real love music mix
May 10, 2010 3:33 PM   Subscribe

so we all know lots of songs about love and relationships. but what about songs that approach relationships in a healthy and not creepy way?

as in, no thank you sting, but don't stalk me and every step i take. this is for a soundtrack/mix for a project to teach people about healthy relationship dynamics and showing real love, and there are going to be lots of fun opportunities to play a good mix soundtrack in the background.


my first one is "real love" by mary j.


ps extra points for any songs that are specifically for queer couples - that's the ultimate target audience for the mix - although i totally get that most songs are either vague or straight couple oriented
posted by anya32 to Human Relations (81 answers total) 89 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Queen, "You're My Best Friend."
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:41 PM on May 10, 2010 [3 favorites]

Best answer: There are going to be a million responses to this one. The first two songs that came to my mind were The Postal Service's "Brand New Colony" and Ingrid Michaelson's "The Way I Am." Two sweet simple songs about total acceptance and self-sacrifice for love.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 3:43 PM on May 10, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I humbly refer you to, like, all of the songs of Stevie Wonder.
posted by Skot at 3:45 PM on May 10, 2010 [9 favorites]

Also, Greg Brown's "Marriage Chant," which includes these wonderful words:

"marriage is unnatural
marriage is hard
you rotate your tires
you work in the yard
you fight about nothing
every hour or two
i wish i was married
i wish i was married
i wish i was married to you"
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:46 PM on May 10, 2010 [15 favorites]

Oooh, Skot, good one!

I also really like the simple domesticity of Mushaboom by Feist.
posted by chatongriffes at 3:47 PM on May 10, 2010 [3 favorites]

Nothing else Matters?
posted by ServSci at 3:47 PM on May 10, 2010

Be Still My Heart by The Postal Service
posted by Narrative Priorities at 3:52 PM on May 10, 2010

Maybe Concrete Blonde "I don't need a hero".
posted by dilettante at 3:52 PM on May 10, 2010

Magnetic Fields- The Book of Love is somehow both down to earth and terribly romantic at the same time.
posted by oinopaponton at 3:54 PM on May 10, 2010 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Lucky by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat.
posted by Morrigan at 3:55 PM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

I always thought Venus as a boy was a great depiction of sweetness and joy in a new (albeit hetero) sexual relationship.
posted by freya_lamb at 3:56 PM on May 10, 2010

"you can't talk to the dude" by Jonathan richman is a sort of wake-up call song.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 3:57 PM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

The album Synchronicity that Every Breath You Take is on is kind of a case study of obsession. So, in a real way it's all about understanding non-creepy love in terms of the also very real obsessive version of love. I understand that's not a helpful interpretation for your purposes so here goes:

SRV's Life by the Drop is actually about Doyle Bramhall's concern about Stevie's alcoholism, but it's also a palpably sincere gesture of affection.

I was gonna pick out a Stevie Wonder song or two but, seriously, all of them, albeit mostly pretty romanticized.. Signed, Sealed, Delivered because it's a stylistic counterpart to the ones already specifically mentioned.

Isn't Sabbath's Sweet Leaf also about Ozzy's wife?
posted by cmoj at 4:02 PM on May 10, 2010

Best answer: The Moldy Peaches "Anyone Else But You":
"You're a part-time lover and a full-time friend"

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy: "That's What Our Love Is":
"The smell of your box on my mustache / or a crossword on our mind"

and, hmm, on the queer tip... dang, that's harder. Try Baby Dee (trans woman balladeer) on Drag City records? Erm... will chime back in if something occurs to me.
posted by ism at 4:02 PM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: A lot of Greg Brown's songs fit the bill, to piggyback off MonkeyToes. I personally really like "Hey Baby Hey":

and as we go on through the deal
I know that we won't always feel
real wonderful
life ain't like that
but I want to stay right by your side
check out the view enjoy the ride
with all our loved ones

I want to plant a little garden with you now
take care of a piece of the earth somehow
and tend it when we're old and gray
and try to straighten up and say,
"well, I'm so glad to see you today"
hey baby hey baby hey baby hey
posted by vytae at 4:03 PM on May 10, 2010 [4 favorites]

