35 Best Romantic Songs of All Time

Whether you want to slow dance with your lover or remind your partner how much you love them, this playlist of romantic songs should cover it! They’re gushy, mushy, and genuine, and there should be enough songs to accompany your date night. Grab your lover and sway to the music!

Come Away With Me – Norah Jones

Norah Jones made the perfect song to slow dance to when she released ‘Come Away With Me.’ The singer is telling her lover to go with her to almost anywhere – a bus, a field, or a mountaintop – so they can get away from everyone trying to cause problems.

A Thousand Years – Christina Perri

Christina Perri was a huge fan of the Twilight novels, so it was a huge deal for her when she got to write this song for the film Breaking Dawn. The song was written about the vampire lovers Edward and Bella, so “I have loved you for a thousand years” can be literal for those two. For humans, it’s a figure of speech that expresses endless love, and it’s quite romantic.

Related: see songs about true love.

If I Ain’t Got You – Alicia Keys

This song is a good song to play to show your lover that you appreciate them more than the material things of this world. Alicia Keys wrote this song on a plane after hearing about the plane crash that took R&B singer Aaliyah’s life. At the time, Alicia thought about what mattered the most to her in life as she thought about the tragedy.

Related: see songs about falling deeply, madly in love.

The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra

‘The Way You Look Tonight’ was first performed by Fred Astaire in 1936. It’s been covered by many artists over the years, and Frank Sinatra’s 1964 version remains the most popular version today. It’s a sweet song about adoring your lover and everything about them, especially how beautiful they look.

Perfect – Ed Sheeran

Perhaps one of the most well-known romantic songs to come from the 2010s, ‘Perfect’ charted at number 1 in the UK, US, Canada, and several other countries! This sweet song is about a man who fell head-over-heels in love with a woman and loves everything about her. He thinks she’s gorgeous even when she doesn’t feel it herself. The song is dreamy and romantic and is perfect for weddings.

All of Me – John Legend

John Legend wrote this song for his wife to appreciate everything about her. He mentions her “perfect imperfections” because no love is perfect, no matter how good it may be. He shows that he loves her in the good times and bad, which is how “true love” is intended to look. The song charted at number 1 in the US and number 2 in the UK when it came out in 2013.

God Only Knows – The Beach Boys

“I may not always love you” is the first line of this romantic song. That oozes romance, right? It’s followed by “but long as there are stars above you, you never need to doubt it.” The stars will always be there, so the chance of never loving them is slim, making that first line a simple attention-grabber. This song barely made it to the Top 40 in the US but came in at number 2 in the UK.

Related: see our playlist of golden oldies.

I’m On Fire – Bruce Springsteen

This song was inspired by Johnny Cash’s music and sounds a bit like it. The song is about a man who desperately wants to be with a woman he can’t have. His feelings are so strong that he wakes up in a sweat wishing he could be with her. The song made it to the Top 10 in both the US and UK.

Related: see more songs that mention fire.

Because You Loved Me – Celine Dion

The singer thanks her lover for being there through all the hard times. She got strength and courage from her lover, saying, “You stood by me, and I stood tall,” suggesting that she couldn’t have done it without them. This song was written for the 1996 film Up Close & Personal. The song did well, making it to the Top 10 in several countries.

I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing – Aerosmith

Imagine being so in love that going to sleep is enough to make you miss your lover! The singer in this song feels just that and wants to “stay with you in this moment forever.” Aerosmith recorded this song for the 1998 film Armageddon which starred lead singer Steven Tyler’s daughter, Liv. U2 was originally going to record the song, but the film’s director thought it would be good to have Liv’s father sing it.

Related: see more classic ’90s love songs.

At Last – Etta James

This song first came to be in the 1940s and was used in a couple of different films, but Etta James’s 1961 version took off and made the song super popular. The singer sings of the true love she’s found, saying that her “lonely days are over and life is like a song.” It’s been a popular wedding song since it talks of true love.

Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers

This song was recorded for the 1955 film Unchained, which is how it got its title ‘Unchained Melody.’ The song made it to number 1 in the UK and 4 in the US, and to this day, it’s still popular enough that you’ve probably heard it somewhere before, even if you don’t know it.

