Another Love Song

I offered to help a friend at work with her wedding planning. She’s getting married on New Year’s Eve and I was hoping to take something off her plate. I’ve seen enough people go moderately nuts while trying to plan weddings to know that even the ones who seem calm can be freaking out on the inside.

Anyway, she mentioned that one of the things on her to-do list was to make a soundtrack for their slideshow. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m sort of obsessed with music, so I told her I’d try to help.

I ended up sending her a whole list of song options, and in the process started compiling my list of Top Five Favorite Songs About Love. I originally started with Top Five Songs I Wish Someone Had Written About Me, but could only come up with two that I really liked, then moved to Top Five Verses About Love, but that still didn’t do justice. Anyway, I’m still having trouble narrowing them down confidently, so I’m asking for some audience participation. What’s your favorite song about love? This includes break up songs, happy songs, heart-wrenching songs, anything that moves you. And let me know your favorite verse or line if you want. I may include your song in my Top Five!

Plus I always love being exposed to new music.



Filed under Boys are Dumb, Girls are Crazy, Musical Notes, Top Five...

7 responses to “Another Love Song

  1. Connor

    I might actually be able to contribute! I hope you haven’t already heard this cause I’ll feel great if you dont know it. The song is called “Where I Stood” by Missy Higgins. It’s sad. But real, I think. And in the chorus she says something about not knowing if she can “stand another hand upon you”. The whole song just sums up the thought process behind someone doing the breaking-UP and not the other way around. It’s different and horribly sad to listen to, but in a good way.

    Not to mention Harlan Coben mentioned it in his most recent novel. That’s reason enough to like it for me.

    Hope this helps Meg. Bet you didnt know I read this little diddy, but I’m pretty dedicated. Looking forward to the list, cuz…

  2. This Year’s Love by David Gray

    To Make You Feel My Love
    (I like the Billy Joel version.)

    Calico Skies by Paul McCartney

    We danced to “Storybook Story” from the Princess Bride at our wedding. Dorky but meaningful to us.

    Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard
    (Kidding! But it is a rad song.)

  3. Amanda

    Beautiful Life by Fisher

    Anyone Else But You by The Moldy Peaches
    (may not be appropriate for a wedding, but cute and fun)

    F**k Her Gently By Tenacious D
    (definitely appropriate for a wedding)

    Hope this helps! Good luck!

  4. miamired

    My all-time pick has to be “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds. It’s so incredibly romantic…I was thinking of it last night as I just started reading The Time Traveler’s Wife (so far, so good).

    Speaking of sad breakup songs, I like the lines from Ani DiFranco’s “School Night”

    “You are a miracle, but that is not all
    You are also a stiff drink
    And I am on call
    You are a party
    And I am a school night
    I’m looking for my door keys
    But you are my porch light
    And you’ll never know, dear
    Just how much I loved you
    You probably think this was just my big excuse
    But I stand committed to a love that came before you
    And the fact that I adore you is but one of my truths”

    Actually, the whole song is a poem about love and impossible choices.

    And to come completely out of left field, there’s a song in Spanish sung by one Ricky Martin that I am sort of obsessed with. It’s called “Tu Recuerdo.”

    It basically says, “Your memory remains here, like a May storm. It burns me and soaks me equally. I don’t know what to think. I know I left, but your memory wouldn’t….Where are you? We are trapped between kisses and saying goodbye.”

    (ok, better en español, but give Ricky a listen)

    Why is it so much easier to come up with sad songs about love, though? I need to get back to you on this one.

  5. “Slow Show” by The National. It’s the end that really gets me. The chorus is great too.

  6. KVV

    Megan, you have forced me to bring out the heavy artillery.

    Five sweet happy songs about love.

    5. Somebody Loved, The Weepies — The Weepies are the most underrated band out there. It’s two folk singers, Deb Talen and Steve Tannen, who also happen to be husband and wife. It’s smart music that’s beautiful and haunting with being cheesy. Somebody Loved is probably their best, but also check out “Gotta Have You,” “Take It From Me,” “Painting by Chagall” and “Simple Life.”

    Somebody Loved:

    4. Everything, Michael Buble — Buble sounds kind of like Sinatra on uppers, and this song should be a standard on any young laides pre-wedding CD. The line “And I can’t believe, yeah that I’m your man; And I get to kiss you baby just because I can” pretty much rocks.


    3. Hard to Concentrate, Red Hot Chili Peppers — Jen shot a wedding of these two punk rocker kids during the summer, and this song was their first dance. It’s been one of my favorites every since, because it’s totally not traditional, but it’s no less sweet.

    Hard To Concentrate

    2. (tie) Each Day Gets Better, John Legend — This song is The Truth. Another must for any pre-wedding estrogen fest.

    Each Day Gets Better

    2. (tie) Tell Me What We’re Gonna Do Now, Joss Stone — I don’t know why, but this song, to me, is all kinds of sexy. Normally not a fan of rappers making appearances on girly tracks, but Common does well here.