Tim Minchin's "If I Didn't Have You" is a comedy song about the person you love not being your totally fictional soul mate, but instead a person who you choose and who chooses you and a relationship that is deepened by the time and work you put into it. My not greatly beloved not soul mate and I think it's terribly romantic, possibly because it reflects our own courtship so closely.
posted by mostlymartha at 4:03 PM on May 10, 2010 [9 favorites]

Postal Service, Such Great Heights (Ben Folds cover)
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 4:04 PM on May 10, 2010

"The Way We Met" by Morphine
posted by logicpunk at 4:04 PM on May 10, 2010

The Beatles' "Something."
posted by keever at 4:04 PM on May 10, 2010 [2 favorites]

Also, I think a lot of jazz standards (not torch songs) might suit. Blue Skies comes to mind.
posted by Morrigan at 4:05 PM on May 10, 2010

Best answer: Tex Perkins' Real Love.
It ain't jumping off bridges love
It ain't a sent from above love
Well sometimes it's dull love
But I love that dullness too

And it ain't in the kisses
It ain't getting your wishes
It's doing the dishes
Thats real real love
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 4:06 PM on May 10, 2010 [2 favorites]

At the risk of tainting my reputation, I think Bowling for Soup's "Smoothie King" fits well.

Love songs suck and fairy tales aren’t true
And happy ending Hollywood is not for me and you
And we are the lucky ones we’ll get matching tee shirts airbrushed at the mall
Hang out at the pretzel stand and make fun of people who laugh if someone falls
Watch everyone else hold hands and try so hard and maybe we’ll start to see
That you and me we’re not so crazy
posted by Night_owl at 4:10 PM on May 10, 2010

Normal Love -- Atlanta Rhythm Section -- album Champagne Jam

Normal love /
I need some normal love /
not a sicknesss or a madness /
just an everyday affair
posted by dancestoblue at 4:21 PM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Incredibly mawkish and hammer-handed, but Billy Joel's The Stranger.

Well we all fall in love
But we disregard the danger
Though we share so many secrets
There are some we never tell
Why were you so surprised
That you never saw the stranger
Did you ever let your lover see
The stranger in yourself?

Don't be afraid to try again
Everyone goes south
Every now and then
You've done it, why can't
Someone else?
You should know by now
You've been there yourself

posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:36 PM on May 10, 2010

Cold Fire by Rush conveys your desired message precisely and clearly, even on a first listening, and actually rocks unlike many sappy ones above.. kinda straight though.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:46 PM on May 10, 2010

In Spite of Ourselves

"She thinks all my jokes are corny
Convict movies make her horny
She likes ketchup on her scrambled eggs
Swears like a sailor when shaves her legs
She takes a lickin'
And keeps on tickin'
I'm never gonna let her go."

posted by MsMolly at 4:51 PM on May 10, 2010 [3 favorites]

Ooh I missed the queer request the first time. i'm not well versed enough to know the names of all the songs, but Scissor Sisters have several i the couple of albums that I've heard.
posted by cmoj at 4:58 PM on May 10, 2010

One of my favorite songs that looks at how interactions surrounding love actually work in real life is Prince's "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man." It's all about recognizing when people want different things out of a relationship and the relationship isn't going to work. So, it's not about a relationship per se, but it has a very healthy approach to relationships in that, where a normal pop song would be all "I'm hot and you're hot and that's all that matters," this song recognizes that relationships are much more complicated.

