Valentine's Day Songs: Redbrick's Picks | Redbrick | University of Birmingham
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Cigarettes After Sex - Nothing's Gonna Hurt You Baby
Father John Misty - Chateau Lobby #4 (In C For Two Virgins)
38 Special - Caught Up In You
Frank Ocean - Bad Religion
Chuck Berry - You Can Never Tell
Ralph Felix & SDJM - The Heat
The Piano Guys - A Thousand Years
The Beatles - In My Life
Howie Day - Collide
Whitney Houston - The Greatest Love of All
Blink-182 - First Date


Valentine's Day Songs

Redbrick's picks

Designed by Josh Holder, modified by Holly Carter and Greg Woodin

It took a lot of debating, searching and listening, but after days of hard work and pulling everything together we’ve finally compiled our very first Valentine’s Day playlist. Consider this our gift to you. Sure, it’s a couple of days early but this in the hopes that you might be inspired to add some to your own Valentine’s playlist. Don’t go telling us we’re selfish lovers… We present you our hand-picked and carefully curated Valentine’s Day playlist – a collection of all the best love songs or songs WE LOVE. It’s possibly our cheesiest playlist to date! Pun intended. - Giulia Bardelli.

Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby

Cigarettes After Sex
You can imagine this song being the soundtrack to a scene in a film where a young couple are dancing slowly in their bedroom, the girl’s head on his shoulder, vinyl playing in the corner, glass of wine in hand, low red lighting, laughing and smiling at each other. Imagine if your boy told you: ‘Nothing’s gonna hurt you baby / as long as you’re with me you’ll be just fine / nothing's gonna hurt you baby / nothing's gonna take you from my side’. Your heart would simply melt. Cigarettes After Sex are the dreamiest of bands and this track oozes with heavenly slow reverb and seductive vocals - perfect for that Valentine’s night playlist.
Megan Gibson

Bad Religion
Frank Ocean
Valentine’s Day is all about spending time with your significant other and showing them how much they mean to you, but what if you’re spending Valentine’s Day alone? What if the only person you ever loved didn’t love you back? Frank Ocean’s ‘Bad Religion’ is an ode to these frustrated feelings, chronicling the heartbreak of unrequited love and the stubborn scars left in its wake. Appropriately, the song opens with a church organ, and for the most part the track’s arrangement is stripped back, leaving Frank’s emotive delivery and soulful falsetto vulnerably exposed. ‘Taxi driver / be my shrink for the hour’, he pleads, this stranger seemingly the only person in the world he can confide in. And when he sings ‘I can never make him love me’, Frank can be seen to grapple with both his crippled emotions and also his personal faith in God, questioning where he stands with his creator now that he has fallen in love with a man. A multi-layered exploration of psychological pain and shaken belief systems, ‘Bad Religion’ deserves to be on the playlist of anyone who will be eating a dinner for one this Valentine’s Day.
Greg Woodin

Caught Up In You
38 Special
Thinking of Valentine’s Day, your mind may venture to the extravagant gestures that people make, with the heart-shaped balloons and the A4 cards that fill the shops, but it almost becomes forgotten that not everyone will be receiving these types of gifts as they are not in a relationship at this time of year. Therefore, I think ‘Caught Up In You’ by 38 Special is one of my favourite songs to be listening to at this time of the year. Released in 1982, the American rock band capture the true feelings of love with their lyrics, which remind me of previous relationships that I have had where I’ve been ‘caught up’, but also realising that even if previously things haven’t worked out, you will be ‘caught up’ again. So for Feb 14th, this may be your perfect song to jam along to as you are reminded that someone is crazy about you, or to reminisce and remind yourself you have the capability to love again.
Imogen Allen

Chateau Lobby #4 (In C For Two Virgins)
Father John Misty
Known for his political cynicism, perhaps Father John Misty is not the first person you’d turn to when thinking about love songs, but the incredibly titled Chateau Lobby #4 (In C For Two Virgins) is possible one of the best ever written. Describing the intimate parts of a relationship from ‘the fist time you let me stay the night’ to a cheeky wedding dress lyric, ‘Chateau Lobby’ tells of completely loving someone else in a world so full of cynicism and hatred. With lyrics from ‘I’ve never hated all the same things as somebody else’ to ‘people are boring but you’re something else I can’t explain’, Tillman describes all the parts of love that are under-celebrated, but key to being devoted to someone else. Despite its perfect string accompaniment, it’s not a grossly mushy and still brings forth the grittiness that is synonymous with Father John Misty. In the last magical lyric, Tillman asks ‘what are you doing with your whole life? I’ve found forever’, and if that’s not how I’m proposed to, I’ll be disappointed.
Holly Carter

