The great love songs of the 50s were some of the most popular tunes in music history. Indeed, these timeless little darlings are still great choices for couples to dance to at weddings and anniversaries even today. And who couldn’t use some classic romantic tunes playing in the background music during date nights or romantic evenings with your significant other. Which of these masterpieces is your favorite?
Love Me Tender by Elvis Presley (1956)
Released in 1956, Love Me Tender was one of Elvis’s first big hits, and it helped establish him further as America’s heartthrob. While many of his other early smashes had him gyrating to driving rhythms, Love Me Tender let him croon his way into the hearts of many a girl. Elvis’s lyrics capture great love and vulnerability: “Love me tender, Love me sweet/Never let me go.”
I Only Have Eyes For You by the Flamingos (1959)
I Only Have Eyes For You has been covered by many artists including Ray Charles and the Beach Boys. The Flamingos version was recorded in 1959 for Columbia records and is a great example of the smoky, crooning romance classic that was so popular in the ’50s.
In My Room by Patti Page (1953)
In My Room is an iconic love song that has been covered by many artists including the Beach Boys. The song is about a girl who’s in love with a boy and doesn’t want him to leave her, ever: “I wanna lock my arms around you tight/ I don’t care where we go if only for tonight.”
Please Love Me Tonight by Chuck Jackson and Maxine Brown (1957)
Please Love Me Tonight is a great example of the sweet, hopeful longing that was so popular in love songs from this era. The song tells the story of an uncertain girl who doesn’t know if her boyfriend will commit to loving her: “I’m just lovin’ you until somebody loves me/ I’ll make it easy for someone to love me/ I’ll make it easy for someone to care.”
Memories Are Made Of This by Dean Martin (1956)
Released in 1956, Memories Are Made Of This is a great representation of the optimistic, light-hearted side to 50s love songs. The song tells us that “memories are made of this” and while it’s true that we’ll always remember each other in times we’ve shared together, what will they be? Happy memories or sad ones? They end up being happy because Dean Martin sings about “the great times and the laughter” they’ve shared.
Let It Be Me by Les Paul & Mary Ford (1958)
Released in 1958, Let It Be Me is a great example of the 50s love song that’s more about heartbreak. The lyrics are about two people who have found each other and want to be together but for some reason can’t. They lament how much they wish what we had was “let it be me” because then they wouldn’t feel so bad knowing their loved one is hurting.
Put Your Head On My Shoulder by Paul Anka (1959)
Released in 1959, Paul Anka’s Put Your Head On My Shoulder is a great 50s love song that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The lyrics are about how the narrator loves to hold his loved one close and comfort her when she needs it most – with his shoulder as a pillow for her head.
When I Fall In Love by Nat King Cole (1954)
Nat King Cole’s When I Fall In Love celebrates the feeling of falling in love and all the great feelings it brings. The lyrics are about how when you find true eternal love after searching for so long, life will never be the same again because now you have someone to love and hold on to.
Broken Hearted (All Alone) by Ricky Nelson (1951)
Ricky Nelson’s Broken Hearted is about being heartbroken and feeling alone, but still believing that love will find you again. The lyrics are great because they’re so hopeful in the face of such a heartbreaking situation.
(Like Great 50s Love Songs? Then you might like our article on Love Songs of the 90s, click here.)