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Valentine's Day: One Guy's Guilty-Pleasure Love Songs

From Cyndi Lauper to Taylor Swift, here are a few tunes that might be blasted in my car, but only with the windows up.

I'm a man. I like cheering for the Bears. I eat big steaks. I consider Braveheart and The Big Lebowski two of my favorite movies.

And while I love the songs of the Rolling Stones, Bob Seger, Pearl Jam and other man-friendly artists, there are some less-masculine radio tunes that have a special place in my heart.  

We saw last week that men have a pop-culture soft side when we delved into our favorite romantic comedies. (.) This week, in the continued spirit of Valentine's Day, I'm putting myself out there and letting readers in on my favorite guilty-pleasure love songs.

What constitutes a guilty-pleasure love song? Simple. If you're a guy driving around with a male friend and a love song comes on the radio that makes you feel compelled to change the station in the interest of avoiding an awkward, Tommy Boy-like situation, it's a guilty pleasure.

(Like it was for Tommy and Richard, though, a guilty pleasure may be such a pleasure that you will not change the station and you will sing along.) 

So here are five of the best, in no particular order. (I have a lot more, but I don't want to take up too much of your time.) In the comments, tell me which ones are your favorites and which ones I missed.

Oh, and please don't tell anyone about this. 

Time After Time, Cyndi Lauper

Genre: Very 1980s Guilty Pleasure

Definitive lyrics:

"You say go slow,

I fall behind,

The second hand unwinds."

More Than Words, Extreme

Genre: Power Ballad Guilty Pleasure

Definitive lyrics: 

"All you have to do is close your eyes,

And just reach out your hands,

And touch me,

Hold me close, don't ever let me go."

 Unchained Melody, The Righteous Brothers 

Genre: Guilty By Association With A Steamy Pottery-Wheel-Based Movie Scene

Definitive lyrics:

"And time goes by so slowly,

And time can do so much,

Are you still mine?"

Kentucky Rain, Elvis Presley

Genre: Not-So-Guilty Pleasure

Definitive lyrics:

"Finally got a ride, with a preacher man who asked,

'Where you bound on such a cold, dark afternoon?'

As we drove on through the rain, as he listened I explained,

And he left me with a prayer that I'd find you."

Love Story, Taylor Swift

Genre: Very Guilty Pleasure

Definitive lyrics:

"You'll be the prince and I'll be the princess,

It's a love story baby just say, 'Yes.'"

