In honor of Valentine’s Day, here’s a list of my favorite love songs of all time.
They all make me cry. Huzzah!
10. Decemberists – “Red Right Ankle” (Her Majesty)–This one gets the award for most unexpectedly grody love song opening: “This is the story of your red right ankle/and how it came to meet your leg/and how the muscle, bone, and sinews tangled/and how the skin was softly shed.” It also works the word “ventricles” in there toward the end. Mmmm.
9. Frightened Rabbit – “Poke” (The Midnight Organ Fight)–Don’t let the break-up backdrop fool you. Or the fact that the first verse includes the word “cunt.” This is totally a love song. Really.
8. Cure – “Plainsong” (Disintegration)
7. The Beatles – “Julia” (The White Album)
6. Magnetic Fields – “The Book of Love” (69 Love Songs)–Stephin Merritt says fuck you to love-with-a-capital-L, but he still loves you, which is really all that matters.
5. Yo La Tengo – “The Whole of the Law” (Painful)
4. Simon and Garfunkel – “Kathy’s Song” (Sounds of Silence)
3. Regina Spektor – “Samson” (Begin to Hope)–It turns the biblical story on its head so sweetly. And the opening line is a sucker punch.
2. Rufus Wainwright – “Hallelujah”–I really love that Samson and Delilah story, I guess. (Yeah, Jeff Buckley’s version is wonderful, but I like this one just a bit better.)
1. Joni Mitchell – “River” (Blue)–In Love, Actually, this is the song playing when Emma Thompson’s character tells her husband that Joni Mitchell taught her how to feel. Feel fucking depressed is more like it, but, yeah. Pretty much.