It also has an amazing guitar solo.
It was only last June when her old man ran away
She couldn't stop crying 'cause she knew he was gone 2 stay
It was 10:35 on a lonely friday night
She was standin' by the bar
Hmm, she was lookin' alright, yeah
I asked her if she wanted 2 dance
And she said all she wanted was a good man
And wanted 2 know if I thought I was qualified, yeah

And I said, baby don't waste your time
I know what's on your mind
I may be qualified 4 a one night stand
But I could never take the place of your man

It hurt me so bad when she told me
with tears in her eyes (tears in her eyes)
He was all she ever had and now she wanted 2 die
He left her with a baby and another one on the way
She couldn't stop cryin'
Cause she knew he was gone 2 stay
She asked me if we could be friends
And I said, oh, honey baby that's a dead end
U know and I know that we wouldn't be satisfied

And I said, baby don't waste your time
I know what's on your mind
U wouldn't be satisfied with a one night stand
And I could never take the place of your man
Yeah, yeah, the place of your man
posted by ocherdraco at 5:10 PM on May 10, 2010

And, yeah, that song is totally straight, but the dynamic of meeting someone at a bar and thinking they're an LTR prospect when they're really just hookup material crosses gender boundaries.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:12 PM on May 10, 2010

Tanya Donelly's album Whiskey Tango Ghosts.
posted by crush-onastick at 5:16 PM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

mary j - "be without you"
posted by citron at 5:17 PM on May 10, 2010

Rush's Entre Nous also seems indirectly relevant.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:18 PM on May 10, 2010

Living on a prayer
posted by Ys at 5:23 PM on May 10, 2010

It may or may not fit whar you're thinking, but the first song that came to mind was Gomez - How We Operate
Calm down
And get straight
It's not our eyes (?)
It's how we operate

You're true
You are
I'd apologize but it won't go very far

Please come here
Come right on over
And when we collide we'll see what gets left over

A little joy
A little sorrow
And a little pride so we won't have to borrow
Wherever you lead, I'll follow

Turn me inside out and upside down
And try to see things my way
Turn a new page, tear the old one out
And I'll try to see things your way

Please come here
Please come on over
There is no line that you can't step right over
Without you well I'm left hollow
So can we decide to try a little joy tomorrow
'Cos baby tonight I'll follow

Turn me inside out and upside down
And try to see things my way
Turn a new page, tear the old one out
And I'll try to see things your way

The way that we've been speaking now
I swear that we'd be friends, I swear
'Cos all these little deals go down with
Little consequences, we share, we share

Turn me inside out and upside down
And try to see things my way
Turn a new page, tear the old one out
And I'll try to see things your way

And I'm gonna love you anyway
Try to see things your way
Try to see things your way
Try to see things your way

this perhaps is not an indication that i have the best relationships.
posted by flaterik at 5:28 PM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros- Home
posted by pecknpah at 5:29 PM on May 10, 2010

Best answer: My personal favorite is this Bright Eyes song.
posted by simulacra at 5:39 PM on May 10, 2010 [3 favorites]

One of my absolute favorite songs is the wonderful tune "Side By Side," written all the way back in 1927 by Gus Kahn and Harry Woods. There are many good versions – Patsy Cline does one – but my favorite is the popular one done by Kay Starr. And while a popular song from 1953 is not as likely to be queer, well, since it's a duet between two women, it's always seemed sort of queer to me.
posted by koeselitz at 5:41 PM on May 10, 2010

How about Lucinda Williams:
"You wait in the car on the side of the road
Let me go and stand awhile, I want to know you're there but I want to be alone
If I stray away too far from you, don't go and try to find me
It doesn't mean I don't love you, it doesn't mean I won't come back and
stay beside you
It only means I need a little time..."
posted by salvia at 5:45 PM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Oh, also check out The Light by Common. It's a love song from a man to a woman but has some good stuff. (it's also a bit underwhelming in a few spots.)
posted by salvia at 5:53 PM on May 10, 2010

I always get that feeling from Iron & Wine, especially "Each Coming Night" and his cover of "Such Great Heights"
posted by OLechat at 6:01 PM on May 10, 2010

Sweetie, Josh Rouse is a fave of mine.
Love Vibration also Rouse.
America, Simon & Garfunkel
It Ain't Me, Babe, Johnny Cash, June Carter
In These Arms, the Swell Season
I also like: Gladys & Vernon, Bap Kennedy. no youtube sadly
posted by raztaj at 6:04 PM on May 10, 2010

