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How Sweet It Isn't - The Most Un-Romantic Love Songs of Recent Times

Updated on July 7, 2010

So you want to make a playlist for your sweetie. Who doesn't like to hear a love ballad knowing that it reminds someone of them? It's one of the oldest and most effective ways to convey deep, romantic feelings to a person.

Its also really easy to blow it and use an inappropriate song, inadvertently sending the wrong message to the one you adore.

Everyone knows that "I'll Be Watching You," by The Police is about stalking someone and Meat Loaf's "I'd Do Anything For Love - But I Won't Do That" is already on everybody's "do not play" list. There are some more contemporary songs, though, that warrant a word of caution.

Bed of Roses - Bon Jovi

This song does sound rather sweet at the outset, and just get a load of the chorus:

"I wanna lay you down in a bed of roses
For tonight I'll sleep on a bed of nails
I wanna be just as close as your Holy Ghost is
And lay you down on a bed of roses

The truth, though, is the song ends up sounding like the lament of a guy who feels bad for cheating on his wife. Repeatedly. He's still doing it:

"While my mistress, she calls me, to stand in her spotlight again...Tonight I won't be alone, but you know that don't mean I'm not lonely."

Apparently, the lyrics are a clever play on words and Jon Bon Jovi is actually referring to his music career as his mistress. However, the object of your desire may not be aware of this. Unless she's already a Bon Jovi fan and knows the backstory, you might want to skip this one. Besides, this band came up with plenty of lovey-dovey songs to choose from without having to risk a misunderstanding between you and your dear one.

You're Beautiful - James Blunt

Aside from the author's personal dislike for the repetitive nature of this song, its theme is hardly romantic.

Guy sees random girl. Thinks she's hot. Really, really hot. But she's with some dude. Bummer. The End.

I won't copy down any of the lyrics here - if you've read the title of the song, you've pretty much got the gist of it.

Hardly an ideal love song to play for your amor.

Cupid's Chokehold - Gym Class Heroes

Here, again, the author admittedly has a bias against the song from an artistic standpoint but that's not what's important.

Gym Class Heroes has taken the 1970s Supertramp hit "Take a Look at My Girlfriend" and spun it in to a more lovey-dovey tune. Sort of. They have overhauled nearly the entire song, adding new lyrics like:

"But dad I'm finally thinkin' I may have found the one
Type of girl that will make you way proud of your son"

Aww, sounds awfully romantic. But wait. They left the original chorus in, which goes like this:

"Take a look at my girlfriend
She's the only one I got
Not much of a girlfriend
I never seem to get a lot

It's safe to assume here that most girlfriends would not appreciate that sentiment.

Lips of an Angel-Hinder

This one has the angst-ridden voice, filled with longing - which seems well-suited for a nice romantic song to play for your dear one. But the bubble gets burst right off the bat here:

"My girl's in the next room, sometimes I wish she was you.."

Ooh, that can't be good.

Hinder tries to make up for it with the chorus, which sounds lovely standing alone:

"It's really good to hear your voice saying my name
It sounds so sweet
Coming from the lips of an angel
Hearing those words it makes me weak

The bottom line remains, though, that he's basically saying, 'baby I love you, I pine for you, I can't resist you - I am so glad you called me! But, could you keep it down a bit? My woman might hear!'

Yeah, probably want to pass on this one.

With love songs from musicians across the board, from AC/DC to Andrea Bocelli, rest assured that you'll find something worthy of playing for the object of your fancy. Maybe a diverse combination of your favorite love songs from every genre would be most fitting.

There are plenty of good love songs to choose from out there and you should be able to create a killer playlist easily. Peruse iTunes or whatever music source you prefer - you may be reminded of a sweet song you had long forgotten about as you browse.

Most importantly, you passionate lover you, let your captured heart lead and you will know which songs are right for you and your liebling.


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    • RooBee profile image

      RooBee 5 years ago from Here

      Thank you cassidy247!! :)

    • cassidy247 profile image

      Chris Cassidy 5 years ago

      Great read roobee, enjoyed this!

    • RooBee profile image

      RooBee 7 years ago from Here

      Thanks, habee - you rock!:)

      Hi Mike - I appreciate your thoughtful comments! Agreed on the Moody Blues line (love them) and about older music being better in a general sense. Thanks!

      Hello Lisa,

      Thanks for reading the hub and taking the time to comment. I am actually aware of the connotations of the song. Some of my other readers already informed me of this here in the comments area, albeit in a much kinder way than you did. Nevermind, everyone has their own way about them!

      I actually plan to edit the hub to reflect the song's true meaning. I will still leave it on the list, though, since some "stupid" people might take the lyrics literally. The idea is to play a song that leaves no doubt in your love's mind as to how you feel. Unless said person is a Bon Jovi trivia expert, they might be unaware of the underlying meaning in Jon's clever lyrics.

      Thanks again for your input.

    • profile image

      Lisa Kilgore 7 years ago

      Are you really that stupid?

