Paul McCartney sang, “You’d think some people would have had enough of silly love songs.” Well, I sure haven’t. I’ve been a sucker for them since I was small and would ask my mother to play the great operas La Bohème and LaTraviata (I called them ‘the dying records’).
As a reader and writer of romance, the love hasn’t changed. So, I have compiled a list of what I think are the top thirteen love songs. A baker’s dozen if you will (I simply couldn’t narrow the list down any further).
All of Me John Legend: “Love your curves and all your edges/All your perfect imperfections” Who wouldn’t want to hear someone say they love everything about you, even the less than desirable parts?
At Last: It’s shocking that this Etta James classic didn’t make Billboard’s Top 40 when it was released in 1961. It’s a beautiful song that speaks to the triumph and joy of being loved.
Maybe I’m Amazed by Paul McCartney: This song blew me away when I first heard the live version. Paul dedicated it to his wife Linda to whom he was married for 29 years before she died of cancer. I guess she really did “help [him] to understand.”
Teach Me Tonight: If only everyone’s first time could be the way these lyrics promise. Remember when this played as Days of Our Lives’ Justin and Adrienne first made love on their wedding night?
Unforgettable: A beautiful love song, perfectly sung as a romantic ballad by Nat King Cole as well as a father/daughter duet, twenty-six years after Cole’s death, with his daughter, singer Natalie Cole.
Something by the Beatles: George Harrison sings about a love that is still new and feeling unsure about what makes his lover so special and how long it will last.
Someone Like You by Van Morrison: The singer/songwriter’s Moondance is a sexy song, but his Someone Like You is pure romance, a man who has searched long and hard for someone “exactly like you.”
I Swear: Covered by both country singer John Michael Montgomery and the R & B group All-4-One, this proves that a great song can be successfully covered by any group and any genre. I love both versions.
Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be) by Billie Holiday. I’m not much of a fan of Billie as a singer. But, oh man, she was a great songwriter. This song is romantic and wistful. And underappreciated.
Night and Day and I’ve Got You Under My Skin by Cole Porter: These songs are considered classics for a reason. Both speak to how compelling and precarious love can be. Perhaps that’s why serial lover Frank Sinatra recorded these tunes numerous times.
Don’t Know Why: This Norah Jones classic of lost love and lost chances is sweet and sad. The repeated verse “Don’t know why I didn’t come” is the lament of everyone who has been afraid to risk. But I can’t help but think (and hope) that there might someday be a second chance for the narrator, as well as the listener, to one day have an HEA.
Down On My Knees: When I heard Trisha Yearwood sing this, it started an aural love affair with this talented country music artist. And it also shows that a woman can survive without a special love, but that life is so much better with it.
What do you think of my choices? What are yours? Leave a comment!