As I was having breakfast at a corner cafe in Santa Barbara, I heard Jackie Wilson’s song play on the radio, Your Love Keeps Taking Me Higher and Higher. I said to myself, this song is timeless. Then I grabbed a paper napkin and began to jot down my five favorite timeless love songs.
But first, what is a timeless song? It is a song that will last forever and touch people on a deep, emotional level. These are songs that everyone would know and never get tired of hearing.
Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley. Hallelujah was written and sung by Leonard Cohen but Jeff Buckley’s version is better. The song takes me to a spiritual and romantic place with its biblical references. It’s a story of how King David’s love for Bathsheba was tarnished by his immoral acts. Love gotten by unscrupulous means is just not worth it no matter how good it feels.
A song that makes me nostalgic for my place of birth is Georgia on My Mind by Ray Charles. Ray gives one’s home a teary, romantic longing and a heart-felt attachment. No matter how successful you’ve become or how far you have strayed, the road always leads back to your home of origin. That is the place that your soul resides.
Fly Me to the Moon by Tony Bennet. I remember hearing Tony sing this a cappella and in person. I felt transported to a different stratosphere. It gives love an otherworldly feel, and a whimsical feeling of playing with the stars. Love, in a sense, is like a romantic Star Wars experience but without the violence.
If you are a hopeless romantic Your Song, by Elton John, is your cup of tea. It does the best job of conveying love for another person through music and lyric. For me, words alone do not convey the feeling of love adequately. If my girlfriend asked me how much I loved her, I would simply play, Your Song, and tell her, that much.
And then there’s Yesterday by the Beatles, my favorite rock band. Paul McCartney sings a song of love gone awry. We all screwed up relationships in the past and we wish we had another shot at it. Unfortunately, the best we can do is listen to a melancholy love song and only dream of what could have been.
Five songs–five romantic, melancholy and unrequited love songs. All timeless.