1. “Lola” – The Kinks
It kind of sounds sweet enough to make it into a Valentine’s Day mix tape, but then again it’s about how the woman is really a man. So, there’s that. Avoid this one, unless, well, your woman is keeping something from you.
2. “Suspicious minds” — Elvis
Go ahead and accuse your significant other of cheating on you or being suspicious of you cheating. Plus, it’s a bit of a “thou doth protest too much” situation if you are telling your lover how much they shouldn’t be suspicious.
3. “Strangers in the Night” — Frank Sinatra
It’s like asking your partner: “Remember that time I had a one-night stand with a stranger, baby? Wasn’t that romantic for the two of us?” I’m all for Rat Pack, but just not this song. If you have to have this song, you can always throw the curveball and use the cover Cake did, it is pretty excellent.
4. “Elenore” — The Turtles
OK, a few key words you want to avoid in any love song lyrics: “Swell,” “et cetera” and “gee.” I mean, et cetera? Really?
“Elenore, gee, I think you’re swell /And you really do me well /You’re my pride and joy, et cetera.” These are just terrible lyrics. Unless your wife or girlfriend is named Elenore (which would probably make her about 95 years old), then just don’t use this song.
5. “Your Song” — Elton John
It’s a sweet song, but these lines trip me up. “So excuse me for forgetting but these things I do /You see I’ve forgotten if they’re green or they’re blue /Anyway the thing is what I really mean /Yours are the sweetest eyes I’ve ever seen.”
6. “Community Property” — Steel Panther
This song is hilarious, sure. But, well, I can’t put the lyrics in this article; just look them up and you’ll see. They don’t exactly scream “I love you.”
7. “When We Make Love” — Alabama
“When we make love/It’s more to me than just an affair/I want you to know how much I care.” Older country songs (read: real country songs) are all about heartbreak and cheatin’ and this one’s no different. Underneath all the sweet melodies is a song that’s about an affair. Well, it’s more than that, allegedly, but it’s still an affair.
8. “My Heart Will Go On” — Celine Dion
Every time your significant other hears this, they will think of the movie Titanic, which, at this point, isn’t helping anyone. Also, it’s terrible and annoying.
9. “I’d Do Anything for Love” — Meat loaf
This song has been taken through the wringer, but really, Meatloaf, what won’t you do? And why won’t you do it?
10. “Why Don’t We Do It In the Road?” — The Beatles
How about we don’t, Ringo. This is a fun song, but not really romantic. If you want that trippy band from Liverpool on your CD, try “Something” instead.
11. “God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You” — N*SYNC
Go ahead, put N*SYNC on your V-Day mix tape. Just be prepared to change your Facebook status back to single on Feb. 15.
12. “Loving You” — Minnie Riperton
This one isn’t so much the lyrics, but the awful singing. It’s painfully high-pitched, like she’s trying to fight off some strange demon that’s possessed her.
13. “Muskrat Love” — Captain and Tennille
This song is terrible. The lyrics speak for themselves: “Looks like Muskrat Love /Nibblin’ on bacon/Chewin’ on cheese /Sam says to Suzie /Honey, would you please be my Mrs /Suzie says, yes, with her kisses.” Also, muskrats have to be the least-romantic animals since the walrus.
14. “To Be With You” — Mr. Big
“Waited on a line of greens and blues/Just to be the next to be with you.” I mean … whether or not it’s about a prostitute, I’m sure all girls just want to be reminded of their previous lovers. And the weird thing is, this song makes it on so many wedding reception play lists.
15. “Living on a Prayer” — Bon Jovi
Because nothing says I love you quite like “it doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not.” Also it’s just a bad song, and you never want to think of your relationship as “living on a prayer.”