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44 Great Love Songs for Your Romantic Playlist

An avid music fan all her life, Donna enjoys sharing her love of indie rock singers and songwriters with other music fans.

These great songs will get you in the mood for love.

These great songs will get you in the mood for love.

Looking for that perfect song to play for your next romantic evening? Maybe you have a special date coming up, or an anniversary, or want to choose just the right music for Valentine's Day? Here is a list of some of the best love songs to help you create a great playlist for your special date.

I've set a little challenge for myself to choose only songs without the word "love" in the title. I've included a mix of well-known songs (and some lesser-known ditties) over a wide variety of genres. While the songs appear as a list, one isn't necessarily better than another (this is just to help you organize your playlist). That said, I've placed these songs in four general categories (rock & pop, slow songs, classic favorites, and dance music) just to help you find what you're most into. I hope you enjoy these romantic song suggestions!

Love Songs for Your Valentine's Playlist


1. "Two Hearts Beat as One"—U2

16. "I Go to Sleep"—The Pretenders

31. "We've Only Just Begun"—The Carpenters

2. "In Your Eyes"—Peter Gabriel

17. "More Than This"—Roxy Music

32. "You're in My Heart"—Rod Stewart

3. "Because the Night"—Patti Smith Group/10,000 Maniacs

18. "Hold You in My Arms"—Ray LaMontagne

33. "Baby, I'm Amazed"—Paul McCartney & Wings

4. "Yellow"—Coldplay

19. "Windswept"—Bryan Ferry

34. "Ring of Fire"—Johnny Cash

5. "Helpless"—Big Head Todd and the Monsters

20. "Come Away With Me"—Norah Jones

35. "I Walk the Line"—Johnny Cash

6. "Sweet, Sweet Baby (I'm Fallin)"—Lone Justice

21. "When the Stars Go Blue"—Ryan Adams

36. "For Once in My Life"—Stevie Wonder

7. "Just Like Heaven"—The Cure

22. "Nothing Compares 2 U"—Sinead O'Connor

37. "You're My First, My Last, My Everything"—Barry White

8. "Untouchable Face"—Ani Difranco

23. "The Blower's Daughter"—Damien Rice

38. "Moondance"—Van Morrison

9. "The Sweetest Thing"—U2

24. "I Hear a Symphony"—The Supremes

39. "Irresistible B*tch"—Prince

10. "If I Fall, You're Going Down With Me"—The Dixie Chicks

25. "Have I Told You Lately"—Van Morrison/Rod Stewart

40. "Fallin'"—Alicia Keys

11. "Jersey Girl"—Bruce Springsteen

26. "Something"—The Beatles

41. "If I Ain't Got You"—Alicia Keys

12. "Beautiful Sorta"—Ryan Adams

27. "Wonderful Tonight"—Eric Clapton

42. "Rock Your World"—Justin Timberlake

13. "Forever in My Life"—Prince

28. "Let's Stay Together"—Al Green

43. "She Drives Me Crazy"—Fine Young Cannibals

14. "Adore"—Prince

29. "You're All I Need to Get By"—Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

44. "You're the One That I Want"—Olivia Newton John and John Travolta

15. "Ice Cream"—Sarah Mclachlan

30. "If I Could Build My Whole World Around You"—Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

1. "Two Hearts Beat as One"—U2

Album: War

Release Year: 1983

Most of my song lists start with U2 songs and there's a reason for this—everyone loves U2 and they have a lot of great songs. This song, off of their third album, War, is perfect for this list. It's an uptempo, fun love song that puts you in a great mood.

I don't know

I don't know which side I'm on

I don't know my right from left

Or my right from wrong

Say I'm a fool

Say I'm nothing

But if I'm a fool for you

Oh, that's something

— U2, "Two Hearts Beat as One"

2. "In Your Eyes"—Peter Gabriel

Album: So

Release Year: 1986

This is another classic. Who doesn't remember this song from the movie Say Anything?

In your eyes

The light the heat

In your eyes

I am complete…

— Peter Gabriel, "In Your Eyes"

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3. "Because the Night"—Patti Smith Group/10,000 Maniacs

Album: Easter

Release Year: 1978

Written by Bruce Springsteen, this is a song about pouring out your heart. Originally recorded by Patti Smith, it was covered again by 10,000 Maniacs during their MTV Unplugged performance.

Come on now try and understand

The way I feel when I'm in your hands

Take my hand come undercover

They can't hurt you now…

— Patti Smith Group/10,000 Maniacs, "Because the Night"

4. "Yellow"—Coldplay

Album: Yellow

Release Year: 2000

This is the song that introduced Coldplay to American audiences. This simple tune says so much.