You Send Me – Sam Cooke

This song is about a man who has fallen in love with a girl and wants to marry her. His feelings for her lasted too long just to be infatuated, and now he wants to make a lifelong commitment. Sam Cooke took a chance with this song since he was with a gospel label at the time. He let go of his contract, gave his gospel royalties to the label, and ended up selling two million copies of ‘You Send Me.’ It seems like he made a good choice!

Recommended: Our pick of the best Sam Cooke songs.

Moon River – Frank Ocean

This is a cover of Audrey Hepburn’s 1961 version of this song she sang in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Frank Ocean’s lyrics differ slightly from the original, and some interpret the song to be about chasing ambition rather than a lover. However, since the original is romantic, you can easily take a romantic meaning from this version, as well.

Related: see our lunar-inspired songs playlist.

My Girl – The Temptations

The singer in this song loves his girl so much that he’s “got sunshine on a cloudy day,” and it feels like a warm spring day when she’s around. You can just tell that the love he feels for her is true! This song came out in 1965 and made it to number 1 in the US and 2 in the UK, and is still known today as a classic romantic song to play for a girlfriend.

Related: see songs with the word girl in them.

Ho Hey – The Lumineers

‘Ho Hey’ lends itself to singing along with its rhythmic “Hey! Ho!” keeping the beat through most of the song. The man in the song tries to convince someone that, “I belong with you, you belong with me,” and that the guy they’re with isn’t the right one. The song became a hit, making it to the Top 10 in the US and UK, and has been used in a handful of commercials. You’ve probably heard this one somewhere!

Related: see our list of songs to post your boyfriend.

How Sweet It Is (to Be Loved by You) – James Taylor

Marvin Gaye first recorded this in 1964 and made it to number 6 in the US. When James Taylor covered it in 1975, the song once again made it to the top 10 and did better than the first time. The singer is eternally grateful that he gets to be loved by someone as amazing as his partner, saying, “you brighten up for me all of my days.”

Let’s Stay Together – Al Green

The singer in this song wants to stay with his partner through the good and the bad, no matter what happens. He questions “why people break up, turn around, and make up,” rather than just work through the problems together and come out stronger in the end.

Related: see our together song playlist.

When a Man Loves a Woman – Percy Sledge

Percy Sledge sings of how crazy men can be when deeply in love. He’ll spend every time, be blind to what she does wrong, and even “turn his back on his best friend.” It was the first song recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, that hit number 1, the same place where the Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, and many others recorded their hits.

The Book of Love – Peter Gabriel

The song starts out talking about how boring the book of love is, but the singer loves it when their lover reads it to him, so they could read all day, and he wouldn’t mind it. The song follows this pattern where the singer complains about an aspect of the book, but it’s okay for his partner to break the rules. This song is a cover of the original song released by Magnetic Fields in 1999.

When I Fall in Love – Nat King Cole

‘When I Fall In Love’ was initially released by Doris Day in 1952 and made it to number 20 in the US. Nat King Cole released his version four years later. It didn’t make it to the charts in the US, but it did hit number 2 in the UK. The singer in the song tells about how he’ll feel once he falls in love for the first time, which will also be his last because he’s going to be with the one he loves forever.

I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston

People pretty much sing ‘I Will Always Love You’ to the song itself because it’s stayed pretty popular ever since Dolly Parton released it in 1974! It was a number 1 hit then, and it was number 1 again in 1992 with Whitney Houston’s version. Even though Dolly did it first, Whitney’s version is arguably more popular. The song is about a woman leaving her partner for her partner’s sake. Leaving is an act of love in the situation.

Related: see our pick of top sing along songs.

A Thousand Miles – Vanessa Carlton

Have you ever missed someone so much that you can’t pay attention to your surroundings? Vanessa Carlton sings of this emotional pain, saying she’s “staring blankly ahead, just making my way through the crowd.” All she wants to do is see her lover again, and she’s willing to walk a thousand miles if she has to.

Related: this features on our long distance relationship songs list.

