Cyndi and I married on July 28, 1979, so this summer is our 44th anniversary. A few years ago I realized one way to celebrate was to spread love around, give love away. We feel fortunate and blessed to have each other, and we want to share that with people close to us.
Falling in love often feels like an accident, but staying in love is a learned response, maybe even a spiritual practice. Staying in love is an act of will, intentional and specific. We all must find our own methods and practices to keep love fresh and alive.
One of my practices is listening to love songs. I’m drawn to love songs on the assumption that they were all written about Cyndi and me. I don’t always agree with every lyric, or even the motivation of the composer or performer; I just want to enjoy the song and appreciate the fact they wrote it just for us.
Music is a deep root for Cyndi and me. We first met in a high school band hall in 1973 in Hobbs, NM; we rediscovered each other and started falling in love at a NTSU One O’clock Jazz Band concert featuring Bill Watrous, in Denton, TX, in 1976. We’ve been playing music together ever since. It’s impossible for us to separate love from music.
The Bible says we have eternity in our hearts. I believe that refers to our capacity and longing for transcendence; our need to be part of something bigger than ourselves. Surely music is part of that … as if God said, “Here take this, you’ll like it, it’s some of my best stuff.”
A few years ago (2007 to be exact) I started collecting love songs into playlists and giving them away. This is my 17th list. Initially I made CDs and gave them away. But starting in 2020 I just created playlists. Mostly because, it was pointed out to me, few people have CD players anymore. (I can and will burn a physical CD for anyone who wants one.)
I’d love to have your suggestions and recommendations for next year’s list. My ears are always open for love songs.
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Can’t Get Enough of You Baby, Smash Mouth, 1999 … That’s correct, I can’t get enough of you.
Lovely Day, Bill Withers, 1977 … Just one look at you and I know it’s gonna be a lovely day.
Almost Like Being in Love, Diana Krall, 2020 … There’s a smile on my face, for the whole human race. Why it’s almost like being in love.
Getting Started, Jason Mraz, 2023 … Sometimes good things still come late. Yeah, the future hasn’t happened yet. I’m still unfolding every day. I cannot wait to get this started … Even after 44 years.
Perfect, Ed Sheeran, 2017 … We were just kids when we fell in love, not knowing what it was. I found a woman, stronger than anyone I know.
All This Goodness, Kyle Andrews, 2014 … I’m getting big ideas. We can spell them out. No clue where they lead. But it all starts with you
It’s Always You, Amos Lee, 2022 … Each time I fall in love, it’s always you.
Beyond, Leon Bridges, 2018 … She might just be my everything and beyond.
Taking You With Me, Daniel Tashian, Mindy Smith, 2011 … Wherever I go, I’m taking you with me. Wherever I go, You’re coming along.
Love You Is Sweeter Than Ever, Susan Tedeschi, 2005 … Loving you has made my life sweeter than ever before.
Life is Beautiful, Keb’ Mo’, 2006 … And a song that lasts forever; each song getting better all the time. Life is beautiful, life is wondrous.
Endlessly, Green River Ordinance, 2016 … She’s the days I can’t get over, she’s the nights that I call home. I love that girl.
Consequence of Love, Gregory Porter, 2016 … I will fight for the right to be your love.
You and I, Johnnyswim, 2014 … It’s always you and I, at the center of my world.
Come Dance, Kat Wright, 2016 … Come dance with me. Doesn’t matter if you can’t. Doesn’t matter if you’re shy. Doesn’t matter if you’re scared. Just give me a try … One of the biggest surprises of my adult life is that, because of Cyndi, I enjoy dancing. And Cyndi always wants to dance with me in spite of the fact I can’t dance without counting beats, or because it scares me.
You’re Sensational, Ron Boustead, 2013 … My need of you is much more than romance. I want to be with you.
Love Someone, Brett Eldgredge, 2017 … You’re everywhere I wanna go, everywhere I wanna be, and everywhere I’ve ever been. Everything I’ll ever need is sitting right here next to me.
The One Thing, Gabe Dixon, 2016 … One thing I did right … Well, if I got one thing right, I got a big one.
My Girl, Dave Barnes, 2010 … Talkin’ ’bout my girl … This song simply makes me smile.
I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing, Postmodern Jukebox, Sara Niemietz, 2019 … I don’t wanna miss a thing … Exactly. I want it all.
“I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free.”