Look at the stars

Look how they shine for you

And everything you do

Yeah they were all yellow…

— Coldplay, "Yellow"

5. "Helpless"—Big Head Todd and the Monsters

Album: Beautiful World

Release Year: 1997

A bit of a blues rocker, this song features Todd's amazing guitar playing. The lyrics can melt any girl's heart.

Since the first time I can't take my poor eyes off you

Though it seems I've lost my mind, you make my heart new

Any fool would run but

I can't help myself around you…

— Big Head Todd and the Monsters, "Helpless"

6. "Sweet, Sweet Baby (I'm Fallin)"—Lone Justice

Album: Lone Justice

Release Year: 1985

Lone Justice was an amazing band that broke up way too soon. Generally considered an "alt country" band, most people list this uptempo ditty under rock and pop. Maria Mckee's strong voice carries this song, making you want to sing along.

Sweet sweet baby mine

I want you 'round me all the time

Cause you know you make my soul sing

And the bells in my heart go chime chime chime…

— Lone Justice, "Sweet, Sweet Baby (I'm Fallin)"

7. "Just Like Heaven"—The Cure

Album: Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me

Release Year: 1987

Often labeled as a punk band, the Cure has released more love songs than a lot of other groups. This song is certainly one of their more charming tunes, and one of their most popular too!

"Show me, show me, show me how you do that trick

The one that makes me scream, " she said

"The one that makes me laugh, " she said

And threw her arms around my neck…

— The Cure, "Just Like Heaven"

8. "Untouchable Face"—Ani Difranco

Album: Dilate

Release Year: 1996

It's hard to put a label on Ani Difranco's music, and it was difficult to decide which category to put this song in. Sprinkled with a certain four letter word, this song features Ani's brilliant songwriting and special insight into relationships.

So f--k you

And your untouchable face

F--k you

For existing in the first place…

— Ani Difranco, "Untouchable Face"

9. "The Sweetest Thing"—U2

Album: The Joshua Tree

Release Year: 1987

Another great one from U2, this love song was written by lead singer Bono as a present to his wife.

My love she throws me like a rubber ball

Oh oh oh, the sweetest thing

She won't catch me or break my fall

Oh oh oh, the sweetest thing…

— U2, "The Sweetest Thing"

10. "If I Fall, You're Going Down With Me"—The Dixie Chicks

Album: Fly

Release Year: 1999

This song was a crossover hit for the Dixie Chicks. This fun and infectious tune features Natalie Maine's powerful voice, clever lyrics, and a twangy fiddle.

If I fall you're going down with me

You're going down with me baby if I fall

You can't take back every little chill you give me

You're going down with me baby heart and all ooh yeah…

— The Dixie Chicks, "If I Fall, You're Going Down With Me"

11. "Jersey Girl"—Bruce Springsteen

Album: The Born in the U.S.A. 12" Single Collection

Release Year: 1985

The original version of this song was written and recorded by Tom Waits, but I prefer Bruce Springsteen's softer and sweeter cover of this song. That said, what makes it a charming love song is Wait's amazing and touching lyrics.

I got no time for the corner boys

Down in the street making all that noise

Or the girls out on the avenue

'Cause tonight I want to be with you

— Bruce Springsteen, "Jersey Girl"

12. "Beautiful Sorta"—Ryan Adams

Album: Cold Roses

Release Year: 2005

Ryan Adams always has a unique way of saying things. He rarely just says "I love you," but always spices things up.

It's beautiful sorta, beautiful sorta

Beautiful sorta but not

Beautiful sorta, beautiful sorta

Beautiful sorta but not…

— Ryan Adams, "Beautiful Sorta"

13. "Forever in My Life"—Prince

Album: Sign 'O' the Times

Release Year: 1987

I love this song and this album. Prince is not generally known for his softer side, but when he shows it, he doesn't hold back.

There comes a time in every man's life

When he gets tired of fooling around

Juggling hearts in a three ring circus

Some day it will drive a body down to the ground

I never imagined that love would rain on me

And make me want to settle down

— Prince, "Forever in My Life"

14. "Adore"—Prince

Album: Sign 'O' the Times

Release Year: 1987

Baby, yes

Until the end of time

I'll be there for you

You own my heart and mind…

— Prince, "Adore"

15. "Ice Cream"—Sarah Mclachlan

Album: The Freedom Sessions

Release Year: 1994

This is a sweet song that compares love to the best stuff on earth—ice cream!

