If your plans this Valentine’s Day include creating a mixtape for your beloved, here are some helpful hints that will help you avoid anyone, er, misinterpreting your true intentions.

• One, U2: I’ve been to too many weddings where this has been the bride and groom’s first dance and each time I cringe. First, the song had such a difficult birth that it almost resulted in the breakup of U2. More importantly, is the grudging love/hate nature of the lyrics. The message: We’re together, but only because we have to be to survive.

• With or Without You, U2: Sure, it sounds all romantic, but again, take a very close listen to the lyrics. The song is written from the perspective of a man who both loves and reviles the object of his affections and is tortured by the contradictions of the relationship. The message: Women — can’t live with them, can’t live without them.

• Every Breath You Take, The Police: A track that sounds like a love song, but is actually a statement of malicious intent by a stalker. And do you really want to include a song that Sting was inspired to write after he separated from his first wife? On a happier note, Sting was in Jamaica at the time and wrote the song on the same desk that Ian Flemming used when he wrote all those James Bond novels. Then again, James Bond isn’t the most faithful of men, either, is he? The message: I’m watching you — and I’m gonna get you when you least expect it.

• Crash into Me, Dave Matthews Band: Just like Every Breath You Take, the narrator of the song is a stalker-ish creep, specifically a peeping tom. And the bit about being “tied up and twisted?” Hmm. The wrong message: I’m a perv.

• The Best of My Love, The Eagles: Don Henley’s ode to inadequacy. What part of “You got the best of my love/I guess that wasn’t enough” is unclear? The message: I did my best to please you, but I guess I’m just an inadequate dork.

• The One I Love, REM: Forget the angry minor key for a second, although that doesn’t help. Instead, skip to the part where Michael Stipe calls the subject of the song “A simple prop to occupy my time.” The message: You’re a waste of space and I feel abandoned because of it.

Latest From ...