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|Nick Slade • 3/11/16|
Romance is a very different thing for men and women. It should come as no surprise, then, that a list of favorite male love songs is unlike a list that women might come up with. The thing about love songs is that they all tend to glorify the woman. Men either come out as whipped worshipers or bums or they are entirely absent.
And when a woman sings a love song for a man, like “Wind Beneath My Wings” or “You Light Up My Life,” it’s a song that men can’t stand to listen to. You never hear them at weddings, but you hear them a lot at funerals — for men.
Well, let’s take a shot at a list of top love songs for men, and see what you think.
Our top pick has no words at all, and perhaps that’s what makes it a great love song for men. The smooth jazz style of Washington’s exquisite saxophone will calm a wild beast and help any man unwind and get in the mood for romance. Even the name of the song sets a great mood. Candlelight, a glass of wine and a woman, if there’s one nearby, make everything right with the world. There’s no need to let words get in the way, as the instruments carry you away by themselves. This is our version of a bubble bath and strawberries. Put the whole album on — “Just the Two of Us,” “Let It Flow,” and all the rest. But don’t play the songs unless you are prepared to face the music — with a night of passion.
This is a very mature and heartfelt song. We men never really understand what the most gentle, beautiful and caring creatures in the world see in us, why they want to be near us, and why they love us. Clapton’s lyrics and melody capture the mood, the respect and the appreciation a man has for his lifelong partner. She always notices the smallest details about him that let her know if he’s all right. She drives him home from the party when he had a little too much to drink and lovingly helps him into bed. She is every man’s fantasy. It must be a love song, because it’s a far cry from reality.
Now, this is the kind of love that a man can relate to. Talking a woman out of her panties and into your bed is possibly the highest form of love. “And giving yourself to me can never be wrong, if the love is true. Don’t you know how sweet and wonderful life can be? I’m asking you baby to get it on with me.” Sweeter words were never sung. My guess is that a good time was had by all. Throw in Marvin’s make-up sex anthem, “Sexual Healing,” and you know love is in the air.
Nobody made ‘em swoon like Frankie. Old Blue Eyes had a way with lyrics, plus a style and image all his own. He set the standard for the modern love song that still works today. One of his later hits, “Strangers in the Night,” is also filled with a man’s fantasy of love and romance — two lonely people, lovers at first sight. Nice. Tony Bennett, Harry Connick, Jr. and Michael Bublé are all chips off the Sinatra block.
Pick any Barry White song: “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe,” “Don’t Make Me Wait Too Long,” “I’m Qualified to Satisfy You,” “It’s Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next to Me.” Barry knew what love means to a man, and he made a lot of women feel the power and need for a man’s love, too. Undoubtedly, thousands of young men and women in their mid-thirties owe their existence to Mr. White. No question, his are powerful love songs.
A very soulful and haunting song, “Angie” is actually a man’s anguished and bittersweet farewell to the love of his life. He can’t provide her with the things she deserves. The love has run its course with nowhere left to go, and it has simply burned itself out. But he still cherishes the time they had and the love they made together. Women might not see this as a love song, but it’s a pained and painful kind of courageous love that makes him do the difficult but right thing when the time has come to move on.
So, that’s our list. What do you think? Some songs that almost made the list are: “Put Another Log on the Fire,” “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman,” and “Love the Way You Lie.” A lot of songs from the doo-wop era, like “Daddy’s Home” and “Venus,” would also make the list if it were a little longer. There might even be some songs by female singers of the era, like Kathy Young’s “A Thousand Stars in the Sky” from 1961. Hopefully, our list will give men some insights about themselves.