This week as I was brainstorming lil things to write about Valentine’s Day, I had a brilliant/evil idea! I would make a playlist for the holiday by texting a slew of my friends: What do you think the most romantic song of all time is?
Everyone I asked is queer, but I told them they didn’t have to limit themselves to songs that are explicitly queer. The initial replies I got were all along the lines of:
Why are you doing this to me?
This is too hard!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m feeling attacked
And, my personal favorite:
Can they be romantic but also sad?
In other words, I deeply upset everyone with this request. In the end, I did let people pick more than one song if they insisted upon it, for I did not wish for my friends to be in agony. I will not expose anyone by revealing what they individually chose, but you can find the results of this experiment in the playlist below.
The playlist presents an all-over-the-place collage of vibes and quite the spectrum of definitions of “romantic.” Here are some behind-the-scenes playlist details I would like to highlight:
- The first two people to respond with actual songs both picked songs by The New Pornographers — unbeknownst to each other. So, briefly, this playlist was just two New Pornographers songs.
- A pair of wives both said “Slow Show” by The National — also unbeknownst to each other.
- Shortly after The Wives said “Slow Show,” another gay said “Slow Show.” “Slow Show” has my friend group in a chokehold.
- Nine of the people I polled are friends I met on tumblr when I was a teenager, and multiple of them mentioned their selected song had imprinted on them due to a fanvid and/or character playlist.
- “In The Air Tonight” was definitely said as a joke having to do with the famously romantic (jk) television program The Americans, but I left it in to add to the chaos.
- One of the polled people was my sister’s gf Meredith Shock, who is a queer singer-songwriter herself. Most of her singles are about heartbreak lol, but that doesn’t inherently make them NOT romantic! Also, she promised more romantic songs are coming 👀
- One of the polled people has a cat named Romance, so she is indeed an expert at romance.
- I also asked my gf, who notably DID NOT pick Our Song (our song is a punk cover of “Mambo Italiano,” and it is our song because one time it played three times in a row when we were making out in the back of an East Village bar).
Romantic Chaos Tracklist
- Strange Currencies – R.E.M.
- Challengers – The New Pornographers
- Day Dreaming – Aretha Franklin
- Violently – Natalie Prass
- Distance – Emily King
- Lover – Jeff Buckley
- Can’t Help Falling In Love – Live At Daytrotter – Ingrid Michaelson
- Slow Show – The National
- Ice Cream – Sarah McLachlan
- Possession – Sarah McLachlan
- Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
- We Found Love – Rihanna
- Gotta Have You – The Weepies
- 6 O’clock Blues – Solange
- The Only Exception – Paramore
- Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley
- The Bleeding Heart Show – The New Pornographers
- With You – Jessica Simpson
- In The Air Tonight – Phil Collins
- Make You Feel My Love – Adele
- Body Party – Ciara
- Kiss from a Rose – Seal
- Séduction – Joanna
- L’Amour Looks Something Like You – Kate Bush
- Kiss – Scout Niblett
- That’s Us/Wild Combination – Arthur Russell
- Body – Syd
- Without You – Lana Del Rey
- A.M. 180 – Grandaddy
- Lover – Taylor Swift
- You Make Me Feel So Young – Frank Sinatra
What would you add to the playlist?