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Playing the Heartstrings: Songs Suitable for Different Moments of Love

As I’ve mentioned in other articles, music to me is one of the most all-encompassing ways to express emotions all across the human spectrum.


For the month of February, I will focus on love and relationship-related content with the first being centered around songs that play the heartstrings in a multitude of relationships (and yes… there will be a lot of Taylor Swift… “Ready for It?”). I’ll have a top 3 for each type and list my favorite lyrics.


For when everything is fresh…

These songs aim to capture the fuzzy feelings of a new crush or that special someone. They make me want to spin around in open spaces like I’m in a flash mob and yell from my lungs how I’m feeling; luckily, these lyrics already do it for me.


1. “Someone New” by Hozier

Lyrics: “Don't take this the wrong way / You knew who I was with every step that I ran to you / Only blue or black days / Electing strange perfections in any stranger I choose”


2. “Pierre” by Ryn Weaver

Lyrics: “Spend the days dreaming and the nights awake / Doin' things we know we shouldn't do/ 'Cause I wouldn't be with you”


3. “Enchanted” by Taylor Swift

Lyrics: “Your eyes whispered "have we met?" / Across the room your silhouette starts to make its way to me / The playful conversation starts / Counter all your quick remarks, like passing notes in secrecy / And it was enchanting to meet you”


For when you know they’re your person…

These songs perfectly encapsulate the moments you know this person will mean a lot to you for a long, long time.


1. “Always Be My Baby” by Mariah Carey

Lyrics: “We were as one, babe / For a moment in time / And it seemed everlasting / That you would always be mine / Now you want to be free / So I'm lettin' you fly / 'Cause I know in my heart babe / Our love will never die”


2. “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Franki Valli + the Four Seasons

Lyrics: “You're just too good to be true / Can't take my eyes off of you / You'd be like Heaven to touch / I wanna hold you so much / At long last, love has arrived / And I thank God I'm alive”


3. “You Make My Dreams” by Hall and Oates

Lyrics: “What I've got's full stock / Of thoughts and dreams that scatter / Then you pull them all together / And how, I can't explain / Oh yeah, well, well, you / You make my dreams come true”


For when you’re having doubts (and shouldn’t be)...

These are for the moments when you know they care about you, but insecurity starts to creep in. However, fear not because these lyrics will certainly reassure you that there’s nothing to worry about in upbeat and clever (if not a little cliché) lines.


1. “Hey Stupid, I Love You” by JP Saxe

Lyrics: “Nothing's wrong / I just get in my head too / Can you reassure me you / You're still in it”


2. “History” by One Direction

Lyrics: “You gotta help me, I'm losin' my mind / Keep gettin' the feeling you wanna leave this all behind / Thought we were goin' strong, I thought we were holdin' on / Aren't we?”


3. "I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz

Lyrics: “Well, I won't give up on us / Even if the skies get rough / I'm giving you all my love / I'm still looking up”


For when you’re having doubts or getting mixed signals…

These songs may come in clutch if the person you thought you knew really well starts to act differently than the person you fell for. Love is a confusing business, but these songs have no business being so accurate about the emotional twister it can be at times.


1. “Honest” by The Band Camino

Lyrics: “We should be honest / 'Cause sometimes I can't tell / Do we really want this / Or are we lying to ourselves? / Is it the burning hearts alone in the dark / That make the midnight call? / Now we're caught between the real thing / And nothing at all”


2. “Stuck in the Middle” by Tai Verdes

Lyrics: “'Cause we're stuck in the middle of lovers and friends / And we're losing every part of the benefits / You hurt me more than I ever knew / But it's shitty 'cause I'm doing the same to you”


3. “Water Under the Bridge” by Adele

Lyrics: “And if I'm not the one for you / You've gotta stop holding me the way you do / Oh honey if I'm not the one for you / Why have we been through what we have been through? / It's so cold out here in your wilderness / I want you to be my keeper / But not if you are so reckless”


For when you want to reminisce about what could have / should have been…

These songs are a perfect mix of thinking back on good memories and wishing they weren’t tainted and wondering what memories could’ve been made had time or circumstances been different. They’re brutal. 


1. “If the World Was Ending (feat. Julia Michaels)” by JP Saxe

Lyrics: “But if the world was ending / You'd come over, right? / You'd come over and you'd stay the night / Would you love me for the hell of it? / All our fears would be irrelevant”


2. “Before You Go” by Lewis Capaldi

Lyrics: “So, before you go / Was there something I could've said / To make your heart beat better? / If only I'd have known you had a storm to weather / So, before you go / Was there something I could've said / To make it all stop hurting?”


3. “Last Kiss” by Taylor Swift

Lyrics: “So I'll watch your life in pictures like I used to watch you sleep / And I feel you forget me like I used to feel you breathe / And I'll keep up with our old friends just to ask them how you are / Hope it's nice where you are”


For when you just… really miss them…

And yeah, it does suck—because when you find someone who fits like a perfect puzzle piece, nothing makes sense without them. These lyricists summed that up and more. Prepare the tissues.


