In the top spot, rounding out this February celebration of crazy-sweet acts of love, is a '70s hit song, "Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Ole Oak Tree," which you can listen to here:
The poetic speaker has just been released after three years in prison for stealing something. We never find out what or why.
The important thing is that he had a girlfriend when he was arrested, and he's on his way back home, not knowing whether she's moved on without him while he's been gone.
He wants her back, but he acknowledges that three years is a long time and that it's his own fault he was gone, and he doesn't want to force her into an uncomfortable confrontation or walk in on something he doesn't want to see, so he's sent ahead a letter.
"I'll stay on the bus, / forget about us, / put the blame on me, / If I don't see a yellow ribbon 'round the ole oak tree."
This invites plenty of awful potential scenarios involving postal service failures and tragic misunderstandings, so as sweetly as he means it, this isn't the gesture that takes this spot.
But luckily for him, this isn't a tragic story, his girlfriend hasn't moved, and the letter arrives safely, giving her the chance for the gesture that tops this list.
"Now the whole damn bus is cheering / and I can't believe I see / a hundred yellow ribbons 'round the old, the old oak tree."
This is admittedly the least crazy gesture on this list. Ribbons aren't particularly difficult or risky to come by, but I'd call it one of the sweetest.
The singer poses a question, effectively "Do you still love me?", the ultimate request for reassurance. He's desperate and apologetic. It would only take one ribbon for her to say yes and have him back, grateful and eager to make the last three years up to her, but she doesn't play that game.
Instead of saying yes, she shouts it from the rooftops, emphatically, unreservedly, and beyond his wildest expectations, and it gives me the warm-and-fuzzies every time I hear it.
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