Happy Valentine’s Day!

Yes, we’re occupying it, but I can admit that I do love Valentine’s Day. Not the commercialized romance part, but a whole day dedicated to celebrating love? And watching cute couples all out together looking happy? It’s very sweet. And I’m going to spend this evening watching Bebel Gilberto and drinking champagne and whiskey, so I’m good.

Valentine’s Day is also my favorite time to break out my favorite love songs (and anti-love songs). One list is notably longer than the other. And I need to update my music library, so leave your favorites / anti-favorites in the comments.

Happy Valentine’s Day :-)
Harper Blynn: Halo
She & Him: I Should Have Known Better
Yeasayer: I Remember
Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Hysteric
Best Coast: When I’m With You
The Replacements: Favorite Thing
Jets to Brazil: Sweet Avenue
Tom Waits: Jersey Girl
Whitney Houston: My Love Is Your Love

Unhappy Valentine’s Day :-(
Best Coast: Boyfriend
Bon Iver: Skinny Love
Band of Horses: No One’s Gonna Love You (and the Cee-Lo version, duh)
Harper Blynn: Start All Over
The Blow: True Affection
Florence + the Machine: I’m Not Calling You a Liar
Tom Waits: Blind Love
Spoon: Everything Hits at Once
Marco Solo: Your Ghost
Girls: Hellhole Ratrace
Goldfrapp: A&E
Jets to Brazil: Sea Anemone
The Avett Brothers: Signs
Ben Harper: The Drugs Don’t Work
Elvis Costello: I Want You
Kurt Vile: Ghost Town
Neko Case: Magpie to the Morning
She & Him: Sentimental Heart
Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Cheated Hearts
Tom Waits: The Part You Throw Away
Tom Waits: Who Are You?
Bonnie Raitt: I Can’t Make You Love Me (this version is also pretty solid)

(Hand to God I really do love this holiday).

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About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
This entry was posted in Holidays & Celebrations, Music and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to Happy Valentine’s Day!

  1. Allyson says:

    I have always loved “Can’t Cry These Tears” by Garbage for an anti-love song.

  2. Mztress says:

    Somewhat unhappy: “Maps” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs

  3. Adult Child says:

    In the pro-love category, I’d add “Friends of Mine” by The Zombies from Odessey & Oracle (1968). It’s a rare example (seems to me) of a geuine expression of happiness at the love other couple’s have!

    As for a rejoinder to the above, how about the not-quite-anti-love song “Happy Loving Couples” by Joe Jackson from Look Sharp! (1979).

  4. Katya says:

    Maybe a bit obvious, but a classic for a reason: Chet Baker’s “My Funny Valentine.” Also, for the bad Valentine, The Like’s “Wishing He Was Dead.”

  5. Andie says:

    I’m so conflicted this year, as this is a rare year where I have a ‘guy-who-hangs-out-with-me-and-says-nice-stuff-to-me’ but I want to still be anti-VD in loyalty to my totally-single-self who spent many a year feeling lonely and dejected.

    That being said, I get company tonight, and breakfast made for me tomorrow ;-)

    I’ve gotta add for love songs:

    First date song: Cheek to Cheek by the Good Lovelies

    Anti-Love Song: No Children by the Mountain Goats

  6. Andie says:

    Heh.. I just realized that those two songs could be the start and end song on a typical relationship trajectory. (yup.. I’m still jaded)

    from “I would do anything with you” to “I hope you die, I hope we both die”

  7. Andie says:

    Well, when my first post comes out of mod, you’ll see what I mean.

  8. Lateef says:

    Harper Blynn cover of Beyonce’s “Halo” was awesome.

  9. Andie says:

    Oh, here’s one more sappy-wappy love song.

    Kimya Dawson – You Love Me

  10. Cat says:

    I like “Message of Love” by the Pretenders. That is probably my favorite love song.

    I have way too many anti-love songs to list. xD

  11. Iam138 says:

    Bad Valentine’s Day: Code Blue, by TSOL (although I heard it originally in, like, 1981, by 999). Trigger warning: extremely offensive, definitely NSFW lyrics.

  12. Politicalguineapig says:



    I’m just gonna leave these here, because the one I really want is not showing up. That one is “You and I” by Krypteria. Very much in the ‘I hate you’ anti-Valentine’s Day box. But, as you already know, I really dislike encouraging romance and sappy, fluffy thinking.

