Happy Valentine’s Day! The illustrious — and infamous — day of love. However you’re celebrating (or uncelebrating) today, I’m sure some music is swirling around lovebirds everywhere. In honor of this festive occasion, I present: my favorite ‘real’ love songs of all time! Yes, another of my “lists.” I love lists.
I’m picking based on certain very unscientific data: what I feel! And a “real” love song, to me, isn’t something that sings about birds chirping or the sun shining in your eyes or . . . well, anything that sappy. I have felt that cheesy before, sure, but most of the time love is about a lot more than chocolate-covered kisses and close embraces and all-encompassing passion. Those things are super, I agree, but they do not a tried-and-true love make. So my top five “real” love songs, in random order:
The Beatles, “I Want To Hold Your Hand”
However you feel about it, I think Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist got it right: Love is all about wanting to hold hands. It’s about the small and quiet moments, the simple gestures, the desire to be close — without any need for anything more, or anything less. It’s about just being together.
“And when I touch you, I feel happy inside . . . it’s such a feeling that my love, I can’t hide, I can’t hide . . . Yeah, you got that something, I think you’ll understand. When I feel that something — I wanna hold your hand . . .”
Ben Lee, “Love Me Like The World Is Ending”
Again, another song about all the imperfections and ambiguities and craziness that is loving another person. There’s nothing serious or scientific about it — it just is. And if that person smokes or is sloppy, or no one else seems to understand your relationship, that’s just part of what makes your love . . . special, as cliche as that is.
“This is the first day of the future, and all I want is you. I wear a pair of socks you left here, but I know nobody could ever fill your shoes . . . I can see so clearly when your smoke gets in my eyes. Please me with your promises, and hurt me with your lies. Baby, can you hear the message I am sending? Love me like the world is ending . . .”
U2, “The Sweetest Thing”
I’m not the biggest U2 fan in the world, but my dad’s had me listening to their music since I was a little kid and a little thing called “The Joshua Tree” appeared on the scene! This song is all about that tension and release of love — the pushing and pulling, the complexities, the give-and-take. And I love it!
“My love she throws me like a rubber ball. She won’t catch me, or break my fall . . . Baby’s got blue skies up ahead, but in this I’m a rain cloud. You know she wants a dry kind of love . . . Ain’t love the sweetest thing? Blue-eyed boy meets a brown-eyed girl; you can sew it up, but you still see the tear. Baby’s got blue skies up ahead, but in this I’m a rain cloud. Ours is a stormy kind of love . . .”
Journey, “Open Arms”
Okay, I love Journey — I’m not ashamed to admit it! I went to a Journey concert a few years back with my extended family — and that was my second Journey concert! They just rock, and their ’80s classics are just that — classics. And so we get this gem from the 1981 album Escape (and no, I wasn’t born then — proceed onward!): “Open Arms.” Beautiful. Sad. Honest.
“Lying beside you, here in the dark. Feeling your heart beat with mine . . . Softly you whisper, you’re so sincere. How could our love be so blind? We sailed on together, we drifted apart, and here you are by my side . . . So now I come to you, with open arms. Nothing to hide, believe what I say . . . So here I am, with open arms. Hoping you’ll see what your love means to me, open arms . . . But now that you’ve come back, turned night into day — I need you to stay . . .”
The Fray, “Look After You”
I’m in love with this band, but I’ll have you please note that John Mayer is not wrapping up this post! “Look After You” is one of those songs that jumps up into your stomach and burrows its way into your heart, and for all the right reasons. The lyrics are simple but heartfelt, and I love its clear and accessible message: “Be my baby; I’ll look after you.” It gives me a nice feeling in my belly just reading the words!
“If I don’t say this now, my heart will surely break; as I’m leaving the one I want to take. Forgive the urgency, but hurry up and wait. My heart has started to separate . . . Oh, be my baby — I’ll look after you . . . There now, steady love; so few come and don’t go. Will you, won’t you, be the one I’ll always know? When I’m losing my control, the city spins around. You’re the only one who knows; you slow it down . . . It’s always half and never whole. You’ve begun to feel like home . . . What’s mine is yours to leave or take, what’s mine is yours to make your own . . .”
Now go grab some decent music and have yourself a merry little Valentine’s Day! It seems like we were just posting about Christmas, but time waits for no blogger. Have a great weekend, everyone!