All the snow on the ground doesn’t change the fact that today is Valentine’s Day, which seems like the most apropos time to talk about love. Last year I wrote a post about my favorite breakup songs and it only seems fair to give a little equal time to some of my favorite love songs. While a good breakup song can help mend a broken heart, a good love song can often help put into words the joy and happiness that you are experiencing. They help elevate your presumably already good mood and can be used to woo a prospective partner.
Love songs are a little more subjective than breakup songs; you might consider the song that was playing when you met your partner a love song, even if the lyrics don’t necessarily back that up. There are songs about all kinds of love – unrequited love, new love, crushes, lust, and enduring love. And there are just a lot more love songs to choose from – the ratio of love songs to breakup songs has got to be something like 10:1. Love must sell better than sadness/bitterness.
While my preference for breakup songs ran toward the more defiant – most of the songs on my list were about being better off without the other person rather than wallowing in their absence – my favorite love songs are little all over the place. I don’t have a lot of sappy ballads on the list, but I don’t object to them as much as you might think I would. I’m not completely a heartless monster.
So in honor of Valentine’s Day, here are some of my favorites. Even when I am not in love, these songs still make me smile.
“Friday I’m in Love” – The Cure
The song that inspired the title of this post, it’s not the most complex song but it is darn catchy. You don’t necessarily think of upbeat sounding love songs when you think of The Cure, but it’s good to know that they have it in them. And really there is no greater feeling when it is both Friday and you are in love.
“At My Most Beautiful” – R.E.M.
I’ve long been an R.E.M. fan – thanks to growing up with a best friend that is a huge R.E.M. fan – but I think this song is my favorite of their entire catalog. It’s a beautiful song and captures some of the little things that you do when you are in love. I especially like that lyrics focus on making the other person smile – because isn’t that what love is really all about?
“Nothing Else Matters” – Metallica
Just because you are in a heavy metal band doesn’t mean that you can’t sing about your feelings. This song was popular when I was in high school and it has always been my favorite Metallica song, which I know makes me a total girl. I think it’s nice that the band showed off their sensitive side a bit with this song, which I believe is the only true ballad that they ever recorded. I’ve never thought that Metallica lyrics are all that great, but I think these are among the best that they have written.
“Ice Cream” – Sarah McLachlan
I love ice cream – like I really love ice cream. If I’m saying anything is better than ice cream, that’s a pretty high compliment. This is a simple and cute little song that always makes me happy.
“Faithfully” – Journey
Did you really think that I wasn’t going to include a Journey song?
“Lay Down” – O.A.R.
I think this song is really catchy and upbeat and I really like the hook “It’s too loud on the Earth today so let’s go home and lay down, rest you in my arms.” When you are love, that is the perfect way to spend the day and you can’t help but think that “the universe is ours.”
“Head Over Feet” – Alanis Morisette
I fell in love with this song the first time I heard it; while everyone else originally was going nuts over “You Outta Know” (a great song in its own right, something about this song spoke more clearly to me. While it definitely reminds me of a certain person and a certain time of my life that are both long gone, I still adore it. I just think it’s a sweet little song.
Dyslexic Heart – Paul Westerberg
Love is complicated. That’s kind of the fun in it. This song captures the confusion when you aren’t sure how you feel about a person or the signals that they are giving you.
“Feels Like Home” – Bonnie Raitt
There are multiple versions of this song done by various singers, but Raitt’s version has always been my favorite. I had always planned to use this as my wedding song, but then way too many people had the same idea (and got married before me). Its ubiquitousness doesn’t minimize my affinity for it. The idea that the person you love is home is very comforting.
“Crazy in Love” – Beyonce featuring Jay Z
No list of love songs would be complete without featuring the ultimate power couple, Beyonce and Jay Z. This was a back in the days when they weren’t confirming that they were a couple and before they gave birth to our future overlord, Blue Ivy. Love does make you crazy, but usually in a good way. I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is the only love song out there that features the word chinchilla.
Still the One – Orleans
Falling in love is pretty easy. Staying in love isn’t. This song is a testament to going the distance in a relationship.
I could go on and on – for a fairly cynical person, I seem to enjoy love songs – but for now I turn it over to you. What are some of your favorite love songs? Sound off in the comments section and give us some suggestions for a Valentine’s Day playlist. If you are snowed in, hopefully you are stuck with the person you love (or can at least tolerate).
*I wouldn’t read too much into this title selection.