What is Your Favorite Love Song?

It takes a while for a love song to actually mean something.

I grew up in a house full of love songs — the ones my parents sang to me when I was still young enough to be put to bed, the vinyl records they played on repeat, the tape cassettes and CDs they later adopted. My family is a fairly musical one, so it wasn’t unusual for us to gather around the piano while someone played and the rest of us sang along.

And these were always love songs. So many great songs are.

The first time I owned my own set of love songs is when I asked my dad to order me a compilation album called, “All For Love.” It had Enya on it — I remember that — and I first heard about it because it always played on those early ’90s infomercials, back when TV was still used to sell music. These songs didn’t mean anything to me, of course. I was seven-years-old, maybe.

Love songs don’t really mean much to you at all until the first time you meet someone who gives them meaning. Because of this, when you’re 12, any song can become a love song. Back in my day I guess that meant anything on TRL? Which explains a lot.

As you get older, love songs get weighted down with plenty of meaning. Sometimes too much meaning; they can hurt to hear. But they can also brighten a day and lighten a mood and remind you of something important that you almost forgot. They take on molds of different shapes, each one fitting a different person, moment and memory in the same way two Legos audibly click. And even if one day that person’s gone, the nice thing about music is you’ll always have the song.

And so, while I sit over here and muse on the ones that mean the most to me, tell me yours: what is your favorite love song? And if you’re feeling brave, add the why.

(Ok, I thought about it: “Can’t Take My Eyes off of You” as sung by Heath Ledger’s character in 10 Things I Hate About You, partially because of the commitment to performance, “XO” by John Mayer because I’m a sucker, “Wild Horses” by the Rolling Stones because it applies to more than one kind of love, “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” by Otis Redding because it’s Otis Redding, “Tupelo Honey” by Van Morrison because it’s a damn classic and “Hold” by Saves the Day because some 8th grade memories just don’t fade.)

Collages by Emily Zirimis


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  • Ruthherrin

    I think my favourite has got to be “The Weather” by Built to Spill. Always a heart acher 🙂

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  • Anne-Sophie

    Being french, Heath Ledger’s version of Can’t Take my Eyes off of You was actually the first I ever heard, so it will remain my all time favorite version and will never be forgotten.

    My favorite love song is Sur un Trapèze by Alain Bashung but I’m not sure you will be able to relate so I’ll add Let’s Stay Together by Al Green.
    I used to love those songs but not because it reminded me of anything in particular, as my love life was non-existent, but more in a “let’s pretend someone wrote that for me” kind of way…

  • Allie Fasanella

    ‘everlasting love’ by gloria estefan bc my parent used to blast it and dance around holding my sis and me.

    ‘someone like you’ van morrison bc the final scene in bridget jones’ diary

    ‘adore you’ by miley cyrus bc IDK DON’T LOOK AT ME!

    ‘send me’ aretha franklin version (basically anything aretha)


    & there’s def so many more but these are the ones coming to mind rn

    • Elizabeth Tamkin

      You’re my hero.

  • Allie Fasanella
  • Allie Fasanella
  • Olivia O

    Sons & Daughters by Allman Brown & Liz Lawrence https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eru8DlHoOFM

    • YES!!!!!!! Goosebumps every time. So happy someone else know about Allman Brown!

      • Amelia Diamond

        omg yes

  • Brittany Berckes

    Tupelo Honey’s my favorite Van song! …
    can’t pick only one so I’ll put a random top six of the moment: 1) Midnight Train to Georgia, Gladys Knight and the Pips; 2) In My Life, Beatles; 3) You Make Loving Fun, Fleetwood Mac; 4) Conversation, Joni Mitchell; 5) You Da One, Rihanna (because I love her); and 6) Try a Little Tenderness, Otis Redding

    • Amelia Diamond

      Uhh yes to these

  • Allie Fasanella
    • Amelia Diamond

      hahah you are ON the gif game today

  • Andrea M

    Being a native Spanish speaker, my favorite love songs are from Juan Luis Guerra, who excels at making lists about different types of love (“amores”). Carmen Consoli’s “L’Ultimo Bacio” (in Italian) is wonderful too. BUT I would have to say my favorite love song in English has to be Aretha Franklin’s “You make me feel like a natural woman.” I want a guy who makes me feel like that.

  • oh god. “When I Get My Hands On You” makes me get all weepy every time i hear it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDUDx15KdkI

    “Somebody to Love” by Valerie June
    “Re: Stacks” by Bon Iver, which is maybe not a love song until the last verse but it gets me every time
    “Do I Wanna Know” by Arctic Monkeys, which is maybe more of a post-break-up love song but it’s so real

    • Natalia

      I love Do I wanna Know! Well, I just love Artic Monkeys.

  • Right now I’d say Reckless Serenade by the Arctic Monkeys. I love the lyrics so much, he makes the girl sound like an absolute angel.

    • keta

      Every love song of Arctic Monkeys is just amazing, but for me is a Cornerstone and Love is a laserquest. And from Last Shadow Puppets the sweetest is My Mistakes were made for you, always makes me cry.

      • So true! I love those songs so much as well but I consider them more as breakup songs.

    • Leigh

      Love that song but my fave would probs be I Wanna Be Yours

    • Krista Anna Lewis

      YOU GUYS ALL GET ME SO MUCH Just yes to all of these.

  • Nothing compares 2U.

  • The Pretenders – “Stand by You”
    Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Maps”
    Green Day – “Last night on earth” (This was my wedding song) =)

  • soniadelvalle

    The Cranberries – Dreams, because You’ve Got Mail, obviously.
    Frank Sinatra – I’ve Got You Under My Skin, classic, timeless ‘can’t stop thinking about bae’ song.
    Nick Cave – Into My Arms, this one is to me kind of a lullaby, a mother/father to daughter song.

