Now this is music: 5 non-syrupy but heartfelt tunes for Valentine’s Day

Leah Tihia™ via photopin cc
Leah Tihia™ via photopin cc


Ain’t love grand?

And thus by extension, songs about love even grander?

Perhaps but do we necessarily want to listen to them all day long?

Not necessarily.

Even an ardent romantic like myself finds too many love songs, and especially those with enough syrupy, cloying sentimentality to give you emotional diabetes after just a verse or two, a little too much to take at the best of times.

And yes somewhat ironically most particularly on Valentine’s Day when love is, like the Love Actually song “all around”, and it can all be a bit too much to take, even if you are in a relationship.

So in the interests of keeping everyone sane and happy, and their iPods/smartphones un-smashed on the ground, I present to you five love songs that are quirky, fun, and guaranteed to get the message across without rendering everyone love comatose.


“Put Your Records On” by Corinne Bailey-Rae


(image by Wikipedia)
(image by Wikipedia)


Girl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams,
Just go ahead, let your hair down.

This is not a love song in the traditional sense.

In fact, it’s probably not a love song at all.

But if you subscribe to the idea that love can only take root when you are truly at peace with and accepting of yourself, which I hold to be true, then this is the perfect love song.

A statement to god, the universe, [insert favoured deity/celebrity/Marvel superhero] that you’re happy being you, don’t need someone to complete you and when they do come along, you’ll be good and ready.

With your records on naturally.



“The Scientist” by Coldplay


(image via
(image via


Come up to meet you, tell you I’m sorry
You don’t know how lovely you are
I had to find you, tell you I need you
Tell you I’ll set you apart

Wait, wait what is this you cry?

A sad song on Valentine’s Day! Aren’t you taking the whole non-syrupy thing a little too far?

Why no, I say, for if you listen careful to Chris Martin’s delicately expressed, almost painfully heartfelt singing closely, you realise that this is one of those songs that dares to admit love isn’t as rom-com shiny as we’d it to be but that it’s worth persisting with.

He admits he didn’t realise how hard it would be and is clearly struggling with the enormity of being so closely emotionally wedded to someone else, but is he walking away?

No he is not, and that my friends is true love.

The real gritty down-in-the-trenches stuff that will go the distance.

And definitely worth fighting for.

Nobody said it was easy
Oh it’s such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be so hard
I’m going back to the start



“Love Letter to Japan” b y The Bird & The Bee


(image via
(image via


From the west to the east I have flown to be near you
I have come all this way to be close, to be here with you
And now, all my heart I will lay down precisely at your feet

This is my quirky, fun-filled addition to the list sung by a duo who once implored the one they loved to be my “f**king boyfriend.”

I love the bright, boppy melody, the willing to do anything for love sensibility (and hey Japan is one place I would be happy to dash to for love!) and the sweet eternal declaration of love.

It sounds bright, shiny and neon superficial until you realise how much the lyrics ache with love for that other person.

They’ve flown halfway across the world just to be with that person.

I love the idea of someone doing that for me, and even better if they set it to music this passionately poppy and delightfully offbeat.

My beloved, oh my sweet
All the gifts you have given me
The patience and the peace,
Cherry blossoms and the candy,
I am yours, I am yours
For as long, for as long as you will have me



“Teardrop” by Massive Attack


(image via
(image via


Love, love is a verb
Love is a doing word
Fearless on my breath
Gentle impulsion
Shakes me, makes me lighter
Fearless on my breath

It would be lovely to think you could dive right into that happily ever after so often talked about in books, movies, TV shows and fairytales and not have to life a finger afterwards.

Oh to have all the cotton candy and jelly bean love in the world without the need for the broccoli and the skinless chicken (trust me this is really romantic imagery).

But life doesn’t work that way – to gain love, and more importantly to keep it, we have to sacrifice ourselves and put a huge amount of emotional elbow grease into keeping the flames of love alive.

Yup some days we won’t feel like it but we need to remind ourselves love is worth putting in all that effort.

And yes you can reward yourself for all the self-sacrificing loving of another with jelly beans (skip the broccoli) if you want …



 “The Truth About Love” by P!nk


(image via )
(image via )


Sometimes I hate every single stupid word you say
Sometimes I wanna slap you in your whole face
There’s no one quite like you
You push all my buttons down
I know life would suck without you

At the same time, I wanna hug you
I wanna wrap my hands around your neck
You’re an asshole but I love you
And you make me so mad I ask myself
Why I’m still here, or where could I go
You’re the only love I’ve ever known
But I hate you, I really hate you,
So much, I think it must be

I love (there’s that word again!) that P!NK just tells it like it is.

Never one to mince words and candy coat the hard truths of life, she nails her heart’s colours to the post for all to see, admitting that love is a yin and yang deal.

The good/the bad, the ecstatic/the furious, the content/the restless … basically real life in other words which seldom plays as neatly as we’d like it to.

As someone who has stared the depths of romantic despair and the heights of true love and lived to tell the tale – she came to close to divorcing hubby Carey Hart before they very happily reconciled – she knows what she’s talking about.

It’s as real as you could ask for and that’s why I listen to her.

She knows what’s what and is happy to talk about it.

And I admire that kind of honesty and ballsy adherence to the realities of life.

Own up to the fact they’re there and you may just live (mostly) happily ever after …

True love, true love
It must be true love
Nothing else can break my heart like
True love, true love,
It must be true love
No one else can break my heart like you



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2 thoughts on “Now this is music: 5 non-syrupy but heartfelt tunes for Valentine’s Day

  1. I love the Coldplay video. That could be a good PSA for seatbelts! The backwards theme is perfect: the reunion he so longs for is as impossible as moving backwards in time. Also I notice he sings in normal time while moving backwards. Nice effect.

    1. LOL Actually yes it could. And way more fun and informative than the usual efforts 🙂 It’s one of my favourite Coldplay videos along with “Yellow” which is sparse and beautiful and heartfelt.

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