Only Love Remains
SONGWRITER | CALVIN
'And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.' (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Musically the song Only Love Remains grew from an old tabla and drum loop I had kicking around. I wrote the chorus words and the opening bass riff, but then the song lay undeveloped for years. When we began working on Butterflies and Galaxies in earnest, I dug it out and we began to dust it down.
It’s happily proved to be one of our most popular songs but it nearly didn't make it to the finish line. The musical arrangement went down a couple of blind alleys and stayed a bit of a mess until we were actually mixing the album. It was the last song to be completed and was a bit of a mad scramble to bring all the elements coherently together. Matt did a typically expert editing blitz to tidy the whole thing up. Brucie Pont (our mix engineer) was let loose to sprinkle on percussive fairy-dust and bring the whole thing fully to life. The eastern female vocal loop that appears in the song is definitely not Annika! It was part of the original loop the song was built from. It somehow survived the key changes and made it through the final mix. If anyone out there can translate what's being sung get in touch - we'd love to know!
During a holiday to the south coast of England with my wife we visited Chichester cathedral. In the cathedral there's a 600yr old tomb with life-size stone effigies of a knight and his wife carved lying hand in hand - love resting together for centuries.
The poet Philip Larkin wrote a poem An Arundel Tomb meditating on the stone couple. The last lines conclude '…to prove our almost instinct almost true, what will survive of us is love.' Sadly the poet’s view was that death is final and ultimately love cannot be stronger than death, it's just our 'almost - instinct' and it's only 'almost true'. Along with the other members of Treasure Field deep down I hold a different view. So in this song Annika sings of a love that never dies, not as an 'almost instinct' but 'the one true thing we know' - What do you believe?
'Place me like a seal over your heart…for love is as strong as death…it burns like a blazing fire, like a mighty flame.' (Song of Songs 8:6)