What Makes A Good Love Song?

You hear them every day. You sing along. They win awards. They stay on the charts for a little while…but what REALLY makes a good love song? Obviously, first and foremost, it has to be about love in some way, but what else does it need? I hear love songs on the radio every day, and hardly any of them, especially the new ones, are worth listening to. Here’s how I can tell if a love song’s good: If I listen to it, and I feel some sort of strong emotion, aside from hatred of the song, it’s good. If it takes me back in time, it’s good. If it paints a fantasy in my head, it’s good. But, how do you do that? First, you HAVE to have a great melody! That’s what makes love songs so memorable. It has to be so recognizable that, even when somebody hums it off-key, you know what it is. Second, it has to be more than just “I love you. You’re cute. La la la”, or something like that. There needs to either be a story, or it needs to target a specific aspect of love. Here are some examples:

Patty Smyth & Don Henley – Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough: This song addresses the way that you can get carried away in love. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdzbjUWu2VU

Charlie Wilson – There Goes My Baby: Pretty much anything Charlie Wilson has done counts as a good love song, but this one specifically addresses the way that some guys can just see a woman, and think she’s the one, without knowing anything about her. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hd0T5BuIl0c

John Prine – Long Monday: Nobody really ever thinks of John Prine as a guy who writes love songs, but Long Monday is one of the best love songs I’ve heard in a long time! It’s about a guy who spends the weekend with his girlfriend, and he knows he won’t get to see her again until the next weekend, so he has her on his mind all week. Hence, the title. You won’t see her for another week? Boy, it WILL be one LONG, LONG Monday! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvRpUUpSKrk

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