Happy Valentine’s Day from Absoludicrous!
Okay, technically it’s in two days, but it’s always been one of my favorite holidays, so I’m starting the celebration early.
Valentine’s Day gets a bad rep, which sucks because it’s actually one of my favorite holidays. Yes, I know, if you’re single Valentine’s Day is just another reminder of how lonely you are, but look at it this way. In just a few days, there’s gonna be pounds of very cheap, delicious chocolate in beautiful heart-shaped boxes lining the shelves of every grocery store in the United States.
Plus, Valentine’s Day has that great red and pink fluffy pastel aesthetic that I love. And! Who said you had to have a significant other to spoil someone you love on Love Day. Man, just take a bag of chocolates to school/work/whatever and pass them out. That’s what I do.
And of course, we have the topic of this post. Ballads. Love songs are basically everywhere. I dare you to find a single relevant artist that doesn’t have at least one in their repertoire. Actually… don’t take me up on that. I’m sure there’s some hipster punk band out there that hasn’t yet felt love in their cold, dead hearts.
My original idea for this post was to talk about ten to twelve of my favorite love songs with maybe a few extra suggestions from friends and family. And then I realized that basically everyone has like a whole playlist of love songs they enjoy, and suddenly I had a playlist of over 130 love songs!
I want to take a moment to thank all of the people who suggested songs. It was a blast compiling them, and while I haven’t yet gotten a chance to listen to them all, I’ve dug into a few of them and they’re all super great. There’s all sorts of genres and decades of songs on this list, and I’m sure everyone can find something to enjoy! If you want to check out the playlist, click right here. I will also be including a full song list and every contributor’s name at the bottom of this post!
I thought I might also provide some thoughts on a few of the songs I personally added to the list.
Simple Song – The Shins
I almost forgot about this one until the very last minute, which is something that I honestly cannot believe. How could I forget about this one? As perhaps suggested by the title, is nothing too complex, but it’s earnest and has this really powerful quality to it I really enjoy. There are some really gorgeous lyrics in here too – it seems to tell a story about a love based in friendship, trust, and mutual respect, and if that’s not #relationshipgoals I don’t know what is.
Helpless – Hamilton
This one was another last minute realization. (I won’t take all the blame for this, though. I cannot believe nobody suggested this one either. What’s the deal? I thought, like, all of my friends were obsessed with Hamilton!) Either way, this song is really sweet. You don’t even need to be familiar with the plot of this musical to understand the bubblegum pop feelings of love at first sight this song chronicles. Of course, you would have to be familiar with the musical to understand just what Eliza Hamilton is getting herself into in this relationship… but I digress. I love Lin Manuel Miranda’s rap in this but the real star is of course Phillippa Soo, whose beautiful voice brings makes this adorable ballad perfect.
I Need My Girl – The National
I’m going to come back to this idea for a few of the songs in this little personal list here, but I love when love songs use little specific details that suggest it’s for a real person. I’d bet actual money that the situations described in this song were based in reality – and that’s one of the best parts of the song. That, and the quiet, contemplative tone set by the simplistic instrumentation and echoey sound effects. This one is just beautiful.
The Gambler – fun.
fun. is an older favorite of mine, but I always come back to the song. It’s cheery and catchy and sweet as all get-out. It tells the tale of two lovers’ entire lives together – their meeting, falling in love, and eventually raising a family and enjoying domestic bliss together. It’s like the auditory equivalent of Valentine’s Day chocolate… sweet and addictive.
I Want You To – Weezer
This is another love song that gets very specific with some of the details of the lyrics. Plus, it’s a fun, upbeat, tongue-in-cheek sort of song that still manages to keep some really sweet and sentimental ideas. I’m not the biggest fan of Weezer, but this song is a real gem.
Arms – Christina Perri
This has always been a song that has resonated with me, especially recently. It’s an earnest and lovely song about learning to trust and love. It’s nothing grand, but I love the sentiment of this song. It feels really real, talking about the confusing feelings of fear and joy that comes with a first love. (Also, a bit relatable, gonna be honest.) Adorable.
