Editor’s Note: Since there are few ways better suited for saying “I love you” than through song, I thought I would invite a few friends to share their preferred collection of songs for celebrating L-O-V-E.
We’ll have a new mix, every day through Valentine’s Day. You can see them all here.
-Image courtesy of Tracey Clark
Day 8 Mix: Love is All You Need from Cathy Zielske
Sometimes a mix is defined more by what it emotes, rather than what it says literally. With that in mind, here’s my love mix for 2010 that will be packaged up and given to my main squeeze for this years Valentine’s celebration.
First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes
It took me a long time to “get” Conor Oberst and his whole sound, and this was the song that did it for me. I think it was also because of the video. You can’t watch this clip and not feel pure, unadulterated love. His voice is so honest, and the sentiment so achingly sweet.
Downtown Train by Tom Waits
While this may not seem like the most romantic of songs, it was on the very first mix my husband made for me, back in 1989, during our courting days. What I didn’t know at the time was that that it was a litmus test for our relationship. He said later he would have had a hard time proceeding with “us” if I didn’t like Tom Waits. Suffice to say, I adore Tom’s gravely vocals to this very day. It reminds me of being courted. And loved.
Casimir Pulaski Day by Sufjan Stevens
This song is purely a song for the feeling. I recently discovered this gem on a Sufjan Stevens album that I owned (Come on Feel the Illinoise!), but had never actually listened to. The simple melody, the harmonies…they sound like innocence to me. And love.
She Goes On by Crowded House
I am one of the world’s biggest Neil Finn fans, and it was hard for me to choose one song of love for my mix, as I believe everything he’s ever written could easily fit into ANY mix. But when I hear the opening strains of this song, I’m in some tropical place, near the ocean, wearing a sun dress, sporting a rare tan, and spinning in circles on an open air dance floor with my one true love. There is a line about “…They were a lifetime together,” and it calls to mind a life lived for many, many years with the one you love. It’s what I aspire to in my own relationship. That, and I could drown in Neil’s voice. Period.
The Night I Heard Caruso Sing by Everything but the Girl
If I could sing, with my husband, and if we sounded good together, this is what I would want to sing. This song has been a favorite of mine for years. Although it has little to do with true love, its beauty transcends meaning. And I love the fact that the singers are also a couple, who’ve been together for years, making music and quietly raising their family.
Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap
Another song chosen purely for the feel it adds. I’m amazed at how insanely gorgeous the melody of this song is, as it’s completely a capella. Amazing.
I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You by Colin Hay
I know it’s a sad song, but it’s such a lovely, simple song. I never realized that Colin Hay was capable of anything other than making googly eyes and singing, “Who can it beeee now?” It’s a perfect little song.
Love Vigilantes by Iron & Wine
One of my favorite covers ever. The mark of a good cover is when the artist takes it, re-imagines it, and creates a completely new listening experience. Sam Beam does exactly that with this effort.
Silence is Musical by Scattered Trees
From the very first strumming notes, this song is MAGICAL to me. This little known band from Chicago has created such a lush little tune here, and when I hear it, I feel love from all sides. And when the harmony kicks in, I’m putty. The lyric about “…you’re my favorite…” is perfection. Isn’t love about our favorites, after all?
You’re the First, The Last, My Everything by Barry White
This needs no explanation, baby.
Forever in my Life by Prince
One simple drum beat, and Prince Rogers Nelson telling it like it is. My kind of love song.
The Luckiest by Ben Folds
The quintessential love song. No question about it. Years ago, my husband made me a Valentine’s Day mix, and this was the anchor song. I had never heard it (Ben’s album had just come out and I wasn’t familiar with it yet) and I get to the very end of my special mix, and simply sat at my computer (I was working the day my hubby gave me the mix) and cried like a little girl. To this day, I have a hard time hearing it without worrying that I’m going to break into the ugly cry.
And that is my love mix for 2010. Gems, all of them, for sure.