Valentine’s Day Love Songs
February 11, 2016
Be it November or February, there is no music that enthralls me as much as love songs. There is something so profusely wonderful about a song that, in its own way, describes one of the most powerful and beautiful feelings in the world. There is a love song for every moment in life, and here are some of my favorites.
I find a lot of these gems while casually watching a movie; so naturally, it was during “The Godfather” that I heard one of my favorites. “I Have But One Heart” is originally a rich ballad by Dean Martin, but the version by Al Martino from the movie, which I prefer, coats the song with Italian influence. There is not a single instance in which I have listened to this version and not thought of romantic gondola rides with my beloved, floating in water as deep a blue as the sky above. Martino’s voice is deep and booming, but also soothing in its own way. The lyrics are not extraordinary, but that in itself is charming–the simplicity of the lyrics allows Martino’ voice and the Italian music to take center stage.
“Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole is famed enough on its own, and I wish I could say I discovered this song during a Nat King Cole session on Youtube. Unfortunately, I did not–like its precedent, I heard this song in a movie, namely “Watchmen.” Cole’s honey-like voice is probably one of the most defining characteristics about this song, yet I find myself taken by its intense, romantic lyricery. Lyrics such as “like a song of love that clings to me/ how the thought of you does things to me” never fail to leave me feeling jealous of the unforgettable woman he so describes.
By this point, it can be reasonably deduced that I have an affinity for the oldies. Paul Anka’s “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” is no exception, but this one is slightly less intense than the previous two. This one is slightly more chirpy, and it describes a more carefree, youthful love. This song sets the perfect mood for a drive-in movie in the 1950s, when the expression “going steady” was still in use. It is probably the song that your grandparents danced to. Nonetheless, it has a charming rhythm, and I enjoy Paul Anka deeply.
There is a special, slightly conflicted place in my heart for “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley. I want to honor it for what it is: another slow ballad by a hunky man with a deep voice. Yet I find myself drawn to the more recent cover of it by 21 Pilots, which was popularized in the recent “Extra” commercial. 21 Pilots takes a classic song and transfuses it with a ukulele instrumental to create a phenomenal singularity where love seems to feel most like the love this generation knows: comforting, calming, but passionate. For this reason, the 21 Pilots version is the one I listen to more frequently, and ultimately the one I like better.
It is impossible to discuss modern romantic music without mentioning Adele. Originally a heavy metal rock song, “Lovesong,” as sung by Adele, is a magnificent combination of simple lyrics and minimal instrumentals, placing a spotlight on Adele’s deep, booming voice. The song has a certain haunting quality to it that makes it so mysterious, yet all the more accentuates the deep, unconditional love described.
My favorite love song of all time, however, is another classic. Perhaps one of the most beautiful love songs of all time is Louis Armstrong’s version of “La Vie en Rose,” which translates to “life in rosy hues.” This song is happy, comforting, and absolutely magical. It perfectly encapsulates the feeling of being in love. The trumpets and saxophones add a very grand touch to the already sweet tune of the song, and the rich voice of Armstrong rendering it perfect for slow dancing. The lyrics follow suit with the ornate theme of the song, as Armstrong describes how “angels sing from above/ And everyday words seem to turn into love songs,” with his lover.
These are but few of my personal favorite love songs, but to see a full playlist, click here.