Stickshifts and Safetybelts by Cake.
posted by 8dot3 at 6:18 PM on May 10, 2010

Best answer: Angel Mine (Cowboy Junkies)
He searched for those wings that he knew
That this angel should have at her back
And although he can't find them
He really don't mind
Because he knows they'll grow back
And he reached for that halo that he knows
That she had when she first caught his eye
Although his hand came back empty
He's really not worried
'cause he knows it still shines

I can't promise that I'll grow those wings
Or keep this tarnished halo shined
But I'll never betray your trust
Angel mine

I search all the time on the ground
For our shadows cast side by side
Just to remind me that I haven't gone crazy
That you exist and are mine
And I know that your skin is as warm and as real
As that smile in your eyes
But I have to keep touching and smelling
And tasting for fear it's all lies

I can't promise that I'll grow those wings
Or keep this tarnished halo shined
But I'll never betray your trust
Angel mine

Last night I awoke from the deepest of sleeps
With your voice in my head
And I could tell by your breathing
That you were still sleeping
I repeated those words that you had said

I can't promise that I'll grow those wings
Or keep this tarnished halo shined
But I'll never betray your trust
Angel mine

Feels Like Home (Randy Newman)

something in your eyes
makes me wanna lose myself
makes me wanna lose myself
in your heart

something in your voice
makes my heart beat fast
hope this feeling will last
the rest of my life

if you knew
how lonely my life has been
and how low i've felt for so long
if you knew
i wanted someone to some along
and change my world
the way you've done
it feels like home

feels like home to me
feels like i'm on my way back
where i come from
feels like home
feels like home to me
feels like i'm on my wayback
where i'm from

with your embrace
down a long dark street
and a sigh of wind in the night
it's alright
cause i have you here with me
and i can almost see
the dark feels light

if you knew
how much this moment means to me
and how long i've waited for your touch
if you knew
i wanted someone to come along
i never thought i'd love anyone
so much

feels like home
feels like home to me
feels like i'm on my way to where i come from
feels like home to me
feels like home to me
feels like i'm on my way back to where i belong
feels like i'm on my way back to where i belong
posted by headnsouth at 6:18 PM on May 10, 2010 [2 favorites]

The Zombies - Friends of Mine takes a cheery and nice tone towards a rarely-discussed part of the love thing - the happy friend of a couple. Plus it's the &(* Zombies, so of course it's sweet.
posted by tmcw at 6:20 PM on May 10, 2010

The Magnetic Field's '69 Love Songs' triple album might be good for digging into. I think Stephin Merritt (the writer of the songs) has a very healthy sense of relationships, and many of the funniest songs on that album are funny precisely because they skewer the pop-song version of romance. Also it's a very queer-friendly album. The story goes that they chose who would sing which songs out of a hat, so the orientations of the songs are all over the map.

Good songs on the album specific to your request:
'chicken with it's head cut off'
'love is like jazz'
'papa was a rodeo' (bonus - 'love was a trucker's hand'!!)
posted by kaibutsu at 6:24 PM on May 10, 2010

Judy Blue Eyes by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young has one of my favorite lines in a love song, "Fear is the lock, and laughter the key to your heart." The whole is good, although it's more about a long-standing, time-tested love than young love (another great line: "Don't let the past remind you of what we are not now.")

Another favorite of mine, and perhaps a bit more modern - the Blow's Parentheses:

"And when you're holding me
we make a pair of parentheses.
There's plenty space to encase
whatever weird way my mind goes,
I know I’ll be safe in these arms."
posted by shaun uh at 6:29 PM on May 10, 2010

Best answer: Lots of folks I know like Somebody by Depeche Mode. Also, there's a really nice live version of Ben Harper's "Beloved One" floating around out there.