Death of a Bachelor – Panic! at the Disco
Gosh I love this song! Have I talked about how much I love this song? Oh man do I love this song. With a classic swagger that can only be delivered by the one and only Brendon Urie, this song is a sentimental look at getting married and casting aside your old single life. And those horns… yes those horns…
In Another Life – Vienna Teng
I recently showed this song to my dad, who told me he thought it sounded very “broadway.” This was kind of a wild realization to me, but it totally explains why I dig this song so much. Vienna Teng is kind of a master at telling some incredibly-written stories through song, and this one specifically tells the tale of two lovers as they are repeatedly reborn throughout history and brought together. Despite the sometimes morbid subject matter of the lyrics, the song ends on a surprisingly sweet note, giving these two ill-fated lovers a happy ending in the present. Plus, some excellent clarinet playing.
Aquaman – Walk the Moon
My boys! Walk the Moon is my favorite band and they’ve had no shortage of love songs – some a bit more crude or awkward than others… but I had to pick this one because I love the sentiment. The idea of letting go of your fears and being able to love someone without restraint is really so well articulated. Plus, because it’s Walk the Moon, it has that fun 80s sound that just cheers you right up.
When the Day Met the Night – Panic! at the Disco
More horns! Also, Brendon Urie is back. Can you blame me? His voice is basically like listening to romance… yeah, I know that was lame. This song can best be described as a Beatles-esque parade of nature imagery. This is a really unapologetically joyful song, one that always brings a smile to my face. Plus, it seems to preach compromise in relationships, which is always a good thing.
The Only Exception – Paramore
Paramore isn’t exactly known for their stripped-down ballads, but I can’t help but love this one. Haley Williams sings about finding that one person who gives you the strength to move on past heartbreak, and does it in such a powerful, emotional way. Plus, the song builds to this really heartwarming climax toward the end, really playing with the build of the instrumentation to carry a listener through the song. Just gorgeous.
Thunder Clatter – Wild Cub
I saved this one for last because it’s kind of my favorite love song of them all. This one was written by the lead singer for his actual wife, which means it’s definitely a real love story, making it already a million times cuter in my book. Plus, the drums and rhythmic sound of the whole song keeps it light and joyful. Also, I must admit, I’m a sucker for the bridge… how could hearing a man sing “you’re the love of my life” to his wife not tug at your heartstrings?
But of course, there’s a lot more love songs than that (Like more than 120 more, basically). If you feel like these twelve songs aren’t enough, check out all the other songs that were submitted to me! They’re definitely worth your time!
- Just an Old Fashioned Love Song – Three Dog Night
- Perfect for You – Next to Normal
- Simple Song – The Shins
- Why Stay?/A Promise – Next to Normal
- Stop the World I Wanna Get Off With You – Arctic Monkeys
- Helpless – Hamilton
- Hey #3/ Perfect for You (Reprise) – Next to Normal
- Waterloo – ABBA
- Fuckin’ Perfect – P!nk
- Kiss on My List – Hall & Oates
- Love Me Like You Do – Ellie Goulding
- I Melt With You – Modern English
- Take My Breath Away – Berlin
- I Won’t Say I’m in Love – Disney’s Hercules
- Hello My Old Heart – The Oh Hello’s
- Cassiopeia – Sara Bareilles
- Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley
- Your Love is My Drug – Kesha
- Gravity – Sara Bareilles
- Lush Life – Zara Larsson
- I Choose You – Sara Bareilles
- Latch – Sam Smith (Acoustic)
- When You’re in Love – Karina Pasian
- Like Real People Do – Hozier
- Lay Me Down – Sam Smith
- Jackie and Wilson – Hozier
- Dangerous – The xx
- From Eden – Hozier
- Lover’s Carvings – Biblio
- Dear No One – Tori Kelly
- Cherry Wine – Hozier
- Color – Todrick Hall ft. Jay Armstrong