1. “Dancing Under Red Skies” by Dermot Kennedy

Lyrics: “Let me tell you, no one ever got my soul right like she could, yeah / Amongst artists in heartlessness, dealing in darknesses / I know, I know / One time nobody ever got my soul right like she could, yeah / Now, I'm close to what I'm needing”


2. “All Too Well” by Taylor Swift

Lyrics: “And maybe we got lost in translation / Maybe I asked for too much / But maybe this thing was a masterpiece / Till you tore it all up”


3. “White Ferrari” by Frank Ocean

Lyrics: “I care for you still and I will forever / That was my part of the deal, honest / We got so familiar”


For songs that just feel special…

These songs are grouped together because even though there’s no overarching theme, they’re beautiful and (almost) unexplainably so. There’s a simplicity to them that attracts me; maybe that’s all that needs to be said.


1. “Poetry” by Wrabel

Lyrics: “I see poetry in your eyes / You're the only reason we rhyme / And oh my, my, my / It's a big, big, big world out there / Been looking for something / I finally found it right here”


2. “Eloise” by Penny and Sparrow

Lyrics: “We heard there was a light show / Hotter than a June kiss / I'm blushing a shade of licorice / Croon with your night lungs / That old Cicada love song” 


3. “Yellow” by Coldplay

Lyrics: “I came along / I wrote a song for you / And all the things you do / And it was called "Yellow"”


For times when you need a classic example of love…

These songs have been recognized as some of the greatest love songs of all-time. And I’m not usually a bandwagoner, but yeah… they are.


1. “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley 

*also, the Haley Reinhart cover is so beautiful*

Lyrics: “Wise men say / Only fools rush in / But I can't help falling in love with you / Shall I stay? / Would it be a sin / If I can't help falling in love with you?” 


2. “Your Song” by Elton John

Lyrics: “And you can tell everybody this is your song / it may be quite simple, but now that it’s done / I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words / How wonderful life is while you’re in the world”


3. “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” by Stevie Wonder

Lyrics: “Ooh, baby, you set my soul on fire / That's why I know you're my heart's only desire / Ooh baby, here I am / Signed, sealed, delivered, I'm yours”


For when you want the purest kind of love…

To me, some of the best love songs are about the simplicity of a Sunday morning spent with someone you love. So, you may notice a theme running through these songs.


1. “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5

Lyrics: “Sunday morning rain is falling / Steal some covers share some skin / Clouds are shrouding us in moments unforgettable / You twist to fit the mold that I am in”


2. “Easy” by The Commodores

Lyrics: “Know it sounds funny / But, I just can't stand the pain / Girl, I'm leaving you tomorrow / seems to me girl / You know I've done all I can / You see I begged, stole, and I borrowed! (Yeah) / Ooh, that's why I'm easy / I'm easy like Sunday morning”

3. “A Sunday Kind of Love” by Etta James

Lyrics: “I want a Sunday kind of love / A love to last past Saturday night / And I'd like to know it's more than love at first sight / And I want a Sunday kind of love”

But let’s not forget… the most important love of all can (and should) be given to yourself.


For when you need songs to remind you that you’re love-worthy…

These songs should be a perfect pick-me-up from whatever stage of love you found yourself previously in. Because how can we love another person if we don’t see ourselves as enough?


1. “Soulmate” by Lizzo

Lyrics: “'Cause I'm my own soulmate (Yeah, yeah) / I know how to love me (Love me) / I know that I'm always gonna hold me down / Yeah, I'm my own soulmate (Yeah, yeah) / No, I'm never lonely (Lonely) / I know I'm a queen, but I don't need no crown”


2. “Brave” by Sara Bareilles

Lyrics: “Everybody's been there, everybody's been stared down / By the enemy / Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing / Bow down to the mighty / But don't run, stop holding your tongue / Maybe there's a way out of the cage where you live / Maybe one of these days you can let the light in / Show me how big your brave is”


3. “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars

Lyrics: “When I see your face / There's not a thing that I would change / 'Cause you're amazing / Just the way you are / And when you smile / The whole world stops and stares for a while / 'Cause girl, you're amazing / Just the way you are”

No matter what stage of falling into or out of love you’re in, I hope some of these songs can pluck a heartstring or two. 



My name is Hannah Hippensteel, and I like to say I'm a Chicago city-slicker, but I'm actually from the 'burbs. I'm currently a senior at Winona State with a major in mass communication-journalism and a minor in sociology. Catch me enjoying all Winona has to offer: the bluffs, the incomparable Bloedow's Bakery, and not to mention, Minnesota boys. With a goal of working at Teen Vogue, Seventeen or Glamour magazine, I'm soaking up every opportunity to keep my finger on the pulse and share my personal voice!
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