Here are some songs of romance and heartbreak. Finding the latter is FAR easier for me.
Songs that make you want to fall in love
I Only Have Eyes For You – the Flamingoes
That’s about it. Everything else seems more wistful and uncertain, such as:
God Only Knows – the Beach Boys, from Pet Sounds
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow – Carole King, from the Tapestry album
Songs that break your heart
Whereas the “melancholy quartet” of songs were pretty much codified by 1980, played in this specific order:
Sweet Bitter Love – Aretha Franklin. The first QoS song I ever owned. It appeared on some Columbia Records compilation in 1965 or 1966, before she was signed to Atlantic. This was eventually covered by Roberta Flack.
My First Night Alone Without You – Jane Olivor. My old friend Pam gave me the First Night album in error for Christmas; she mixed up a couple presents. This song was also performed by Bonnie Raitt.
Gone Away – Roberta Flack. From my sister Leslie’s copy of Chapter Two, which I eventually had to buy for myself. This song destroys me more than almost any other. T.I. sampled this on What You Know in 2006.
Stay With Me – Lorraine Ellison . I heard this on a Warner Brothers Loss Leader and was immediately blown away. It’s been covered a few times.
Sometimes, I’d add other break your heart songs, such as:
Remove This Doubt – The Supremes. This is from The Supremes Sing Holland-Dozier-Holland. It was covered by Elvis Costello.
Down so Low – Linda Ronstadt. From Hasten Down the Wind, this Tracy Nelson/Mother Earth song was also covered by numerous other artists, including Etta James, Maria Muldaur, John Lee Hooker, and Cyndi Lauper.
Hmm, I suppose I need a song by a guy.
Can We Still Be Friends – Todd Rundgren. In an interview, Todd said, “It’s really a song about the best possible way to end a relationship.” Ha, I don’t believe that they CAN stay friends.