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It wasn’t until I was with my first husband that I got into the idea of having “our song.” As much as I loved music, it just hadn’t been part of my past romances. It always seemed to be a romantic icon that other couples enjoyed.
Then one night, as a song by one of his favorite artists, Boz Scaggs, came on, we suddenly paid attention to the lyrics, which we’d heard so many times before we met. We suddenly felt the lyrics expressed us. We got up from where we were and started to slow dance to “We’re All Alone.” In that instant, love songs became part of my personal purview.
Compiling this list of love songs for seniors was daunting because it could have been 100 songs long. Plus, I wanted to pull songs from different eras and decades. I’m sure I missed some that are incredibly special to you, so please leave a comment below with your additions and your stories.
Love and passion aren’t just for the young. As long as you’re alive, there’s fire in the heart and heat in the furnace. Here are some of the top love songs for seniors to inspire you.
After his breakup with The Beatles, McCartney, always the lyricist of love, brought us a song about a man’s vulnerability and need for his one love. For McCartney, it was Linda, but his lyrics leave the song open for every man to sing and relate to it.
Fun Fact: McCartney played all the instruments in the original recording of “Maybe I’m Amazed.”
While this is a love song about mature lovers, Raitt recorded it when she was 41, and it’s often covered by others, including contestants on “American Idol.” “Something to Talk About” is included in her greatest hits album as well as her collaborative compilation album, “Bonnie Raitt and Friends.”
This is a woman’s love song. Our reputation as women is historically something that we’ve had to manage and consider perennially. In this song’s setting of small-town gossip, the singer just turns all that on its head. Raitt gives it her wry, mischievous, and sly rendition.
Her performance beat out Oleta Adams, Mariah Carey, Amy Grant, and Whitney Houston for the 1991 Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Grammy. Her video with Dennis Quaid made giving people something to talk about look like so much fun, and it and invites us all to take risks for love.
In this song, Sledge distills love to its essence by simply describing the inspiring and motivating love between a man and a woman. Bette Midler and Michael Bolton have also delivered compelling renditions of this song, which might speak to you two specifically.
While not credited for it, Sledge did contribute to the writing of “When a Man Loves a Woman,” which reached number one in the U.S. and the top 10 in the U.K. Rolling Stone also placed it at 53 in its list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”
Gaye’s hit song promotes the sexual and sensual aspect of love without being vulgar. He brought sexuality to popular songs years before George Michael told us “I want your sex.”
Multiple TV shows and movies have used “Let’s Get It On” to signal the segue to the bedroom. Despite the comic effect the song can have, senior couples can let it empower them and play it during a meal to signal their intent for later on.
Written for her, “A Natural Woman” became one of Franklin’s signature songs. While “Respect” was a strong contender for this position, “Natural Woman” gave women of multiple generations a love anthem to express how they want to feel when loved. This song was so closely associated with Franklin that, a week after her passing, it finally became a hit in the U.K. — 51 years after its release.
Co-author Carol King also made “Natural Woman” a folk icon in her rendition on the album “Tapestry.”
Classic love songs need to span decades and speak to multiple generations. Here are four songs that just drip romantic love. They make our hearts sing and souls soar.
If country is a little more your thing, feel free to enjoy Willie Nelson’s poignant rendition of “Always On My Mind” instead of Elvis’ version. However, Elvis dominates classic love songs for seniors because he inspired future artists like McCartney.
Elvis sings this song poignantly, hoping for another chance to keep his love satisfied. Indeed, hearing the words “I’m so happy that you’re mine” would be dear to every woman’s heart.
“Unforgettable” became a signature song by Nat King Cole in 1951, and they lyrics tell us about an admiring, aching, reciprocal, healthy love between two people. The song reached new audiences 40 years later when it was released as duet on Natalie Cole’s 1991 album, “Unforgettable… With Love.”
It swept the Grammy’s with Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance. Additionally, the Grammy’s honored the song as one of the Grammy’s Greatest Moments in 1994.
Seven years after “Layla,” Clapton brought us a song about a man looking at his wife with adoration as they’re heading out for the evening. Some people have described “Wonderful Tonight” as more of a humorous interpretation of an impatient husband reassuring his wife that she looks good, so he can get her out the door. However, listening to the sweetness of the lyrics and Clapton’s amazing guitar playing, I tend to disagree.
“Unchained Melody” was released in 1955, and it became a classic slow song at high school dances for baby boomers. Harry Belafonte’s version from the same year also hit the top of the charts.