Your love

Is better than ice cream

Better than anything else that I've tried

And your love…

— Sarah Mclachlan, "Ice Cream"

16. "I Go to Sleep"—The Pretenders

Album: Pretenders II

Release Year: 1981

Often overlooked as a band, The Pretenders have a long history of writing great songs. Lead singer Chrissie Hynde is one of the best songwriters on earth and has never been afraid of wearing her heart on her sleeve.

I go to sleep, sleep

And imagine that you're there with me

I go to sleep, sleep

And imagine that you're there with me…

— The Pretenders, "I Go to Sleep"

17. "More Than This"—Roxy Music

Album: Avalon

Release Year: 1982

There was a time when, if you wanted to get a girl in the mood, all you had to do is put on some Roxy Music. For some, this may still be the case. "More Than This" is a great example of Ferry's magical power with women and one of the band's best known songs.

I could feel at the time

There was no way of knowing

Fallen leaves in the night

Who can say where they're blowing

As free as the wind

And hopefully learning

Why the sea on the tide

Has no way of turning

— Roxy Music, "More Than This"

18. "Hold You in My Arms"—Ray LaMontagne

Album: Trouble

Release Year: 2004

There's something about Ray LaMontagne's voice that feels like a big, warm hug. All of his songs are wonderful, but this one is one of my absolute favorites.

When you came to me with your bad dreams and your fears

Was easy to see, you'd been crying

Seems like everywhere you turn, catastrophe it reigns

But who really profits from the dying?

— Ray LaMontagne, "Hold You in My Arms"

19. "Windswept"—Bryan Ferry

Album: Boys and Girls

Release Year: 1985

After leaving Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry embarked on a successful solo career with his first album, Boys and Girls. This song, "Windswept," shows he still knows how to write an amazing love song. This one just makes me melt.

Oh baby do it again and again

I can hear nothing

Windswept is the sand

Oh baby show me more…

— Bryan Ferry, "Windswept"

20. "Come Away With Me"—Norah Jones

Album: Come Away With Me

Release Year: 2002

In 2002, Norah Jones burst onto the music charts with her special blend of pop, soul, blues, and jazz. This song (and the album of the same name) soon became huge hits.

Come away with me in the night

Come away with me

And I will write you a song

Come away with me on a bus

Come away where they can't tempt us

With their lies

— Norah Jones, "Come Away With Me"

21. "When the Stars Go Blue"—Ryan Adams

Album: Gold

Release Year: 2001

You might know this beautiful song from Tim McGraw's cover, but it was originally written and recorded by Ryan Adams. Since then, this song has been sung by a lot of people (including Bono and the Corrs), but Ryan's version remains my favorite.

Where do you go when you're lonely

Where do you go when you're blue

Where do you go when you're lonely

I'll follow you…

— Ryan Adams, "When the Stars Go Blue"

22. "Nothing Compares 2 U"—Sinead O'Connor

Album: I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got

Release Year: 1990

Written by Prince for another band, Sinead's recording of this song made it a mega-hit. Bolstered by a great video, this beautiful song seems perfectly suited to Sinead's ethereal voice.

It's been seven hours and fifteen days

Since you took your love away

I go out every night and sleep all day

Since you took your love away…

— Sinead O'Connor, "Nothing Compares 2 U"

23. "The Blower's Daughter"—Damien Rice

Album: O

Release Year: 2002

Damien Rice may not be a household name, but this song became an indie hit on alternative radio. Featured in a number of movies, you can hear this song in the films Reservation Road and Closer.

And so it is just like you said it would be

Life goes easy on me

Most of the time

And so it is the shorter story

No love, no glory

No hero in her sky

— Damien Rice, "The Blower's Daughter"

24. "I Hear a Symphony"—The Supremes

Album: I Hear a Symphony

Release Year: 1966

This song's lyrics say it all, "I'm lost in a world made for you and me."

You've given me a true love and ev'ry day I thank you love

For a feeling that's so new, so inviting, so exciting

Whenever you are near, I hear a symphony

A tender melody pulling me closer, closer to your arms

Then suddenly, oh, your lips are touching mine

A feeling so divine 'til I leave the past behind

I'm lost in a world made for you and me

— The Supremes, "I Hear a Symphony"

25. "Have I Told You Lately"—Van Morrison/Rod Stewart

Album: Avalon Sunset

Release Year: 1989

This song is sung by two amazing singers, making one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded. It was written and recorded by Van Morrison in 1989, you wouldn't think anyone else could touch this song. Then, Rod Stewart rerecorded the tune in 1991, making it a hit again.