      Bon Jovi's "Bed of Roses" is awesome and when it says, "While my mistress, she calls me, to stand in her spotlight again...Tonight I won't be alone, but you know that don't mean I'm not lonely."

      He's talking about his music as the "mistress" and the concert is where he will stand in the spotlight and the fact that he will be with the band and thousands of fans, but he will still be lonely for HER, his wife!

    • Mike Lickteig profile image

      Mike Lickteig 8 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      My orientation is more toward older songs, but it seems easier to find un-romantic songs these days than it used to be (Meatloaf notwithstanding). There is a Moody Blues song from awhile back with a line in it that says, "...I don't know what it is that makes me ignore you..." From a band that seemed to specialize in romantic songs, that felt like a particularly nasty line.

      I would rather hear a romantic song than an un-romantic song any time. This was a good post, the first of yours I have read, and I will read more of what you've written. Thanks for sharing.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Great read. I was hoping you'd mention the supertramp song!

    • RooBee profile image

      RooBee 8 years ago from Here

      Oh, it will come. I've been a little slow on the hub production as I work on some other things, but the sequel will be made! I think you, me, and lxxy ;) could probably get along fine in the music dept. Ah, Type O Negative. "Love You to Death" was a romantic fave of mine - I mean, seriously - woooooo! :) I met those guys a couple of times, even got hit on heavily by Peter Steele. I was flattered, but RooBee's no dim bulb and knew better than to bite. He even gave me his real cell number, though. Man, I thought I was the coolest chick ever. 'Course I was just a dumb teenager, but I digress into stories of days gone by. Hehehe, thanks for setting me off on memory lane and thanks so much for reading my hub. :D:D:D

    • GeneriqueMedia profile image

      GeneriqueMedia 8 years ago from Earth

      Yes, a sequel.

      With yet more off kilter love songs. ;)

      I and lxxy's taste is also quite diverse. ;)

      There's so many great love songs by My Girlfriend's Girlfriend, etc.

    • RooBee profile image

      RooBee 8 years ago from Here

      sixtyorso - that is another one that gives it all away in the title. Perhaps a bit more innocent, though. Though I know it was considered risque at one time, what with all those leotards in the video. lol

      lxxy, I like both of those (my taste is more diverse than anyone I've met) but they didn't fit the hub. Perhaps another hub begs to be written..

    • RooBee profile image

      RooBee 8 years ago from Here

      MM, Yeah that one is pretty awful ("It Wasn't Me"). A friend was singing along to it once and I was like what the **** are you listening to?! :)

      The Toadies song is good. I always thought it was about a guy who wanted to turn the girl into a vampire. But, I guess that's romantic in its way...of course, I could be way off-base there. (Look at what I did w/ Bed of Roses lol)

      raiderfan, thanks for coming by. Ah, yes, that is one of the classic non-romantic songs. Yeah, there's no mistaking that one for a sweet serenade - the title is rather telling. :)

    • lxxy profile image

      lxxy 8 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

      Love Songs...

      ...I like Slipknot's "Vermillion," parts one and two. Oh, and White Zombie's "Blood Milk and Sky."

      Then again, I suppose I'm not the one to wate wub songs. ;)

    • sixtyorso profile image

      Clive Fagan 8 years ago from South Africa

      @ raiderfan Perhaps Olivia Newton John 'let's get Physical"?

    • raiderfan profile image

      raiderfan 8 years ago from Arizona

      what about "smack my bitch up" by prodigy?

      it is not as sexually romantic either.

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Hi RooBee,I've had the same reaction to some of those songs. How about that one,"It wasn't me" -- catchy, bouncy tune, but lyrics all about how the woman finds her man doing it on the bathroom floor with another woman. Oops!

      Here's another song that I find very haunting but am not sure if it is a love song or .... not! What do you think?

      Make up your mindDecide to walk with meAround the lake tonightAround the lake tonightBy my sideBy my sideI'm not gonna lieI'll not be a gentlemanBehind the boathouseI'll show you my dark secretI'm not gonna lieI want you for mineMy blushing brideMy lover, be my lover, yeah...Don't be afraidI didn't mean to scare youSo help me, JesusI can promise youYou'll stay as beautifulWith dark hairAnd soft skin...foreverForeverMake up your mindMake up your mindAnd I'll promise youI will treat you wellMy sweet angelSo help me, Jesus(hey, hey, hey)Give it up to meGive it up to meDo you wanna beMy angel?So help me!Be my angelBe my angelDo you wanna die?I promise youI will treat you wellMy sweet angelSo help me, JesusJesusJesusJesus...

      Toadies Possum Kingdom lyrics

    • RooBee profile image

      RooBee 8 years ago from Here

      BadCo! Fitting to praise song through prose. I am glad you've graced my page w/ a little poem. :D :D :D Lucky me, and thank you my friend!

    • RooBee profile image

      RooBee 8 years ago from Here

      sixtyorso, while not a big ND fan, I do appreciate your sentiment about music from the 60's. My iTunes playlist is quite huge and probably contains considerably more 'classic' music than contemporary. There is a lot of good stuff out these days, you just have to look a bit harder to find it as it's usually not being heavily promoted.

