I’m starting to think Cupid’s arrow might have been dipped in poison (instead of what I was hoping was perhaps absynthe). Hopeless romantic that you all know I am, I was intending to put together a list of incredibly sweet songs all pertaining to Valentine’s Day. So I began to search high and low for songs that mentioned the word “valentine” and other than the classic My Funny Valentine, I was pretty disappointed with what I found. I came across My Bloody Valentine, Bullet For My Valentine, Toxic Valentine… egads! What’s everybody got against valentines?
So I switched gears and started looking for songs about Cupid. But other than Sam Cooke’s famous version of the song by that name, I was again let down. First by 50’s star Connie Francis, who sang about Stupid Cupid, and then by current country star Carrie Underwood, who informs us that Cupid’s Got A Shotgun! What the heck? Even the search for songs with “I Love You” in the title brought up things like I Hate You But I Love You.
OK, I thought, let’s back up and try this from another angle. How about flowers? I found a song from Ray LaMontagne that sounded sweet, until the lyrics of You Can Bring Me Flowers ended with “when I’m dead and gone” and the R&B song Box Of Chocolates included clips from Forrest Gump. Not exactly what I was looking for.
Let me tell you, faithful readers, it wasn’t easy being all gushy and romantic (musically speaking) this Valentine’s Day. I had to discard lots of deceptively titled songs that turned out to be filled with heartache and angst, like Fiona Apple’s Valentine, about a woman who cuts herself because her valentine has eyes for someone else.
But if there’s one thing anyone who knows me is well aware of, it’s that I’m the most hard headed gal you will ever meet. I perservere. And finally, FINALLY, I found a song from an artist I’d never heard of before that says exactly what I think needs to be said on Valentine’s Day. The lyrics were so sweet and perfect that just as I was on the verge of giving up, my faith in romance was renewed. And so, I offer you today’s hastily assembled mix of musical bonbons full of love and romance, sugar and kisses, completely drama and heartache-free.
In the meantime, do a girl a favor, would ya? Perhaps you could oblige me by listing one or two of your favorite love songs in the comments section below, and hopefully we’ll create a reader-generated playlist to share next year when we do this all over again.
P.S. For those of you who are planning a big, romantic night out with your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day weekend, I encourage you to take to heart the advice of my favorite sex and relationship columnist Dan Savage. He has a steadfast rule of thumb for Valentine’s Day lovers, that I give two thumbs up on: Get romantic BEFORE your dinner reservation. All those cream based sauces, red meat and rich, chocolately desserts are great for stirring up heartburn (and I’m not talking metaphorically here, I’m talking about actual heartburn) and gall bladder attacks and at the very least uncomfortably full tummies. So take a tip from Dan, and if getting naked is on your list of things to do with your lover on this particular holiday, put it at the top of your list, instead of at the bottom. Cheers!
- Valentine – Kina Grannis
- Cupid – Jack Johnson
- You’re A Sweetheart – Benny Goodman
- Love You Madly – Ella Fitzgerald
- I Just Called To Say I Love You – Stevie Wonder
- My Funny Valentine – Chet Baker
- Embraceable You – Sarah Vaughan
- Cupid – Sam Cooke
- I Love You – Faith Evans
- I’m Still In Love With You – Al Green
- I Couldn’t Love You More – Sade
- She – Elvis Costello
- Sweetheart – Mariah Carey
- Kiss – Tom Jones
- Happy Valentine’s Day – OutKast
- Childhood Sweetheart – Chuck Berry
- I Love You – Django Reinhardt
- Sugar Sugar – The Archies
- Goodnight Sweetheart – The Spaniels
She’s often spotted driving around town singing at the top of her lungs to new wave hits from the 80’s, but at work Valerie hosts the afternoon classical show Siskiyou Music Hall (at 90.9 FM in Shasta County or streaming at ijpr.org).