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Mixing the best songs for your Valentine

On February 11, 2010

There's nothing that says "I Love You" better than someone else singing it to you. Do not deny it; you know you have been the perpetrator of making a fabulous mix-tape for the one you want to impress most. And if not, it's likely you have been on the receiving end of a mix-tape: butterflies fluttering in your stomach and maybe even some tears welling in your eyes. Playing music or constructing mix-tapes (most likely mix-CD's now) has been one surefire way to melt hearts of lovers and crushes. Music overflows with emotion and has a great impact on people, whether through lyrics, beats or instrumentals. It is no wonder that music plays a big part in the way we apprehend love. With Valentine's Day fast approaching, some of you may need a little insight on what exactly to put on a potentially epic mix-tape. The following list is sure to swoon, croon, move and groove the one you love most.

1. Jackson 5 - ABC

Who says love songs have to be sappy? Start your CD off with a little fun. "ABC" is bound to get a little laugh; the perfect way to start off the night, in my opinion. The Jackson 5 knows how to simplify love and how to make you dance in the process. The lyrics are not deep or incredibly intriguing, but that doesn't mean young Michael Jackson can't express love just as well as the next guy. Adding this track makes your CD much more easy-going and much less cliché. It's cute, it's loveable, and you can't help but move to this one.

2. Muse - Guiding Light

The song starts out with 80s ballad synthesizers and epic drum beats, but don't let that fool you. Muse, known mostly for their heavy guitar riffs and rock hard sound, puts some major heart into "Guiding Light." The lyrics suggest a bit of hardship and loss that can only be healed by that one unique and special person; his "guiding light." The lyrics do make this song loveable with Matt Bellamy singing, "When comfort and warmth can't be found I still reach for you. But I'm lost, crushed, cold and confused with no guiding light left inside: You're my guiding light." But even if you are a sucker for guitar solos, Bellamy certainly satisfies. Because of that, "Guiding Light" is a song for both the music lover and the romantic.

3. The Darkness - I Believe in a Thing Called Love

Maybe one of the more unlikely songs to be found on a Valentine's Day mix, "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" incorporates 80's heavy metal sound with the words we all wish we could express to loved ones. It is pretty corny, but that is what makes this song so perfect. Guitar solos and air claps included, this song is another fun one to add into the mix. But do not be mistaken, the lyrics express love in such a blatant and simply way: "Can't explain all the feelings that you're making me feel. My heart's in overdrive and you're behind the steering wheel." Sometimes the mix of simplicity and guitar is one fine choice.

4. Peter Gabriel - In Your Eyes

You don't need to hold a boom-box over your head with this song blaring through the speakers to win over your love interest. No matter where or how you hear it, "In Your Eyes" is bound to give someone butterflies. Peter Gabriel knows just what to say and the music accompanies the lyrics with perfection. He sings about the pain, emptiness and frustration we can all relate to. But like anyone who has a special person in their life, the existence and presence of them seems to make the heartache and anxieties disappear.

"Love, I don't like to see so much pain, so much wasted and this moment keeps slipping away. I get so tired of working so hard for our survival. I look to the time with you to keep me awake and alive."

Gabriel finds that simply looking into the eyes of the one he loves most seems to make his life "complete," singing "In your eyes I see the light and the heat. In your eyes oh, I want to be that complete. I want to touch the light, the heat I see in your eyes." If that is not enough reason to add the song on your CD, then I don't know what is.

5. Dire Straights (Killers) - Romeo & Juliet

Possibly one of the most beautifully written songs, "Romeo & Juliet" is a must have on any Valentine's Day mix. The story of Romeo and Juliet ends as a tragedy, but the song relates more to romance generated between the star-crossed lovers versus the loss they were forced to succumb to.

The highlight of the songs comes about three and a half minutes in, when the guitar and piano quiet, emphasizing the importance and the love found in the lyrics, "I can't do the talk like the talk on the TV, and I can't do a love song like the way it's meant to be. I can't do everything but I'd do anything for you. Can't do anything except be in love with you." Like Shakespeare's story, "Romeo and Juliet" is an end to end all other love tales. The music itself is calm and romantic; the heart and meaning put into the singing and lyrics has some special way of moving its listeners. This one may be your tear-jerker.

6. Coldplay - Swallowed in the Sea

There is no abstract meaning or thought-provoking lyrics in this track; it is a straight-out love song. It starts out slow and quiet and builds up, similar to the way love builds between couples through the years, in a dramatic yet beautiful fashion. With lyrics like "You cut me down to size and opened up my eyes, made me realize what I could not see," and, "I could write a song a hundred miles long well, that's where I belong, and you belong with me," it just wouldn't seem right to leave this track off the list.

7. Elton John - Your Song

Let's face it. Even if you want to stay away from the clichéd mix-tape, this track is still a must-have. "Your Song" is one of the most personal and moving songs Elton John has ever written. If you have ever been at a loss for words regarding your love for someone, reaching to find the right words to say, look no further than this song. John explains just that situation, explaining that though he may not be the most poetic or extravagantly romantic person, he finds the simplest way to show his love is through song. There is not much of a better way to express your love for someone than through music, and this song is no exception.12

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