      Yes, I'll have to switch Jon and crew out for something else later today since I've realized the error of my ways. :)

      Thanks a lot for coming by for a read!!

    • RooBee profile image

      RooBee 8 years ago from Here

      Hello froggy :D Good Yoda impersonation! So, this is something about going to the theatre he says to you? For Fado, perhaps? (froggd's fabulous fado hub: ). Whatever it means, it sounds lovely! Ahhhh. Thanks for gracing my hub :D

    • sixtyorso profile image

      Clive Fagan 8 years ago from South Africa

      I am almost surprised that there are audible lyrics in today's songs. Now give me the sixties and the words to the love songs were great and clearly audible too. Great hub, lovely choice of songs (except for Bon jovi of course, as he is now back in your good books). Niel Diamond also had some great songs Sweet Caroline comes to mind.

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      RooBee - observant you are! *said in the style of Yoda* ;)

      Cupids' Chokehold was a great one ... poor girl lol! And maybe they should have read better the lyric of the chorus ...

      @Shiba - you like Romance languages hmmmm? Portuguese is such a one. Sounds soooo sexy when Simões says: Minha querida ... tenho blihetes de teatro para a próxima quinta-feira ;)

    • RooBee profile image

      RooBee 8 years ago from Here

      No, Whikat, Jon has resumed his iconical status in my world :) May have to find a different song than that one to pick on.. I saw Bon Jovi when I was a kid and Jon announced that after that show, he'd be heading for Vegas to get married to his longtime sweetheart. As you can imagine, I was crushed. I had fully planned on marrying him. Maybe that's why I was so ready to villify him - old bitterness... :)

      Reena, haha an age old question - what is IT that he won't do? Shave his back? Give up toenail-biting? Maybe she wants him to convert to another religion.. Makes for some pretty funny conversations. Now, you've really got me going. Thanks Reena :D

    • Reena Daruwalla profile image

      Reena Daruwalla 8 years ago from INDIA

      Yes there's a lot of songs that are just so unromantic and are supposed to be 'love' songs. Incidentally what is the 'that' that meatloaf will not do? Plastic surgery perhaps?

    • profile image

      Whikat 8 years ago

      Hey Roobee, It was an easy misunderstanding, could have happened to anybody. I am sure that I miss a lot of symbolism in songs. Happy to hear that your thoughts of Jon are not tainted. I think he is a good family type guy. :-)

    • RooBee profile image

      RooBee 8 years ago from Here

      Oh, Whikat! Go figure that the symbolism was totally lost on me! lol Good, I really like Bon Jovi (its a guilty pleasure haha) and always thought of him as such a good family guy type.

    • profile image

      Whikat 8 years ago

      LOL, RooBee, I think you should listen to Bon Jovi's song one more time, it truly is a great love song! He is not cheating, His mistress is music and the spotlight is the stage, and he will not be alone because he will be performing on stage in front of a bunch of fans which can still be lonely for some performers. The song is based on a performer on tour away from the love of his life. The song is actually about how distance does not change true love.

    • RooBee profile image

      RooBee 8 years ago from Here

      No, don't do it puppascott!! We have got to stand up for music, it is still being made out there, though you wouldn't know it to look at most popular stuff.

      Thanks for reading!

    • puppascott profile image

      puppascott 8 years ago from Michigan (As far as you know...)

      These are love songs (supposedly)? Wow, I must be out of touch. Maybe I should change the way I talk to women.

    • RooBee profile image

      RooBee 8 years ago from Here

      Oh, no, I was not saying that at all. Even if I thought that (which I don't) I wouldn't say it. I have seen those teeth!! :)

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 8 years ago

      You calling me a hag?! Well I may be a hag, but I got large, sharp teeth and I ain't afriad to use em - RAWR!! :)

    • RooBee profile image

      RooBee 8 years ago from Here

      shibashake, I agree - nothing like classical or a really romantic-sounding language! Aaah, yes - this is where ignorance can be bliss. They could be saying, "you are a hag," but if it sounds pretty I'll swoon. :)

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 8 years ago

      Great list RooBee. Gotta love that Jon Bon. :)

      I say just go for something with no lyrics like Chopin or Beethoven. Something in a different language works well too. Romance languages are always very sexy - doesn't matter what they are really saying ;)

    • Pete Maida profile image

      Pete Maida 8 years ago

      That is a good analysis. There are a lot of songs that are about lust more than love. In the early sixties all rock songs professed love because that's was the only way to get to first base in those days.

    • RooBee profile image

      RooBee 8 years ago from Here

      I would have to agree, and I often enjoy older music more anyway. I'd rather be cheered up by a song than brought down! Thank you, sweet Eaglekiwi! :D

    • Eaglekiwi profile image

      Eaglekiwi 8 years ago from -Oceania

      Glad someone else notices lyrics ,its funny years ago I think the songs were so much happier , and bubbly , and just improved the mood ,now its maybe a reflection on social attitudes which man oh man gloomy,cheating or plain violent!! Enjoyed it Roobee thankyou