Love is all you need: 8 songs for Valentine’s Day

Nick Botkin

A series of black musical notes on a scale
Various romantic songs such as Elvis’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love” and Debussy’s “Claire De Lune” can provide your Valentine’s Day with an amorous soundtrack (Photo courtesy of Public Domain Pictures)

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<p>Video by Erica Giesenhagen</p>

Love needs a good soundtrack. Especially on Valentine’s Day. Maybe you and your special someone have a favorite song. Maybe you just want to set the right mood for a surprise dinner. The following are some recommendations that can set the mood for a amorous evening. There is no shortage of love songs, but these will help kick off your night.


“My Funny Valentine”–Chet Baker

This Rodgers and Hart classic has been performed by a myriad of artists including Frank Sinatra. However,  Chet Baker’s rendition is particularly stirring. This classic is replete with haunting and amorous lyrics including, “you make me smile with my heart,” and “each day is Valentine’s day.” A good song that conjures images of cocktails and cigarettes, a la film noir.


“Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture”–Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

You may not know the piece by name, but you have likely heard its stirring climax. It has been played in shows and movies such as “Wayne’s World” and “A Christmas Story”. Tchaikovsky’s symphonic poem reflects passion and bliss, along with darker undercurrents of pain and longing.  It is still distinctively romantic, though. So, this Valentine’s Day feel free to run through a sunlit field towards your loved one, with Tchaikovsky playing at full volume. 

“All You Need Is Love”–The Beatles

This Valentine’s day, to quote this Beatles opus, “love is all you need.” A definitive statement indeed. And the song’s oft-repeated chorus will not allow you to forget. 

“Claire De Lune”–Claude Debussy

Debussy’s ethereal piece sets the mood for an intimate evening. The piece’s original title translated to “sentimental stroll.” A sentimental moonlit walk with a loved one, reflection, and some Debussy might be just the right combination.

Fun fact:

In the original published version of Cole Porter’s “Let’s Do It,” the opening lines made derogatory racial references to China, Japan and Lapland. Porter changed the opening to “birds do it, bees do it” after he realized the problematic nature of the lyric. Some versions of the song still utilize the offensive lyric.

“Happy Together”–The Turtles


The `60s classic embodies the transformational power of love. In our current climate, love may seem like a rare commodity. So listen to this with your loved one and “imagine how the world could be very fine, so happy together.”

“Best of My Love”–The Emotions

The disco beat of this 1977 hit will get you dancing with your loved one. The lyrics also speak volumes with such lines as “Love has kissed me in a beautiful way.” 

“I Want You, I Need You, I Love You”–Elvis Presley

 No fancy lyrics, just Elvis expressing raw and unbridled love with his own particular panache: “I want you, I need you, I love you, with all my heart.”

On Valentine’s Day that is all you really need.

“Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall In Love”–Conal Fowkes.

This Cole Porter penned song has been covered by a wide range of artists, including Porter himself. However, Conal Fowkes’ version from the “Midnight In Paris” soundtrack deftly captures the essence of the song, both humorous and passionate. Porter was a master of both romantic ballads and humorous standards. He blends the two genres nicely here.

Case in point:  “Birds do it. Bees do it. Even educated fleas do it. Let’s do it, let’s fall in love.”  

Collegian reporter Nick Botkin can be reached at or on Twitter @dudesosad