You Never Can Tell
Chuck Berry
Sorry everyone, but there is simply NO image more romantic than John Travolta and Uma Thurman doing the Jack Rabbit Slim’s Twist Contest to the glorious sound of ‘You Never Can Tell’. It’s not just a conventional love song – it’s the ideal of love. A young couple, marrying in their teens and settling down into a lovely life together. Chuck watches from afar, just telling us this simple story and bashing out a simple twelve-bar blues, never imposing himself, enjoying the tale as much as we do. Most love songs are too slow, too sad; there’s no song written about love that’s as danceable, as enjoyable, as so completely happy, as this. I love ‘You Never Can Tell’ as a young monsieur, and I don’t doubt I will love it when I’m one of the old folks. This song is about life, not just love. It’s a silly idea and a silly song, naïve but wonderful - and isn’t that what love is? Some silly, wonderful thing.
Thom Dent

The Heat
Ralph Felix & SDJM
For those of you who love dance music, but after a couple of drinks are demanding nothing but the classics, this should be your go-to song on Valentine’s Day. Felix and SDJM perfectly embrace the entire ‘get up and dance’ feel of the song, bringing it back to life (and our charts) in true dance hit style. So for Feb 14th this year, whether you’re serenading the one of your dreams or pulling a stranger on the dancefloor, make sure this one makes the playlist.
Georgia Davis

A Thousand Years
The Piano Guys
An absolute sensational cover of Christina Perri’s hit for the renowned Twilight series. Many musicians have done brilliant covers of this song, but none of them have quite matched the exquisiteness of this one. The beautiful combination of sounds from the piano and the cello never fails to stimulate goosebumps and stir emotions in me every time I listen to it. In 2015, I went to watch The Piano Guys at the Symphony Hall during Valentine’s week. I was on the edge of my seat in anticipation that they would play this gem of a tune… and of course they did. You could almost touch the love in the air as the duo started playing this masterpiece and twanged the hearts of the audience, including me. I came away from this show and felt an urge to learn how to play this melody on my new piano. Now, I can play the entire thing fluently. As I place my fingers to the notes and begin to play, I drift away into a heavenly place which is filled with overwhelming love and divine beauty…
Laura Bourne

In My Life
The Beatles
I don’t know about anyone else, but when I think of love songs, I immediately think of The Beatles. Due to the fact that the vast majority of The Beatles’ repertoire consists of love songs, it took a deep lyrical analysis for me to narrow it down to just one. In the end, I had to choose ‘In My Life’ from Rubber Soul. Paul and John tell a tale of reassurance, a relatable issue that some relationships may face even today, over fifty years after the song was released. They say that despite inevitably having loved other people in the past (which most of us probably have done, or at least think we have), it is important to live in the here and now. Your other half wouldn’t have met you if it weren’t for the moments that drove them to where they are today. Their fond memories won’t be forgotten, but they’ll fade as you make new ones, because, after all, ‘there’s no one who compares with you’. It’s a nice sentiment Beatles, but I bet that’s what you told all the girls. However, in the name of Valentine’s Day, a day dedicated to love, let’s stay positive, ignore the flaws and embrace the gushiness.
Georgie Deaville

Howie Day
Everyone loves a romantic guitar ballad on Valentine’s Day, and Howie Day’s ‘Collide’ is a beautiful example of such a track. Released in 2004 from his debut Stop All the World Now, ‘Collide’ has served as the soundtrack for several romantic love sequences in film and television over the last decade. The song’s lyrics tell a story of doubt, perhaps of a relationship that has only just begun, but the chorus defies this, including the most romantic sentiment of the entire four minutes: ‘Out of the doubt that fills my mind / I somehow find / you and I collide.’ This is the central motif of the song: no matter what, this love is destined, inevitable. The gorgeous acoustic guitar, Day’s effortless vocal and light string accompaniment support the song’s message, and it will sure as hell be hard to listen to this song with your other half on V Day without completely melting.
Kirstie Sutherland

The Greatest Love of All
Whitney Houston
‘The Greatest Love of All’ is the best love song ever - actually no, the greatest song ever - because it is about loving yourself, and I for one am my biggest fan. Of course, I have many fans but people can only appreciate you if you appreciate yourself. As one of the greatest ballads of all time, the satisfaction you get when singing along is like no other. In fact, I can’t imagine any greater satisfaction to receive on Valentine’s Day. Lines such as ‘learning to love yourself / is the greatest love of all’ - how deep is that? On Valentine’s Day this year, I will be spending some quality time loving myself, appreciating the greatest person I know, listening to the greatest song ever. And guys, children really are our future.
Yasmin Ghaffar

First Date
If you want a love song that expresses the mix of nervous butterflies and excitement that most people feel about a going on a date, then Blink-182’s ‘First Date’ is perfect. The fast tempo and relatable lyrics make it a great Valentine’s choice to be played on the way to your romantic plans. It’s a throwback to a simpler, yet awkward time of your teenage years, so the nostalgia factor is strong. The catchy chorus and pop punk angst gets you wishing that your love affair (like the song) would ‘last forever, forever and ever’.
Anna Pitts