Monday, August 29, 2011

Dan Fogelberg, Linguistic Innovator

In his song "Make Love Stay," I think that Dan Fogelberg may have pioneered the use of "love" as an intransitive verb. The first two lines of this 1983 No. 1 hit on the Adult Contemporary charts: "Now that we love/Now that the lonely nights are over." Generally one loves something, but the Bard of Peoria is nothing if not innovative.

It's the "we" that makes the phrase work. If Dan had said "Now that he loves," you'd have no idea what the subject was loving. But with "we," it's obvious they love each other. Nicely done, Dan!


  1. He may have been preceded by the Troggs' Reg Presley, who declared in "I Can't Control Myself":
    "It makes me feel all right, when I'm with you at night
    And we love
    And we love."

    The Troggs' influence on Fogelberg has oft gone unacknowledged.