I have a confession to make. It is something I have concealed from the world for a long time. However, I have decided that love is not love which hides itself under a mantle of shame. I am ashamed no more, and I will shout my love from the highest mountaintop. I, Mandi Harris, being of kinda sound mind and healthy-ish body, do hereby declare that I love Céline Dion. I love her wholeheartedly and unapologetically, unlike those people who claim to love her ironically. Well, let me tell you something: there is nothing ironic about La Dame Dion. It is an insult to that gold lamé angel to qualify your love for her as ironic. She poops irony each day after her morning café au lait.
It breaks my heart to live in a world where a woman with a five-octave range is considered uncool, yet any plaid-wearing hipster with a banjo and beard is considered the pinnacle of musical sophistication. (Side note to plaid-wearing hipsters with banjos and beards: Please don’t be insulted. I find you all unspeakably attractive. I am an Oregonian. Y’all are like catnip to me.)
Céline is earnestness. She doesn’t blithely sing about emotion. She is emotion, a being of pure love, heartbreak, and longing. If you do not have the words to communicate your feelings to someone, let Céline do it for you. One time I was riding in a car with a gentleman on whom I had a massive crush. I decided the best course of action would be to lock the windows and make him listen to me singing along to the entire seven-and-a-half minute version of “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.” (Why? Because I am a genius level seductress, that’s why.) And you know what? He started singing along with me. The willingness to sing along with Céline is my new litmus test for romantic compatibility because it indicates a sense of humor, a lack of pretension and an emotional earnestness.
In my mind, Céline doesn’t get any better than in “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.” Now, sure, I might not have ever experienced “nights when the wind was so cold/that my body froze in bed/if I just listened to it right outside the window.” I grew up in Oregon, where it rarely gets so cold that people’s bodies freeze in bed. Okay, and sure, that line doesn’t make a whole heck of a lot of sense. I honestly don’t know if it’s scientifically possible for your body to freeze purely because you’re listening to how cold it is right outside your window. Until Céline sang that line, I didn’t even know that you could listen to coldness. But that’s the point: Céline exists outside the realm of scientific possibility, instead choosing to live in the realm of romantic possibility. (A lot of the credit for this song must go to its writer Jim Steinman, who reportedly based the song on Wuthering Heights. I don’t think that it’s going overboard to say that “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” is Brontë-esque.)
Oh, and for those people who think that Céline doesn’t understand lust, well let me school you in some Quebecoise sexuality straight from the aforementioned “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now”:
There were moments of gold
And there were flashes of light
There were things I’d never do again
But then they’d always seemed right
There were nights of endless pleasure
It was more than any laws allow
Nights of endless pleasure that were more than any laws allow? When was the last time any of us experienced something like that? Well, Céline has and she wants to show you the way, if you’ll only let her be your guide.
PS The next man I fall for will be receiving this as a declaration of my love and intentions: http://youtu.be/1bKuXbnGDqI. So, all plaid-wearing hipsters with banjos and beards had best be on their guard.
Feature image via.