Have I told you lately that I love you

Have I told you there's no one above you

Fill my heart with gladness

Take away my sadness…

— Van Morrison/Rod Stewart,"Have I Told You Lately"

26. "Something"—The Beatles

Movie: Magical Mystery Tour

Release Year: 1969

Love songs are often inspired by the songwriter's romantic interest. Written by George, this song was inspired by Harrison's wife at the time, Pattie Boyd.

Something in the way she moves

Attracts me like no other lover

Something in the way she woos me

— The Beatles, "Something"

27. "Wonderful Tonight"—Eric Clapton

Album: Slowhand

Release Year: 1977

This beautiful song by Eric Clapton was written for his girl Pattie Boyd, the soon-to-be-ex Mrs. George Harrison. She really must have been something special to inspire two amazing love songs! (Actually, three songs if you consider "Layla," written by Clapton and recorded by his band Derek and the Dominos).

It's late in the evening; she's wondering what clothes to wear

She puts on her make-up and brushes her long blonde hair

And then she asks me, Do I look all right?

And I say, "Yes, you look wonderful tonight…

— Eric Clapton, "Wonderful Tonight"

28. "Let's Stay Together"—Al Green

Album: Let's Stay Together

Release Year: 1971

Originally written and recorded by Al Green in 1972, Tina Turner gave this song an update in 1982 for her album Private Dancer. Whichever version you choose, both are great.

Let's stay together

I, I'm I'm so in love with you

Whatever you want to do

Is all right with me…

— Al Green, "Let's Stay Together"

29. "You're All I Need to Get By"—Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

Album: You're All I Need

Release Year: 1968

Love songs are perfectly suited for duets. Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell always made a great team. The pair released a compilation album in 1970 filled with R&B hits, including "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing," two of the greatest R&B songs of all time.

You're all I need to get by.

Like the sweet morning dew, I took one look at you,

And it was plain to see, you were my destiny.

With my arms open wide

— Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, "You're All I Need to Get By"

30. "If I Could Build My Whole World Around You"—Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

Album: Anthology

Release Year: 1974

That is, if I could build my whole world around you

If I could build my whole world around you

That would be all right, oh yeah…

— Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, "If I Could Build My Whole World Around You"

31. "We've Only Just Begun"—The Carpenters

Album: Close to You

Release Year: 1970

This song never seems to go out of style or lose its meaning. Maybe that's why so many people choose it as their first dance at their wedding. Karen Carpenter's voice has a way of staying with you. Nevertheless, Grant Lee Buffalo's remake is also astonishing. (It appears on the Carpenter's tribute album, If I Were a Carpenter.)

Sharing horizons that are new to us

Watching the signs along the way

Talkin' it over, just the two of us

Workin' together day to day…

— The Carpenters, "We've Only Just Begun"

32. "You're in My Heart"—Rod Stewart

Album: Foot Loose & Fancy Free

Release Year: 1977

Rod Stewart has had a long career that has transversed a lot of musical styles. That said, many of his best songs are love songs. He always sings these songs like he truly means what he's saying.

You're in my heart, you're in my soul

You'll be my breath should I grow old

You are my lover, you're my best friend

You're in my soul…

— Rod Stewart, "You're in My Heart"

33. "Baby, I'm Amazed"—Paul McCartney & Wings

Album: McCartney

Release Year: 1970

This is another classic love song that speaks for itself. Once you hear it, you get it.

Maybe I'm amazed at the way you love me all the time

Maybe I'm afraid of the way I love you

Maybe I'm amazed at the the way you pulled me out of time

And hung me on a line…

— Paul McCartney & Wings, "Baby, I'm Amazed"

34. "Ring of Fire"—Johnny Cash

Album: Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash

Release Year: 1963

Here's another one of my favorite Johnny Cash songs.

Love is a burning thing

And it makes a fiery ring

Bound by wild desire

I fell in to a ring of fire

— Johnny Cash, "Ring of Fire"

35. "I Walk the Line"—Johnny Cash

Album: N/A (single)

Release Year: 1956

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine

I keep my eyes wide open all the time

I keep the ends out for the tie that binds

Because you're mine, I walk the line

— Johnny Cash, "I Walk the Line"

36. "For Once in My Life"—Stevie Wonder

Album: For Once in My Life

Release Year: 1968

If this song didn't make you want to dance, it might bring tears to your eyes. Wonder's overwhelming joy at finding that special someone is something we all hope to feel and share.

For once in my life I have someone who needs me

Someone I've needed so long

For once, unafraid, I can go where life leads me

And somehow I know I'll be strong

— Stevie Wonder, "For Once in My Life"

37. "You're My First, My Last, My Everything"—Barry White

Album: Can't Get Enough

Release Year: 1974

The Godfather of Love, Barry White knows what he's talking about (and with his deep and funky voice, everybody listens).

