Romance comes in many forms. It can take the shape of a candlelit dinnercozying up to watch a movie together, or simply having someone else do the dishes for you. It can also arrive as music, as any couple who met when the jukebox played the right song can tell you. The power of romantic songs is even supported by science. One study published in Psychology of Music found that women who were exposed to love songs were much more likely to give their phone to a prospective suitor than those who weren't.
More from the world of love
So when you really need to set the mood, you need to turn to some of the most moving, sensual songs ever recorded. We've got 50 of them right here—a ready-made playlist for your next date night. Contrary to popular belief, Whitney Houston was not the first artist to perform this powerful chart-topper though some will argue she did it the best.
Written and first performed as a country ballad by Dolly Parton inHouston recorded her own impressive version of the song for the soundtrack to The Bodyguarda film in which she starred that same year. Houston's unmatched, high-register belt brought an epic ificance to the tune, ultimately making it one of the biggest hits of the artist's far-too-short career.
Chrissy Teigenyou lucky, lucky girl. If you need to know what love is, look no further than this romantic song by her brilliant singer-songwriter husband, John Legend. There's a reason why it's so popular at weddings. Bruce Springsteen is known for a lot of things, but writing cheesy love songs isn't one of them.
Fortunately, the rock icon released this slow, guitar-led tune inand the world ate it up. Back in the '90s, when songstress Celine Dion wasn't making us cry our eyes out to the soundtrack from Titanicshe was making our hearts hurt with the lyrics to "Because You Loved Me. Covered by everyone from Billy Joel to Adele, this late-'90s hit was first written and performed by none other than American music legend Bob Dylan.
And while Dylan is celebrated for a ature songwriting style wherein his lyrics have engendered multiple interpretations, many assert that this song is about Dylan's ex-wife, Carolyn Dennisfrom whom the artist separated shortly before this late-'90s hit was released.
If you've been to a wedding even once in the last 60 years, it's likely you've heard this classic love song by lauded blues singer, Etta James. And if you haven't yet…just wait! Some songs become standouts simply because of the movies they're featured in, and "Kiss Me" is one of those tunes. The late '90s hit from Sixpence None the Richer became synonymous with romance after it appeared in the Freddie Prinze Jr.
When Norah Jones came on the scene in the early '00s, her smooth jazz sound and smoky vocals caught listeners' attention.
Robin williams' son talks dad's misdiagnosis
But it was arguably this song that put the artist on the map—not only as a talented artist but as somebody who knew how to write a love song. And continue to write love songs, she has. If anyone knows how to sing a love song, it's Thomas Rhett. This adorable hit from Just try not to smile while listening to this one, we dare you!
Best love songs of all time, ranked
If you don't immediately think of the heartbreaking raft scene think: "I'll never let go, Jack! Dion, we need to have a chat. Well, not really—but you should probably just rewatch Titanic List of the best love songs ever kick your memory back in high gear! Oh, to be young and in love. Sam Cooke 's pitch-perfect vocals combined with line after line of heartwarming lyrics are the winning combo behind "You Send Me.
Granted, Frank Ocean wasn't the first to record "Moon River. But Ocean's unique take on the scene-stealing hit makes it feel especially romantic, and his enchanting sound makes it list-worthy. Recorded by celebrated American Tejano singer, Selena Quintanilla"Dreaming of You" was released on the artist's posthumous crossover album of the same name, and to this day is still highly regarded as one of her biggest hits and one of the most romantic songs of all time.
You can't compile a list of best-ever romantic songs and not include a hit from Motown's finest, the Temptations. Released in"My Girl" is one of those romantic songs that will melt your heart and bring you to your feet simultaneously. And if you don't believe us, look at the song's chorus, for proof: "I belong with you, you belong with me. You're my sweetheart. There's a reason why James Taylor 's decades-long career is still thriving: This artist can singand he leaves no vocal stone unturned on his cover of this hit by Marvin Gaye.
Gaye's sweet lyrics paired with Taylor's unique sound make this the romantic song to end all romantic songs.
On air now
Sure, Michelle Branch may have been the poster child for teenage angst back in the early '00s, but the girl could also write a catchy hit about love, particularly the can't-eat-can't-sleep kind. You know, in true early-aughts songwriting fashion. Before it was covered by everyone from Billie Holiday to Tony Bennettthis timeless tune won audiences over in the black-and-white film Swing Timewhen it was sung by Fred Astaire to Ginger Rogers as a grand romantic gesture while she got ready in the next room.
