The Best Love Songs of All Time
No love story is complete without a soundtrack. Indeed, the only thing better than reading about love is losing yourself in a song that perfectly captures the emotions that come along with love in all its forms, and amplifies what you’re feeling at the time. It can make you giddy with infatuation or provide much-needed catharsis in times of heartbreak. Below, a list of my votes for the 10 best love songs of all time — you can also listen along HERE:
1) Ben E. King: “Stand By Me.” I’ve heard this song about a trillion times and it never fails to give me chills. Ultimately, what more do we want out of a partner than someone who will be there, even when the world around us falls apart (literally or figuratively)?
2) Dolly Parton, “I Will Always Love You.” Of course, the Whitney Houston version is a classic, with its grandeur and dramatic crescendos. But the original captures an entirely different sensation — pure, simple heartbreak that you can’t do anything about.
3) The Righteous Brothers, “Unchained Melody.” Did you know that this song is actually about a prisoner contemplating his return to his loved one upon completion of his sentence? Just listen to the lyrics! But even without the secret back story, the sense of longing conveyed in this song is pure magic.
4) The Roots ft Erykah Badu, “You Got Me.” With hectic work schedules and the interferences of day-to-day life, it’s easy to get insecure about where you stand with your partner. Badu’s simple, soulful reassurance of her dedication is just what one needs to hear in those moments of doubt.
5) Eric Carmen, “Hungry Eyes.” For many, it’s impossible to separate this song from the scene in Dirty Dancing where Baby and Johnny are just starting to fall for each other as they rehearse. Secret longing, glistening sweat from dancing on a summer night — this song is infatuation in a bottle!
6) Adam Sandler, “Grow Old With You.” Another song from a movie, this one might not be considered musically genius, but the lyrics, about everything from taking care of your loved one in illness to sharing the remote control are just so genuinely sweet that no list of love songs would be complete without it.
7) The Foo Fighters, “Everlong.” Dave Grohl and company show surprising vulnerability in this 90s alt-rock classic about that feeling of happy disbelief that you could ever be so lucky as to be with the person you’re with.
8) The Beach Boys, “God Only Knows.” I always think of this song as being about the realization that you’ve been taking someone for granted, and the relief and gratitude that flood you when you realize how fortunate you actually are, and that it’s not too late to start appreciating what you have.
9) Death Cab for Cutie, “I Will Follow You Into The Dark.” Some might call this song morbid, but I think it’s a touching reassurance that you’ll always, ALWAYS be there for the one you love — even if you can’t keep that promise, there’s something really beautiful about the act of making it.
10) The Rent Soundtrack, “I’ll Cover You.” This isn’t one of the flashier songs on the score, but it’s jubilant and bursting with all the promises of new love. Plus, I like that it’s about giving — the two characters are almost trying to outdo each other in acts of kindness, and isn’t that what love is all about?
Honorable mentions: Tim McGraw – “Just To See You Smile,” SWV – “Weak,” Elvis Presley – “Only Fools Rush In,” Method Man and Mary J Blige – “All I Need,” and anything by Barry Manilow.
That’s my list, but it’s just a small sample of the great love songs out there. Tell us your favorites in the comments!