It signifies the end of the journey. The heart and the mind are intimately connected and co-exist in synchrony. Emotions can overwhelmed our brains and our body. True love rushes blood through our arteries, as does anguish. They travel on the emotional highway between our hearts and minds, in a single beat. The connection is undeniable, but impossible to measure and even understand.
Then, there are endless songs which revolve around love: happy, sad, angry, lonely, forgiving— all emotions seem to be belted out in love songs, that’s what make them so popular. The lyrics are true from the heart and everyone resonates with at least one or some love songs. For me, music and love are intertwined in a never-ending love story…
Here’s my pick of love songs that touch my heart:
- A man without love — Engelbert Humperdinck
2. Where do I begin? (To tell the story of how sweet a love can be?)— Theme song of Love story – Andy Williams
3. Never Never Never… (want to be in love with anyone but you) — Shirley Bassey
4. Careless whisper — George Michael
5. If you go away on summers day — Dusty Springfield
6. Love to love you baby — Donna Summers
7. I will always love you — Whitney Houston
8.I just called to say I Love you— Stevie Wonder
9. Un-Break my heart — Toni Braxton
10. What’s love got to do it?— Tina Turner