However, it was the 1965 version recorded by The Righteous Brothers that truly crept into people’s hearts. Being featured in the 1990 film “Ghost” also exposed “Unchained Melody” to Generation X. The song is so timeless and beloved that I wonder when the next movie will feature it anew to another generation.
Whether you want to salsa with a date or square dance with your girls, most of us love cutting a rug. Here are just three of so many possibilities to help get you on the dance floor.
Martha and the Vandellas first brought “Dancing in the Street” to us in 1961.
However, it took the vamping and prancing of Mick Jagger and David Bowie to really inspire us. Feel free to dance to whoever’s version gets you up and moving, even if it’s just in your living room.
“In the Mood” is more of an instrumental than a song, but, for many seniors, this signaled the end of the evening at dances. This one definitely fits the bill as a beloved tune.
If we’re talking about dancing, then there has to be a two-steppin’ option included. Who better than Randy Travis? Not to mention he won a Grammy for “Forever And Ever Amen.” I’d say this song isn’t the best for slow dances, but rather it has enough pep to move you around the dance floor at a good pace.
I was hard-pressed not to list all of the Beach Boys’ songs because they were such classic summer songs. However, summer also included all those workweeks earning money, so I took that into consideration when writing this section of the article.
While likely one of their least traditionally beachy songs, “Good Vibrations” is a song about the sun streaming through a girl’s hair and perfume-infused breezes wafting her essence toward a guy.
It’s a story of love and a man’s desire to keep those good vibrations flowing. The song’s musical innovation elevates it above all The Beach Boys’ songs of surfboards and girls.
The Lovin’ Spoonful 1966 song features sounds of car horns and jackhammers to bring us right into summer city life. The days are hot, gritty, and grimy. “Don’t you know it’s a pity that the days can’t be like the nights?” Ah, but the nights! That’s when the vocalist would go out and search for the hope of romance with a girl.
Who knew back in 1976 that the Starland Vocal Band would give a generation a nickname for plans for intimacy? I had to include “Afternoon Delight” because it’s not just a song seniors recall from their youth — it’s now part of the common vernacular for making sexy plans with your significant other.
Songs of spring often remind of us of the change of season. As the winter months melt into spring, we have both rain and sunshine and a little hope for new love. For seniors, that can mean either a wonderful new relationship or the nurturing of your coupledom.
“April Come She Will” is great for people who love “The Graduate.” This is a song about young love that went from a charming first meeting in spring to a sad demise come fall.
The sweetness of that young and short-lived love can create the desire for a longer lasting relationship, which can be enjoyed or newly found now as a senior.
Whether you prefer the original song by Johnny Nash or Jimmy Cliff’s version as featured in the 1993 comedy “Cool Runnings,” this hit marks the start of spring as the rain dissolves and bright, sun-shiny days begin. A new chapter in life has started, like the hope of new senior romance.
“Here Comes the Sun” is one of the best-known Beatles songs written by George Harrison, and he was inspired to write it upon seeing sunlight emerging while visiting Eric Clapton’s home.
The Beatles were embroiled in a financial and legal business management mess. Harrison sings about his sense of freedom emerging and escaping from that for a time. As he addresses his “little darling,” he sings of the ice melting and the ending of a lonely winter. Its hopefulness hints at the possibility of newness, perhaps of love with the coming of the sun.
These final three songs must be sung with a microphone while you belt out the lyrics over-the-top style on stage at a karaoke bar.
This campy hit is a departure from Stewart’s former blues and folk ballad work, and it became a concert go-to that his new throng of fans demanded he perform.
Before there were music channels, like MTV and VH1, Stewart made an early music video for the song. Adoring female fans would scream at him singing this song. “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” is a classic song from the disco era of one-night stands.
While “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” is only 25 years old and was featured in the Disney animated film “The Lion King,” it really is a great song for senior lovers.
When released, the song hit the top of the charts in multiple countries, including the U.K., the U.S., Canada, and France. It also won an Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Song and a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
“Venus” was first recorded by Shocking Blue on a single 45, and it hit number one in nine countries. Banarama’s version gave it to the ladies in a new of era of girl groups. They have the distinction of being included in the Guinness Book of World Records for the all-female group with the most chart entries in the world. Their rendition is more girls screaming and cavorting in a post-punk expression of female sexual power.
When they sing “I’m your Venus. I’m your fire,” they sing of themselves and making men weak with desire. Dress in all black and heels, and tease your tresses as you take the stage to chant along with them. “Making every man a man,” your senior beau will chortle and get a mischievous glint in his eye.
With representation from multiple decades and genres, we’ve covered a full range of expressions of love for seniors. Whether your love is just beginning or is long-established, there’s a song here for you to share, sing, and dance to.