  13. Most of these are older, but I’ve always been a bit of a musical historian.

    Unhappy Valentine’s Day

    “Only the Lonely”- Roy Orbison
    “Sweethearts on Parade”- Louis Armstrong

    Happy Valentine’s Day

    “I Found a Reason”- Velvet Underground
    “I Love You”- Band of Bees

  14. Maria says:


    Sea of Love by Cat Powers
    Closer but NIN
    (Everything I Do) I Do It For You by Bryan Adams
    Somewhere Out There from American Tail

  15. LotusBen says:

    Love songs that I like (some of these kinda embarrass me, but oh well, right?):

    “Such Great Heights” by The Postal Service
    “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica
    “Josie” by Blink 182
    “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis
    “You Turn Me On I’m a Radio” by Joni Mitchell
    “Overboard” by Ingrid Michaelson
    “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails
    “Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin

    Anti-love songs:
    “Many Rivers to Cross” by Jimmy Cliff
    “Can’t You See?” by The Marshall Tucker Band
    “Easy” by The Commodores
    “Satin Sheets” by Jeanne Pruett
    “Pain in My Heart” by Otis Redding

  16. Bloix says:

    For a happy valentine’s day:
    O Mio Babbino Caro.

    The Sumi Jo version is good:

  17. number9 says:

    I’m a sucker for There is a Light That Never Goes Out by The Smiths. And another happy one – I Belong in Your Arms by Chairlift. And This Tornado Loves You, Neko Case.

  18. PrettyAmiable says:

    Song that will make you fall in love: Josh Ritter’s “Kathleen”

    Songs that make you celebrate being single: “Bye Bye Bye.” N’Sync. Yeah, I said it.

  19. PrettyAmiable says:

    Oh man, to piggyback off of Ben’s Elvis nod – my favorite song for those “I just want to fuck” nights is “A Little Less Conversation.”

  20. LotusBen says:

    Oh man, to piggyback off of Ben’s Elvis nod – my favorite song for those “I just want to fuck” nights is “A Little Less Conversation.”

    The original from Live a Little, Love a Little or the Junkie XL techno remix that was a surprise hit like 10 years ago?

  21. PrettyAmiable says:

    Oh man, the original. But I am excited about this techno version. I am eastern european, after all.

  22. alynn says:

    My happy Valentine’s Day song right now is Us by Regina Spektor.

  23. LotusBen says:

    Great! Glad to expand your repetoire! It’s pretty epic–on par with The Wiseguys or Fatboy Slim.

  24. Anecdotal says:

    oh man – skinny love gets me everytime. I can’t keep my eyes dry during that one. Remember Grey Sky Morning? So sappy – but man does it hold some very vivid bittersweet memories for me!

  25. Chataya says:

    Happy Valentine’s Song: “Swing Life Away” by Rise Against

    Anti-love Song: “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” by Meatloaf

  26. librarygoose says:

    Songs I like:

    “Home” by Edward and the Magnetic Zeroes
    “Closer” NIN (I just wanted to join in on the love)
    “The Clock on the Wall was Tickin'” by Brandon Flowers (it makes me cry)
    “Buck Dich” by Rammstein

  27. Li says:

    On the anti-Valentines list:
    Rich Kids by Washington. Particularly good if you like your video clips to come with catsuit.

  28. LotusBen says:

    Damn it–how was I to know stringing twenty different words together with hyphens would throw a comment into moderation? This must be a sign of something.

  29. LotusBen says:

    This is dumb, but I have a random V-day related question if anyone wants to help me with some advice? At this exact moment, I am surfing the internet at home and sporadically texting with my out-of-state, we’re in love with each other, but we’re committed to just being friends because we’re terrible for each other, best friend. Do I call her right now or not? I know I should, but I know I shouldn’t.

  30. LotusBen says:

    OK, I give up. Automated Feministe moderation 2; Ben 0.

  31. PeggyLuWho says:

    My Unhappy Valentine’s songs:
    Almost Lover by A Fine Frenzy (because I’ve had so many of those almosts)
    All I Wanted by Paramore
    Cologne by Ben Folds.

    My Happy Valentine’s songs:
    Strange Currencies by R.E.M.
    In My Arms by Erasure
    Islands by The XX
    Slow Time by Go Jimmy Go (My favorite band that you’ve never heard of.)

    And since I’m my own Valentine, I did something really nice for myself today. I cleaned my bathroom. Because nothing says I love you like a clean commode and a vanity free from tooth paste splatter.

  32. Kristen J. says:

    Bah! Greatest love song ever: Etta James – At Last
    Hands down. No question.

