A lot of these songs are old; not Mozart old, but a comfortable 1960s old, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. That’s when music was at its swooniest. And they’re great songs, good to listen to if you’re already in love or not in love, and, even if you never want to be in love or hate love because that guy Derek broke your heart and moved to Alaska, you should still listen to these songs.
Can’t Take My Eyes Off You — Frankie Valli
You guys. You guys. YOU GUYS. When the horns come in all, “BA-da BA-duh BA-duh da duhh da BA-duh BA-duh BAAAA!” and then Valli is all, “I LOVE YOU BAAAAAABY” that is just magic.
When I Fall In Love — Nat King Cole
Does this make us all think of “Sleepless In Seattle”? And when we think of “Sleepless In Seattle” there’s, of course, one actor we all think about:
Paper Bag — Fiona Apple
If you want more grittiness in your love songs, this is the one. The sweeping flute, solid horns and jaunty piano are there, but then you have Apple’s smooth voice saying, “I thought he was a man but he was just a little boy.” Yet there’s a wistfulness here, that maybe it will happen after all, one day. I’m on a lot of cold medicine right now in case you couldn’t tell.
Something — The Beatles
If you like your love songs to have a touch of ominousness, then this is the song for you. By which I mean, this is definitely not a Paul love song, this is all George. By which I mean, Beatles I like them good times for the people.
Babies — Pulp
Because: “I want to take you home. I want to give you children. And you might be my girlfriend.” Okay actually, written down, that looks very creepy. Which is why it helps to watch the video and see the earnestness in Jarvis Cocker’s hips eyes.
Nothing Can Change This Love — Sam Cooke
This song is like an audible fairy tale.
Your Song — Elton John
I watched this video and was startled by how attracted I was to a young Elton John. I’m not saying I was very attracted, but I was minimally attracted, and that was enough. Good on you, Elton.
You And I — Lady Gaga
Don’t turn your nose up at Gaga – this is a grab-you-by-the-collar-then-hardcore-make-out-with-you love song. The part that really gets me is when Gaga says, “Something, something about the chase: six whole years.” It’s a very “real” little detail to put into a love song that a lot of people can relate to. Like I’ve been chasing after this one guy for more than a decade, and it still hasn’t happened, but it will, as soon as he realizes that he doesn’t really need his family or his current wife. And that’s our next entry:
Maybe I’m Amazed – Paul McCartney
It’s an epic love song, this one right here. Quiet then rough with just the right amount of “YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH”s and “OOOOOhh”s. It’s also good for karaoke.
The most frantic thumbs-up ever captured.
God Only Knows — The Beach Boys
Another epic love song, maybe the most epic of all. Also epic is this video, in that the word “awkward” is not enough. It will never, ever be enough.