Love songs, like love itself, come in all varieties. There’s the good, the bad and the so bad that there are YouTube channels dedicated to parody videos (I’m talking to you “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”) So whether you would do anything for love or are just looking for someone to call you his girl, here is a list of love songs for any occasion.
1. “I’m in Love with a Girl” by Big Star.
“I’m in Love with a Girl” isn’t about someone else’s love story. It’s about anyone’s. It’s about yours.
Simple lyrics and a simple melody can paint a picture of love at any stage, whether it be a first dance or a 50th anniversary. Often, the most eloquent way to say something is just to say it. This song is an example of that.
2. “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele.
To be fair, this is actually a Bob Dylan song. While the original is acoustic and sweet, Adele puts away Dylan’s rasping simplicity in favor of a classic-style piano ballad.
Though the words weren’t hers to begin with, she repurposes them beautifully as her own. After all, isn’t that what everyone does when they hear their favorite song? We imagine it playing during some pivotal scene of the little movie we’re filming of ourselves in our minds. Every story needs a love scene, and every love scene needs a love song.
“It’s no one’s favorite topic, but love would be
nothing without the occasional broken heart.”
3. “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton.
Your cousin probably danced to this song at her wedding. If it wasn’t your cousin, it was that girl you went to high school with. If it wasn’t either of them, ask the next three people you bump into — one of them will have danced to this song at their wedding.
As is often the case, Clapton’s ballad to getting dressed became a cliche for a reason. Sweet lyrics and a totally waltz-able rhythm lend themselves easily to a slow dance of any measure of importance. It’s the perfect level of sap delivered by a respectable enough musician that you can still admit to your friends that you like it. Plus, if you’ve listened to the radio anytime recently, it’s refreshing to hear a song about a lady putting her clothes on.
4. “First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes.
Whether it’s the moment your eyes meet across the room at a party or the realization of that weird interest you have in common, the first time you feel a connection with a new romantic interest is a “butterflies in the belly” moment.
This song speaks a lot to the feeling of vastness that comes with starting something new. It’s that time before you realize they slurp their coffee or they have a racist grandmother. This is the time when you feel limitless.
5. “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley.
While the lyrics were originally written by Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley took Cohen’s more spoken-word style and turned it into his own rock ballad. Love songs can come in all kinds of packages, and this is a song about loss. The story of that loss is left open enough to be appropriate in whatever context the listener applies to it, which paired with a haunting guitar lead makes for a heartbreaking song.
It’s no one’s favorite topic, but love would be nothing without the occasional broken heart. “Hallelujah” accomplishes what anyone could hope to in a sad situation — it learns from sorrow and respects loneliness. It knows pain as a temporary state and comes out the other side stronger.