    And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I have a FOLDER on spotify named “love songs” with like 10 different playlists. I’m a sucker.

  • I’m loving the Otis Redding selections so far. My choices are:
    “New York City Serenade” by Bruce Springsteen
    “More Adventurous” by Rilo Kiley
    “White Dress” by Set Mo: I likely won’t have another chance to see the guy who introduced me to the song so it stays poignant and nostalgic.

  • MMR

    You make me feel so young…. by Frank Sinatra — anything by him actually… so dreamy, he does it for me.

  • ouu this is fun! i love my parents wedding song by perry como, “and i love you so”
    beatles- til there was you, and i love her, in my life, ps i love you, i will (i could go on and awnnn)
    bob marley- is this love
    elton john- greatest discovery ( a love song to my baby bro! can’t listen without crying)
    mel carter- hold me thrill me kiss me (mom used to sing it to me)
    stay gold by stevie wonder and moon river cause they remind me of my grandma

  • l:ly

    “Only Ones Who Know” by Arctic Monkeys if I need a good cry and want to feel my tiny heart rip inside my chest. “Peach” by The Front Bottoms when I want to feel my heart glow.

  • When I was in elementary school my parents would play “Jazz for Lovers” or Al Green’s Greatest Hits during dinner every night. Al Green will forever remain “that love song guy” in my head. I love “I’m Still in Love with You”, the intro gets me every time.. My boyfriend has been playing “Duke Of Earl” on repeat lately so there’s that. He LOVES Minnie Riperton’s “Loving You”. I was really into classic rock in high school (thanks, dad) so “Rain Song” by Led Zeppelin and that’s all I have for now.

  • Nada Kurdi

    Love song by the cure
    Nothern sky Nick Drake
    Protection by Massive Attack

    I sound like such a hipster, but these songs get to me always.

  • Joanna Wright

    becks cover! forever and always- dreamy, spooky, enchanting sex witch!


  • Leigh

    Spectrum, Never Let Me Go, Between Two Lungs, anything by Florence + The Machine really

  • Dunkay Del Rey

    Dunkay’s picks: This must be the place- Talking Heads, Lay Lady Lay- Bob Dylan, I’d like to walk around in your mind- Vashti Bunyan, You’re mine, You- Chet Baker, Fade Into You- Mazzy Star, You’re the one- Black Keys, Beauty- The Shivers


  • Elizabeth Tamkin

    All Dusty Springfield though I guess her’s are breakup songs. Shows where I’m at.

  • My Favs are:
    “Dream a Little Dream of Me” by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong–this is seriously my favorite song. I want someone to dream of me 🙂
    “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole–My heart is swayed by the oldies
    “Can’t Help Falling Love with You” by Ingrid Michaelson/Haley Rineheart–The Extra gum commercial does this song so much justice it makes me tear up every time!


  • liz

    Totally agree with XO, Tupelo Honey, and Wild Horses!!!
    “Need It” by Half Moon Run + “Magnolia” by Eric Clapton and John Mayer are two songs I adore xx

  • Apeksha

    Goodnight and Go by Imogen Heap

  • Ellis

    I’m a huge music nerd so I can’t narrow it down to just one song but consider this my mixtape:

    1. That’s How Strong My Love Is- Otis Redding or Rolling Stones version
    2. Gray or Blue- Jaymay
    3. I Got You Babe- Sonny & Cher (My dad’s personal fav)
    4. You Make Loving Fun- Fleetwood Mac
    5. Build Me Up Buttercup- The Foundations
    6. Let’s Stay Together- Al Green
    7. Thank You- Led Zeppelin
    8. With Or Without You- U2
    9. Yellow- Coldplay
    10. And because I am proudly a member of the MySpace generation: Wonderwall- Oasis

  • Minimalistmuso

    I Wanna Know What Love Is by Foreigner (trivia: written about Mark Ronson’s mum)

  • katie_does

    I love so many of the classics that have been mentioned here! But also, some newer ones:

    So Let Us Create, by Jukebox the Ghost
    Look Into My Eyes, by Janelle Monáe

  • pterridactyl

    Everything from Alex Turner’s Submarine soundtrack. That man just gets me every damn time.

  • Tess

    Lovesong-the cure!! (The Adele cover is pretty phenomenal too)

  • Lua Jane

    Gaivota by Amalia Rodrigues, Nathalie Gilbert Becaud, Quando l’amore diventa poesia Massimo ranieri. Or anything as cheesy and mopey and old.

  • Celeste

    More recent “love type” stuff includes:
    1. The Girl – City and Colour – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mS8xDo-qM8w (half because it is a confirmation of love, half because it is a “good riddance”, feeling selfish-type song)
    2. Shattered and Hollow by First Aid Kit – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRX6ZQJfBgY (for me, applies to self, sibling, friend, or relationship love)
    3. Heartbeats cover by José González – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-liyr-Xq3E (<3)
    4. Wildest Moments by Jessie Ware – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMJkddvJ4L4 (first listened to when this guy and I were making breakfast and I consequently felt torn apart)

  • Becky S

    “Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan. Whether it’s Dylan’s original recording, Adele, or ortoPilot.

  • Angie.
    in particular when Tori Amos covered it here:

  • Christina Berardi

    Do you Believe in Magic – Lovin Spoonful or Try a Little Tenderness sung by Duckie in Pretty in Pink cause loves supposed to be fun right? 😉

  • eruden

    ‘Reflecting Light’ by Sam Philips–I’ve never heard a woman sing so honestly and so vulnerably about the process of love. Nor have I ever so felt so transparent as I did while singing it to my now husband.