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Patch Valentine Poll: What's Your Favorite Romantic Song?

What's that tune that can melt your heart, make you cry, fill you with emotion and longing?

Somewhere around 1953, I suppose, my parents learned to love a tune by the Ink Spots called "My Prayer." They danced to this tune, and fell in love. And I was the result, I guess, of this tune by Georges Boulanger and Jimmy Kennedy.

Three years later, they fell in love with a new version of the song, this one by The Platters. I was two, but I remember hearing it on the radio.

So I suppose there is some DNA-related connection I have with this song, but it is also indisputably (for me) one of the loveliest songs ever written. It's full of florid, sweeping statements of desire (any time a love song has the word "linger" in it, I'm there). "My prayer, is a rapture in blue/in a world far away/and your lips close to mine..." Oh my. Those are some lyrics written with an agenda, as all good love songs are.

But the power of both of these versions of this song, particularly the one by The Platters, is the way the lyrics are merged with the vocal prowress. You could be completely non-English speaking, and hear this tune and know exactly what the singer is saying. And the way both songs end, with impossible notes that can only be fueled by the very passion the song invites... amazing.

I learned this song, by the way, as a tribute to my mom and dad. But I had to quit smoking to pull off the vocal fireworks. I also (and I really hate admitting this) had to drop the song by a half-step. I hope they don't mind, but I know they don't. They're dancing to The Platters version in that space where lovers live on eternally, where even death can't reach.

I have many, many other favorite love songs (if you don't know, my other life is as a musician and songwriter, so songs are kind of important to me). Here is a very brief list of some other love songs I cannot live without:

"In My Life" - The Beatles (but really John Lennon);

"A Case Of You" - Joni Mitchell

"Reconsider Baby" - Lowell Fulsom

"Take This Longing" - Leonard Cohen

"The Way You Look Tonight" - Tony Bennet's version

"You Don't Know Me" - Ray Charles

"Kathy's Song" - Paul Simon

Those are some, there are probably others that I'll slap myself later for not including on this list. But my list is of very limited interest to this conversation. What's interesting is: what is your list? Send us the list of love songs that fill your heart and your eyes with mist and desire and longing and various stirrings of the eternal.

It's almost Valentine's Day, so we should give in to a little of the mushy stuff. 

Anne Mobley February 03, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Evergreen by Barbara Streisand Which was the song we danced to on our first dance when we got married. One love that is shared by two I have found in you. Love ageless and evergreen.
Bill Schilz February 03, 2012 at 05:10 PM
"Beginnings" ~ Chicago "When I'm with you, It doesn't matter where we are Or what we're doin', I'm with you that's all that matters When I kiss you, I feel a thousand different feelings the color of chills, all over my body"
Rob Shea February 04, 2012 at 01:01 AM
My choice is "Don't Forget Me" by Harry Nilsson. It's about an amicable divorce, I guess, but it's haunting and sad but hopeful and everlasting. It's been covered by Neko Case and The Walkmen and Macy Gray. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5v5jviTEOaw
Rob Shea February 04, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Great suggestion. In a coffee shop last week, I overhead a young guy, far too young to remember "The First Time..." telling his friend how it would melt him if he heard it. He couldn't remember the singer, so I interrupted and said, "It's Roberta Flack." Her voice is an instrument all by itself.
Jim Caroompas (Editor) February 04, 2012 at 04:40 AM
"Without You," also by Nillson, is another amazing love song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATg8CdRD68E
Marcia Kent February 04, 2012 at 03:57 PM
How about "At Last" by the great Etta James. That song gives me chills no matter how many times I hear it.
Bill Schilz February 04, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Yes! That's a great one Marcia!
Donaleen DiBetta February 04, 2012 at 05:42 PM
"Unchained Melody" -- and I can't believe you didn't have that one on your list since you and your band do such a fantastic job playing it and you singing it!! Also -- "At Last"..................those two are my all time favorite romantic songs.
Carolyn Hill February 04, 2012 at 05:48 PM
One I remember playing in the 50's is LOve is a many splendored thing.
Jim Caroompas (Editor) February 05, 2012 at 05:44 AM
No one said "Love Shack" by the B52s. I'm surprised.
Chris Kapsalis February 06, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Big Butts by Sir mix a lot.
Jim Caroompas (Editor) February 06, 2012 at 07:29 AM
Not to quibble, Chris, but the song is called "Baby Got Back."
Douglas Stewart February 06, 2012 at 03:35 PM
fooled around and fell in love or anything by Rage against the Machine
Chris Kapsalis February 07, 2012 at 03:26 AM
Ha ha, You're right. And I called the song the Ru-duo played at Roxx "Dancing in the moonlight." Jenny corrected me, but I forgot the name already . I like that one. But I changed my song. I like Baby Got Back! but I like that love song by the Cure a lot, "no matter what I say, I will always love you, I will always love you..... Whatever the name of that song is, Help me out? I love it! Then we play baby's got back!!! : )
Chris Kapsalis February 07, 2012 at 03:27 AM
That's more of an , well, swingers valinitines song Jim. Not to quibble. But I love that song, a classic!!!!
DIANE BOYLE February 07, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Secret Garden by Quincy Jones.....One of the very few if ever recorded songs that makes you say yes when you want to say no and makes you stay when you want to go...:-) Happy Valentine's Day All!!
Kristin Henderson February 10, 2012 at 06:44 AM
My inner soul remains with "The First Time" by Roberta Flack. But a strong nod to NIN "Closer" for misanthropic moments, and a salute to "We're in This Together" also by NIN because the video of the latter seems a valentine to my most loved cinema: The Third Man, THX1138, Matrix, Bicycle Thief, Two Women, Black Girl (read up on Sembe Ousmane for Black History Month!)...all the somberness about living, that makes us strive for love. To Love and Be Loved. If you want to know the secret of love, read Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye.". There's an amazing quote in there that has taken this heart through everything.
Bill Schilz February 12, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Jim, after hearing you last night at Roxx on Main for the first time, I would ask you to pick your favorite, sing it to Carol and post it on Valentine's Day for all of us to enjoy. I love your voice and music!

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