This soulful single from Al Green is arguably one of the most sensual songs of all time. And one that's undoubtedly about to get stuck in your head. Ever been so in love you never want to leave your partner's side? Well said, Dan. Or should we say—well sung. Percy Sledge was the first to sing this iconic love song in the '60s, later re-recorded in the '80s and '90s by the likes of Bette Midler and Michael Boltonrespectively. The song tells of the extreme lengths a man will go for the woman he loves.
This one thing means you need a covid test
As he should. Ol' Blue Eyes wasn't the first to sing this hit which was initially recorded by Cole Porter inbut the combination of Frank List of the best love songs ever 's devil-may-care approach to the lyrics and perfect bluesy sound make it feel as if the tune had been written just for him.
It's music at its finest, at the hands of one of the most romantic crooners the world has ever seen. Warning: If you've never heard this song by Peter Gabriel before, it'll likely bring you to tears. Between the artist's raw vocals and lyrics like, "I love it when you sing to me, and you can sing me anything," you're bound to feel things.
Just don't text your ex! The early '00s brought us a lot of memorable romantic songs, but one of the biggest gems was quite possibly this hit from American rock band, Train. The song was hardly a romantic one-off for the group remember "Marry Me"? Or at least the most-requested at karaoke. It's impossible not to fall in love with Vanessa Carlton 's breakout hit, "A Thousand Miles," after just one listen.
The song is beyond charming, just the like singer, songwriter, and musician herself. This hit from country new kid Devin Dawson is romantic in its uniqueness. In the song, the artist calls for a partnership where not just the good stuff is shared, but the bad and the ugly, too. Now that's a relationship we can really get behind. Nothing screams romance quite like Leon Bridges. His ature yet familiar sound plays beautifully into this song's heartfelt lyrics, making it a true standout on the artist's sophomore album.
If that doesn't scream "romance," we don't know what will. When Christina Perri burst onto the scene in the early s, the world took notice, thanks not only to her ature look but also to her uncanny ability to belt out a ballad. If romance had a theme song, it would be this hit by Bruno Mars. Between the singer's smooth sound, its ature catchy beat, and those melt-your-heart lyrics, this tune has "Valentine's Day" written all over it.
This late-'90s hit by Donna Lewis doubles as both a romantic track and a get-up-and-dance anthem for a night out with your best friend. Either way, it's a win. The Supremes reigned, well, supreme in the land of romantic doo-wop hits, and "Baby Love" is no exception.
Coldplay is to emotional music as peanut butter is to jelly, and in "Us Against the World," from the band's fifth studio album Mylo Xyloto, Chris Martin and his bandmates pull at the listeners' heartstrings with the marriage of various instrumental solos and wholly beguiling lyrics.
Ingrid Michaelson is charming beyond words, and in her hit "The Way I Am," a romantic tune that arguably put the singer on the map, she truly delivers. But this song feels somehow different from the artist's love songs of years past. Perhaps it's the singer's raw vocals and stylistically unfiltered approach that make this hit feel special. Regardless, it's an honest romantic delivery from the singer that can't be overlooked.
Like a fine wine, romantic hits from the Goo Goo Dolls never age; particularly this hit. Gavin DeGraw have a tendency to write about loveromance, and everything in between. The Dave Matthews Band have been a fixture in the music industry for years, and that's because they know a thing or two about writing an instant-hit.
You can't put together a list of top romantic hits and not include The King, and this overnight hit from the artist is arguably one of his most celebrated. The one and only Billie Holiday performed this jazz standard insetting the stage for storied performers to cover this romantic hit in years to come. But Holiday did it first and arguably the best.
Romantic ball are brought to another level when they're performed as duets, especially in the country music genre. Or five. If the early '00s brought us anything worthwhile, it was this hit from the earnest band Dashboard Confessional, featuring lyrics like, "You have stolen my heart," and "You are the best one of the best ones. Well, it's fine by us if you keep singing this song forever, Andy. Sure, "Your Hand in Mine" is totally instrumental, but hear us out.
While writing the soundtrack for the box-office success that was Friday Night LightsExplosions in the Sky composed "Your Hand in Mine," a track that doesn't need lyrics to make you feel. After one listen you'll understand why the tune deserves to be in league with the rest of these romantic tunes. All Rights Reserved. Open side menu button. Presenting your official soundtrack to falling or staying in love.