A love song, a love song

In my favorite Shakespeare play Twelfth Night, the Fool is asked to play a song. He inquires “Would you have a love song or a song of good life?” and Sir Toby replies, “A love song, a love song.” Of course, that's a very musical play beginning with the opening line, "If music be the food of love, play on."

They’re all love songs…aren’t they?

A few years ago, one of my friends and I agreed to make a CD for each other of our favorite music. We were both tired of listening to whatever we had in the car, so we thought it would be fun to hear something new. She’s a music major, so I knew her choices would be well-informed and awesome. She wrote “Songs for Amie” with a marker on a CD, and I kept it in my car and loved every song. One day, my husband was driving my car and he found my CD. I asked him if he enjoyed it and he said, somewhat derisively, “they were all love songs.” My answer? Of course they were. All songs are love songs.

This caused a lengthy dinner-table conversation in which my husband and sons tried to disprove my theory by coming up with songs they believed were not love songs. What fools, trying to argue a romance writer out of finding love everywhere! They suggested the National Anthem, and I countered with LOVE OF COUNTRY. A country song about the simple life? LOVE OF DOGS AND PICKUP TRUCKS. Church music? SERIOUSLY? WHOLE LOTTA LOVE RIGHT THERE. One of them foolishly suggested classical music. DOES ANYONE WRITE THE 1812 OVERTURE WITHOUT PASSION?

So, I won. But I suspect my theory might have a few holes in it…maybe??

Just to make sure love wins the day, here are just a few of my all-time favorite love songs:

With You from the musical Pippin
Mandy by Barry Manilow
I Will Always Love You sung by Whitney Houston
When You Say You Love Me by Josh Groban
This Dance by Five for Fighting
Seasons of Love from the musical Rent
Feels like Home sung by Chantal Krieviazuk

I’d love to hear about YOUR favorite long songs, and feel free to pop a hole in my “all songs are love songs” theory if you have a great example of a song that isn’t. I'll love you anyway.

Happy St. Valentine’s Day to everyone, and I hope you celebrate with a love song!


  1. I agree with you--I think most of them are love songs. It reminds me of the "difference" between romance and women's fiction. While romance isn't at WF's center, a love story almost certainly is. My favorite non-church song of all time is John Denver's "Country Roads," a love song to West Virginia. :-)

  2. Happy Valentine's Day to one and all. I just love listening to music. I think I rarely keep the titles in my brain. I agree that Whitney Houston's song that Dolly Parton wrote is a love song that transends the ages.

  3. Thanks for you list of favorite love songs. One that rolls around in my head--and has for years--is Stranger is Paradise, yes, a very old song. It was the best theme song for one of the worst movies ever made, Kismet. I knew the song long before I'd heard of the movie. And speaking of old songs, I still like some of the Beatles' fun love songs. And, since John Denver was mentioned, Annie's Song, was always one of my favorites. I'll be humming old tunes all day now!

  4. Happy Valentine's Day! Love can be found everywhere. I like the quote from Dead Poet's Society that says something like, there are all these professions that are noble and good and improve our lives, but love is what makes it all worth it. We LIVE for love!

  5. I Will Always Love You by Dolly is amazing (she recorded it several times) and I Can't Help Falling in Love with You (the Elvis version), are two of my favorites.

  6. The only ones I can think of are the love-gone-bad ones like Please Release Me and Move It On Over, but maybe they still count as love songs. Even songs like Little GTO are about someone's love of cars, right? "Some people want to fill the world with Silly Love Songs...What's wrong with that?"

  7. Ooh, I love this post. It has my mind going trying to think of all my favorite love songs. I absolutely love, "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston. It still gives me chills. And her rendition of The National Anthem makes me love my country too! I also adore Bless the Broken Road by Rascall Flatts and When You Come Back to Me Again by Garth Brooks. Now I have to go play my favorites!


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