Most Romantic Songs
There’s a song for every mood. And a flavour of ice-cream. And a pair of shoes, and a breed of dog… Ok, there’s a lot of things for a lot of moods. But there’s something about a love song that just hits me right there (I’m pointing at me chest, not my genitals you dirty so-and-so). I’m just going to randomly pick some of my favourite love songs cause if I really had to think about it, my head might just explode, and nobody wants that, right? *interminable silence* Right.
Also, I’m trying to avoid cliches and contrived mushy songs, although I can’t promise you won’t feel slightly nauseated.
I’ve even included links to the songs cause I’m that thoughtful. Your mom would love me.
Lastly, I’m also going to do a ‘Least Romantic Songs’ list soon to counterbalance the cheese here.
The Smiths, ‘There is a Light that Never Goes Out.’
There’s something almost tragically comical about these lyrics.
Driving in your car, I never never want to go home… because I haven’t got one, anymore.
And if a double-decker bus
Crashes into us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die
Romantic and er, specific. I like the absolute morbidness of the lyrics though.
John Lennon, ‘Woman‘
John Lennon, Woman
This song captures the vulnerability and desperation that often accompany love. It is bittersweet really. Here’s a guy basically saying ‘I’m a bit of a screw-up but please don’t ever leave me because I need you.’ And man, does it say it well.
Woman I know you understand
The little child inside of the man
Please remember my life is in your hands
And woman hold me close to your heart
However distant don’t keep us apart
After all it is written in the stars
I would literally have let him away with anything if he had written this for me. Punching giraffes? Yes, even that.
Bob Dylan, ‘To Make You Feel My Love’
For all of you saying ‘this is an Adele song, no?’ please pinch yourself in the arm, hard. While some may argue that Adele sings it better, the beautiful and heart-wrenching lyrics belong to Bob Dylan and knowing they come from the heart makes this song so amazing. Also, the sheer desperation an sadness in his voice makes his rendition all the more powerful. Nothing against Adele, she’s great, but this is Dylan’s song.
When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love
When the evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one there to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love
Excuse me while I curl into a ball and wail.
Elton John, ‘Your Song‘
I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind, that I put down in words,
how wonderful life is while you’re in the world.
(Honourable mention to ‘Something About the Way You Look Tonight’.)
The Way You Look Tonight, various
I think it was Fred Astaire who first sang this but most people will be familiar with the Tony Bennett version. Whichever you know best, this is one of the most beautiful love songs to listen to when it’s just you and that special person. Even if you’re just playing Jenga. Again, it’s simple but so moving.
With each word your tenderness grows
Tearing my fear apart
And that laugh that wrinkles your nose
touches my foolish heart
Eric Clapton, ‘You Look Wonderful Tonight’
In keeping with the theme of flattery, this one is also so romantic it hurts. It might be over-played at this stage, but that doesn’t take away from its effect. And the guitar, oh the guitar.
It’s late in the evening, she’s wondering what clothes to wear
She puts on her make up and brushes her long blond hair
And then she asks me, “Do I look alright?”
And I say, Yes, you look wonderful tonight
Is it any wonder he was a hit with the ladies?
Shania Twain, ‘You’re Still the One’
Please don’t hate me for this. I know, I know. This song reminds you of countless first dances at weddings you wish you never attended. But I have my reasons. A few years ago, a friend of mine told me that this was her parent’s song. They had my friend when they were only teenagers at a time in Ireland when having children out of wedlock was akin to punching a bishop square in the face. 26 years later and they’re still together. So every time I hear the following lyrics, I get a bit weepy
Looks like we made it
Look how far we’ve come my baby
We mighta took the long way
We knew we’d get there someday
They said, “I bet they’ll never make it”
But just look at us holding on
We’re still together still going strong
Faith Hill, ‘This Kiss‘
There’s something so infectiously cheerful about this song. And this is coming from the human form of Grumpy Cat. It kind of makes me want to go twirling around on mountain tops… You know, if that didn’t look crazy.
It’ s the way you love me
It’s a feeling like this
It’s centrifugal motion
It’s perpetual bliss
It’s that pivotal moment
It’s, ah, impossible
This kiss, this kiss
This kiss, this kiss
I just did a lovely interpretative dance for you. Did you like it?
Elvis Presley, ‘Love me Tender’
Elvis Presley, Love Me Tender
This song made me fall in love with Elvis, who died a full ten years before I was born. That’s almost supernatural.
Love me tender,
Love me sweet,
Never let me go.
You have made my life complete,
And I love you so.
He was singing to future me, right?
I also ADORE ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love With You’ just as much.
Amy Winehouse, ‘Love Is A Losing Game‘
This song possibly doesn’t quite fit here but I love it none the less. This song is difficult to listen to especially knowing Amy’s turbulent personal struggles. But it is so real, so relatable and so heartbreaking. RIP Amy.
For you I was a flame
Love is a losing game….