Others that might work:

Let's Fall in Love - Louis Armstrong
Ev'ry Day - Nat King Cole
I'm in Love WIth a Girl - Big Star
Love is Here Tto Stay - Billie Holiday
Anyone Else But You - The Moldy Peaches (we had it on our wedding CD a year before Juno came out, so there)
The Mayor of Simpleton - XTC
posted by dogwelder at 6:30 PM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Chiming in with more Greg Brown love, I've always thought that "Who Woulda Thunk It" expresses a sort of comfortable acceptance of the way we change both individually and as partners in a relationship as we age. (Feel free to ignore the images in the video, as they're completely unrelated.)
posted by Lexica at 7:08 PM on May 10, 2010

unchained melody
posted by Max Power at 7:14 PM on May 10, 2010

"Me and My Bitch" by Biggie? May not exactly be what you're looking for.

Defintely check the Mary J Blige and Method Man track "All I Need"
posted by gnutron at 7:22 PM on May 10, 2010

Has anyone done a good recording of the Song of Solomon? Because that shit is dope. And timeless.
posted by Benjamin Nushmutt at 7:33 PM on May 10, 2010

I think Tom Waits' Kentucky Avenue is one of the most achingly romantic love songs I have ever heard; I tear up every single fucking time I hear it.

The lyrics don't sound it at first blush, but I hear the singer welcoming a new love into his life and wanting to share everything with him/her. Al these mundane and bizarre things that obviously mean so much to the singer, these warnings and promises...

Eddie Grace's buick got 4 bullet holes in the side
Charlie Delisle sittin' at the top of an avocado tree
Mrs storm'll stab you with a steak knife if you step on her lawn
I got a half pack of lucky strikes; come along with me
Let's fill our pockets with macadamia nuts
Then go over to bobby goodmanson's and jump off the roof

Hilda plays strip poker when her mama's across the street
Joey Navinski says she put her tongue in his mouth
Dicky Faulkner's got a switchblade and some gooseneck risers
That eucalyptus is a hunchback
Theres a wind up from the south
Let me tie you up with kite string
And I'll show you the scabs on my knee
Watch out for the broken glass, put your shoes and socks
On and come along with me

Let's follow that fire truck
I think your house is burnin down
The go down to the hobo jungle and kill some rattlesnakes with a trowel
We'll break all the windows in the old Anderson place
And steal a bunch of boysenberries
And I'll smear 'em on your face
I'll get a dollar from my mamas purse
And buy that skull and crossbones ring
And you can wear it around your neck on an old piece of string

Then we'll spit on Ronnie Arnold
And flip him the bird
And slash the tires on the school bus
Now don't say a word
I'll take a rusty nail and scratch your initials in my arm
I'll show you how to sneak up on the roof of the drugstore

I'll take the spokes from your wheelchair and a magpies wings
And tie 'em to your shoulders and your feet
I'll steal a hacksaw from my dad
Cut the braces off your legs
And we'll bury them tonight in the cornfield

Put a church key in your pocket
We'll hop that freight train in the hall
And we'll slide down the drain all the way
To new orleans in the fall
posted by chazlarson at 7:37 PM on May 10, 2010

Popularity by Sparks
I like you and you like me a lot
And we do those things that can make us feel hot
Then we join some friends, all of them are all right
And we talk a while, then we climb in our cars

What a night, we all drive into town
Where we'll park our cars, and meet the rest of our friends
At a place that's called, I forget what it's called
But it's really great, and all our friends will be there


I like you and you like me a lot
And it's nice to be all alone with you too
But it's also nice being out with our friends
Cause they're all all right, maybe that's why we're friends


I feel great, but it's getting real late
So I'll drive you home and you'll slide up real close
I'm so glad we met, and I like you so much
And I'm also glad that I got all those friends
posted by Oriole Adams at 8:02 PM on May 10, 2010

Not exactly sure it fits, but I was just thinking today about how damn much I love the Liars' "The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack"; I think it's the perfect wedding song. You care, but you're not declaring stalkerish over the top intentions, just assuring you'll be there for each other in the sweetest, simplest terms.

i won't run far
i can always be found
if you need me
i can always be found
if you want me to stay
i will stay by your side
i won't run far
i can always be found
i will stay by your side
and i want you to find me
so i'll stay by your side
if you need me
i can always be found
i won't run far
i can always be found

posted by ifjuly at 8:20 PM on May 10, 2010

I humbly refer you to, like, all of the songs of Stevie Wonder.

