Stereo Love: V-Day Playlists for the Lovers and the Loveless

Posted by at 5:36PM

I haven’t put a whole lot of thought into what persona I’ll be adopting for Valentine’s Day/Single’s Awareness Day (SAD) this year. I’ve done the couple thing. I’ve done the hating-on-anything-to-do-with-love-while-secretly-sending-myself-chocolate thing. At this point, I’m leaning towards ambivalence. As such, when I got inspired to do a playlist post by Kristi’s awesome article about failtastic lovesongs, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to go the “mushy” route or the “sardonically commenting on the absurdity of the holiday” route. So I went with both. One will make your significant other look deep into your eyes with misty longing or laugh whilst tenderly spooning. The other will make you want to a) key your ex’s car b) sit in bed with the  company of several pounds’ worth of Ghirardelli wrappers c) think to yourself “Heck YES I’m single and ready to mingle” or d) laugh uproariously at the concept of romantic love. Whatever you choose to jam out to this Tuesday, just remember that no one will love you until you learn to love yourself, you get 12 free condoms a quarter from Vaden, and that chocolate can stimulate all the serotonin you will ever need. Keep it classy, Stanford.

The MOST Romantic Love Songs:

#1). “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” – The Proclaimers: Maybe it’s because this song ushered in the opening scene of Benny and June. Maybe it’s because, for all you HIMYM fans, it’s the song that solidified Ted and Marshall’s epic bromance. Whatever the reason, you can expect to have it stuck in your head like James Franco’s arm in crevice.

#2). “Do You Remember” – Jack Johnson:  Dedicated to: your first-grade crush.

#3). “Everything” – Michael Bublé :  “And you play it coy, but it’s kinda cute.” Oh Michael, how intimately we ALL know what you’re talking about.


#4). “Be Be Your Love” – Rachael Yamagata  The hopeless romantic in me has this scene in her head where she’s traipsing around Paris at Christmastime, hand in hand with some devilishly handsome person while this song plays in the background. Take note, boys.

#5). “Strawberry Swing” – Coldplay: It’s Coldplay. There’s too many good ones to fixate over, but this one is a tucked-away gem from Viva la Vida. Sweet and happy in a dopey, first love kind of way.

#6). “To Be Alone With You” – Sufjan Stevens: An acoustic, wispy, angsty melody you totally would have reveled in during that period when your life revolved around the intense, misunderstood love for your high-school crush.

#7). “Robots in Love” – Beautiful Small Machines: This song should really stick with Stanford students. For those of us who deny that emotions or love can affect us (or that we even have them at all) or, say, alter our 40-page life plans – this one’s for you.

#8). “Enchanted” – Taylor Swift: Girly? Yup.  Breathy pop beat? Yup. Target audience of gullible, prepubescent teenage girls? Yup. Will you belt this out in your car after a great first date in spite of ALL of this? Heck yes you will.

#9). “Our House” – Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young:  Making quiet, boring, monogamous life seem like the only thing anyone should ever want.

Edward and Bella: setting the standard for moody, emotional teenage romances everywhere

#10). “I Just Love You” – Five For Fighting: Leave it to Five for Fighting to keep it simple, beautiful, and totally heart-wrenching. Seriously, if you want someone to love you as unconditionally as your dog does, play them this song.

#11). “First Day of My Life” –  Bright Eyes:  Click that link. Watch that video. I challenge anyone to see the whole thing without saying “awww…”.

#12). “You Raise Me Up” – Josh Groban: Goosebumps. Every time. And just not in the R.L. Stine kind of way…

#13). “Marry Me” – Train: I don’t want to guess how many wedding slideshows this has been featured in. Still, it’s a good one nonetheless.

#14). “Your Song” – Elton John: I generally agree with Kristi and

Peter Gabriel + Scrubs = Best Series Finale EVER.

her thoughts on this song, but it still gets my vote as one of the all-time greats.

#15). “The Book of Love” – Peter Gabriel: – Maybe the heaviest hitter of a love song on this list, but hey – clichés are clichés for a reason.


The LEAST Romantic Songs:

#1). “Eleanor Rigby” – The Beatles: “I look at all the lonely people”… yup, John, Paul, George and Ringo were talking to you.

Seriously, one of the strangest music videos you will ever see.

