Alone or surrounded in love on Valentine’s Day it’s essential (well, at least appealing) to make a list of your all time favorite love songs. They might just inspire your inner romantic. L-O-V-E is still the most popular subject title for songs and lyrics, so it’s fairly easy to pick out a handful of tunes to put together your Valentine’s Day Playlist.
In a quick survey of a few savvy, sentimental friends, at the top of the list is Love Me Tender by Elvis Presley who recorded the song first in 1956. The song puts new words to the music of the Civil War song Aura Lee, published in 1861 with music by George R. Poulton and words by W. W. Fosdick. Elvis performed Love Me Tender on The Ed Sullivan Show on September 9, 1956, shortly before the single’s release and about a month before the movie, Love Me Tender opened. On the following day, RCA received one million advance orders, making it a gold record before it was even released.
Many love songs are crafted with such intense emotion, you know the songwriters knew exactly was they were writing about such as When a Man Loves a Woman by Percy Sledge, also Michael Bolton. Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright wrote the song recorded by Percy in 1966. It made number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B singles charts. It was listed 54th in the list of Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 greatest songs of all time.
If you want sexually suggestive lyrics you can’t beat Marvin Gaye’s plea to Let’s Get It On. Quite possibly the granddaddy of all songs for lovers the world over.
Some songs you can get very messy over: Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers. Crazy by Patsy Cline (written by Willie Nelson) and The First Time I Ever Saw your Face by Roberta Flack.
Kenny Rogers forgets his country roots for a few minutes to deliver an impressively soulful vocal with Lady written by Lionel Richie. Willie Nelson inspires us with Valentine and To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before written by Hal David and Albert Hammond. Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson made it famous in their 1984 recording.
Lost love fills these remorseful songs: What’s Love Got to Do with It by Tina Turner (originally written for Cliff Richard), Why Do Fools Fall in Love by Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers in 1956 and Stuck Like Glue by Sugarland and performed by the supremely talented Jennifer Nettles.
Reminiscing over ill fated love is prime in Hello by Lionel Richie, Are You Lonesome Tonight by Elvis Presley and one of the best in Need You Now by Lady Antebellum.
The great crooner Frank Sinatra offered a complete menu of beautiful love songs all written in the 1940s and ‘50s but still loved today including I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Witchcraft, The Best is Yet to Come, You Make Me Feel So Young, The Way You Look Tonight, Summer Wind, I Could Have Danced All Night and Fly Me to the Moon.
The genius Tom Waits makes the Valentine celebration into a mockery with Blue Valentines (She sends me blue valentines, all the way from Philadelphia, to mark the anniversary, of someone that I used to be, and it feels just like there’s a warrant out for my arrest, got me checkin in my rearview mirror and I’m always on the run, that’s why I changed my name and I didn’t think you’d ever find me here.) And if that’s not enough he follows up with I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You (cause falling in love just makes me blue).
I’ll wish you a Happy Valentine’s Playlist with this verse by Martina McBride:
And even if the sun refused to shine
Even if romance ran out of rhyme
You would still have my heart until the end of time
You’re all I need, my love, my Valentine.
My Funny Valentine
Recorded by Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams,
Miles Davis, Rickie Lee Jones, Chet Baker
Written in 1937 Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
My funny valentine,
Sweet comic valentine,
You make me smile with my heart.
Your looks are laughable, they’re un-photographable,
But still, still you’re my favorite work of art.
Is your figure less than Greek?
Is your mouth a little weak?
When you open it to speak, baby, are you smart?
Please, don’t change a hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay my funny valentine, stay
Each day is my Valentine’s Day
by PAMELA HULSE ANDREWS Cascade A&E Publisher