My first, the last, my everything

And the answer to all my dreams

You're my sun, my moon, my guiding star

My kind of wonderful, that's what you are…

— Barry White, "You're My First, My Last, My Everything"

38. "Moondance"—Van Morrison

Album: Moondance

Release Year: 1970

Van Morrison's stunning voice just wraps around you when you hear this song. How can you not lose yourself and be taken away for a "Moondance"?

Well, it’s a marvelous night for a moondance

With the stars up above in your eyes

A fantabulous night to make romance

’Neath the cover of October skies

And all the leaves on the trees are falling

— Van Morrison, "Moondance"

39. "Irresistible B*tch"—Prince

Album: The Hits/The B-Sides

Release Year: 1993

Prince brings his own style and his funky beat to this unconventional love song. Despite the title, you can tell he's a smitten kitten.

Irresistible bitch

I love the way you walk

Irresistible bitch

Ooh, the way you talk…

— Prince, "Irresistible B*tch"

40. "Fallin"—Alicia Keys

Album: Songs in A Minor

Release Year: 2001

Alicia Keys came onto the music scene in 2001 with her first (brilliant) album, Songs in A Minor. Her music is hard to put a label on. With so many great love songs, I had to include two of my favorites.

I keep on fallin'

In and out of love with you

I never loved someone

The way that I love you…

— Alicia Keys, "Fallin"

41. "If I Ain't Got You"—Alicia Keys

Album: The Diary of Alicia Keys

Release Year: 2003

Some people want it all

But I don't want nothing at all

If it ain't you baby

If I ain't got you baby…

— Alicia Keys, "If I Ain't Got You"

42. "Rock Your Body"—Justin Timberlake

Album: N/A (single)

Release Year: 2003

Despite his manufactured boy band beginnings, Justin Timberlake has proven himself as a true artist in my book. This song, from his first solo album, pays homage to Michael Jackson's "Rock with You" (another great song), but replaces the disco beat with a little bit of funk.

Don't be so quick to walk away (Dance with me)

I wanna rock your body, please stay (Dance with me)

You don't have to admit you wanna play (Dance with me)

Just let me rock you till the break of day (Dance with me)…

— Justin Timberlake, "Rock Your Body"

43. "She Drives Me Crazy"—Fine Young Cannibals

Album: The Raw & the Cooked

Release Year: 1988

If this sounds like a Prince song, there's a good reason. It was produced by Prince's collaborator, David Z. It became an unexpected dance hit for the Fine Young Cannibals in 1989.

This waiting 'round's killing me

She drives me crazy, like no one else

She drive me crazy, and I can't help myself

I can't get any rest…

— Fine Young Cannibals, "She Drives Me Crazy"

44. "You're the One That I Want"—Olivia Newton John and John Travolta

Album: Grease

Release Year: 1978

If you are over a certain age, you'll definitely know this song from the end of the movie Grease (and you probably sing along whenever you hear it—even if you won't admit it).

Why, this car is automatic



Why it's a grease lightnin'…

— Olivia Newton John and John Travolta, "You're the One That I Want"

Copyright © 2016 by Donna Herron. All rights reserved.


Donna Herron (author) from USA on February 03, 2014:

Hi Joelle - What a wonderful story! I can see why that song would have such a special meaning for you. I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day!! Great to hear from you! Thanks!!

kidscrafts from Ottawa, Canada on February 03, 2014:

Great playlist for a romantic Valentine's Day!

One of my favorite song is "Ti Amo" of Umberto Tozzi and it's Italian. I think it's my favorite one because my husband and I were in Italy when it came out; the weather was fantastic and it was playing every day in the camping! I have the .wav file on my computer and when I play it my husband starts to dance with me :-)

I suppose that often we associate our favorite song or music with special moments or occasions!

Have a great week, Donna!

Donna Herron (author) from USA on February 02, 2014:

Thank Suzanne! Best wishes for a wonderful Valentine's Day and many more with your special someone :) Thanks for reading and commenting!

Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on February 02, 2014:

What an interesting challenge! I like "Let's stay together". Let's hope that if I play it to my loverboy on Valentine's Day that he will feel the same way. Voted interesting!

Donna Herron (author) from USA on February 01, 2014:

Hi Teddy - Glad to have provided some ideas for new songs for your ipod. Thanks so much for your comments! I appreciate that you stopped by!!

Teddy on February 01, 2014:

Purl3agony, you always come up with the best playlists and this is another example of your knack for creating a mix of familiar classics and buried gems. I'll have to turn this hub into a playlist on my iPod! Keep the great hubs coming.

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