JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 ISSUE
What spotlight on love songs would be
complete without the song from the 1970
film, Love Story? It is hard to believe that
this movie and the instrumental theme
song from it are nearly a half century old.
Composed by Francis Lai, it is another
example of the timelessness of great art.
Romeo and Juliet. Who hasn't heard of
this William Shakespeare story? I believe
there is even a primitive tribe living deep
in the Amazon rain forest that does their
own production each summer. Maybe not.
The musical score for the 1968 film with the
same title was composed by Nino Rota and
features the beautiful love theme, What Is a
Youth, which was later arranged by Henry
Mancini with the title, A Time for Love.
I Will Always Love You...the title
and definitive statement of the song
from the 1992 movie, The Bodyguard.
Written by the talented songwriter and
singer, Dolly Parton, the song was
beautifully immortalized by Whitney
Houston in the film in which she also
With music by James Horner and lyrics
by Will Jennings, My Heart Will Go On
is another motion picture love song that
cries out to be heard. Celine Dion does
a superb job of conveying the intensity
of this emotionally charged theme
featured in the 1997 film, Titanic.
Like the previous two examples, the
Bryan Adams theme song from the
1991 film, Robin Hood: Prince of
Thieves, builds to a climatic ending
that rips the stuffing out of what might
have otherwise been just another
simple tune...turning it into something
far greater. Entitled, (Everything I Do)
I Do It For You, it was written by Bryan
Adams, Michael Kamem and Robert
John "Mutt" Lange.
A relatively short, sweet song, that
pulls on the listener's heartstrings.
With music by Leonard Bernstein
and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim,
the Somewhere version from the
1961 film, West Side Story, is a
perfect example of how less can
indeed be more. Tender and ever
so romantic, it is pure...like true
love. Beautifully sung for the movie
by Marni Nixon and Jimmy Bryant.
And then there is a song that starts
out small and ends on a grand scale.
Suddenly, Seymour, performed
incredibly by Rick Moranis and Ellen
Greene, is from the 1986 film, Little
Shop of Horrors. With music by Alan
Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman,
it shows how love can bloom, even on
Love is always "out there" for anyone
wishing to find it. Perhaps no other song
more beautifully captured this idea than
Somewhere Out There, performed by
Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram for
the 1986 film, An American Tail.
The song, written by James Horner,
Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil is
overflowing with desire and promise.
I suppose that last statement can be said of every song in this spotlight. Each, in its own, unique way, cries out the
same message...and it is this. We all need to love and be loved, for without love, there is only emptiness. No obstacle,
no matter how great...not even time itself...can challenge this most basic fact of this life.
Like all great works of art, each song in this spotlight touches the soul, leaving behind an imprint that far outlasts the
duration of its notes. If a tear or two is shed while listening, those tears come not from pain, but from the warm embrace
of love. All of these songs will endure throughout time, for like love, their legacy is everlasting.
Shining a spotlight on classic love songs requires a very bright light due to the fact that there have been so many written
over the years. Selecting which songs to include was therefore a monumental task. Regardless of whether my choices
come close to matching yours or not, one thing is certain. Songs of love are far superior to songs of hate. Love, after all,
brings about a sense of peace in our immediate lives...and far beyond.
All of the songs in this spotlight are unforgettable. This most especially includes a song by that exact title. Unforgettable
was immortalized by Nat King Cole and later in a remarkable time-span duet with his daughter, Natalie Cole. Unforgettable
is a personal favorite for my wife, Karen and I, as it was an important part of our wedding.
No collection of love songs would be complete without including I Love You Truly written by Carrie Jacobs-Bond and first
published in 1901. Some might think it to be a bit corny by today's standards, but the words in it convey feelings that are
All of the following songs are classics in their own right. Most, if not all, have been used for weddings and other special
romantic events. They are presented in no particular order.
All You Need is Love, And I Love Her, and Something (The Beatles)
The art of love songs and the art of the cinema have collaborated in many beautiful relationships. I have chosen to
Don't Know Much (Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville)
And I Love You So (Don McLean)
Sometimes When We Touch (Dan Hill)
Can't Help Falling In Love (Elvis Presley)
Longer (Dan Fogelberg)
Endless Love (Diana Ross and Lionel Richie)
We've Only Just Begun (The Carpenters)
Can't Take My Eyes Off You (Frankie Valli)
She Believes in Me, and Lady (Kenny Rogers)
Wedding Song (Peter, Paul and Mary)
Just The Way You Are (Billy Joel)
How Deep is Your Love (Bee Gees)
When I Need You (Leo Sayer)
Lost in Love (Air Supply)
Hopelessly Devoted To You (Olivia Newton-John)
Follow You Follow Me (Genesis)
Weekend In New England (Barry Manilow)
Eternal Flame (Bangles)
I Think I Love You, and Summer Days (The Partridge Family)
You Are So Beautiful (Joe Cocker)
Annie's Song, Perhaps Love, and For You (John Denver)
spotlight ten superb songs from ten different films. Each has a unique style and each does what a love song must do...
resonate with the heart.
All artwork featured in this SPOTLIGHT, whether written or visual, © copyright the respective artists. All rights reserved.
I will conclude this spotlight with what I
personally consider to be one of the
greatest love songs of the cinema...or,
for that matter, ever composed. It is also
one that doesn't require words in order
to speak volumes.
With four magical and essential notes,
composer John Barry takes hold of the
listener and never lets go. The music is
haunting, incredibly beautiful, ethereal,
mournful yet hopeful, and soul-penetrating.
If that were not enough, this instrumental
masterpiece superbly supports the story
line of the film...that love can transcend
time and space. Somewhere in Time,
from the 1980 film by the same name, is
more than capable of leaving a lasting
impression on the listener.
Before The Beatles made this
song even more famous, and
before Shirley Jones went on to
play Shirley Partridge, Till There
Was You celebrated love in the
1962 movie version of The Music
Man. Written by Meredith Willson,
the singing performance by Shirley
Jones is both beautiful, and