Six years have passed since the world received the tragic news of Amy Winehouse’s death, but her legacy continues to move us to the core. She became a relevant figure in the music world not only because of her artistic persona, but also her raw lyrics and soulful melodies. Amy turned the darkest moments of her life into beautiful music and heartbreaking lyrics that reflect the passion that overflowed from her broken heart. However, not all her lyrics are about heartbreak and pain. Just as she managed to depict the pain of unrequited love, she expressed the depth of her love in lyrics that show the purest side of her heart.
As Amy’s lyrics show, love is versatile and it can take several forms, but if we wanted to classify them, we could use the system created by British author C.S. Lewis (you know, the one who wrote The Chronicles of Narnia). According to him, there are four main types of love that complement each other and are based on Greek words: storge (affection), philia (friendship), eros (romantic love), and agape (unconditional love or charity). To understand even better how these types of love work, why not take a look at some of the songs by Amy Winehouse that best express these emotions?
Storge – “To Know Him Is to Love Him”
Oh, I'll be good to him,
I'll bring joy to him
Oh, everyone says
There'll come a day
When I'll walk alongside of him
To know him is to love, love, love him
From the single You Know I’m No Good, this live song conveys the tender side of affection. According to Lewis, although affection refers to family love most of the time, it also has to do with the bonds that are formed when you get to know someone on a more intimate level. As this song shows, affection begins with both the joy of being close to someone, wanting for them to be happy, and wishing them the best.
Philia – “A Song for You”
I love you in a place where there's no space or time
I love you for my life
‘Cause you the boy next door and a friend of mine
And when my life is over
When we were together
And I was singing this song for you
Philia, or friendship, is at the core of the most nurturing and mature relationships. For Lewis, this is a type of love that has been cast aside by society because it is not considered as important as other types of relationships. However, friendships are a valuable part of our lives, and Amy approaches it as the first step before a romantic relationship in “A Song for You.” The soul beats of the song and her powerful voice enrich the intimate vibe of the lyrics, conveying that closeness and honesty that’s essential to this type of love.
Eros – “Our Day Will Come”
Our day will come
And we'll have everything
We'll share the joy
Falling in love can bring
No one can tell me
That I'm too young to know
I love you so
And you love me
Most of Amy Winehouse’s songs deal with this type of love, both the positive and negative aspects. Nevertheless, the joyful tone of the lyrics and the rhythm perfectly express the dream-like state of being struck by one of Cupid’s arrows. Although eros relates to eroticism as well, the way Lewis refers to this love has more to do with falling in love, as well as the potential to create a pure and enriching relationship or, on the other hand, a lustful and obsessive trap disguised as love.
Agape – “(There Is) No Greater Love”
There is no greater love
Than what I feel for you
No sweeter song, no heart so true
There is no greater thrill
Than what you bring to me
No sweeter song
Than what you sing, sing to me
All types of love are enclosed in this one, which, according to Lewis, is the strongest love of all. Although agape has more to do with charity and the love of God, the greatest aspect of this love is that it is steady and unconditional. This song from Frank, the first album by Amy Winehouse, represents that conviction and selflessness that comes when you love someone deeply. No force or power in the world could destroy your feelings for that person, your wish to be with them, or the happiness you feel when you’re by their side.
Amy’s legacy lives in each of her songs, not only because of how she put her life in her lyrics, but more importantly, because her music mirrors humanity’s rawest feelings. If you want to read more about her, check out these:
C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves.