SALT LAKE CITY — In honor of Valentine's Day, we decided to ask a handful of musicians who have recently performed in Utah about their favorite love songs.
Here's what seven musicians had to say.
Lawrence Gowan (Styx)
"Stardust" is possibly the most romantic song I've ever heard. Although not from my era, I find it easy to relate to the point of view its timeless lyrics express. The singer cannot explain why he "spends the lonely nights dreaming of song," but in that dream he is able to conjure up the magic spell of a past love that he knows he'll never escape, nor wish to. The melody contains a wistful melancholy that flows effortlessly and honestly with the lyric. I get caught up in it every time. Two of my favorite versions (are) by Nat King Cole and Willie Nelson.
Gowan's runner-up: "Something," The Beatles.
My favorite love song is a Tom Waits song, "I'm Gonna Take It With Me When I Go." These lines just get me all the time:
"In a land there's a town, and in that town there's a house
And in that house there's a woman
And in that woman there's a heart I love
I'm gonna take it with me when I go.”
It sounds so off-the-cuff, and it goes directly to the heart of the matter of being with someone you can't be without.
Here is a love song for Valentine's Day of a different nature that I want to point you to: Zac Brown Band's "My Old Man." Now that I have a band (Mark O'Connor Band) with my son in it, I often think about that relationship as father and the important role fathers still play for their sons even as adults. The lyrics are beautiful and touch everyone who listens to it. (Note: The Mark O'Connor Band will open the Zac Brown Band tour summer 2018)
Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull)
Not many people in this day and age are fans of the genre of the Elizabethan Sonnet. One of my favourites is the piece by William Shakespeare, "It Was A Lover And His Lass.” ... It is, perhaps, technically a Jacobean piece as it was not published until after the death of Queen Elizabeth. Beautifully recorded by guitarist Julian Bream and Peter Pears.
Tom Gimbel (Foreigner)
Happy season of love!
My favorite love song is “Imagine” by John Lennon because, for me, it is about loving our fellow humans/planets/universe(s).
"Waiting for a Girl Like You," Foreigner
"Let’s Stay Together," Al Green
"Wild Horses," Rolling Stones
"Love Reign O’er Me," The Who
My favorite love song is “LOVE” by Kendrick Lamar. I like that real talk!!
Rich Williams (Kansas)
I'm going to break the rules a bit as I can't do this simply with one song. This song list is chronological. Each song represents my wife Debbie and I, and our journey together. We decided on these songs together, and it was easy to do as we have talked about this often. (It is important to note that it's not just the song, but the particular version of the song — not all are by the original artist.)
• "Superstar," Luther Vandross
It's hard to believe that this is the same song as the pop hit by The Carpenters, but the soulful yearning in this rendition reflects all the wants, needs and uncertainty of a new relationship.
• "No More Cloudy Days," The Eagles
Debbie and I had both gone through our share of heartaches. For the first time in a long time, there was something more positive on the horizon than just hope.
• “Forever and For Always” and “When You Kiss Me," Shania Twain
By now we are both completely all in! Every moment shared is exciting and new, still getting to know each other more completely, with new discoveries around each bend in the road.
• “Unanswered Prayers,” Garth Brooks
To completely understand this song, as many do, you need to have lived a similar experience. Great story. I definitely get it.
• “Broken Road,” Rascal Flatts
Gratitude to me was a word. I could look it up in the dictionary and understand the explanation, but it wasn't until Debbie helped me internalize the meaning of it into my heart, into my soul, that I knew gratitude. Today, I am so very grateful for each and every painful lesson I learned along my broken road. They brought me to her.
• "Fields of Gold,” Eva Cassidy
Anyone who has not heard Eva sing, heard her story, really needs to. I have never been as moved by any vocalist, male or female, as by Eva. She was one of the rarest who could make any song her own by simply singing it. The song itself was so well written by Sting, and Eva made it perfect.
It is a complete beautiful story of a relationship: (the) beginning, middle, and sadly, the inevitable end of one’s life. The last verse almost kills me: "You'll remember me when the west wind moves. Upon the fields of barley." It's honestly too painful to imagine this loss. It's not something we like to talk about. What I do know is that I am so profoundly grateful to have loved so deeply, no matter how deep the pain will be.