A candle, flowers, a bottle of wine, a stray bralette, a box of chocolates, and a pair of headphones sit on a plush carpeted floor. Photo by Lexie Boren.

Valentine’s Day Mix from the Editors With Love

Bob Dylan – “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight”

This song holds so many beautiful memories, and I will forever associate it with all the feelings young love brings. The simplistic yet powerful lyrics combined with Dylan’s uniquely haunting voice take me back to the time in my life where I hadn’t a care in the world, and fleeting moments felt absolutely endless. For me, there isn’t another song that evokes the same feeling of absolute tenderness. (By Riley Hanna)

Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes – “(I Had) The Time Of My Life”

Yes it’s cheesy, yes it’s slightly overdone. But we all know that the lift at the end of “Dirty Dancing” is the height of the best semi-plotless summer dance/romance flick out there. It’ll make you want to take that special someone out on the floor — or boogie by yourself if you’re like me — and just enjoy cliché romantic finale ensemble routines (I don’t judge). (By Sydney Owada)

“What Could Be Better” from the Broadway musical “Bright Star”

As the resident theatre nerd at the Pioneer Log, I felt it was my duty to add a love song from a musical to this playlist. While there are certainly eligible songs from more famous musicals (“Helpless” from “Hamilton” and “Crazier Than You” from “The Addams Family,” for example) there is something so touchingly hopeful about “What Could Be Better.” When I first heard this song, I was immediately transported back to the feeling of first love. The two young singers are lost in each other, and the bluegrass underscoring of this song makes it feel less dramatic and more real than most Broadway songs. The rest of “Bright Star” may be much less optimistic, but this song beautifully captures the unique joy of falling in love for the first time. What can be better than that? (By Natalie Rich)

Miguel – “Adorn”

Such a sweet song that I somehow never get tired of. It reminds me of middle school dances and buying roses or candy for my friends. There are very few songs that make me feel warm and fuzzy and this is definitely one of them. (By Joanne Sally Mero)

Julee Cruise – “Rockin’ Back Inside My Heart”

I found my first love last summer and “Floating Into The Night” by Julee Cruise was the album I had on repeat at the time. “Rockin’ Back Inside My Heart,” specifically, evokes the naive beauty of falling in love. Cruise’s ethereal vocals and the gentle sounds of the song remind me of swimming in the warm night, laughing with my boyfriend. Pay attention to the lyrics of the last stanza; they are perfectly romantic. (By Tyler Short)

The Shangri-Las – “Give Him A Great Big Kiss”

’60s girl groups are an underexplored and underappreciated source for love songs, from The Ronettes, to The Crystals, to The Chiffons. I’m going with this song by The Shangri-Las which is an old-fashioned, playful ode to whichever endearingly crusty boy is the current the object of your affection. It has possibly one of the best first lines of any song. There’s no better music for pining, or perhaps getting up the gumption to go talk to someone. (By Catherine Cinguina)

Queen – “It’s Late”

I think this song beautifully reflects the difficulty of initiating something worthwhile in the presence of the self-doubt and fear that accompanies the situation. The song then proves how feelings of pride, and at the same time inadequacy, impair a relationship despite it being loving and genuine. The song ends with feelings of suspicion, both poised at one another and internally. By asking “What game are you playing?” and “Did I live my life right?” the song gets at the universal, structural and ultimately tragic issues that come along with a person loving another person. I love how much this song says about people and their intentions. It’s the most genuine and honest song about love that I’m familiar with. (By Mackenzie Herring)

Bright Eyes – “First Day Of My Life”

My pick is a tribute to my years filled with teenage angst. It’s a tribute to being newly-licensed and driving around after school in the rain, blasting this album and being as dramatic as possible — a time when every single little thing felt like the end of the world. Even now when I hear this song, I am instantly hit by a flood of emotions and have to remind myself, “You are not 16 anymore. Calm down.” While I am no longer that same angsty teenager (or a teenager at all, for that matter), Conor Oberst’s melody still has an undeniably powerful effect on me. (By Hanna Merzbach)

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong – “Dream A Little Dream Of Me”

