Sweet, Sweet Valentine’s

February 12, 2009 | By | Comments (7)


Hey, just a quick post from the Romance-Isn’t-Dead department. As we barrel into Valentine’s weekend, I was reminded recently how simple displays of love can mean so much.

A friend told me about when, this past Saturday night, she and her husband were driving home from a dinner out. “He kept driving around in circles, and I’d ask him what he was doing. He’d say ‘I’m not going to tell you.’ He was playing ‘Moonlight Serenade’ by Frank Sinatra on the stereo over and over.’

“We drove around for 30 minutes before he finally pulled up on this beautiful overlook, dimmed the lights of the truck, came around, and opened my door for me. I didn’t want to get out at first,” she says, but her hubbie convinced her and they danced while the Chairman of the Board crooned. “It made me feel pretty special. All warm and tingly, and like I was the only person in the world that mattered right then to him."

Not that there’s anything wrong with diamonds or expensive dinners out, but it’s hard to beat a simple heartfelt gesture like that, which got me to thinking – a little late this year, I might add – about what the heck it is I’ll do for my Valentine’s. Music and a moment with my wife is hard to beat, so I think I’ll rip a CD of our favorite love songs, plus one or two twisted tunes to keep things from getting too syrupy. And because she’s so sweet, I’ll make my wife (and, OK, me) a dessert this weekend. (I think we’ll fix Brownie Tiramisu.) Maybe we can even make it together listening to a little of the music listed below.

If you’ve got a favorite tune or tunes that’s just right for Valentine’s, let us know. If you’d like to fix a special dessert, SouthernLiving.com has 25 recipes just right for that special someone. 

14 Love Songs for the 14th


Love and Happiness: Al Green
Let’s Stay Together: Al Green

My wife and I were raised in Memphis back before Al was a reverend and still ruled the local airwaves. And let me add this –Memphis soul trumps Motown R&B, except in the case of…

Sexual Healing: Marvin Gaye
With all due respect to fellow Memphian Rev. Al and all the other Soulsville serenaders, is there any more romantic a singer than Marvin Gaye?

Walking on the Moon: The Police
Just a wonderful tune about love-induced bliss.

That’s Amore: Dean Martin
Dino’s version probably isn’t the original song of love-induced bliss, but it’s the standard by which all the rest are compared.

Castanets: Alejandro Escovedo
Just like the song goes, “I like her better when she walks away.”

Wild Thing: The Troggs
While this song has become associated with bacchanalian frat throw downs, it’s really a sweet little ditty.

Hate It Here: Wilco
A melancholy tune that explains how OCD tendecies can help numb the pain of lost love. As Jeff Tweedy sings,
“I try to stay busy
I do the dishes, I mow the lawn
I try to keep myself occupied
Even though I know you’re not coming home
I try to keep the house nice and neat
I make my bed, I change the sheets
I even learned how to use the washing machine
But keeping things clean doesn’t change anything”

I Got You Babe: Sonny and Cher
‘Nuf said.

She’s No Lady: Lyle Lovett
Lovett sings, “She’s no lady, she’s my wife.” ‘Nuf said, part II.

Ain’t No Sunshine: Bill Withers
“And she’s always gone too long anytime she goes away.” True that.

When It’s Good: Ben Harper
An ode to reckless, reckless love.

Wicked Game: Chris Isaak
My wife and I can’t help ourselves – every time we hear Isaak’s signature soulful moan, we’re compelled, ala Beavis and Butthead, to mimic it. We’re goobers, but at least we’re goobers together.


When My Baby’s Beside Me: Big Star
Just as I began this list with Memphis music, I’ll end with it and on a powerfully positive note from the original power pop band — all things are possible through love. Whether that’s changing the world through warmth and amour, or just making someone feel like she’s the most important person on the planet.


  1. plentyoffish.com

    You had a pretty romantic valentine Date with your husband! I am very happy for you. The right choice of music will improve a romantic mood any night. Thanks for the song list!

    January 18, 2012 at 12:54 am
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    thank you for your good service!i will do the order again.

    December 5, 2010 at 1:19 am
  3. Val N. Tine

    “I Got You” Wilco
    “Heartbeat” Adrian Belew
    “All That I’m Good For” Hem
    “Earn Enough For Us” XTC
    “Try A Little Tenderness” OTIS
    “Cynically Yours” Amy Rigby
    “I Married Her Just Because She Looks Like You” Lyle Lovett

    February 13, 2009 at 5:31 pm
  4. Tanner

    I had the same conclusion you did, Richard: There’s not a very wide gap between “love” songs and “break-up” or “heartache” songs.
    They’re all coming from the same place.
    “Born to Run” Bruce Springsteen –When the Boss calls someone a tramp, it’s romantic.
    “In My Life,” The Beatles
    “Who Do You Love?” Bo Diddley–He walks 47 miles of barbed wire. Uses a cobra snake for a necktie. If that doesn’t fetch Arlene, then she can’t be fetched.
    “Better Together,” Jack Johnson
    “I’m in the Mood,” John Lee Hooker–“Everytime I see you baby/walking down the street/ you know I get a
    thrill now baby from my head down to my toes…” Best head-fake rhyming I’ve ever heard. 
    “Temptation of Adam”- Josh Ritter– This master singer/songwriter from Idaho has penned the only love song I know based in a fallout shelter.
    “Be Here Now,” Mason Jennings
    “That’s How Strong My Love Is,” Otis Redding
    “Never Far Away,” Jack White
    “Sweet Thing,” Van Morrison

    February 13, 2009 at 4:41 pm
  5. Richard Banks

    Yeah, yeah, I know — How can I claim to be a Memphis music fan and not include Elvis on such a list. Don’t get me wrong, I love The King but not for his love songs.I’m much more the “Soul Man.”

    February 13, 2009 at 8:22 am
  6. Jen Frazier

    For shame. You left Elvis off the list! The King was the true heartbreaker…
    “For I can’t help, falling in love with you.”

    February 12, 2009 at 10:14 pm
  7. TB

    Top 3 Adult Contemporary:
    “Skinny Love” Bon Iver
    Enchanting and recorded in a lonesome mountain cabin.
    “Love Save the Empty” Erin McCarley
    Theme song for the new movie, He’s Just Not That Into You.
    “Guy That Says Goodbye to You is Out of His Mind” Griffin House
    Longest title for a song I;ve seen in a while from my fave songwriter.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:49 am

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