Elizabeth: Favourite Romantic Songs

Swan Lake sheet music from myspace.com

Swan Lake sheet music from myspace.com

I generally listen to the radio as I commute to and from work each day. Although at this time of year Christmas songs predominate, I’ve been focusing my listening on songs of the non-Christmas variety. Why? Because I’ve been trying to find a song.

Several months ago, I heard a song on the radio when I was out and about. Later, when I tried to remember it, I drew a complete blank on the name and the artist. All I could remember was that the song was romantic and the singer was a guy. Not a lot to go on, even for my family who excels at being able to zero in on the answers to my often vaguely worded queries. With nothing to go on, I eventually gave up trying to find the song.

A few days ago, when I was driving home from work, a song came on the radio. About half-way though, my brain kicked in and I recognized it as the very one I had been trying to remember. In a great stroke of luck, the DJ announced the artist and title at the end of the song and for the next 8 ½ miles I mentally repeated it over and over so I wouldn’t forget before I got home and was able to pull the song up in Youtube.

It turns out the song is “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran, and I’m not embarrassed to admit that I’ve been listening to it over and over for days. Not only is it a beautiful song (with a wonderful video), but it’s perfect mood music for the revision work I’m doing on my manuscript. As Justine mentioned in her post last week, submissions have opened for the RWA Golden Heart competition. In its current state, my story doesn’t meet the requirements because it is a “spy story with a romance sub-plot” rather than a “romance story with a spy sub-plot.” I’ve been taking a second look to see if there is a way to balance out the two plots without breaking the story, which means I’m looking at ways to strengthen the romance components.

We’ve talked before (here) about how a playlist can be a great way to get your head into a story world. I figured a romantic music playlist would just the thing to get me into the right frame of mind for my revisions, so I did a quick search through my iPod and pulled out the following songs:

  • “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran
  • “All of Me” by John Legend
  • “Hero” by Enrique Iglesias
  • “Bless the Broken Road” or “Long Slow Beautiful Dance” by Rascal Flatts
  • “Fallin’ For You” by Colbie Caillat
  • “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers
  • “At Last” by Etta James
  • “When I Fall in Love” by Nat King Cole
  • “Love Me Tender” by Elvis Presley
  • “Annie’s Song” by John Denver

This is a good start, but I could use a longer playlist. So, what songs would you add?

21 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Favourite Romantic Songs

    • Thanks for the recommendation Kay. I’m looking it up now. Also, glad to know I’m not the only one who listens to songs non-stop.

  1. I love Beneath Your Beautiful by Labrinth, featuring Emeli Sande. I have a playlist that I repeat over and over, and by now it’s mental wallpaper, except when this song comes on. I always stop and listen to it, and then hit ‘repeat’.

  2. I love The Very Thought of You by Nat King Cole (that man had a voice like satin).
    Also, Slow Dancing (Swayin’ to the Music) by Johnny Rivers

    And now I’m off to listen to what everyone’s suggested!

    • Satin, indeed, Jeanne. That’s two more for the playlist. I had completely forgotten about “Slow Dancing.” I probably have that one on an old 45 🙂

  3. As a huge Beatles/McCartney fan, I see your list is sadly lacking anything from
    The Liverpool lads. If you care to remedy that, I’d recommend And I Love Her (Beatles), My Love (Paul), and/or Love (John Lennon).

    That last one is the song my husband and I danced to at our wedding, only it was a ‘remake’ with my husband singing it (he’s a trained singer – usually opera, but he has a beautiful pop voice as well).