Except maybe Part Time Lover
posted by ValkoSipuliSuola at 8:59 PM on May 10, 2010

May I submit Dimming of the Day by Richard Thompson?

This old house is falling down around my ears
I'm drowning in a river of my tears
When all my will is gone you hold me sway
I need you at the dimming of the day

You pull me like the moon pulls on the tide
You know just where I keep my better side

What days have come to keep us far apart
A broken promise or a broken heart
Now all the bonnie birds have wheeled away
I need you at the dimming of the day

Come the night you're only what I want
Come the night you could be my confident

I see you on the street in company
Why don't you come and ease your mind with me
I'm living for the night we steal away
I need you at the dimming of the day
I need you at the dimming of the day

posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 9:04 PM on May 10, 2010

September Song!
posted by No-sword at 9:15 PM on May 10, 2010

Best answer: I really love the lyrics of this Dar Williams song, although it's a fairly slow, folky song so maybe not perfect for your purposes:

In Love But Not at Peace

Love took a long time, it followed me here
And it landed on light feet, and it whispered in my ear
Love spoke of my past as a valuable test
And smiled, and said she who loves last loves best
'Cause you know life is hard, but now you also know your mind,
So now you're going out to love, but on your own side this time
Where you still think of famine, and you still dig up train fare
And you won't mind the wrinkles, 'cause you know how they got there
In love but not at peace
In love but not at peace...

...So I'll keep you wondering what time I'm arriving
And you'll drive me crazy with your backseat driving
And I'll talk in my sleep and you'll steal all the covers
We'll argue it out and we'll call ourselves lovers
And I'll stay in my body and you'll stay in your own
'Cause we know that we're born and we're dying alone.
So we turn out the light while the sirens are screaming
And we kiss for the waking, and then join the dreaming.
In love, but not at peace
In love, but not at peace.

posted by wholebroad at 9:24 PM on May 10, 2010 [3 favorites]

The Beatles' "In My Life" is about loving someone more than your past, while conceding that past still has lots of meaning.

Bob Dylan's "Shelter from the Storm" (IMO) is about how a lover forms you.

The latter uses the she pronoun, but the former is pronoun neutral and has been covered fairly evenly by men and women.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 10:02 PM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

I Will Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie. I don't find it creepy even though it is about death.
posted by benzenedream at 12:19 AM on May 11, 2010

In Spite of Ourselves -- John Prine
posted by benzenedream at 12:27 AM on May 11, 2010

I've always liked "In Your Eyes" by Leslie Spit Treeo.
posted by orange swan at 5:43 AM on May 11, 2010

Best answer: Whoa, whoa, if we're going to break out the Billy Joel, it has to be: Just the Way You Are.
posted by Skwirl at 6:27 AM on May 11, 2010

Seconding Somebody, by Depeche Mode. I have always loved these lyrics:

Though my views may be wrong,
They may even be perverted
She’ll hear me out
and won’t easily be converted to my way of thinking
In fact, she’ll often disagree
But at the end of it all, she will understand me

Also, Head Over Feet, by Alanis Morissette:

You are the bearer of unconditional things
You held your breath and the door for me
Thanks for your patience
You're the best listener that I've ever met
You're my best friend
Best friend with benefits
What took me so long
I've never felt this healthy before
I've never wanted something rational
I am aware now

And Can You Stand the Rain – the version I know is by Boyz II Men (though they are not the original artists):

Love unconditional - I'm not asking this of you
And, girl, to make it last I'll do whatever needs to be done
Sunny days- everybody loves them
Tell me, baby, can you stand the rain?
Storms will come, I know, I know, all the days won't be perfect
This we know for sure
But tell me can you stand it?
posted by yawper at 7:20 AM on May 11, 2010

Speaking of Cowboy Junkies: There's good stuff on One Soul Now, like "Why This One"

Another night in bed with you / Another day beside you gone.
Slipping softly off to sleep / You say, "do you ever wonder why this one?"
A dusty simple-minded piece of fiction.
Strange and odd, twisted as a contradiction.
A glittering jewel of flaws and celebration.

