A great man once said, “The power of love is a curious thing, make a one man weep, make another man sing”. This statement is as true as the day it was first uttered. Love has treated some of us better than others. When you think of love you may have happy thoughts but some people will have the exact opposite thoughts, it's an incredibly strong emotion, perhaps the strongest.
Seeing as Valentines Day is rapidly approaching I thought I would share some of my favorite love related songs with you. It seemed more productive than moaning about how much I absolutely loath this “holiday”. So below you will find 20 of my favorite love songs, some of them are about the happy times involved with love, some are more so about the not happy times that come with love. One last thing these are not necessarily my all time favorite songs about love, or the best, just ones I feel a special connection to. Trust me, it was pretty difficult getting the list down to just 20. Here we go …
I shuffled the play list with my choices to assure these would not be in any specific order
Bob Dylan – Don't Think Twice It's All Right
This is one of my all time favorite Bob Dylan songs. The song is about the narrator breaking up with his girl and how hard it is for him, but he has to leave her because the relationship just isn't going to work. The song is telling her that even though he wants to stay, she can't do anything to get him to, even though she apparently hasn't shown that much affection to him in the past. One of my favorite lines in the song is “goodbye is too good a word gal, so I'll just say fare thee well”. I also really like Emily Haines cover of the song, for those of you that don't know Emily Haines is the lead singer of the indie rock band, Metric.
The Pixies – La La Love You
La La Love You is such a great song because it's just so simple. It also helps that the drums are so fun and poppy. This song is off of one of my favorite Pixies albums, Doolittle and was also one of my favorite tracks from said album. The lyrics (other than the intro) are just “all I'm saying pretty baby, la la love you don't mean maybe” and the members taking turns saying “I love you”. It's just a simple message. A message of love.
Noah and the Whale are a great group but man, some of their songs really get me down in the dumps. But not this one. 5 Years Time tells the tale of a young man and a young woman and how they have fallen in love and everything in the world is just dandy. They go to the zoo and all the animals are smiling, they don't feel like they have to impress each other anymore, they pretty much are living a cheesy romantic comedy. The young man goes on to say though that this is all only in his head, none of it is real. All of these happy moments haven't actually happened … yet. In 5 years time he might not know her, they might not speak, they might not get a long, but he then says, “you might just prove me wrong”.
Here is a song that is perhaps a little melodramatic, but hey, thats how love is sometimes. As you may have guessed, the song is about how he would rather die than not be with this girl he cares so much for. “Think I wanna die, if you don't stay, drop dead in place you can forget it” little dramatic right? Well thats how you can get when you feel so attached to someone. First few times I heard this song I thought to myself “wow … thats a little much, sounds kind of cheesy” but now I think that this man is just incredibly passionate about this woman.
Wilco – True Love Will Find You In The End
As some of you may already know, this is in fact a cover song. It's a cover of a song by Daniel Johnston. If you don't know of Daniel Johnston then thats a whole 'nother story, I suggest you do some digging. This song just puts a smile on my face and when I feel unlucky in love, it really reassures me. As the title suggests the song talks about how, as long as your looking and doing your part, true love will eventually make it's way to you. My favorite line of the song is “don't be sad I know you will, don't give up until, true love will find you in the end”.
Regina Spektor – Us
If you were to ever ask me what songs I would want played at my wedding, this would easily top that list. This is my favorite Spektor song and also one of the most beautiful songs I think I've ever heard. The song details the relationship between a couple, seemingly a kind of romeo and juliet type of couple. One that others do not approve of and do not wish to happen, or at least thats how I view it and translate it. This couple must have done some amazing things though, seeing as they had a statue built of them and a city named after them.
If you haven't heard this song yet, congratulations you probably went deaf around the beginning of last year. So as you can probably tell or already know, this isn't a lovey dovey song, this is an angry song with a great upbeat uhhh … beat. Cee-Lo tells about how he loved this girl so much but she pays him no mind because he's too poor, in other words, this woman is a gold digger. Shes now with another man who is apparently an xbox but Cee-Lo is an atari. Cee-Lo has apparently gotten to the point where he sees this girl for what she really is, and needless to say, he's kind of pissed.
Sam Cooke – You Send Me
An oldie but a goodie, as they say. Cooke, like Cee-Lo just has such a soulful voice, a voice that you don't hear very often. This song doesn't really try to disguise itself with analogies and metaphors, it's just about how this girl he's in love with makes him feel. There isn't a whole lot going on in the song really, at least not compared to todays music, but Cooke's voice and the emotion of the song make it a classic.
This is a lovely and honest song. It's also the shortest song on this play list and barely over a minuet and a half, but sometimes thats all the time you need to say how you feel. Gibbard talks about how this relationship has had some hard times but it's obvious that they still love each other. All you have to hear is the line “theres times I think of leaving, but it's something I'll never do, because you can do better than men, but I can't do better than you”. That might not sound so sweet, but I think he means it to.
Stars are a great band for love songs, especially the ones that aren't so uplifting. Personal tells the story of two singles that meet on a dating site. They start sending each other messages and pictures and are seemingly hitting it off. But hey, this song wouldn't be so slow and sad sounding if everything was gonna work out in the end, would it? The two singles plan to meet up for a drink. She gets there, she waits, and waits, and waits a little more. He doesn't show up. She tells him in her last message to him that she saw him there, and she knows he saw her too. “I guess we'll never meet now, it wasn't meant to be”.
