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Love songs are among my favorites. Even when I’m not in love, I’m a sucker for anything that reminds me of the feeling, and when a song manages to grip me by the shoulders and find some way to remind me that love exists, it’s an amazing feeling.
When I am in love, it’s even more potent, because the best songs are the ones that will remind me of the person I am in love with, and reasons why I love them, or reasons why our relationship makes me feel the way it does. No matter what my current situation is though, these songs are the ones that always manage to do it for me.
10. “Wherever you will go,” by The Calling (2001; alt-rock, post-grunge; Written by Alex Band and Aaron Kamin, Produced by Marc Tanner)
The background behind the song was about writer Aaron Kamin’s recently deceased cousin, and the pain his wife went through after losing her husband of 50 years. In a day where divorce is more common than long marriages, the fact that this couple lasted 50 years, and was separated only by death, speaks volumes about the love they shared.
Lyrics that make it so meaningful, “So lately, I’ve been wonderin’, who will be there to take my place? When I’m gone, you’ll need love, to light the shadows on your face.”
9. “Stereo Hearts,” by Gym Class Heroes feat. Adam Levine (2011; Pop rap, alternative hip-hop; Written by Travie Mccoy, Adam Levine, Benjamin Levin, Brandon Lowry, Ammar Malik, and Dan Omelio; Produced by Benny Blanco and Robopop)
Though there is no sentimental backstory behind this song, at least not one that has yet been publicly announced, it still gets me every time because I am a sucker for lyrics that I can easily relate to my life. I’m the kind of person who finds it difficult to verbalize what I feel—but I can easily get it out through writing.
The lyrics that I will mention below are the ones that relate to me, because they give me the impression that Travie McCoy was trying to do the same thing for a girl he loved—letting her know how he felt in a song, the one his heart wrote for her. I realize that’s probably not the case—but it’s what went through my head the first time I heard it.
Lyrics that make it so meaningful, “If I could only find a note to make you understand, I’d sing it softly in your ear and take you by the hand, To keep me stuck inside your head, like your favorite tune, and know my heart’s a stereo that only plays for you.”
8. “Just the Way You Are,” by Bruno Mars (2010; R&B, Pop; Written by Bruno Mars, Phillip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Khalil Walton and Khari Cain; Produced by The Smeezingtons, Needlz)
Another song that doesn’t have major sentimental meaning behind it, and was actually marketed to make females swoon and fall in love. However, Mars has admitted in the past that he did want the song to be straight-forward and to the point, with no hidden messages or twisted up lyrics to decipher.
So his message that a woman is beautiful just the way she is winds up being refreshing because while other songs out there may say the same thing—they’re hardly as blunt as this one. And what girl truly wouldn’t want to know that her man thinks she’s perfect exactly how she is, inside and out? At the end of the day, true love doesn’t require you to change.
Lyrics that make it so meaningful, “Oh you know, you know, you know, I’d never ask you to change. If Perfect’s what you’re searching for then just stay the same.”
7. “She Will Be Loved,” by Maroon 5 (2004; Soft rock; Written by Adam Levine and James Valentine, Produced by Matt Wallace)
Originally, I didn’t get the feeling I described earlier when I heard this song for the first time. But as time went on, it started to get more meaningful to me in a way similar to Bruno Mars’s “Just the Way You Are.” While it isn’t blatantly stated that the object of affection in the song is perfect as is, the same message is applied—that the right girl is always perfect.
Lyrics that make it so meaningful, “Look for the girl with the broken smile, ask her if she wants to stay a while, and she will be loved.”
6. “Here and Now,” by Luther Vandross (1989; Contemporary R&B)
Basically, it’s a song about pledging to spend the rest of your life with someone. Call me old-fashioned, but that feels pretty romantic to me. It’s something that makes me think of when the day comes that I am lucky enough to marry, and picturing the man I marry standing there, making such a vow. Why wouldn’t it make me feel good inside?
Lyrics that make it so meaningful, “Here and Now, I promise to love faithfully. You’re all I need. Here and Now, I vow to be one with thee. Your love is all I need.”
5. “Back at One,” by Bryan McKnight (1999; R&B, soul; Written and Produced by Bryan McKnight)
McKnight’s song is like a countdown of the reasons he’s in love with a woman, and why he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. What makes it stand apart from the other songs that basically say the same thing, is that he vows to never let his love fade, and to never stop trying to show how much she means to him as their lives continue.
Lyrics that make it so meaningful, “One…you’re like a dream come true…Two…just wanna be with you…Three…girl it’s plain to see…that you’re the only one for me…Four…repeat steps one through three…Five…make you fall in love with me…If ever I believe my work is done…then I start back at one.”
4. “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing,” by Aerosmith (1998; Rock; Written by Diane Warren, Produced by Matt Serletic)
From the very first note, this song gives me that feeling of love. Just the beginning chords of the violins give me chills, and then I hear the lyrics—and I’m so incredibly lost in feelings of everlasting love that I never want to lose. The fact that the song was written specifically for the movie Armageddon, and Aerosmith was specifically chosen to record it after front-man Steven Tyler’s daughter Liv was cast. Simply put, no matter what relationship it’s for, it’s about cherishing every moment spent with someone.
Lyrics that make it so meaningful: “Lying close to you, feeling your heart beating. And I’m wondering what you’re dreaming, wondering if it’s me you’re seeing. Then I kiss your eyes, and thank God we’re together, and I just wanna stay with you, in this moment forever.”
3. “More than Anyone,” by Gavin DeGraw (2004; Pop Rock, Soul)
I first heard this song while watching an old favorite TV show, One Tree Hill. In the show, a young couple named Nathan and Haley get married, and this is the song they share the first dance at their wedding to. I loved everything about this couple when I watched this show, so naturally I researched the song they danced to—and once I knew the exact lyrics, I realized how beautiful of a love song it is—and how simple it is. DeGraw doesn’t use flowery language to make the point of his lyrics get across. He just simply says what needs to be said. Since I heard it, the song has been one that I feel will be featured in my wedding someday. It won’t be the song I dance to, but I can picture it being the song that plays as I walk down the aisle.
Lyrics that make it so meaningful: “And when I kiss your soul, your body’ll be free, I’ll be free for you anytime. I’m going to love you more than anyone.”
2. “I’ll Never Break Your Heart,” by The Backstreet Boys (1995; Pop, R&B; Written by Eugene Wilde and Albert Manno, Produced by Timmy Allen and Veit Renn)
A song where a guy tries to assure a recently dumped girl that he would never do that to her, because she is so wonderful, that she deserves to never be hurt. The Backstreet Boys were my favorite band as a kid growing up in the 90s, and any love song by them immediately brings me back to that nostalgic and incredibly simpler period of my life. But at the same time, this song specifically, also has served to remind me I am worth it to someone whenever I have been dumped.
Lyrics that make it so meaningful: “From the first day, that I saw your smiling face, Honey, I knew that we would be together forever.”
1. “This I Promise You,” by *NSYNC (2000; Pop, R&B, Soul; Written and Produced by Richard Marx)
From the moment I first heard this song, I knew it would be the one I danced to on my wedding day. *NSYNC had been my second favorite band growing up, but this song catapulted them into the top spot because - even at a young age - I knew it was a song about being with someone forever. Love was something I dreamed about when I was young, and this song was the one I pictured for the moment when all of those dreams about love came true. It’s just that perfect to me.
Lyrics that make it so meaningful: “I’ve loved you forever, in lifetimes before. And I promise you never…will you hurt anymore. I give you my word, I give you my heart. This is a battle we’ve won. And with this vow, forever has now begun.”