#2). “The Bad Touch” – Bloodhound Gang: “He He… well now. We call THIS the act of mating…” You know all the words. You sing them proudly. And much as you love this song, it might be the least romantic, sentimental, delicate, or any other synonym thereof to describe, well… anything.

#3). “Gives You Hell” – The All-American Rejects: The ultimate frack-you of songs. A solid choice for when you get lonely, nostalgic, and  forget why you two broke up. This song will effectively relieve that temporary insanity.

#4). “You Give Love a Bad Name” – Bon Jovi: “SHOT THROUGH THE HEART, AND YOU’RE TO BLAME…” Whether you’re at a point in life where you are hating on every couple that dares pass you by, or if you listed “Professional Boyfriend/Girlfriend” under ‘experience’ on your resumé, nobody can hear that first line and not belt it out. Get psyched!

#5). “Black Balloon” – The Goo Goo Dolls: Song about a tragic, self-destructive, significant other – you know who this is for you. The one who was such a wrecking-ball of emotional damage and dysfunction that you have literally blocked out parts of that relationship from your memory.

#6). “Flake” – Jack Johnson: “Seems to me that ‘maybe’ pretty much always means ‘no’”. Way to tell it like it is, Jack.

#7.) “Someone Like You” – Adele: It’s not that this is an inherently sad song, which, admittedly, it totally is. No, the reason this song lands on my “least romantic” list is because, the overplaying of it has wrung out any possible poignancy that this song had at any point in time. And, seriously, if I hear it one more time, I will probably start ripping my hair out in chunks and throwing it at anyone who dares harmonize with the chorus.  “I wish nothing but the best for YOUUUUUUUUUU TOOOOOOOOOOOO”. 

#8.) “Use Your Love” – Katy Perry: Perry’s parody of The Outfields “Your Love” is pretty catchy, and I admit that I’m a fan. That said, the title pretty much says it all on this one.

#9.) “I Just Had Sex” – The Lonely Island: I love this song. My roommate and I have been known to blast it on repeat to a point where the other residents of our dorm probably think that we are operating some sort of dishonorable enterprise. That said, if the title or artist wasn’t an ENORMOUS tipoff to the nature of this song, the lyrics about bags on heads and racism nail the umpteenth nail in the coffin of this songs romantic potential. .

#10). “Happy Ending” – Mika: Go get a box of chocolate, some tissues, and all nostalgic memorabilia from THAT relationship. Feel sorry for yourself and cry shamelessly. Repeat.

#11.) “Your Winter” – Sister Hazel: ANGST. ANGST. ANGST. ANGST. ANGST.

#12.) “Dear John” – Taylor Swift: On principle, I don’t really follow tabloids. I did, however, go to a Taylor Swift concert this past summer. I don’t know what on earth John Mayer ever did to Taylor Swift, but, whatever it was, he made THOUSANDS (very possibly millions) of curling-iron-bearing fourteen-year-old girls vehemently angry. I’m talking to a point of near mob-mentality angry. These girls actually went to the effort to make SIGNS about how much they hate John Mayer. The song itself is realtively snarky, but the image of the Staples Center being filled to the brim with middle school girls shrieking “We hate John too, Taylor!!!” is not one that will leave my memory any time soon.

#13). “I Hate Everything About You” – Three Days Grace: ‘Nuff said.

#14/15). “The Freshman” – The Verve Pipe/”Brick” – Ben Folds Five: Because nothing really nips romance in the bud like abortion.

Steel Panther: #Romancewin

#16). “Community Property” – Steel Panther: I don’t want to ruin this one with a pithy description, so all I’ll say is just to click the link and listen to at least the first minute of the song. Then laugh uproariously. Share with your friends.



One Response to “Stereo Love: V-Day Playlists for the Lovers and the Loveless”

  1. Paul says:

    Also in the latter category: just about anything Snoop Dog ever did (special prize for Ain’t No Fun), City of Angels by the Red Elvises, and 99% of actual good blues.

    In the latter category, check out Lick a Hot Skillet Blues by Sunpie Barnes. Which is sadly not on youtube, but the lyrics include gems like: “I’d rather lick a hot skillet, drown in five gallons of gasoline, than to stay down here in New Orleans, with this woman treat me so mean.”

    And, of course, any version of “You Can Have My Husband” — I like Koko Taylor’s the best. Ooh — I’ll be that’s on youtube. Ooh yeah.


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