Wilco is just a great band to look to for love songs and this is one of my personal favorites. This song is just so sweet in my mind because it's a genuine confession of love. The song is so upbeat and happy and it fits the lyrics perfectly, Tweedy talks about how if he could just hold her hand then she would understand that he is the man that loves her, it's simple but sweet. Plus, it's Wilco and they're pretty much amazing!
Jason Lytle is the lead singer of Grandaddy, I realize that probably didn't help you recognize him but maybe it did for someone. This is one of the only songs that actually made me cry the first time I heard it, yeah thats right, guys can cry from a song too. The song is about how Lytle's wife/fiancée/girl friend is accusing him of being in love with someone else “Don't yell at me, 'cus you can't see, who I am thinking of”. However you soon learn who he is thinking of, “I'm only talking, I'm only laughing, with the ghost of my old dog”. Then the part that gets me every time, “but they're all gone now, to earthen bed”.
They Might Be Giants – New York City (Sorry I could only find lie versions)
Ah, one of my all time favorite cover songs and one of my all time favorite love songs. NYC is originally a song by the all girl punk group, Cub. TMBG being from NYC decided it would be a perfect song to cover. This song is a love song in more than one way, in one way it's a love letter to TMBG's home and then it's also a traditional boy meets girl love song. I can't really pick a favorite line from the song because it's all so great but the opening sets up the song pleasantly, “You called me last night on the telephone, and I was glad to hear from you 'cause I was all alone, you said, 'it's snowing, it's snowing! God, I hate this weather', now I walk through blizzards just to get us back together”. If you like this song I recommend you also check out another TMBG love song called “Another First Kiss”.
Yep, another Stars song. This one is about two ex lovers being introduced at a party. “yes, I believe we've met before”. The song gives off the feeling that this meeting is kind of awkward and tension filled. They chat for a while and both take the same cab and as he sits there silently he says in the song that he wasn't sad, he was just trying to remember her name. Which makes me think he's a jerk. I don't believe that he actually doesn't remember her name, he's just putting on a show that their relationship didn't mean that much to him, when in fact it really did.
Of course I couldn't let this list not have any Radiohead on it. All I Need is from their latest album, In Rainbows, and is another great simple love song. I seem to have a thing for simplicity, not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Thom appears to be telling a woman how much he loves this woman but she simply ignores him, or does not share the same feelings. “I am all the days, that you choose to ignore”. Even though she continues to ignore his feelings he keeps saying “you are all I want, you all I need”. I feel Thom's pain when he says “I'm an animal, trapped in your hot car”. I think everyone can probably relate to this song, which is one of many reasons this is such a great song.
You gotta keep a good sense of humor about love or else you'll go insane, also, I don't care what anyone says Weird Al is a very talented musician AND lyricist. You Don't Love Me Anymore is the humorous account of a man who is slowly beginning to pick up the HUGE hints his wife/girl friend is leaving that she doesn't love him anymore. The song is a sad ballad and you feel bad for the narrator even though your also laughing a whole lot. “Why did you disconnect the brakes from my car, that kind of thing is hard to ignore, got a funny feeling, you don't love me anymore”.
The Mountain Goats – No Children
The Mountain Goats have a lot of great songs about love, this one is about love, but the utmost darkest part of love. The feelings you have for someone after you have split and you both have NOT made nice, you both loath each other. No Children is about these feeling, it seems to be after a rather bitter divorce. It's a beautiful song in the most depressing way possible. “I hope that our few remaining friends give up on trying to save us, I hope we come up with a fail safe plot to piss off the dumb few that forgave us.” Pretty depressing right? It only gets worse.
Swann was a great soul singer that not a lot of people are aware of. She didn't put out too many albums but this is one of my favorite songs by her. It has the same feeling of I Will Survive, where she is talking about how she won't go back to this man even though he wants her back. He is a apparently someone that gets around though. The song is written as a letter to him telling him that her heart is indeed, closed for the season and it's because of how he treated her. Just that analogy of her heart having a season was enough to get me loving this song.
Art Brut is an artist that won't be for everybody. His vocal style is one of those were the singer half sings, half speaks. Emily Kane is about one of his first real girl friends and how innocent their relationship was. He's still in love with her and wants to be with her, every girl he's been with since her have just reminded him of her. He has no idea how to contact her or where she lives but he does know the exact time it's been since he last saw her, down to the last second. “I hope this song finds you fame, I want kids on school bus's singing your name”
The Blues Brothers – Everybody Needs Somebody To Love
I couldn't think of a more perfect song to end this list with. Blues Brothers is one of my all time favorite movies and it had a lot of amazing songs, this was one of the last performed in the movie, at the big gig towards the end before the last big police chase. The song has a pretty basic message, we are all human and because of that simple fact we all desire and require love. Whether it be a person that you and all of your friends hate or the person that everyone gets a long with, we all NEED love. Also if you listen to this song and you don't feel like dancing, you might want to check your pulse.
Even though I hate Valentines Day, I hope you have an excellent one.