First, if I may direct your attention to an earlier list of love songs that I compiled, which will explain why some of these did not make it on the list today (Billy Bragg’s “Walk Away Renee (Version)” deserves to be on every love song list). Second, this list is by no means comprehensive. Really, I think on a different day the list might look a lot different. But today, feeling all valentiny and all, I’m going to go with fairly likely love songs. At least as I see it.
“Lady Stardust” by David Bowie. This song is about Marc Bolan (of T. Rex), and if you don’t think it’s a love song, just listen to the words. For days after Bowie’s death, I could not stop listening to his music and this is the one I always came back to. I still feel heartbroken about his death: “And he was awful nice. Really quite out of sight.”
“Hotter Than Mojave in My Heart” by Iris DeMent. Oh, how I love Iris DeMent’s voice. And this song just gets right to it: “Well, God bless the day that you came along. And you tipped my apple cart. And you made me hotter than Mojave in my heart.”
“Dizzy” by Luna. I loved this song instantly from the very first time I heard it and I never get tired of hearing it. Mostly it’s just “because your eyes make me weak and your lips make me dizzy.”
“To Live Is To Fly” by Townes Van Zandt. Man, could this guy write songs. Somehow (though all of his love songs are gorgeous and heartbreaking) I always come back to this one. If you don’t know Townes Van Zandt, it’s really time to remedy that. You won’t be sorry. “We got the sky to talk about and the world to lie upon.”
“We’re Gonna Have a Real Good Time Together” by the Velvet Undergound. Just a purely joyful exuberant song from a band not really known for their exuberance. But just listen to all those na na nas. How could that not be love?
“I Loves You, Porgy” by Nina Simone. Really, this needs no introduction. Just watch.
“Close My Eyes” by Arthur Russell. I’m not entirely sure this is a love song, but I’m going to say it is. My boyfriend Tony put this on the first CD he made me (I know!), which is probably why I fell in love with him. “I’ll meet you tonight, my friend.”