From yearning ballads to wrenching declarations of need, from madrigals to metal, the history of music is the history of love songs, and vice versa. And yes, there have been a lot of syrupy, formulaic declarations of affection churned out for the pop charts over the years, but that’s not what we’re about here.
While you’ll find some great pop ballads on this list, they’re foremost here as a reflection of the glorious breadth of what constitutes a love song, a form claimed by no one genre. The only constant is that the best love songs express sentiments that we’d struggle to put into words in real life. They’re touching, comforting and uplifting all at the same time. Sometimes the music says as much as the words; sometimes the words are more powerful than the most beautiful of poems.
Of course, there are days when a great love song is the last thing you want to hear. When that happens, head to our list of the best breakup songs instead.
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