A Night Without Gin or Chicken: Valentine’s Day Is Over

Ah, Valentine’s Day. A couple of months ago I blogged about a rather undignified February 14 a few years back that involved over-indulging on gin and chicken, recalling that it was probably the best Valentine’s I’d ever had. Perhaps disappointingly, perhaps unsurprisingly, as yet another February scrambles past the half-way point, I can assure you that the gin and chicken Valentine’s remains the best one yet. Which is not to say I didn’t have a lovely time yesterday. I did. But it was mostly unremarkable. I stayed true to my February detox (yawn), finished my book (next!) and took Archie the spaniel for a stroll down King Street.

Archie raced out into the night with his usual goofy enthusiasm, dragging me reluctantly behind in my less than glamorous stretch pants and Hall & Oates t-shirt combo. Making a cracking pace in the Carlisle-esque summer rain, we passed restaurant after restaurant, packed with couples young and old, cute and not-so-cute, making declarations of love over three course meals, moderately priced white wine and tasteful bunches of flowers.

It was sweet. It was heart-warming. It was kind of cheesy. I should have been hating every second of it. I should have been sorting a playlist of heartbreaking classics in my head to remind me of why I like being single. But who am I kidding? While I do like being single, I also like a bit of sap. My favourite movie (after Sex, Lies & Videotape) is Gone With The Wind. My favourite country song is ‘Always On My Mind’ and I’ve read way too much poetry to pretend I don’t care about romance.

Which is why, instead of compiling a list of tunes more fitting of my current ‘status’ (think Pernice Brothers ‘Not The Loving Kind’, Neko Case ‘Hold On, Hold On’ etc) I’ve put together some of my favourite duets for the blog this week. Some of them are by real couples and some of them are by mere singing partners… but they’re all good. And they all make me wish I could teach Archie to bark in tune.

Waylon Jennings & Cheryl Ladd – Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys

He was an outlaw. She was one of Charlie’s Angels. The dialogue at the beginning of this video makes it pretty much my favourite clip on the internet.

Waylon Jennings & Jessi Colter – Storms Never Last

If I were Jessi Colter and I’d been side of stage to witness Waylon’s outrageous flirtation with Cheryl Ladd in the previous clip, I’d have created a mighty big fuss. And then looked at what a dreamboat he is and gotten over it. Storms never last.

Rita Coolidge & Kris Kristofferson – Help Me Make It Through The Night

If he’s not standing impossibly close with an open neck navy shirt and a look of total adoration, he’s just not that into you. I take back what I said about Cheryl & Waylon. This is my favourite clip on the internet.

June Carter & Johnny Cash – Jackson

It would be plain wrong to document country duets without Johnny and June. You’ve seen the movie. Enough said.

Linda Ronstadt and Hoyt Axton – Lion In The Winter

I love this song. I love Hoyt’s awkward arm over Linda’s shoulder. I love the way she sings ‘ca-all’. Consider yourselves lucky I love y’all enough to spare you Aaron Neville.

Donovan & Crystal Gayle – Catch The Wind

Just because I’ve spared you Aaron Neville, it doesn’t mean I’m going to spare you a dose of Donovan. This video is worth it for Crystal Gayle’s hair alone. I would tell you this is as sappy as it’s going to get but there’s still a Kenny Rogers video to come.

Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn – You’re The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly

Unfortunately there’s no video for this one. But I really like the ugly pink jacket Conway is wearing on the vinyl that has been used as the graphic. And teamed a white skivvy! I think we all know the reason the ‘kids’ have terrible dress sense.

Sheena Easton & Kenny Rogers – We’ve Got Tonight

I know it seems like a glaring omission to leave out Dolly & Kenny’s ‘Islands In The Stream’ but I have blogged about it before, and it doesn’t feature a creepy/cringeworthy/awesome bit of play acting from Kenny that comes across as him pressuring a young Scottish pop star to start a family.

Happy February 15 everybody xxx

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