TDP Valentine’s Day Playlist: From the Screen & Vinyl

They say love is in the air… but sometimes it’s tough to feel. These songs, however, are guaranteed to add a little romance to your atmosphere. Sourced from romantic films across cultures, the star-crossed couples of high-nerdery, and the very best of jazz and pop, TDP presents you with a playlist to love- even if it isn’t the 14th of February.

1) “The Fountain Scene”- comp. John Williams, The Terminal Soundtrack

The Terminal somehow escaped fame, despite being born of Steven Speilberg’s mind and featuring Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones as a couple separated by cultures and norms. Even without the heat-warming dialogue and cinematography, John Williams’ composition stands on its own as a truly romantic song.

2)  “When You’re Smiling”- Louis Armstrong

A classic from an old age, “Pops” (Louis Armstrong) delivers a clichéd love song with his signature voice and big-band feel.

3)  “Love Grows”- comp. Nobuo Uematsu, Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy

Fellow nerds will attest- Final Fantasy VIII is not so much about a desperate quest to save the world, but rather about the developing relationship between a hardened, stoic bad-boy and a cheery, outgoing girl. “Love Grows” captures the ups and downs of their relationship, and the Distant Worlds Orchestra’s rendition of this video-game-romance anthem is hands down the definitive version of the composition.

4) “Por Una Cabeza”- perf. The Tango Project, Scent of a Woman Soundtrack

Al Pacino played a blind, bitter, foul-mouthed ex-colonel in Scent of a Woman, and yet, in this memorable scene, he was as loveable as anyone. A classic tango that will make for lovely Valentine’s Day dancing, if you can find a partner!

5) “Miss Misery”- Elliott Smith

A song that took home the Academy Award for Best Original Song in Good Will Hunting, Smith’s gentle voice and melancholy melody explore the sadness in love. Anything as wonderful as love certainly should have its downsides, and “Miss Misery” shows us just how groovy those downsides can be.

6) “Anyone Else But You”- The Moldy Peaches, Juno Original Soundtrack

Nerds need love too! The Moldy Peaches’s geeky, feel-good duet appeared in the 2008 film Juno and depicts a different kind of couple: awkward and unconventional, but with a love arguably stronger than any other.

7) “Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera”- comp. A.R. Rahman, Swades Soundtrack

This composition deals with the love between a man and the country he left behind; Swades chronicles Mohan Bhargava’s return to India after living a successful life in America for decades. His reacquaintance with his land, his culture, his people brings to light a love that stands as tough as any love between two people. If the Hindi lyrics are lost on you, the translation is only a Google search away…

8) “Prelude To A Kiss”- Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington was a swing titan, but his gentler, more romantic side was also a force to be reckoned with. While we cannot guarantee that this song will always lead to a kiss, your chances are always better when Duke Ellington is on your side.

9) “My Girl”- The Temptations

One of the original #1 hits by one of the original “boy bands”, “My Girl” is as charming today as it was when it first made young ladies swoon. Sing it to the lady in your life, and don’t forget to dance to it!

10) “So This Is Love”- perf. Dave Brubeck Quartet

Brubeck’s uptempo, lively take of the Cinderella tune is also a dance-worthy track, if you can keep up! Solos by Paul Desmond on alto saxophone and Brubeck himself on the keys round out one of the few bright love songs in the world of jazz.

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