A timeless love song that pulls all of my heartstrings. The beautifully written lyrics and the sweet jazz melody combine to make the perfect song for dancing to, kissing to and loving to. (By Lexie Boren)

The Avalanches – “Close To You”

The ideal Valentine’s Day is kinda sweet but mostly funky. Love is all about fun! (By Míceal Munroe-Allsup)

Billy Joel – “Just The Way You Are”

It’s a timeless classic, perfect for admiring that special someone and reminding yourself how lucky you must be. Or, if you’re alone this Valentine’s Day, it’s worth taking four minutes to appreciate Phil Woods’ incredible saxophone solo. Either way, this is the love song everybody should have in their Billy Joel repertoire, ideal for reminiscing on the past and savoring the present. (By Nic Nerli)

The Apache Relay – “Katie Queen Of Tennessee”

This song absolutely reeks of teenage romance. Its lyrics highlight the pure joy and elation one feels when experiencing their first love, and the compulsive drive to be with them across space and time. The upbeat tempo punctuated by the ascending swell of the violin remind me of high school lunches and cross country practices with my first love in the California sun, especially because he shared this song with me many moons ago. I usually detest jaunty tunes such as this, but I’ve made an exception in the name of love. “What shall be our destiny? To find true love, or tragedy?” is a rather fitting lyric considering the direction my first love went. Ah, hubris. (By Lauren Keegan)

Daniel Caesar – “Best Part (feat. H.E.R.)”

By far one of my favorite R&B hits of the modern era. This song puts the feeling of love into words. It tells someone what you might not be able to say to them otherwise. In any relationship this song characterizes what your partner means to you, and does it in a way that is smooth and emotional. A hit that could easily be the favored song of any romance. (By J’juan White)

Prince – “I Wanna Be Your Lover”

Moments after singing “I wanna be the only one you come for” in this 1979 single, Prince elaborates on the extent of his desire: “I wanna be your brother / I wanna be your mother and your sister, too.” While this may at first read as an incestuous assertion, it’s really a longing to receive all the love that his object of desire can possibly give. No matter what type of feeling you want to express this Valentine’s Day, however — tender romance, platonic affection, unadulterated lust — a Prince-less playlist is sacrilege. (By Ben Weinstein)

Bruce Springsteen – “Born To Run”

I’m skipping over the more obvious choice in Springsteen’s catalog, title-wise (that would have to be “Valentine’s Day”), but how could one pass up this exhilarating ode to young, amorous idealism? One of rock’n’roll’s most impassioned romantics, Bruce’s magnum opus is this 1975 anthem, a celebration of fiery love in the face of American depravity. Amid blazing engines and squealing tires, he cries out to his beloved, “I want to know if love is wild/Babe I want to know if love is real” — and, I mean, don’t we all? (By Brendan Nagle)

Leonard Cohen – “Suzanne”

This song has a very dreamy and romantic vibe to it, and it depicts an unspoken intimacy between people in love. Part of that intimacy is also a vulnerability that feels natural and unafraid, which you can really only express with someone you love. (By Madeleine Orona Burgos)

Nina Simone – “I Put A Spell On You”

Dubbed the high priestess of soul, Nina Simone’s hoarse, haunting voice and lyrics speak to her bold and unwavering objection to being treated wrong. For me, Simone’s fluctuating raspiness combined with the tenor sax conveys the sense of fury that relationships can bring when the rose-tint fades, reality strikes and you realize you have to fight for love. Simone concocts what many in 1965 considered the “devil’s music,” using witchcraft to tell her lover how she feels and delivering this enduring blues ballad to us. (By Alix Soliman)

Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton – “Islands In The Stream”

This song has everything: ’80s love ballad corniness, convoluted metaphors, Hemingway references, two pop country legends joined in harmony… Love is pretty goofy and that’s what makes this song so fantastic. It’s easy to picture a teen in 1983 flinging themselves on their bed in lovelorn anguish only to dance to it at their wedding some years later in shoulder pads, I assume. That is a sentiment that lives on, and it makes this song perfect for loudly singing in the car or anytime you see a stream. I can attest the other hikers will love it. (By Althea Billings)

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