One I wish I’d never played
Oh, what a mess we made
And now the final frame
Love is a losing game
Eva Cassidy, ‘Song Bird’
I’m well aware that Eva didn’t actually write this song or originally perform it (Fleetwood Mac?) but her version is the one that will resonate with me forever. It is so pure and beautiful that I find it difficult to listen to without welling up.. FOR NO FREAKIN REASON! That’s the power of Eva Cassidy though.
For you, there’ll be no cryin’
For you, the sun will be shinin’
Cause I feel that when I’m with you,
It’s alright, I know it’s right
If you’ve never heard her sing, go listen to her now. It will change your life*
Fields of Gold (originally Sting but even he preferred Eva’s version) also deserves a mention here.
David Gray, ‘This Year’s Love’
I just love this song. I often skip it on my iPod though because I find it so hard to listen to. If David Gray was standing in front of me and I could give him a bear hug, or at the very least, a reassuring pat on the back, then fine. But the pain in his voice and the sad, melodic piano just make this song so darn melancholic.
The thing is, he *has* found someone but the lyrics perfectly encapsulate that feeling of paranoia and insecurity that we often feel in the beginning of a relationship. It’s his fear that something will go wrong that is so sad.
This years love had better last
Heaven knows it’s high time
And I’ve been waiting on my own too long
But when you hold me like you do
It feels so right
I start to forget
How my heart gets torn
When that hurt gets thrown
Feeling like you can’t go on
The Beach Boys, ‘God Only Knows’
On a slightly more cheerful note, this song is sweet and romantic without managing to be cliched. Take note, boy bands.
If you should ever leave me
Though life would still go on believe me
The world could show nothing to me
So what good would living do me
Typical beach boys, slightly dark lyrics hidden behind ridiculously catchy melodies. You’ve got to love it.
The Monkees, ‘I’m A Believer’
It’s cheerful, ridiculously infectious but I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t like it. And if you’re thinking ‘I don’t like it’ then that doesn’t count cause I haven’t met you so, ha. And now this is going to be stuck in your head for DAYS. Double ha.
I thought love was only true in fairytales
Meant for someone else but not for me
Love was out to get me
That’s the way it seemed
Disappointment haunted all my dreams
Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer
Not a trace of doubt in my mind
I’m in love, I’m a believer
I couldn’t leave her if I tried
Pearl Jam, ‘The End’
This is a song so emotional that every time it is played, an angel cries. Or something. But really, this song is so moving that the first time I heard it, I didn’t just do the welling up thing, I full-on sobbed! The narrator of the song is dying of ‘a sickness in [his] bones’ (I believe, anyway) and the lyrics are a plea to his loved one to understand that the stress of what he is going through has made him difficult to be around. He is hopeless. He also, futilely, blames himself for his illness and expresses a sense of failure for not being able to be there for his loved one and their kids. It really is such a beautiful song.
It’s my fault now
Having caught a sickness in my bones
How it pains to leave you here
With the kids on your own
Just don’t let me go
Help me see myself
Cause I can no longer tell
Looking out from the inside
Of the bottom of a well
But no one hears before I disappear
Whisper in my ear
Give me something to echo
In my unknown future’s ear
But not much longer.
I once played this to a class and the silence afterwards (apart from a few sniffles) said it all. It’s heart-breaking.
Jeff Buckley, ‘Lover, You Should’ve Come Over’
It makes me sad that more people will know the lyrics to ‘Baby’ by Justin Bieber than this song… (the same goes for a genius song by The White Stripes called ‘Effect and Cause’) because the lyrics are among the most meaningful and powerful I’ve ever heard. You know when you miss the person you love and you’re lying awake at night wishing they were beside you? Well, Buckley managed to verbalise that feeling in perhaps the most romantic yet conflicted lyrics ever written. Coupled with his vulnerable and aching voice, this song wins every time.
It’s never over, my kingdom for a kiss upon her shoulder
It’s never over, all my riches for her smiles when I slept so soft against her
It’s never over, all my blood for the sweetness of her laughter
It’s never over, she’s a tear that hangs inside my soul forever
Ryan Adams, ‘When The Stars Go Blue’
So, you’re probably getting that I like my love songs simple and they don’t come more simple than this one. The lyrics are pretty, his voice is soft and romantic and the music makes this the perfect song to slow-dance to.
Where do you go when you’re lonely
Where do you go when you’re blue
Where do you go when you’re lonely
I’ll follow you
When the stars go blue
Laughing with your pretty mouth
Laughing with your broken eyes
Laughing with your lover’s tongue
In a lullaby
Mandy Moore, you’re a lucky lady.
Willie Nelson, ‘You Are Always On My Mind’
I know Nelson didn’t originally write or record this song but his cover of it is by far my favourite. The sincerity of his voice makes the song his. I love it.
Maybe I didn’t love you
Quite as often as I could have
And maybe I didn’t treat you
Quite as good as I should have
If I made you feel second best
Girl, I’m sorry I was blind
You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind
And so, that’s all for now. I know there’s literally thousands of other songs I could have included but that would be one mother of a list and I actually did this on my phone. Surely I deserve some kind of prize for that? No? Fine, I’ll have cake.
*Not an exaggeration