  33. number9 says:

    LotusBen, I sort of hope you called. I was in a somewhat similar situation and we have been together for 13 years now. Turns out we are not that bad for each other after all. :) Although I realize it’s not a typical outcome.

  34. Angie unduplicated says:

    Since you’re a Bebel Gilberto fan, you might want to check out Rosalia de Souza and Celso Fonseca for happy Valentines and Rosa Passos for a bad V-day. Seconds on the Chet Baker.

  35. Shoshie says:


    I hope you did too! One of my close friends lived in another city for 7 years. We kept in touch and circumstances eventually got us to the same city (not entirely intentionally– he thought I would enjoy living in Seattle and they had a good chem program, so I applied there for grad school). We were both worried it would be disastrous when we started dating, but now we’re married for over 2 years.

    And I also love Regina Spektor’s Us and pretty much all of her songs about relationships. And I’ve been listening to Riki Lindhome’s Places to Rest on repeat a bunch, ’cause it’s just so sweet.

  36. Diana says:

    I think I only listen to anti-love songs. >.> Here’s a few of my favorites:

    – Bulletproof, by LaRoux
    – Lady Vagabond, by SJ Tucker
    – Find You’re Gone/Find You’re Here, by Wolfsheim
    – Quicksilver, by the Cruxshadows

  37. jillian says:

    Happy love songs:
    Sigh no more – Mumford and sons
    winter winds – mumford et al.
    everything on october rust

    unsuccessfully coping with the natural beauty of infidelity – type o negative (if you youtube it, it’s nsfw)
    everything on october rust

  38. Andie says:

    I know I’m a day late and a buck short, but Hawksley Workman does some awesome love songs, like Safe and Sound and Your Beauty Must Be Rubbing Off.

    On the other end of the spectrum, Piano Blink is an awesome anti-love song about people just kind of going through the motions

    LotusBen, I hope you called her.. sometimes the people we think are bad (or just not right) for us end up being just what we needed.

  39. Angie unduplicated says:

    Classic happy: Flamingos “I Only Have Eyes For You”. The studio version, played at midnight.

  40. Marksman2010 says:

    I’ve never been introduced to Bebel Gilberto, so I checked her out on YouTube. Someone commented that it’s “impossible to be stressed out when listening to this…”

    Enjoy a few drinks, listen to her, and it’s all good.

  41. Politicalguineapig says:


    Another one. Also El Paso by Marty Robbins.

  42. WestEndGirl says:

    I know it’s a little late in the day, but Happy Together by The Turtles. So feel-good it even makes this cynic feel a little smooshy.

  43. LotusBen says:

    Hey guys. . .thanks for the responses! I actually did call her, although in retrospect (with all due respect for your sentiments) it turned out to be a bad idea: the conversation became very involved and intense like I’d feared it would and lasted for like four hours. When I finally fell asleep, I was so tired that the next morning I actually slept through my alarm and showed up to work an hour and a half late, which will probably result in a write-up. As wonderful she is, we really need to work on our boundaries!

  44. Marksman2010 says:

    I was so tired that the next morning I actually slept through my alarm and showed up to work an hour and a half late

    I thought I was the only one who did this.

  45. Politicalguineapig says:

    Thankfully, it was a non-work day for me,* but I still slept through my alarm (discipline must be maintained). I’m blaming the cat and my stupid cold for it. There’s some kinda mega-crud going around here.
    * Trapped in part-time hell, like everyone else my age. I like the people I work with, but I want a real, steady full-time job.

  46. firelizard19 says:

    Ooh, I’ve always loved “I Can’t Make You Love Me”. I also want to add:

    “Incredible” Stars go Blind
    “Butterfly Kisses” (Sting I think?) about a father’s love for his daughter- always makes me tear up even if it’s a bit cheesy and implies he’s losing his daughter when she gets married. I still love that song.

    “I Hate Everything About You” Ugly Kid Joe

  47. firelizard19 says:

    (Sorry for double post- just saw PoliticalGuineaPig’s post and wanted to respond)

    Ugh, I’m in Part-Time Hell too, in a job that promised full-time no less. I spent V-Day hostessing at a fancy restaurant, so I got some serious exercise. It was totally insane from 1 o’clock when the phones started ringing to 10 o’clock when I finally went home after our last seating. And the managers and plenty of waitstaff weren’t done until 1 am what with cleanup and putting the dining room back in order and…. argh.

    V-day in the restaurant industry- blessing and a curse.

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