Laura is a freelance writer living in Florida. She has a Master's degree in English.
What Music Is Suitable to Set the Mood of a Romantic Night?
If you are planning a romantic evening with your special someone, you can't underestimate the importance of music to set the mood. You have the lights low and the candles glowing, but what will you play softly in the background?
Music is such an important part of romantic relationships. Many couples have special songs that they fondly remember and reminisce about together for many years.
Music can express sentiments of love and romance that you may feel too shy or apprehensive to express yourself. It sends the message subtly or not so subtly that you are in the mood and you are in love.
So whether it's a special date, Valentine's Day, anniversary, another holiday or just a Tuesday evening, there's a song for every occasion.
Some of the best romantic albums happen to be movie soundtracks. For romantic movies and romantic comedies, the background music is so important to set the mood for the audience. When considering what kind of music you need for your special evening, take a look at some of the great romantic movies and the soundtracks that go with them.
Soundtrack to Sleepless in Seattle
If you have never seen the fantastically romantic Sleepless in Seattle, then that should be your first order of business. When Nora Ephron made the film, she indicated that she wanted to give it a timeless quality and carefully chose the hairstyles, costumes and settings to reflect as much as possible the timelessness of love.
The music in the movie is no different. It is romantic today, yesterday and tomorrow.
The playlist includes Jimmy Durante, Nat King Cole and Harry Connick, Jr. The voices in this album are soothing and romantic. The only weak spot might be "Back in the Saddle Again." The song works great in the movie but may not be quite as nice for your background music. But the rest of the album is so perfectly romantic, the kind that makes you want to snuggle up in the low light and allow your emotions to flow.
- Jimmy Durante: "As Time Goes By"
- Louis Armstrong: "A Kiss To Build a Dream On"
- Nat King Cole: "Stardust"
- Dr. John: "Makin' Whoopee
- Carly Simon: "In the Whee Small Hours"
- Gene Autrey: "Back in the Saddle Again"
- Joe Cocker: "Bye, Bye Blackbird"
- Harry Connick, Jr.: "A Wink and a Smile"
- Tammy Wynette: "Stand By Your Man"
- Harry Warren, Harold Adamson, Leo McCarey: "An Affair to Remember"
- Jimmy Durante: "Make Someone Happy"
- Celine Dion, Clive Griffin: "When I Fall In Love"
These songs may be unfamiliar to you, but once you hear them, you will see how they are a must-have to add to your romantic playlist.
Film Score of Romeo and Juliet
What is more romantically tragic than the love and loss of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet? While there have been many movie versions of the famous play, one that stands out for its outstandingly romantic music is Franco Zeffirelli's version from the 1968 film version.
Of particular standout quality for its romantic sounds is Henry Mancini's "Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet." You may not know it by name, but as soon as you hear it, you'll recognize it. The orchestral arrangement of the song represents both the innocence and the passion that Romeo and Juliet experienced during their doomed love affair.
But you aren't likely to repeat their tragedy if you choose to add this soundtrack to your overall romantic music soundtrack. The soundtrack is out of print, but you can sometimes find it on the used market.
- The Feast at the House of Capulet
- Their First Meeting
- Love Theme
- The Balcony Scene
- Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow
- But This I Pray
- Romeo and Juliet are Wed
- The Death of Mercutio and Tybalt
- Night's Candles are Burnt Out
- Farewell Love Scene
- The Likeness of Death
- The Ride from Mantua
- The Death of Romeo
- Love Theme
- The Death of Juliet
The soundtrack is all instrumental, so it is great for background music that is not distracting and yet soothing.
Film Score of Casablanca
Perhaps the most romantic movie of all time—"here's looking at you, kid." Another story of star-crossed lovers lights up the screen. As you follow Rick and Ilsa's plight and realize that their love is most likely doomed, you want to help.
But love is not logical, and it shouldn't be. As the couple continues to struggle over what to do or not do in the movie, the music helps to set the mood and show the characters' inward and outward struggles.
While the soundtrack may not work in its entirety, there are definitely must-haves to include in your romantic music selection. The song "As Time Goes By" defines any love affair past or present. "It Had To Be You" will sweep your love off their feet.
- It Had To Be You
- Knock on Wood
- As Time Goes By
- Knock on Wood
- As Time Goes By
- Dats What Noah Done
- Ilsa Returns to Rick
- Die Wacht Im Rhein/ Marsellaisse
- Airport Finale
You will want to make sure to include some of these classic songs in your romantic evening. Love is as timeless as this movie.
Score of Phantom of the Opera
If you are not familiar with Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera then it might be time for you to run, not walk, to your nearest TV or computer and watch any version of this fantastic and romantic musical. For a more modern version, check out the 2004 version with Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum.
