Despite my growing cynicism and emotional imperviousness, there are times when I can be a sucker for romance. Or at the very least, romance in film, in fiction, and in tune. In particular, I have a soft spot for love songs between couples who have been married for a long time.
Our culture has gotten saturated in pop music, and while I sometimes enjoy the sound of the music, the lyrics are the hormone-drenched cries of confused high-schoolers: infatuated one song, bitterly brokenhearted the next. But songs about a love that has endured, through good times and bad, a love that has evolved beyond just a feeling…well, they give me hope that maybe romance is still worth trying for.
Here are a few of my favorites.
Two Sleepy People – Hoagy Carmichael
Friends of mine may know that I am no fan of Family Guy, so my feelings were conflicted when I discovered that Seth MacFarlane, the creator and principal voice actor for the show, is also an amazing crooner. This video features a duet between Seth MacFarlane and Sara Bareilles (one of my favorite female singers). The song is “Two Sleepy People”, written by Hoagy Carmichael and popularized by Bob Hope and Shirley Ross in the movie Thanks For The Memory.
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Still The One – Orleans
And now, lest those dulcet tones lull you to sleep, let’s hear a more peppy hit from the 70s: Orleans’ “Still The One”:
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You’re Still The One – Shania Twain
With just a slight modification to the title of the last song, we get Shania Twain’s “You’re Still The One”. This one’s another soft song, with a little hint of country thrown in…but not too much.
I’m kind of partial to this cover of the song, done by Roper, an off-shoot band formed by Reese Roper of Five Iron Frenzy. This cover gives the original song a more punk rock sound, and I really like the energy this version carries.
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Vendetta – Roper
Since somebody brought up Roper (Who, me? No, I’m sure it was someone else.), I’m going to post another of their songs, this time an original: “Vendetta”. This one’s goofy, but I love it all the same.
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The Gambler – fun.
Okay, now for something more melodic again. The rolling piano in fun.’s song “The Gambler” gives it an Irish sound, at least to me.
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Do You Love Me? – Fiddler on the Roof
This is one of my favorite songs from the musical Fiddler on the Roof. Tevye and Golde sing about their arranged marriage of twenty-five years, in light of their children choosing to marry out of love. There’s a wide range of emotions in this three minute song, and ends on a sedately sweet note.
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Walking Her Home – Mark Schultz
Mark Schultz has a knack for writing songs that tell stories that may or may not make me tear up sometimes. This song, “Walking Her Home”, may or may not be one of them.
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Thanks For The Memory – Bob Hope and Shirley Ross
I’m going to end this post with another song popularized by Bob Hope and Shirley Ross. This video comes from the movie The Big Broadcast of 1938 in which this song, “Thanks For The Memory”, was first heard. In the movie, Hope and Ross play a married couple on the brink of divorce. The two reminisce about memories, both amusing and painful. Their melancholic banter speaks to both their chemistry and the stress of their relationship, giving it a very real feel.