    1. Dance All Night, Ryan Adams — If I could do one thing about my wedding over, I’d have a second dance to this tune, which is probably my favorite upbeat love song. The harmonica makes me ridiculously, shamelessly happy.

    Dance All Night

    Honorable mention: Born For Me, Paul Westerberg; The Promise, Tracy Chapman; Falling slowly by Glen Hansgard and Marketa Irglova; Dreamgirl, Dave Mathews; Lover Lay Down, Dave Mathews; She’s Every Woman, Garth Brooks; Wrapped Up in You, Garth Brooks; Vineyard, Jackopierce; Hallelujah I Love Her So, Ray Charles; Firecracker (acoustic), Ryan Adams, Orange Sky, Alexi Murdoch; Banana Pancakes, Jack Johnson; Something In The Way She Moves, James Taylor; I’d Rather Be With You, Joshua Radin; Tell Him, Lauryn Hill; Nobody Knows Me, Lyle Lovett, Can’t Hardly Wait, The Replacements

    Five Songs about Heartbreak

    5. Gone For Good, The Shins — Other than Hey Ya, this is probably the most upbeat break-up song of the last 20 years. For anyone who wanted to run for the hills and not be tied down in a relationship that wasn’t quite right. “Just leave the ring on the rails, for the wheels to nullify…”

    Gone For Good

    4. Have To Explode, The Mountain Goats — This song is about the expectation of heartbreak. Even though the couple in the song are still together, the narrator realizes it can’t last. As a writer, it’s filled with such beautiful sad imagery. “Name one thing about us two anyone could love?”

    Have To Explode

    3. Divorce Song, Liz Phair — Another song about how a relationship is crumbling around you. I love the way it just picks up in mid-story, almost as if you walked in on a conversation between lovers who were shouting at one another in a hotel parking lot. I love It also contains what are probably my favorite back-to-back lyrics in all of songwriting.

    “It’s harder to be friends than lovers;
    and you shouldn’t try to mix the two.
    Because if you do and you’re still unhappy,
    then you know that the problem is you.
    And it’s true that I stole your lighter
    And it’s also true that I lost the map
    But when you said that I wasn’t worth talking to;
    I had to take your word on that.

    Divorce Song

    2. Houses On The Hill, Whiskeytown — Another song I love simply for its imagery. Imagine if you were going through the shit in your girlfriend’s parents’ attic and you found a bunch of letters from some dude who was in love with your girlfriend’s mom, but died in World War II, with mom’s picture in his pocket. And because mom is still secretly heartbroken over the whole thing, she’s addicted to prescription medication. Seriously, that’s the story. And it’s beautiful.

    Houses On The Hill

    1. (3-way tie) Oh My Sweet Carolina, Ryan Adams — Adams always writes songs that are named after places but are really about breaking up with someone. This song never mentions the word love or relationships, but the whole thing is about trying to figure out who you are while at the same time longing for yesterday. Emmy Lou Harris also adds a haunting quality to it, in part because she’s probably the best harmony singer in the history of pop music. If forced at gunpoint to choose my favorite lyric in any song, ever, I would be hard pressed to choose something other than:

    “I ain’t never been to Vegas,
    but I’ve gambled up my life.
    Building newsprint boats I raced to sewer mains; trying to find me something,
    but I wasn’t sure just what;
    funny how they say that some things never change.”

    Oh My Sweet Carolina

    1. (3-way tie) Dear Chicago, Ryan Adams — Another song about a place that’s really about a girl. Two girls, really. One girl is picking up the narrator at the airport, and she’s asking him if she reminds him of his old girlfriend. He’s lighting a cigarette and smiling as they drive away, knowing that’s impossible. And by the end of the song he’s like “I’m sorry you wasted all those kisses on me. And you know what? Maybe you are right. Maybe I will die alone and sad. But I’ve finally fallen out of love with you.”

    I don’t know if I can name a sadder lyric than the following:

    “Nothing breathes here in the cold;
    nothing moves or even smiles;
    I been thinking some of suicide;
    but there’s bars out here for miles.”

    It’s 2 minutes and 13 seconds of perfect misery.

    Dear Chicago

    1. (3-way tie) I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You, Colin Hay — The thing that makes this song so freaking good is that it’s kind of about the upswing after a break-up. The guy is no longer in that stage where you curl up and cry in the fetal position; he’s kind of at peace with his life. He’s not drinking strong whiskey anymore to cope. Women are even inviting him out to dinner on occasion. Don’t think that doesn’t happen, he’s telling his ex. But he’s also willing to admit that he’s probably never, ever truly get over her.

    Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You

    Honorable mention: Come Pick Me Up, Ryan Adams; I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, Wilco; Women Without Whiskey, Drive-By Truckers; Trapeze Swinger, Iron & Wine; Fuck and Run, Liz Phair; I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You, Tom Waits

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