One of my very favorite albums of the 1990s, and indeed in my top 100 or so all time, is Across the Borderline by Willie Nelson, a 1993 release, produced by Don Was, Paul Simon, and Roy Halee. It is filled with a bunch of covers by Paul Simon, John Hiatt, Peter Gabriel, Bob Dylan, Lyle Lovett, plus songs by Willie himself, including Valentine.
It’s a very simple lyric:
Valentine, won’t you be my valentine
And introduce your heart to mine
And be my valentine
Summertime, we could run and play like summertime
With storybooks and nursery rhymes
So be my valentine
Candy heart, if anyone could, you could have a candy heart
You’re the sweetest of all sweethearts
Won’t you give your heart to me, can’t you see
This was not a terribly successful album commercially, getting only to #15 on the U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums, and #75 on the U.S. Billboard Top 200, though it fared better in Norway and Canada, where it was a Top 5 album. It had only one charting single, Graceland, a duet with Paul Simon, that only got to #70 on the country singles charts.
The album was, I thought, out of print for the longest time, but now is currently available on Amazon at a reasonable price. I found that the more I listened to it, the more I enjoyed the collection; it washed over me, emotionally.
Less romantic is Heartland, written and sung by Nelson and Bob Dylan, where an “American dream fell apart at the seams.”
Also, read (and listen to)
Is an ex’s photo worth ten chicken wings?