5 Alternative Love Songs: 5 of the Best Romantic Tracks You Won’t Hear On the Radio

Love songs are a staple on any play list, but in the age of angry indie bands or sassy girl groups, the options for fresh, original love songs to listen to are getting fewer and fewer.

People often say that the classics are the best, but that’s not always true. Here are 5 alternative love songs that you won’t find in the charts or on a popular compilation CD. So open Spotify, grab a glass of wine, and enjoy.

1. Cross Out the Stars – Fightstar

This fairly obscure London-based band has a frontman who used to be in pop band Busted. Don’t be put off, though. Charlie Simpson’s latest venture is a full-on rock band with down-tuned guitars and screaming vocals. Cross Out the Stars, however, goes against the mould and is a delicate, surging song with poetic lyrics and a slowly building sense of urgency.

About loves lost and found, Cross Out the Stars ends in a melodic wall of sound. Perfect for shaking up a mushy play list or a first date gig.

2. My List – The Killers

Written by (The Killers’ frontman) Brandon Flowers for his wife, this is a quirky, smoldering modern love song.

With lyrics like “I need those eyes to tide me over”, the sentimentality expected from a love song is there, but as the song progresses the typical Killers quirkiness kicks in, while cryptic lines like “don’t give the ghost up, just clench your fist” are almost chanted as the dramatic music builds.

Passionate and eclectic, My List is the perfect Las Vegas love song.

3. Lover, You Should Have Come Over – Jeff Buckley

It’s difficult to find an artist who can pull of lovesick better than the late Jeff Buckley.

From his epic, classic album “Grace”, the song was inspired by a difficult break up. Filled with passion and intensity, it showcases Buckley as one of the greatest poets music has ever seen. Lover, You Should Have Come Over is an acoustic, languid ode with unforgettable lyrics and a melancholy air that stays with you long after the music has stopped.

Perfect for a romantic night in.

4. Here Without You – 3 Doors Down

This is definitely the most commercial song on the list – in fact, when it was released in 2003 it peaked at No.3 on the Billboard Top 100 – it has been quietly overlooked in recent years.

The song is not going to win any awards for songwriting or musical originality, but it has a haunting beauty to it that is hard to ignore. It was written about missing your other half, and the honesty with which it is composed is evident from beginning to end.

The sentiment is clear and the lyrics are easy to identify with. Good for a little pity party or long distance relationships.

5. The Only Exception – Paramore

A raw and quiet song about divorce, of all things. It speaks of how the children of divorce are affected and singer Hayley Williams tells the story of her parents’ separation and how she swore she would never love anyone for fear of getting hurt. Until now, and the only exception to her rule.

While the verses are a little heavy, the romantic chorus is the part of the song you remember. Pretty and delicate but no less powerful for it, Williams’ voice carries the song further than expected and the emotion and heart poured into it makes it perfect for any romantic occasion.

It’s easy to think that love songs need be popular, string-laden and with a soaring key change at the end to make the listener feel how the song intends. Hopefully these picks will prove that that’s not always the case – the best love songs are the ones that surprise you.

Top Ten Love Songs of All Time: Lyrics that Unite Lovers

The season of passion has descended once again. Flowers, candy, romantic dinners and love songs are all part of the Valentine’s Day experience. According to the AARP, the following melodies of sensual tension and titillation have become the “Top Ten Love Songs of all Time.” There may be some debate on the list. It includes songs that are antiquated and one surprising contemporary addition.

What are the Top Ten Love Songs of All Time?

Alicia Keys rings in with “No One.” This relatively new piece is hardly a predictable choice for number ten on the AARP listing. To their credit, they have chosen a sultry, sexy, blues sample that showcases the talents of Keys and her writing abilities. Written in 2008, this surprising entry will captivate and conjure memories of jazz riffs, horn solos and a brilliant voice.

“Earth Angel” by the Penguins made it to number nine. The soft rock and roll ballad was released in 1954 and shot the Penguins to the top of the charts. Doo-wap harmonies and simplistic lyrics are memorable due to the heavy use in movie sound tracks. Horror films “Prom Night Two” and period pieces, “Back to the Future,” are just a few examples.

At number eight,”I Will Always Love You” by Dolly Parton, makes the count down. Parton wrote the song, but it catapulted to world wide acclaim by Whitney Houston. Both Parton and Houston utilized their own styles in movie soundtracks; “The Body Guard” and “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.”