I also think "When it all blows over" by Echo & the Bunnymen is a very mature love song.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:41 AM on May 11, 2010

"My Monkey" by Jonathan Coulton
posted by athenasbanquet at 8:32 AM on May 11, 2010

Can't believe no one has mentioned "Real Love" by the Beatles in Anthology 2 (post John Lennon, which makes it even more loving, IMO, YMMV)
posted by omegar at 10:19 AM on May 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Arnie by Robbie Schaefer:

I've got a roof above my head
And I've got food to eat..
My children sleep safe at night,
when they lay to sleep.
And I'll never be famous,
But my best friend is my wife.
Lord, that's the way to live your life.

Also, from the same album (Someday), a song called Diner is the love song of a diner waitress and a regular customer.

And thirding Cowboy Junkies, though my example would be Ring on the Sill:

He puts her ring on her finger,
She brushes back his hair
He takes a sip from his glass,
She inhales the cold fall air
And they're thinking of the long road ahead
And the strength that they will need
Just to reach the end
And there in the silence they search for
The balance between this fear that they feel
And a love that has graced their lives
posted by timepiece at 10:58 AM on May 11, 2010

No idea how this popped into my head but
My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors by Moxy Früvous?

"I like to go out dancing
My baby loves a bunch of authors
We'll be together for ages
Eatin' and sleepin' and turnin' pages"
posted by onell at 11:01 AM on May 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Brighter Than Sunshine by Aqualung. The music video (linked) is also extremely powerful and emotionally moving.
posted by HeKilledKennedy at 11:35 AM on May 11, 2010

How about Tegan and Sara? They're very openly gay (not with each other, they're twin sisters), although their lyrics are usually not gender-specific. Nearly all of their songs are about love and relationships; most of them are sad, about relationships that are ending or were never meant to be, but one notable exception is I Know I Know I Know. (Okay, so the "stick your heart inside of my chest" line is a little odd, but otherwise I think it works.)

You could also try When I Get Up (occasionally referred to as "I've Got You") - although maybe the lyrics aren't quite what you're after (neglecting your physiological needs over love? can you trust your audience not to take it literally?). Also, it hasn't been released on a studio album, so it might be a little tricky to get a hold of, although I bought a nice live version of the track from one of the Bridge School Collections on iTunes.
posted by sigmagalator at 12:49 PM on May 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

"Not Given Lightly" by Chris Knox (ex Toy Love and Tall Dwarfs) - a song I love for it's honesty about a long-term relationship, and the hard work it can sometimes be - and the rewards! Not a gay song, sorry, in fact it is specifically a "love song for John and Leisha's mother" ...

When we're alone I cannot always face you
Maybe my mood won't let these arms embrace you
That doesn't mean my love's somehow diminished
Give me the time to show our love's unfinished

cause it's you that I love
and it's true that I love
and it's love not given lightly
But I knew this was love
And it's you that I love
And it's more than what it might be

posted by Catch at 1:53 PM on May 11, 2010

Okay, this is probably more about the delivery than the lyrics, but - You are so Beautiful - Joe Cocker
posted by MexicanYenta at 3:45 PM on May 11, 2010

Response by poster: thank you everyone for the amazing amazing suggestions! i wanted to "best answer" all of them but figured that wasn't allowed. when the mix is made i will be sure to post the playlist here. thanks again!
posted by anya32 at 9:39 AM on May 12, 2010

"Baby Got Back" is an enthusiastic celebration of the female form and loving your girlfriend's healthy curves. Really!
posted by Jacqueline at 11:56 AM on May 12, 2010

This is an old thread & hopefully a wonderful mix was made, but how about Melissa Etheridge? She's known for gender non-specific lyrics (even before she was out). A song of hers that seems to fit your bill is Feels Like Home.
posted by salem at 7:11 AM on October 24, 2010

Hey, I'm looking for a love song playlist right about now... where's the promised mix? :D
posted by Night_owl at 12:48 AM on November 10, 2010

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