Cathy Grimes February 14, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Hilarious! You may want to consider a 70's tune by Bread, "Baby I'm a Want You Sample lyric: Used to be I thought my life was passing by, then you came along and made me laugh and made me cry. You taught me why......... The entire album, Best of Bread, is not man friendly. Another suggestion: Celine Dion's, My Heart Will Go On. Sample lyric: Near, far, wherever you are I believe that the heart does go on Once more you open the door And you're here in my heart And my heart will go on and on Definitely do NOT ADMIT this one! It may not even be safe to sing with the car windows up and hermetically sealed. Last, but certainly in the running for worst, Patrick Swayze's, She's Like the Wind. The only line you need to sing before bursting into laughter and thoroughly destroying all your manhood for eternity: "She's like the wind through my tree"................ Thanks for a first thing in the morning laugh. Great article. I'm sure people will be sharing their "favorites" throughout the day.
Lisa February 14, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Your secret is safe with us Joe!
Joe O'Donnell (Editor) February 14, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Quick "next five:" 1. I Got You Babe, Sonny and Cher 2. I'll Be There, Jackson 5 3. The Luckiest, Ben Folds 4. We Belong, Pat Benetar 5. I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That), Meat Loaf
Joe O'Donnell (Editor) February 14, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Bread is a solid guilty pleasure, Cathy. Thanks for the tip.
Cathy Grimes February 14, 2012 at 02:43 PM
More EWWWWWWWWW! Would Paradise by the Dashboard Light count as a love song???? ;)
Joe O'Donnell (Editor) February 14, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Dashboard Light would definitely be a love song, but I personally would not feel guilty listening to it. I'd roll the windows down for that one.
Bob LeMay February 14, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Wow. So many to choose from! I put together a 20th Anniversary CD a few years ago (8, to be exact), and here is some of what I included (with some lyics). (Sorry if it leans a little country.) Best of Times, Styx Wedding Song, Paul Stookey When I Said I Do, Clint Black - “I meant that I will, ‘til the end of all time, be faithful to you, devoted and true, that’s what I had in mind, when I said ‘I Do’” If Ever I Would Leave You, Robert Goulet (Camelot) We’ve Only Just Begun, The Carpenters I Swear, John Michael Montgomery - “For better or worse, ‘til death do us part, I’ll love you with every beat of my heart…I swear” Sunshine of My Life, Steve Wonder Just Another Day In Paradise, Phil Vassar - “Kid’s screaming, phone ringing, dog barking at the mailman bringing that stack of bills—overdue—good morning, baby, how are you?...Well, it’s okay, it’s so nice, it’s just another day in paradise” I Will Be Here, Steven Curtis Chapman - “When the mirror tells us we’re older, I will be here to hold you…” Easy For Me to Say, Clint Black - “The thing you need to hear, way more than every day, can never be too clear, you know it’s easy for me to say: I Love You” Still the One, Orleans - “You’re still the one I want whispering in my ears” Something That We Do, Clint Black - “Love isn’t something that we find/we have/we’re in/the words we said/where we fall—it’s something that we do”
Joe O'Donnell (Editor) February 14, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Good to know I'm not alone on this thing, Bob.
Tony Cesare February 14, 2012 at 05:29 PM
1. I'm in You-Peter Frampton 2. I'm Not in Love-10cc 3. I'd Really Like to See You Tonight-England Dan and John Ford Coley 4. Flesh Storm-Slayer
Bob LeMay February 14, 2012 at 05:45 PM
And that wasn't all of them, just what would fit in the character limit!
Bob LeMay February 14, 2012 at 05:46 PM
I agree with #2, but was staying away from the sad, unrequited love songs...
Anthony Trendl February 14, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Pretty much the entire Chicago 17 album: "Stay the Night" (Peter Cetera/David Foster) – 3:49 "We Can Stop the Hurtin'" (Robert Lamm/Bill Champlin/Deborah Neal) – 4:11 "Hard Habit to Break" (Steve Kipner/Jon Parker) – 4:44 "Only You" (James Pankow/David Foster) – 3:53 "Remember the Feeling" (Peter Cetera/Bill Champlin) – 4:28 "Along Comes a Woman" (Peter Cetera/Mark Goldenberg) – 4:14 "You're the Inspiration" (Peter Cetera/David Foster) – 3:49 "Please Hold On"* (Bill Champlin/David Foster/Lionel Richie) – 3:41 "Prima Donna"* (Peter Cetera/Mark Goldenberg) – 4:33 "Once in a Lifetime" (James Pankow) – 4:11 "Where We Begin"** (Robert Lamm) - 3:53
Bob LeMay February 14, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Bread is a definite, although I was young enough (high school) to be more infatuated than in love!
Samantha Liss February 14, 2012 at 08:57 PM
This is hilarious! Now, I'm picturing you singing in the car.
Joe O'Donnell (Editor) February 14, 2012 at 08:57 PM
How about some non-guilty-pleasure love songs? Here are a few classics: "Only Love Can Break Your Heart," Neil Young "Midnight Confession," The Grass Roots "Hallelujah," Leonard Cohen "Michelle," The Beatles "She's A Rainbow," Rolling Stones
Charlotte Eriksen (Editor) February 16, 2012 at 04:42 AM
"Suspicious Minds," Elvis Presley... "We're caught in a trap, I can't walk out, because I love you too much baby" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTYg2Q-vDJ0&feature=player_embedded)

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