- Celestial – Tori Kelly
- Someone New – Hozier
- Naive – The Kooks
- Stained – Tori Kelly
- Till the End – Jessie Ware
- A World Alone – Lorde
- I Need My Girl – The National
- Chasing Pavements – Adele
- Daydreamer – Adele
- Poetry Man – Phoebe Snow
- All About Us – Jordan Fisher
- Rhythm Of Love – Danity Kane
- Find Me – Sigma ft. Birdy
- Color in You – Copperlily
- 1, 2, 3, 4 – Plain White T’s
- Outlaws – David Lambert
- Teenage Dream – Katy Perry
- Fall for You – Secondhand Serenade
- Take a Chance on Me – ABBA
- Maybe I’m Amazed – Paul McCartney
- It Only Takes a Moment – Michael Crawford
- Every Little Thing She Does is Magic – The Police
- The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson
- In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel
- God Only Knows – The Beach Boys
- Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
- When a Man Loves a Woman – Percy Sledge
- Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers
- When We Dance – Sting
- Unforgettable – Nat King Cole
- You’re My Best Friend – Queen
- L-O-V-E – Nat King Cole
- My Cherie Amour – Stevie Wonder
- Your Song – Elton John
- Stardust – Nat King Cole
- Fly Me to the Moon – Frank Sinatra
- Photograph – Ed Sheeran
- Can’t Help Falling in Love – Cover by twenty one pilots
- With or Without You – U2
- When the Night Comes – Joe Cocker
- The Anthem – Good Charlotte
- Check Yes Juliet – We the Kings
- Can’t Get Enough of Your Love – Barry White
- Marry You – Bruno Mars
- Wouldn’t it Be Nice – The Beach Boys
- We Found Love – Rihanna
- Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol
- I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
- True Colours – Tom Odell
- Do You Love Me Too – Tessa Violet
- Follow Through – Gavin DeGraw
- You’re the Only One – Maria Mena
- When the Sun Goes Down – In the Heights
- Would You Be So Kind? – Dodie
- I’ll Cover You – Rent
- Somewhere Only We Know – Keane
- What the Heck I Gotta Do – 21 Chump Street
- Tell Me Who to Be – Cosmo Jarvis
- Talk About You – MIKA
- Sunlight in a Jar – The Lucksmiths
- Private Fears in Public Places – Front Porch Step
- Make You Mine – PUBLIC
- Love at First Sight – The Brobecks
- Nobody Does it Better – Carly Simon
- L-L-Love – He is We
- I Wanna Be Yours – Arctic Monkeys
- Girls Like You – The Naked and Famous
- Love Me Do – The Beatles
- Gimmie Love – Carly Rae Jepsen
- From Afar – Vance Joy
- Almost Hear You Sigh – The Rolling Stones
- Faster – Matt Nathanson
- Under the Same Sun – Ben Howard
- Love Song – The Cure
- I Would Die 4 U – Prince
- Waiting for a Girl Like You – Foreigner
- Always – Panic! at the Disco
- The Gambler – fun.
- Your Body is a Wonderland – John Mayer
- Only Wanna Be With You – Hootie and the Blowfish
- Lost in Love – Air Supply
- Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
- Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen
- True Companion – Marc Cohn
- Beth – Kiss
- Fall at Your Feet – Saint Raymond
- Arthur’s Theme – Christopher Cross
- Elephant Love Medley – Moulin Rouge
- Reminiscing – The Little River Band
- Something Wild – Lindsey Stirling ft. Andrew McMahon
- Zurui No Magnetic Today – Love Live
- I Love You – The Climax Blues Band
- Happy Together – Turtles
- I Want You To – Weezer
- Arms – Christina Perri
- Honeybee – Steam Powered Giraffe
- Fairytale – Alexander Rybak
- Death of a Bachelor – Panic! at the Disco
- In Another Life – Vienna Teng
- Aquaman – Walk the Moon
- When the Day Met the Night – Panic! at the Disco
- Home – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
- The Only Exception – Paramore
- Thunder Clatter – Wild Cub
Finally, I could not have complied this amazing list without the help and suggestions of these wonderful people:
- Angela Paxton
- David Paxton
- Caroline Heyl
- Marie Hamilton
- Zach Wang
- Susan Sveen
- Russ Sveen
- Madison Sveen
- Pepper LaPaglia
- Leigh Heck
- Kirby Fleitz
- Megan Cline
- Brianna Greenman
- McKenna Edwards
- Oscar Bridges
- Gabby Emberton
- Taylor Williams
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! I hope you all spend it with the people you love the most!