  4. I’m such a sucker for love songs. I have a couple different playlists on my phone…one has about 120 songs. It’s an eclectic mix of rock, blues, jazz, opera, country, bluegrass, pop…the whole gamut. Some aren’t “love songs,” either (like you could slow dance to them), but they either convey or conjure up love. Here are some of my faves:

    –Faithfully (Journey) –Wonderful Tonight (Eric Clapton) –Come Rain or Come Shine (Sarah Vaughan) –Come Away With Me (Norah Jones) –In Your Eyes (Peter Gabriel) –Can’t Fight This Feeling (REO Speedwagon) –I Don’t Want to Live Without You (Foreigner; this was the song at our wedding) –Dreams Go By (Harry Chapin; not a “love song” per se, but it’s great musical storytelling and I always cry at the end…find the one from the “Greatest Stories Live” album) –Something In The Way She Moves (James Taylor) –You’re Beautiful (James Blunt) –You’re My Home (Billy Joel) –I’ll Be There for You (Bon Jovi) –O Soave Fanciulla from La Boheme (Puccini/Pavarotti) –I Will (Alison Krauss & Tony Furtado) –The Dreame (Patrick Doyle; from Sense and Sensibility) –She’s Got a Way (Billy Joel) –I See The LIght (from Tangled) –Just the Way You Are (Bruno Mars) –Everything (Michael Bublé; I listened to this constantly when I was pregnant with my first child) –Easy Silence (Dixie Chicks) –I’m Yours (Jason Mraz)

    Hope this gives you some inspiration! Happy listening!

  5. Apparently my heart is in the mood for covers, because the next one I thought of was Shelby Lynne’s cover of “The Look of Love” and Jason Mraz’s Cassanova Sessions cover of his own “If It Kills Me”. Peter Gabriel’s “The Book of Love” is another must-have.

  6. Thanks. The Peter Gabriel song is definitely going on the list. I’ll have to check out Shelby Lynne. I’ve actually never listened to anything by her.

  7. I was listening to some love songs lately. (-: This is totally what you don’t want, because it’s Christmas, and it’s very lightly romantic, but I’ve seen “Text Me Merry Christmas” (Kirsten Bell and Straight No Chaser) about half a dozen times since Wednesday when I first found it on NPR. SO CUTE!! And it’s about people who have to spend time apart, and don’t know quite what to say to each other. (I could go on and on about romantic Christmas songs, but I won’t.)

    Also, I stumbled upon “Love is an Open Door” somewhere — oh, yeah, my English teacher was showing a bit of Frozen for the class as a holiday treat (and present participle practice). The first time I saw it in the movie, I was swept away. What a pretty, lovely song! But the second time? SPOILERS if you haven’t seen Frozen — skim to next paragraph: Love is an open door for me, because anyone can walk in and steal my heart. I’m that desparate for love. (BTW, I LOVE that. What depth!)

    OK, it’s safe from spoilers now.

    My go-to for romance is kd lang. I especially love her cover of Cole Porter’s “So in Love” for the Red Hot + Blue album for AIDS awareness. God, it’s such a punch in the gut, and I’m really not a fan of being punched in the gut. But her voice is so glorious, and there’s the sense that yes, this is tough, but love is worth it. “Diet of Strange Places” is hard to find on YouTube; some woman put her vacation pictures to it, and that’s the only version I can find. A strange mixture of food and love and dieting and distance.

    Cole Porter is great for unrequited or distanced love.

    And I’ve rambled along for quite a few paragraphs, but one final one: I love the clever slyness of “skinna-ma-rink-a-dink-a-dink, skinna-ma-rinky-doo. I— luuuuv yooooou.” I think it’s a Jimmy Durate song, but it was on one of my kids’ songs for little folks CDs when they were young. The way that artist sang it, it was very shy and “not sure if you love me, but I love you loads.”

    (-: I think that’s one that needs to go on my playlist.

    What a fun list! So many great songs here and in the comments. Warms up a cold winter day, let me tell you.

    • Michaeline – “Text Me Merry Christmas” was great. I hadn’t seen that one before but it’s on the holiday playlist now. Just listening to the kd lang recommendation – you’re right – glorious voice.

      • (-: I just listened to Text Me Merry Christmas again. Next year, I predict it’ll be the “Santa Got Run Over By A Reindeer” song — played so often people just want to tear out the car stereo. But for now, it’s just so poppy and hoppy and delightful (-:.

        (Besides, maybe next year everyone will have their own playlists, and can manage how often a song pops up. Bad part though: no discovery unless I reach out and ask for ideas.)

  8. Thanks to everyone for all of the great song recommendations. I have a nice long playlist. Now to see which ones pass the “I can listen to it over and over and over again” challenge.

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