Here’s the first playlist from our new music editor, Rachel; it’s smart and introspective, just like her.
The soundtrack for the Great Gatsby film isn’t what I expected, with songs from Jay-Z, Beyonce and Andre 3000, Q-Tip, will.i.am, Florence & The Machine… Where’s all that great music from the 1920s, I wondered? So to rectify my disappointment, I decided to make my own playlist of great love songs from the Roaring Twenties. Considering we’re just a few years from the 2020s, it’s amazing how well many of these songs have withstood the test of time.
I Wanna Be Loved By You | Helen Kane–You’ll probably immediately recognize this as the Betty Boop song. But have you ever stopped to listen to the lyrics? “I wanna be loved by you, just you, And nobody else but you…” So sweet.
Someone To Watch Over Me | Gertrude Lawrence–A simple song of longing. We’ve all been there.
Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall In Love) | Bing Crosby–A Cole Porter song, the original lyrics were racially offensive. Romantic, huh? But when Porter realized this (um, duh), he changed the lyrics to the better-known version: “Birds do it, Bees do it.” In spite of that tricky history, the sentiment behind this song still rings true — everyone knows that moment when you can either abandon yourself to love or hold yourself back. Be bold!Honey – Rudy Vallee
Honey | Rudy Vallee–A song of a man expressing love to his sweetheart, I do so hope that he is loved in return. “With your permission, no intermission There’s so much in my heart And so much to impart to you.” Those are some powerful words!
It Had To Be You | Marion Harris–This song, written by Isham Jones in 1924, held the top spot on the US Billboard chart for 15 weeks. It’s a sweet and simple tune with a slightly sad tinge as sung by Marion Harris, a singer who dominated music charts for much of the teens and twenties.
Yes Sir That’s My Baby | Gene Austin–A super upbeat and fun song about a guy who is proud of his gal, this song reminds me of more contemporary pop songs while still having that distinct 1920s’ flavor. Guaranteed to make you want to dance!
When My Baby Smiles At Me | Ted Lewis–Sometimes with old recordings it’s a bit difficult to make out the lyrics (okay, so this can apply to new recordings, too!), but this track has some sweet lyrics that anyone who has been in love can relate to. For example: “For when my baby smiles at me My heart goes roaming to paradise And when my Baby smiles at me There’s such a wonderful light in her eyes The kind of light that means just love The kind of love that brings sweet harmony I sigh I cry it’s just a glimpse of Heaven When my Baby smiles at me.” Swoon!
Always | Irving Berlin–This classic tune has perfectly complementary music and lyrics. Every note sings of true devotion, and that sentiment is beautiful and simply expressed in the lyrics. “I’ll be loving you always With a love that’s true always.”
Side By Side | Nick Lucas–Honestly, this song has never totally worked for me. I feel like the music and tune don’t match the serious earnestness of the lyrics, but it’s those lyrics that really get me! Check ‘em out: “Don’t know what’s comin’ tomorrow Maybe it’s trouble and sorrow But we’ll travel the road Sharing our load side by side. Through all kinds of weather What if the sky should fall Just as long as we’re together It doesn’t matter at all.” What is stronger than love?
Anna says: Here at Bridebird, music is crucial to our very essence. What I would obsess over at my wedding? The playlist. (Seriously; a likeminded friend just assembled 8 hours of music to play at his recent wedding, with different playlists at the ready in case people were bored, or sleepy, or pumped drunk.) In that spirit, we are thrilled to offer weekly playlists, inspired by a particular theme or feeling or pop cultural moment, that you can purchase over at Amazon, through our affiliate links, we hope. Our only request? To please purchase the music legally; stealing, just like a crappy DJ, is poor form. And we know, we know; we left something out/included a dumb song/generally have strange musical taste. Tell us all about it in the comments!