Valentine’s Day has come and gone but that annual celebration of love and chocolate always reminds me of my favorite sappy tunes. The songs that make me think about mine and Penn’s early dating days or our wedding … and those that transport me back to some truly cringeworthy moments at school dances. Either way, they’re packed with memories and will usually make me a bit misty if played at the right time.
Perfect for a romantic date night, a slow dance at a party or a round of karaoke, these 10 songs are big on the sap and guaranteed to put a smile on the face of the one you love (especially if you’re serenading them):
1. “I Will Always Love You,” Dolly Parton (1973)
Is there a better song to make it impossible for someone to get over you? Whether you go with the original or Whitney Houston’s epic 1992 version, this ballad is the ultimate declaration of love … if you’ve got the pipes for it.
Best Lyric: Please don’t cry / We both know I’m not what you, you need
2. “I Knew I Loved You,” Savage Garden (1999)
Whenever I hear this song, it immediately takes me back to the height of those VH1 video countdown days. It’s also an unbelievably sweet way to describe the feeling of finding “the one.”
Best Lyric: And in your eyes, I see the missing pieces / I’m searching for, I think I found my way home
3. “When I See You Smile,” Bad English (1989)
Give me an ‘80s power ballad any day. I wish I could say a smile from Penn fixes everything that goes wrong, but if you’ve ever been in love, you know it certainly helps when things get rough.
Best Lyric: And when the rain is falling, I don’t feel it / ‘Cause you’re here with me now
4. “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” Elvis Presley (1961)
Love is hard to control and this tune from the iconic crooner sure captures that feeling. The 2017 version by Kina Grannis from the Crazy Rich Asians soundtrack (featured in one of the most over-the-top wedding scenes ever) is also a tearjerker.
Best Lyric: Take my hand / Take my whole life, too / For I can’t help falling in love with you
5. “At Last,” Etta James (1961)
If you haven’t slow danced to this song at a wedding, I’m not sure you were even there. Short and sweet, the Matriarch of R&B knows just how to tell someone you love them and express what a relief it is to have finally found them.
Best Lyric: You smiled, you smiled / Oh and then the spell was cast
6. “I Want to Know What Love Is,” Foreigner (1984)
Love is hard and being lonely sucks. This song is perfect for anyone trying to change their luck in that department by giving this romance thing one more shot with a grand gesture.
Best Lyric: Through the clouds I see love shine / It keeps me warm as life grows colder
7. “Let’s Stay Together,” Al Green (1972)
To me, this is the ultimate anniversary song. It’s a cute, sappy way to pledge your love to your dearest one. Because trust me, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows every day when you’re in it for the long haul.
Best Lyric: Let’s, let’s stay together / Loving you whether, whether / Times are good or bad, happy or sad
8. “Because You Loved Me,” Celine Dion (1993)
If you need a way to thank the one you love for all they’ve done for you, you can’t go wrong with this song from Canada’s most famous belter. Settle in with some wine to stream Up Close & Personal and you’ve got a date.
Best Lyric: You’ve been my inspiration / Through the lies you were the truth / My world is a better place because of you
9. “God Only Knows,” The Beach Boys (1966)
Such a peppy, simple song — this classic was made for a singalong. And the best part is that it could easily be about anyone important to you, like a best friend or family member who has made a positive impact on your life.
Best Lyric: If you should ever leave me/ Though life would still go on, believe me / The world could show nothing to me / So what good would living do me
10. “Make You Feel My Love,” Adele (2008)
We would do anything for those we love. Almost. First written and recorded by none other than Bob Dylan, the latest version of this song sung by British songstress Adele will give you all the warm and fuzzies in an instant.
Best Lyric: I could hold you for a million years / To make you feel my love
Which songs are on your sappy playlist? Share your most romantic tunes in the comments.