Beyond – Leon Bridges

Leon Bridges sings of being in love with a woman but is scared to move the relationship forward. He’s ready to introduce her to his family and is even thinking about marrying her someday, but jumping in is a huge commitment he’s not sure he wants to take yet! He seems to nod to Elvis Presley when he asks, “Do you think I’m being foolish if I don’t rush in?” We all know that “wise men say only fools rush in.”

Just the Way You Are – Bruno Mars

You might consider this one a modern classic. Bruno Mars released this song in 2010, and it soon hit number 1 in several countries and made the charts in several more countries. Bruno sings of how beautiful his lover is how “the whole world stops and stares for a while” because of how beautiful she is. It’s undoubtedly a song every girl wants to hear from her partner!

Related: see more pretty women songs.

Baby Love – The Supremes

The singer in this song is asking her ‘Baby Love’ to stick around and work through their problems rather than give up. She loves her partner and needs them and is dedicated to making things right. This song hit number one in the UK and US.

Related: see more songs with the word baby in the title.

Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley

According to wise men, it isn’t smart to rush into a relationship, but Elvis can’t help himself. He’s in love, and he “can’t help falling in love with you.” The song was written for the 1961 film Blue Hawaii, and it quickly became one of Elvis’s most famous songs.

Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton wrote ‘Wonderful Tonight’ about his then-girlfriend Pattie, who would later become his wife. He admires how beautiful she looks, and he seems almost overwhelmed by just how happy she makes him feel. The song did well, charting at number 16 in the US and 30 in the UK.

Related: see songs about finding your soulmate.

My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion

‘My Heart Will Go On’ was written for the 1997 film Titanic and made it number 1 on the charts in the US and UK. The song is still well-known today, and there are probably people out there who know it as “the Titanic song.” The song is about love that can “last for a lifetime,” even if the other person isn’t there. The singer says, “my heart will go on and on,” saying that even without her lover, it’ll feel like he’s still there with her.

How Deep is Your Love – The Bee Gees

The Bee Gees sing about a couple who are deeply in love with each other, and the man is questioning the other to make sure their love is true and deep. The couple is “living in a world of fools breaking us down,” showing that this couple has had some problems in their relationship, but they’re determined to make it work.

Endless Love – Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross

This song was written for the 1981 film Endless Love, and while the movie didn’t perform so well, the song sure did! It charted in the Top 10 in the US and UK and remained popular for the rest of the decade. The song is a duet of a couple who love each other so much that “no one else will do.”

Related: this appears on our 1980s karaoke songs list.

(Everything I Do) I Do It For You – Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams recorded this song for the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves. The song made it to number 1 in almost 20 countries and Top 10 in a few others. The singer loves his partner so much that he would give up everything to be with them. His dedication shows that his feelings for this person are genuine.

I Just Can’t Stop Loving You – Michael Jackson Feat. Siedah Garratt

This duet with Michael Jackson and Siedah Garrett was a number 1 hit in the UK and US when it was released. The song is about a couple who feel that “this thing can’t go wrong,” and they’re proud to love each other and know they can’t go on without each other.

Your Song – Elton John

According to Elton John, this song wasn’t written to anyone in particular. Whoever this “you” might be, he tells them, “you can tell everybody this is your song,” and expresses his love to this person in the song. The song did well, charting in the Top 10 UK and US.

The Lady in Red – Chris De Burgh

Chris De Burgh had been arguing with his wife, which was how he got the idea for this song. The song is certainly a great apology since it’s full of compliments! Chris wasn’t sure what to call the song until he saw his wife in a red dress. Aww!

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About Ged Richardson

Ged Richardson is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ZingInstruments.com. He has been featured in Entrepreneur, PremierGuitar, Hallmark, Wanderlust, CreativeLive, and other major publications. As an avid music fan, he spends his time researching and writing about new and old music, as well as testing and reviewing music-related products. He's played guitar in various bands, from rock to gypsy jazz. Be sure to check out his YouTube channel, where he geeks out about his favorite bands.

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2 thoughts on “35 Best Romantic Songs of All Time”

  1. The fact that “Adore” by Prince has been omitted from the preceding is a travesty! The list is solid without the ballad by the purple one and adding it will definitely make this list a 10.

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