17 Most Romantic Love Songs Of ALL TIME (Chosen By Iconic Musicians)

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musicians' favorite romantic love songs
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What song always speaks to you? Was it the song that was playing during your first time? Or the first time someone broke your heart? Is it a classic melody or something more recent?

"To me, the most romantic music is the works of the romantic era composer Frederic Chopin, especially the Nocturnes, which are a series of solo piano pieces," says The Phryg of Brooklyn, NY. "When I listen to this music, I am overwhelmed by its beautiful harmonies, which is the same feeling as laying my eyes upon my love. It is a feeling that cannot be explained in words. Having words in music is great and can definitely be romantic but it is also limiting."

Some love songs are sad, while others are wistful. But musicians all have songs that have stuck with them and inspired them, more than any of us. Here are musicians' favorite romantic songs, both those you have heard of and some you have not. 

1. "Marie" by Randy Newman

"It's a beautiful melody. A dark love song lyrically, both funny and sad at the same time." —Tom Petersson, Rock Hall of Fame Member and founder & bass guitarist of Cheap Trick.

2. "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" by The Smiths

"Not sure precisely why I choose this as the most romantic song. Considering my career, you'd think it'd be 'Nessun Dorma.' I guess it's better not to explain it. Like, well, romance." —American librettist Mark Campbell

3. "My One and Only Love" by John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman

"It's a perfectly-written song performed with timeless elegance, and it gets me every time." Tom Brislin, artist and composer who has performed on tour and on recordings for Yes, Meat Loaf, and Debbie Harry of Blondie

4. "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” by Roberta Flack

"It was played during my wedding ceremony and every time I hear it, I live the moment once more! Cuchi Cuchi!" —Charo, American music and pop culture icon

5. "Still In Love" by DeCarlo

"My wife, Annie, was the inspiration behind 'Still In Love.' The first line in the song sets it up well" 'When I close my eyes I think about a place...' that place was Tampa, Florida. That is where I met Annie 30 years ago. 'Through the smiles and tears...' along with two wonderful children, we've had a wonderful life together, and we're absolutely still in love." —Tommy DeCarlo, lead singer of BOSTON

6. "Make Me Whole" by Amel Larrieux

"Anyone who knows me will know I am a true romantic at heart! The love note lyrics are so simple, meaningful, and beautiful. Every time I sing it I have a vision of how a perfect love connection can really make you feel whole."Stefani Vara, recording artist and entrepreneur 

7. "The End Of The World" by Skeeter Davis

"It's a song about the suffocating crush of heartbreak, which is romantic in itself." —Mike Vullo, drummer for Charlie Pickett

8. "Pretty Girl" by Ernie Halter

"The lyrics blow my mind: 'You are a book that I want to read in braille cover to cover' is such a great line. Production-wise, it's pretty simple, but that allows his powerful vocals to be the focal point of the song. His voice has a soulful folk tone to it that adds to the romantic feel. This is a song I love listening to, but also aspire to because it perfectly captures the feeling of love in my opinion." —Mella, session singer and songwriter

9. “I'd Love To Lay You Down" by Conway Twitty

"'There's a lot of ways of saying what I wanna say to you. There are songs, poems and promises and dreams that might come true. But I won't talk of starry skies or shadows on the ground, I’ll just come right out and tell you I'm love to lay you down.'" —Richard Lynch, Independent Country Music Hall of Fame artist

10. Anything by Elliott Smith

"A man who plunges a knife into his own chest while arguing with the love of his life brings a Shakespearean level of passion and romance to his life, death and music." —Jonny Hetherington of Art of Dying

11. "Piano Concerto No. 5" by Beethoven

“The second movement (Adagio un poco moto) from the 5th Piano Concerto in E-flat ('The Emperor') is one of the most gorgeous and heart-wrenching pieces of music ever written. In my opinion, Beethoven was not just the only composer, but one of the few people in history who truly understood the human heart. There is something about the effect Beethoven creates in this piece that tears at my soul every time I hear or play it." —Matt Vincent, violinist for Steel & Ivory

12. "Les Jeux D’Eaux a la Villa d’Este" by Franz Liszt 

"It transposes you to one of the most romantic and magical places in the world. You can picture the glittering fountains, feeling a sense of serenity and tranquility. When I perform this, I feel like everything around me is pure and open.” —Dr. Kristie Janczyk, pianist for Steel & Ivory

13. “Don't Change" by Musiq Soulchild

"This is hands down the most romantic song ever. It’s the song you walk down the aisle to because it’s about unconditional love. Only Musiq Soulchild has this subject of loving someone for years as our bodies age and change. If I don’t hear this song when I look at my future wife, she’s not the one." —Emo Steve

14. "Thirteen" by Big Star

"There are so many songs I find incredibly romantic because I'm kind of a big mush sometimes (even though I pretend to hate everyone and listen to the Smiths a lot) and my favorites change all the time, but this is one of my favorites. It perfectly captures the giddiness of young love and the harmonies kill me every time. It's amazing to me that someone as outwardly grouchy as Alex Chilton could have penned such a pure and earnest love song." —Heidi Vanderlee of Early Riser

15. "Escape" by Rupert Holmes

"We love it because it's an emotional roller coaster of a song that shows, in the end, true love always prevails. Listen to this with your significant other and let those waves of guitar take you floating down a gentle tide as one." —Michael Guariglia of Blonde Otter

16. "At My Most Beautiful" by REM

"I was actually thinking about it when I wrote the falling in love piece. I like it because it's the first straightforward love song they ever wrote, after 18 years and 10 albums. And it speaks about the little things people do when they're in love." —Jim Catapano of The Opposition

17. “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” by Frank Sinatra

"It encapsulates romantic love, which thrives even when people are NOT together in the same physical space. Romantic love stays with you through time and distance and can be brought back into your heart just by thinking about someone. When I chose this song for my album it spoke to me because I was in a long-distance relationship and did not have the luxury of waking up next to my love every morning. Instead, I relied a lot on romantic thoughts about him throughout the day to keep my heart lit. And feeling of missing him was romantic in itself. " —Anna Danes

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Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly. Visit her on Twitter or email her at alywalansky@gmail.com.

 

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