20 Best Love Songs: From Dolly Parton to The Beatles to Def Leppard

1. I Will Always Love You – Dolly Parton – I know that Dolly actually went through an experience of heartbreak which inspired this song. There aren’t a whole lot of songs written about letting go of someone out of a place of love and wanting the best for the person even though they broke your heart. I know that it is the Whitney Houston version of this song that made all the sales but there’s nothing like Dolly’s voice translating the pain that she actually felt into the love of letting go.

2. Unchained Melody – Righteous Brothers – One of the most covered songs in history, no version has outdone the orignial recording of this song by the Righteous Brothers. It is sung with such soul and has all the makings of a hit song. I could never get sick of listening to this song.

3. I Know You By Heart – Eva Cassidy – This is my personal favorite love song by my favorite singer. The way Eva Cassidy sings this song sells it. It is a well-written song anyway, going through all the seasons of love, but it is Eva’s voice that makes this song so great.

4. Absence of Fear – Jewel – Jewel has written many a great love song and I couldn’t decide between Near You Always and this song. I chose this song because I think that love is the opposite of fear and Jewel does a good job of translating this sentiment with this song.

5. Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles – Most people think that this is a Lennon/Mc Cartney song but it is actually George Harrison who wrote it. It is my favorite song by the Beatles and one of my favorite songs overall. Just like it’s title, this song has a way of cheering you up and there’s nothing like having someone who is like sunshine in your life to brighten your days.

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6. The Promise – Tracy Chapman – I love Tracy Chapman’s depth and this song displays the depth of love very well. There’s something about her voice with the instrumentation and the lyrics that comes together to form a warm, transcendent love song.

7. God Only Knows – Beach Boys – I love the first line of this song: “I may not always love you. This song combines the eternal essence of the divinity with the realization that things do change in relationships. This song recognizes that it is God who is in charge and it is only by his grace that we are able to experience the wonder of love. It also drives home the need to live each day and be engaged in the present moment.

8. Cherish – Madonna – There is something so happy about this song. My mood can’t help but be elevated when I listen to this song.

9. Dirty Little Secret – Sarah Mc Lachlan – This song speaks to the illusions we have about the way we think romantic love should be. It also promises to “give up the fight” of letting these illusions become a defense against feeling real love.

10. One – U2 – Bono might not have had a romantic love song in mind when he penned the lyrics to this song. Nonetheless, this song does a good job of expressing the desire to be one in flesh and in spirit.

11. I’ll Follow You Into the Dark – Death Cab for Cutie – This song reminds me of the part in the movie “What Dreams May Come” when Robin Williams’ character goes to hell to be with Annabella Sciorra’s character and they end up finding heaven because of his devotion to their love.

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12. Fields of Gold – Eva Cassidy – Even though Sting wrote this song, I think that the emotional depth and range of Eva Cassidy’s voice translates the meaning and beauty of the song better. This song makes me think of 2 older people promising that the golden years of their love will be golden even if it hasn’t been up to that point.

13. Trust Me (This is Love) – Amanda Marshall – Trust issues seem to be the basis for many divorces and break ups in the world of love. I love how this song speaks right to the core of this sentiment.

14. Lose Your Way – Sophie B. Hawkins – I like how this song strives to keep the union intact even if someone loses their way, heads in the wrong directions, strays or grows away.

15. Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison – This song is so joyous that it does a good job of capturing the rapture of love from memories alone: “do you remember when we use to sing?

16. Grow Old With Me – Mary Chapin Carpenter – There is nothing more romantic to me when sticking it out with someone until old age. Don’t we all want someone we can grow old with?

17. Love Bites – Def Leppard – This song balances out the romantic ideals of love with the reality of the disappointment side of love.

18. Love Hurts – Nazareth – Just like Love Bites, this job really translates the feeling of hurt that comes from a love that is not returned for whatever reason. It sounds as if the singer’s vocal chords are really in pain from heartache.

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19. Two Young Kids – Debbie Gibson – There aren’t many songs out there written about celebrating 50 year anniversaries but this tribute to Debbie’s grandparents does a great job of celebrating love that endures the tests of time. I love the line “and two young will be wishing they were us”.

20. Heaven – DJ Sammy – The original version of this song by it’s author Bryan Adams is good in it’s own right but there is something about this slowed down version of the song with the tender vocals in a female voice that makes this song gain meaning for me.