The music to Phantom of the Opera is tender and sensual and speaks of the longings and needs of both the lover and the loved. The Phantom, in his desperation, sings with such emotion and passion as he tries to win Christine's love. But the beauty of his voice can't overcome her hesitations or his violent tendencies.
Of particular note are "All I Ask of You" and "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again." This album is safe to play from beginning to end and can easily blend with the other romantic selections that you have chosen.
- Think of Me
- Angel of Music
- The Mirror
- The Phantom of the Opera
- The Music of the Night
- Prima Donna
- All I Ask of You
- Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again
- The Point of No Return
- Down Once More
- Learn to Be Lonely
The soundtrack has a mix of vocals and music but would be perfect for low lights and a glass of wine as you snuggle with your significant other.
Soundtrack to Dirty Dancing
"Nobody puts Baby in a Corner." This famous line from the romantic and continuously popular Dirty Dancing can be repeated by longing females all over the world. The movie, made in the '80s but set in the time when rock and roll was first becoming mainstream, tells the story of two improbable lovers that find their hearts are lost when they are dancing. Music is the bridge that brings this unlikely couple together.
The soundtrack can also be your bridge to getting closer to your lover. It makes you smile and reminds you of just how important the one sitting beside you really is. While this soundtrack is a bit livelier than the others, it still is great for setting the mood simply because the movie is so well-known and the music is so loved.
- Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes: "I've Had The Time of My Life"
- The Ronettes: "Be My Baby"
- Patrick Swayze: "She's Like The Wind"
- Eric Carmen: "Hungry Eyes"
- Maurice Williams: "Stay"
- Merry Clayton: "Yes"
- The Blow Monkeys: "You Don't Own Me"
- Bruce Channel: "Hey Baby"
- Zappacosta: "Overload"
- Mickey and Silvia: "Love Is Strange"
- Tom Johnston: "Where Are You Tonight"
- The Five Satins: "In the Still of the Night"
The songs on this soundtrack may inspire you and your partner to engage in a bit of dirty dancing yourself. Regardless, this is a must-have for any romantic evening.
What Is Music?
At its heart, music is just sound vibrations. So why do sound vibrations move us and speak to us? Why is everyone from a young baby to an elderly person moved by music?
According to "It's Okay To Be Smart" from PBS, music is an important communication tool that humans have used since the earliest days of human interaction.
Music plays on our emotions. We recognize happy, sad, scary or romantic music even if we can't name the chords or keys that help to express that emotion. It is both complicated and simple.
So picking the right music to help send the right message for romance is crucial.
Movie Love Songs
Maybe you can't decide what to choose or want to put together a playlist that will take you into the wee hours of the morning. In this case, you might look for a compilations album that takes the best romantic songs from the movies and puts them on one album.
Many compilations albums contain songs you can download individually or as a group. It has modern soundtracks such as Twilight and Titanic and classics such as The Way We Were and Moon River.
Adding a compilation album to your playlist will ensure that the mood is set for hours and all you have to concentrate on is each other.
There's a reason that so many dates are to the movies. The movies can transport you to places you've never been, and through a character's romantic trials and tribulations, we begin to see ourselves. The music is very much a part of the experience.
If you are looking for romantic music for your special someone, look no further than movie soundtracks from the earliest films to modern romances. You and your loved one will enjoy your special time together even more when you "set the night to music."
Deborah Demander from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on February 03, 2016:
I love music, and this is a great list. I plan to add some of your suggestions to my collection.
Thanks for writing.
L C David (author) from Florida on December 28, 2013:
Thanks I appreciate it.
Autumn from Central New Jersey on December 28, 2013:
I can tell that you are a very romantic, whimsical person. Thank you for sharing with me.
PADMENDRA S R from DELHI/NCR on December 28, 2013:
I liked your article as you have beautifully written it. Thanks for sharing.
L C David (author) from Florida on December 28, 2013:
I think that Water for Elephants soundtrack has some nice and relaxing scores. I love the songs on Hope Floats. The Great Gatsby soundtrack is also fantastic and fun and would be great for getting the evening started.
Autumn from Central New Jersey on December 27, 2013:
Great list. If you had to add anything from more recent years what would it be? Thanks.
arshiacom on December 25, 2013:
the list of songs is really good.I love listening to soft music .
L C David (author) from Florida on December 21, 2013:
Thanks torrilynn. Sometimes it's hard to think of a good set of songs for a nice evening with your love. Hope this helps the decision making process a little easier.
torrilynn on December 20, 2013:
I found these albums to be romantic indeed. thanks for including the songs as well. voted up and pinned.
L C David (author) from Florida on December 18, 2013:
Thank you so much billybuc. That's a high compliment coming from a prolific writer such as yourself. I appreciate you stopping by to read it!
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 18, 2013:
I always enjoy lists like this one; you put together a formidable list for sure. Well done!