The government has chosen Valentine’s Day to announce the launch of a new regulatory body intended ‘to protect the public from the unscrupulous and misleading exploitation of pop love songs for individuals’ personal gain’. From now on declarations of romantic love in musical form will be expected to meet statutory requirements of being ‘realistic, reasonable, and achievable by the person in the street’.
The new rules will apply to any individual using music to express their affection for another person via, for example, a specially compiled CD, a dedication on a radio show, or the enthusiastic use of Karaoke, and was describer as ‘overdue step,’ by Alan Morris, head of the body dubbed OfKey.
‘This will protect individuals from making expensive and unfortunate commitments after being told though song that ‘I will always love you’, when what their prospective partner really means is ‘I will probably remember your name and occasionally think of that special thing from our weekend away to Bath, but beyond that there’s no guarantees’.’
While there are fears that many classic love songs will be ruined by the new rules, Morris indicated it would be possible for romancers to stick with original song lyrics, as long as they can meet expectations in the long-term, ‘so if a now-separated couple’s song was ‘Can’t Smile Without You’, and it was subsequently shown that one party was capable of still laughing, still singing, or indeed finding it possible to do anything without significant impairment, they would be subject to a heavy fine, and up to six months’ imprisonment’.
Changes already introduced have included requirements for documented footnotes making it precisely clear what is meant by lyrics that could otherwise be open to interpretation. Now should a man attempt to woo a woman using the track ‘Let’s get it on’, he will have to clarify in writing if the ‘it’ he is referring to is that evening’s dinner, Match of the Day, or the electric blanket.
Condemned as overly cynical government nannying by many, Gillian Welch, the wife of a senior British banker, welcomed the changes: ‘When I married my husband we signed a pre-nuptial agreement, which many people said was killing romance, but that was all forgotten by the time of our first dance together to Bryan Adams’ Everything I Do, I Do it For You. Thanks to OfKey my divorce lawyer reckons I’ll now be able to get every penny the cheating bastard owns.’