Valentines Day is a very polarizing holiday—people either love it or hate it with a burning passion. I’m a rare breed in that I’m usually quite indifferent, but I’m actually really loving it this year. (Full discloser: A big reason I’m loving it is because it’s currently is 7:46 AM and I have already eaten a handful of chocolate and some candy hearts.)
So, in the spirit of St. Valentine and all things love, I thought it’d be fun to talk about love songs.
Who doesn’t love a good love song? When we’re feeling lucky in love, we blast the Beyonce and sing that we’re “Crazy in Love.” When things in the romance department are less lively, we channel our inner Bridget Jones and lip sync a Celine song (typically, while snacking on a tub of cookie dough). Love and music just go together. So without further ado, here’s a list of the songs I find most romantic and most heartbreaking.
Let’s start with the sad ones first (in no particular order):
1. “Losing You” by Randy Newman
Randy Newman’s voice is unique in that it can sound super happy or super sad depending on the song he is singing. And in “Losing You,” Randy sounds so, so sad. This is a song about an old man looking back on his life and feeling peace about it—except for his one regret: losing the girl. Heartbreaker.
2. “Burning House” by Cam
Oh man, this song is sad. Though the words are certainly not happy, the thing that makes this song so heartbreaking is the melody + Cam’s voice. Something about it just makes me want to weep.
3. “Video Games” by Lana Del Ray
I first heard this song a few years ago when a dear friend was struggling in a toxic relationship. Seeing this friend go downhill because of a boy broke my heart. “Video Games” seemed to speak to that situation, though in complete transparency, I’m not actually sure what this song is about. And now that I look at the lyrics a little closer, it may actually be a love song? But because of what I associate it with, it will forever be a sad song in my mind.
4. “River” by Joni Mitchell
I’ll let the lyrics speak for themselves:
“I’m so hard to handle. I’m selfish and I’m bad. Now I gone lost the best baby that I ever had. Oh, I wish I had a river to skate away on…”
5. “Let Him Fly” by Patty Griffin
Again, just listen to the lyrics: “He’s been trying to tell me so. Took a while to understand. … You must always know how long to stay and when to go.”
To me, this is a song about unrequited love (by far, the saddest form of love). The woman in this song loves a man, but she realizes it’s time to let him go. So relatable, so sad.
Ok, time to dry your eyes because we’re moving on to happier tunes. Here’s my list of the top romantic songs of all time:
1. “True Companion” by Marc Cohn
“True Companion” is like the Kenny Loggins “Celebrate Me Home” of love songs. Sure, it’s cheesy, but it just hits the spot sometimes.
2. “Like Real People Do” by Hozier
This song is so swoon-worthy. It sounds almost magical, thanks to the sweet lyrics, Hozier’s subtlety romantic voice, and those background singers’ crooning. It gives me butterflies.
3. “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds
Just listen to the words in that last verse. Listen and weep.
4. “Love Me Tender” by Elvis
Ok, it’s no secret that I think Elvis is a hunk o’ burning love, but even if you’re not an Elvis fan, I think you can agree that this song is super romantic. “Love me tender, love me true, all my dreams fulfilled. For, my darling, I love you, and I always will.” I mean, come on.
*If I ever get married and have a first dance, this song will be my jam.
5. “Mrs. Darcy” from the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack
Sometimes love songs aren’t about the story they tell, but the feeling they evoke. And this song from Pride and Prejudice gives me all the feels.
And just for kicks, one more song that is on my list for being happy & sad: “Hearts on Fire” by Passenger. The first time I heard it, I thought what a sweet love song. But then I heard it a different time and thought saddest love song ever. For me, this one jumps back and forth between sad and romantic depending on my mood. I honestly can’t understand what Passenger is saying throughout the majority of the song, so who really knows if it’s supposed to be happy or sad. I kind of like it that way.
Happy V-day, my loves.
Currently listening to “Georgia” by Vance Joy