Love is a complex and sometimes forbidden emotion. It can make us act in ways we never thought possible and experience a range of conflicting emotions. Forbidden love, in particular, is a theme that has long been explored in many art forms, including music.
Whether it’s love between people from different backgrounds, those in relationships with others, or taboo relationships, these emotions can be captured in beautiful and heart-wrenching love songs. Join us as we explore some of the best and most unforgettable forbidden love songs of all time.
“Careless Whisper” – George Michael
“Careless Whisper” is an enigmatic anthem that encapsulates the turbulent feelings of forbidden love with a collection of complex cadences. George Michael’s audacious voice, veiled in melancholic melodies and vivid harmonies, generates an emotional depth that plunges the audience into a sea of feelings.
With its sultry saxophone interlude and poignant lyrics, this song remains a timeless classic that stirs up a plethora of emotions, leaving listeners in a state of profound bewilderment.
“I Will Always Love You” – Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” is a timeless ballad that speaks to the bittersweet nature of forbidden love. With soaring vocals and heartfelt lyrics, Houston captures the pain and longing of a love that cannot be.
The song’s emotive power is undeniable, and it has become an icon of love and loss that continues to resonate with audiences of all ages.
“I Want to Hold Your Hand” – The Beatles
“I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles is a quintessential anthem for those enveloped in a notoriously daunting affair. With harmonic chord progressions and a romantic melody, it encapsulates the visceral emotion of longing and enamor above forbidden love.
The British Invasion’s take on the traditional love song caught fire across the globe for its straightforward expression of yearning, making it a timeless classic loved by those stuck in the throes of love’s forbidden pangs.
“Can’t Help Falling in Love” – Elvis Presley
“Can’t Help Falling in Love” is a classic love ballad that captures the essence of forbidden love. It describes the helpless feeling of falling for someone you know you shouldn’t, and the struggle of trying to resist that attraction. The yearning melody and poignant lyrics evoke feelings of bittersweet longing and the inevitable heartbreak that comes with forbidden love.
This song is a timeless reminder of the power of romantic yearning and is sure to incite a tumult of emotions in listeners of all ages.
“You’re Beautiful” – James Blunt
“I Just Called to Say I Love You” – Stevie Wonder.
“I Just Called to Say I Love You” is an addictive and giddily romantic song that speaks to the sheer passion and energy of forbidden love. With its upbeat, effervescent sound and Stevie Wonder’s soaring vocals, the track captures the dizzying, all-consuming feeling of being head over heels for someone you know you shouldn’t be with.
Whether you’re pining over a crush who’s already taken, or sneaking around with a partner you’re not supposed to be seeing, this song will have you singing your heart out and dancing like nobody’s watching.
“Every Breath You Take” – The Police
“Every Breath You Take” by The Police is a classic example of a forbidden love song. At first listen, it may seem like a romantic ode to devotion and loyalty, but a closer look reveals the dark and obsessive nature of the lyrics. The narrator declares “every move you make, every vow you break, every smile you fake, every claim you stake, I’ll be watching you.”
The song becomes an eerie tale of a stalker, who is in love but his love is not reciprocated. This perplexing and twisted portrayal of love makes it a captivating but forbidden love song.
“My Heart Will Go On” – Celine Dion
“My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion is an enrapturing ballad that continues to resonate with hopeless romantics across generations. Permeated with unattainable passion, it tells the tale of forbidden love with a degree of perplexity that is almost tangible. Dion’s powerful performance bursts with heartfelt longing and emotional intensity that leave listeners captivated and touched.
Its haunting melodies and evocative lyrics make it an ideal anthem for those who have loved and lost, compelling us to cling to memories of passion that we can never hope to reclaim.
“Just the Way You Are” – Bruno Mars
“Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars is a pop ballad that lures the listener with its aesthetic melody and dreamy lyrics. It’s a song that poetically encapsulates the rawness and innocence of a lover’s heart for their beloved, regardless of societal barricades.
Bruno Mars passionately croons about how his lover doesn’t have to change, celebrating the purity in their personality quirks, flaws, and all. It’s a forbidden love song that leaves one in awe of the beauty of love and all its mysterious depths.
“One More Night” – Maroon 5
Forbidden love is a complicated and often heartbreaking theme in music, and Maroon 5 delves into it with “One More Night.” The lyrics hint at a tumultuous relationship, with the narrator waxing poetic about the allure and danger of being with someone they know they shouldn’t.
The song’s upbeat, poppy vibe is in direct contrast to its melancholy subject matter- a fitting manifestation of the dizzying highs and lows that come with forbidden love.
“Kiss Me” – Sixpence None the Richer
“Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer is a sultry and captivating tune that speaks to the heart of what it means to be in love with someone you can’t have. The lyrics are full of longing and passion, and the melody is hauntingly beautiful, sure to get stuck in your head for hours on end.
It’s a perfect example of a forbidden love song, with its subject matter focused squarely on the highs and lows of a relationship that can never be. This is the song you turn up when you’re alone late at night, lost in thought and feeling.
“I’ll Be There for You” – The Rembrandts
“I’ll Be There for You” by The Rembrandts tells the story of a forbidden love that cannot be pursued. The lyrics paint a picture of two friends who feel a deep connection and yearn for something more, but are bound by circumstance and societal expectations. The use of subtle language and metaphors gives the song a unique twist that leaves the listener feeling both confused and intrigued.
The melody is catchy and upbeat, creating a sense of excitement and urgency that perfectly captures the emotion of forbidden love.
“L-O-V-E” – Nat King Cole
This tune makes me feel some kind of way with its interlocking melody, and smooth restrained vocals. One of the greatest love songs of all time, it’s so pure and simple in its delivery that it makes me emotional every time I hear it.
With l-o-v-e in the air, it’s perfect for those moments when you can’t help but feeling a little in love with someone who is totally out of reach.
“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” – Aerosmith
“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith is a timeless classic that captures the essence of forbidden love. The song’s emotional power and soaring melodies underscore a sense of longing and desire that resonates with anyone who has ever loved someone they couldn’t have.
With its powerful rock balladry and poetic lyrics, this song speaks to the universal experience of being consumed by a love that cannot be fulfilled, yet we still hold onto that hope and desire, even if it’s painful.
“Something” – The Beatles
“Something” by The Beatles is an exemplar of forbidden love songs. This vibrant ballad offers a tribute to a complex yet romantic love, evoking powerful emotions. Written by Harrison, the song aptly describes the allure of a love that defies all moral restrictions, with lyrics that tantalize the listener.
The melody envisions a desperate struggle with the innermost desires, leaving the listener with a sense of wonder and intrigue. The song captures the essence of a love unfulfilled, leaving the listener wanting more.
“Unchained Melody” – The Righteous Brothers
“Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers recounts a tale of a forbidden love that knows no bounds. Full of yearning vocals and a heart-wrenching orchestral arrangement, the song discusses the hardships of being separated from your partner, but holding onto hope that they will be reunited.
The lyrics evoke feelings of intense longing and desire for someone who is out of reach, making it a stirring addition to any playlist focused on forbidden love.
“Iris” – Goo Goo Dolls
Without explicitly stating it, “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls exudes a feeling of forbidden and unrequited love. The song’s lyrics and melancholic melody combine to create a haunting and ethereal beauty that both resonates with and confounds its listeners.
From its raw vulnerability to its aching plea for connection, “Iris” embodies the complexities of love that cannot be fulfilled, making it a classic choice for those who seek comfort in their pain.