“Let’s Face the Music and Dance,” by Irving Berlin charms hearts at number seven. Going back to 1936 this melody can be found in the film “Follow the Fleet” with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. One of the lesser recognized songs on the list; Berlin deserves his due

Number Six on the love train express is “What the World Needs Now Is Love Sweet Love” by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Younger readers may remember the song from the first “Austin Powers” film. Deon Warwick’s’ singing style and affection for the writings of Bacharach and David made this song a multi-platinum single.

Top Five Love Songs of All Time

“Stand By Me” by Ben E. King made the list at number five. Written in 1961, it is most closely associated by the film of the same name. Maybe the list includes love amongst boy-hood friends?

Stevie Wonder could have made AARP’s list several times over, but his song, “I Believe” made it to number four. Remade by Art Garfunkel and Michael McDonald, this song still lacks a stand out quality to make it to this list. What about, “I Just Called to Say I Love You?”

“Something” by George Harrison is considered by Frank Sinatra to be the greatest love song ever written. Again, taste is everything. When looking at the plethora of Beetle’s arrangements, “Something” is an unique choice for number three.

Number two belongs to “Ev’ry time We Say Goodbye” by Cole Porter. Ella Fitzgerald graced the lyrics with her sultry style. One of Porter’s more prolific pieces it deserves a place in the list.

“God Only Knows” by Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys ranks number one. That’s right, number one! The angelic harmonies and melodic blend of falsetto, flugelhorns and harpsichord made this number one hit a classic in the Beach Boys repertoire. Number one? The reader will have to decide.

All lists, unless based on sales, are interpretive and open for debate and discussion. “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge comes to mind. There are more love songs than any other genre in music history. Music soothes the savage beast, seduces, cajoles, charms and influences. It is the backdrop of weddings, proms and movie themes. Love songs are personal. Some strike an everlasting chord; others are obscure. This list tends to include both categories

Franz Joseph Haydn: Austrian Classical Composer, regarded as ‘Father of Symphony’

Franz Joseph Haydn was an extremely prolific and popular Austrian composer of the Classical era and regarded the ‘father of symphony.’ A kindly and fatherly figure, he was nicknamed ‘Papa Haydn’ and pitted along Vienna’s best Classical composers: Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. He was famous for oratorios The Creation and The Seasons.

Along with his pupil and much younger friend Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, they epitomized the early Classical era. He wrote more than 100 symphonies, some of them with interesting nicknames. He was also a teacher of Beethoven.

Childhood and Youth in Vienna, c1750-1761

Born in Rohrau, Austria on March 31, 1732 (275 years ago), the son of a wheelwright, Haydn went to St Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna as a chorister. He was big brother to another composer Michael Haydn five years his junior. Notably, Haydn was born while Baroque composers J.S. Bach and George F. Handel were still writing imposing oratorios and other sacred music. In composition, Joseph Haydn was largely self-taught, studying the works of C.P.E. Bach, and Fux’s Gradus ad Parnassum.

In 1753, he became accompanist to Italian composer and teacher Nicola Porpora. His first string quartets were written about 1755.

He married Maria Anna Keller. At first, he had fallen in love with a younger sister, but when she entered the convent, he married Maria Anna instead. It was an unhappy marriage.

Esterhaza, 1761-1790

Haydn served as court composer at Esterhaza where he perfected the symphony, string quartets and sonatas – the classical music stronghold.

In 1761 he took employment with the Esterhazy family, a position he held for the rest of his life. Beginning with symphony no. 22 (the ‘Philosopher’, 1764) and continuing through the 1760s to no. 49 (‘La passione’), Haydn gained his maturity and inventiveness as a composer. In the set of quartets Op. 50 (1787), Haydn repaid the debt that Mozart had acknowledged in dedicating his own quartets to his Papa Haydn. Though he was isolated in Esterhaza, his popularity spread. He received invitations to travel.

London, 1791-1795

In 1790, on the death of Prince Nikolaus of the Esterhazy family, Haydn was free to accept invitation from the London impresario J.P. Salomon to go to England. His first visit to London (1791-1792), for which he composed six symphonies and an opera (not produced), was a huge success. This was followed by six more symphonies. These works confirmed his reputation as the most original composer of the genre during his time. Inspired by Handel’s oratorios he had heard in London, he composed two of his own: The Creation and The Seasons.

He retired in Vienna from 1803.

Haydn Works

In spite of huge advances made in the knowledge and performance of his music in recent years, the quantity of his output still awaits wide recognition, and some of his works are still unpublished. Haydn’s compositional works include: orchestral including symphonies, oratorios The Creation and The Seasons, chamber music, keyboard, operas including Armida, masses, cantatas, piano trios, piano sonatas, and songs.

