Open your hearts -What is the greatest love song of all time?

There are a great many competitors for this fine honour.

There are a great many competitors for this fine honour. And I recognise that this is just my humble opinion.Music has the ability to inspire us, to make us feel beyond what we think and taps straight into the veins of our emotion. That’s why true fans talk of the songwriter feeling as they do, great music gains entry to our hearts and minds and holds us captive. And that’s why when I say the best love song, ever, is also probably the greatest song ever because what is a greater emotion than love?

But as I’m writing this is all down to personal choice so I realise my taste is not everyone’s and I hope others have different choices, because after all wouldn’t be a shame if we all expressed emotion in the same way?

Right – down to business, here is a count down of the greatest love songs. 

As a fan of classic films I had to choose a golden oldie, and there were a lot of different options but there is something magical and rich, which sucks the listener in about Arthur ‘Dooley’ Wilson’s voice on ‘As Time Goes By’, which sets a scene and pulls you in. To listen to it, makes me actually feel lighter, makes me sway as if I am in Humphrey Bogart’s arms. It is the perfect song for those of the nostalgic nature who never got over the romantic, heroic that was offered in this passionate melody.

I will also always have a fondness for Jeff Buckley’s ‘Halleluiah’, which is a cover of Leonard Cohen’s classic, but it is Buckley’s voice that captures the haunting highs and love of early love, and transforms this song into a classic.

My next choice is more of a tragic turn and there was quite a fight in my mind as I wanted a strong beautiful female voice and I could not decide between Joan Armatrading’s The Weakness in Me and Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’. I felt that these two songs captured the simple desperation, dwelt in almost torturous delight in suffering and pain of love. For me ‘River’ wins out ever so slightly as I like the story it tells, the theme of Christmas it brings, which highlights the sadness of being alone at such a crucial time. As much as I love listening to these songs I do not think they quite make to my ultimate love song.   

A lot of people would look to modern songwriters and singers and probably cite Adele as a great songstress on the topic of love, and I agree and would say that my favourite has to be her acoustic version of ‘Don’t You Remember’. But I see that this too could be fitted into the more tragic element of love songs. And ultimately out of the modern songs available I would pick Emeli Sandé’s ‘Next to Me’, which I listened to relatively recently and completely fell in love with. Her lyrics and her voice sound rather like golden honey, which sticks in and refuses to leave the mind.

However for me there is only one piece of music that truly captures the feeling of voice, as a transforming, life changing element and that is Samual Barber’s Adagio for Strings. Now I see this isn’t exactly a song, but actually a piece of classic music but nothing can move me, or an audience more than listening to this hallowed piece of work, whose lightness, infinite passion will cause many to cry. This is music that moves the soul, and if any song is worthy of being labeled ‘the greatest love song’, I can think of no more worthy a tune.