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The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Curated Collections: The Best Love Songs From Each Decade

Five songs that’ll have you feeling full of love just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Torch Illustration / Megan Chapman
Photo Courtesy / YouTube Drpepper11M, Depeche Mode, Sixpence None the Richer, gurkmannen37, Leon Bridges

There’s no better time to sing about love than the heart-filled holiday itself, Valentine’s Day. Whether you find it to be a phony, materialistic celebration or the sweetest time of the year, love songs are something that everyone can enjoy. Just in time for Valentine’s here is an eclectic mix of timeless love songs, perfect for dancing with anyone you love, or even on your own! Dating back from the 1970s, up to the 2010s, these are songs from the past five decades — with some honorary mentions sprinkled in. 


“Silly Love Songs” by Wings 

Photo Courtesy / YouTube Drpepper11M

Starting off strong out of a decade full of incredible music, “Silly Love Songs” (1976) is a fun track all about being in love and wanting to share it through song. Paul McCartney wrote this song in response to the criticism he faced for writing such lighthearted songs about love, poking fun at himself as well as at the notion that there’s such a thing as too many love songs. With lively instrumentals, like steam-engine whistles, metallic clanks and sappy lyrics, McCartney sings about wanting to tell the world about his loved one and “what’s wrong with that?” This lovely tune can be a happy addition to any Valentine’s Day playlist.  

Honorable mentions: “Lovable” by Sam Cooke, The Soul Stirrers (1970), “I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song” by Jim Croce


“Just Can’t Get Enough” by Depeche Mode

Photo Courtesy / YouTube Depeche Mode

An offbeat choice, Depeche Mode’s “Just Can’t Get Enough” (1981) is a more alternative take on a love song. With its lively electronic beat, the track expresses devotion through the repetition of the line “I just can’t get enough.” Upon the first listen, it may seem like nothing more than a song you’d dance to in a club in the middle of the 80’s. However, the lyrics describe a deep affection, detailing simple things, like “walking down the street,” and yet even doing that the singer still can’t get enough of the person they love. It’s the perfect song to listen to with someone you just can’t get enough of. 

Honorable mention: “Never Tear Us Apart” by INXS (1986)


“Kiss Me” by Sixpence None The Richer 

Photo Courtesy / Youtube Sixpence None The Richer

What might be considered the quintessential 90’s love song, “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None The Richer (1997) is the perfect Valentine’s Day anthem . If you watched any rom-com out of the 90s or early 2000s, you’re sure to be familiar with its catchy opening chords. While it may seem overdone, this song is the epitome of the holiday for a reason. Nothing says romance like being kissed “beneath the milky twilight” and being led to dance on the “moonlit floor.” It’s the ideal song to dance around with a loved one to, or just to pretend you’re in your favorite rom-com.

Honorable mentions: “You’re Still The One” by Shania Twain (1997), “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young (1992). 


“First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes

Photo Courtesy / YouTube gurkmannen37

From the band Bright Eyes, “First Day of My Life” (2005) is such a simply endearing love song. With a sweet guitar melody playing gently throughout the whole track, it automatically feels like a warm hug. The lyrics, while they could describe the struggle of a relationship, ultimately tell the story of a love worth working for. Lead singer, Conor Oberst, sings of being so in love with this person, saying “I think I was blind before I met you.” He wants their relationship to last, saying he’d “rather be working for a paycheck than waiting to win the lottery.” The willingness to give everything in a relationship is a pure act of romance, made even sweeter by putting it to song. 

Honorable mention: Green Eyes by Coldplay (2002)


“Beyond” by Leon Bridges

Photo Courtesy / YouTube Leon Bridges

Last, but certainly not least, “Beyond” by Leon Bridges (2018) is arguably one of the greatest love songs of all time. The combination of Bridges’ smooth, enchanting vocals and the simple yet full instrumentals make for an incredible song in and of itself.The lyrics perfectly express the feeling of falling in love with someone. Bridges feels like this person might be the one for him, singing “She might just be my everything and beyond,” and pictures spending the rest of his life with her. It’s clear from the lyrics that he’s falling madly in love with her, and what’s more romantic than belting that out in a stunning song? 

Honorable mentions: “Love” by Lana Del Rey, “ROS” by Mac Miller, “Paper Rings” by Taylor Swift 

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Molly Downs
Molly Downs, Culture Editor
Molly is a senior English major with a minor in Creative Writing serving her second year as Culture Editor for The Torch. Outside of her role at The Torch, you can find her reading a book on the Great Lawn, listening to one of her many playlists, or watching one of her favorite movies, like “Little Miss Sunshine.” Molly can be reached at [email protected]
Megan Chapman
Megan Chapman, Design Editor
Megan is a junior graphic design major with a creative writing minor. This is her second year with the Torch as the Design Editor. Outside of the Torch, she likes writing, running, playing guitar and reading. Her favorite artists are R.E.M. and Elliot Smith. Megan can be reached at [email protected]
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