Haydn Major Symphonies

  • Symphony No.6 “Morning”
  • Symphony No.7 “Midday”
  • Symphony No.8 “Evening”
  • Symphony No.22 “The Phliosopher”
  • Symphony No.48 “Maria Theresa”
  • Symphony No.45 “Farewell”
  • “Paris” symphonies including Symphony No.82 “The Bear” and Symphony No.83 “The Hen”
  • “London” Symphonies including Symphony No.94 “The Surprise,” Symphony No.100 “The Military” and Symphony No.101 “The Clock”

Music Education and School Culture: Growing a Musical Culture across the Whole Primary School

School music education should not be a world of its own. To attract and retain the maximum number of students it should have not just open doors but few walls. This means developing a living musical culture throughout the school. The following are a few of the more important points essential to growing that school culture. Because primary education is so important for a child’s musical development this article mainly looks at that context, but many of the observations could apply equally to secondary schools.

A Musical Culture Takes Time to Build

A viable, sustaining culture needs time to grow organically. Be active but patient. You need to plan for the long term, but be prepared to change plans when necessary. School traditions must allow some flexibility; react too rigidly and the culture will ossify.

The school culture grows between people. If they are not around long enough they cannot pass it onto each other. The growth requires some stability of staff and student population with a rate of loss and replacement just sufficient to stimulate vitality without collapse.

Personal And Collective Memories Are the Basis

The school culture must encourage students constantly to gather personal memories of musical experiences at the school. These memories will help them feel part of the musical culture. Build a collective memory of music in the school before their time – significant performances, performers, composers, teachers and events from those days of yore. It helps to know, too, what became of significant music teachers and students after they left the school.

To help the memories grow and be passed on the school can publish a music magazine, hand on recordings of performances, have a display of photographs that changes now and then, have older students telling younger ones stories of music in their earlier years. The possibilities are innumerable.

One extremely powerful way of keeping the culture strong is to bring to musical events guest artists who were formerly students at the school. As well as performing they can tell the audience of their stories of music in the place and of the road their music has taken since. This helps to make the distant past alive and vigorous in collective memory. If these guests have distinguished themselves musically following graduation, so much the better. Their example can help ambitious current students to envision possible musical routes for themselves beyond primary school education.

Balance School Tradition with Change and Creativity

A strong undercurrent of repetition is essential for the music culture to grow. For example, a number of special musical events should be repeated at least annually. But, within the school traditions, create new features for them each year to give freshness.

Make certain pieces of music standards for the whole school to sing repeatedly, both en masse and in smaller groups. The national anthem and the school song are obvious examples, but why not also have a couple of rounds that all the students can sing at assembly? A call-and-response song with the leader being a different student or teacher on each occasion can also be a big hit.

A Musical Culture Needs General Participation

The more inclusive the school’s musical culture the more vital it will be. Ideally nobody in the school should feel excluded from the music. The culture develops and sustains individuals to the extent that the whole school participates as both audience and musicians.

Therefore the specialist’s own program should aim to give a respectable place for contribution and learning by students of both sexes, all levels of ability, all learning styles, and all cultural backgrounds represented in the school population. For this purpose close attention must go to teaching methodology, types of instruments, repertoire, student grouping and many other aspects of the program .

Neither should age exclude teachers and other adults. They should have space in the school’s life to discuss with the children and each other their personal musical preferences, and either performing themselves or playing recorded versions.

A Musical Culture Should Permeate All Key Learning Areas

Music teachers should help general classroom teachers to incorporate music into their daily programs. It could take the form of recorded background music for silent work. Greetings can be sung. All the class can sing a well-known song as they change over from one lesson to another. Songs can be used as aides to memory, as when the children sing their multiplication tables or names of body-parts.

Music specialists should show an interest in and knowledge of other learning areas. Encourage students highly able in another learning area to use that ability in music. Good writers may contribute to a regular music magazine – maybe even editing and publishing it themselves. Thus a student’s non-musical interests can be used as a hook to engage them with music and contribute to the culture.

Musical School Culture Brings Benefits Across the Curriculuml

A strong musical culture throughout the school will lift the status of music education as a specialist curriculum area among staff, students and parents. Students will come to the specialist music program with a greater enthusiasm. Their skills and understanding will also be bolstered by their musical experiences outside of the specialist lessons, and so their progress is likely to be faster and more extensive. And in the process music can be contributing to the effectiveness of programs in other learning areas