13. Apoptygma Berzerk - “Love Never Dies”
“So hold me close and whisper love is forever…”
You want Goth?? Apoptygma Bezerk will give you Goth, whether you like it or not! This song is one bombastic celebration of Goth in all its cheesiness – it even features samples from Toccata and Fugue and O Fortuna! The lyrics are suitably overblown as well. Over-the-top, but so fun you can’t help but enjoy it. One for dancing around with your partner like crazy when you both hit the Goth club.
12. The Sisters of Mercy – “Marian”
“In this cruel place your voice above the maelstrom…”
The Sisters of Mercy are usually a pretty cynical bunch, so “Marian” is a bit of a surprise. It can be interpreted as a song about salvation from despair and self-destruction through love. The music itself is nice too; it has a dreamier quality than most Sisters of Mercy songs, and I’m pretty sure that the melody of the chorus was the inspiration behind Fields of the Nephilim’s biggest hit, “Moonchild” (they sound pretty damn similar).
11. Inkubus Sukkubus – “Prince of Shadows”
“And so, my love, I give you my life blood
And disregard the hollow life that’s been…”
A love song inspired by vampires – there had to be at least one in this list! A song about sacrificing one’s self for the love of one of the creatures of the night. This song features on the album “Heartbeat of the Earth,” which also features a related song called “Intercourse With The Vampyre” Seeing as Inkubus Sukkubus are not known for embracing subtlety, you can imagine what that’s about…
10. Annie Lennox – “Love Song for a Vampire”
“Come into these arms again
And set this spirit free…”
Like “Prince of Shadows” above, this song (which plays on the end credits of Francis Ford Coppola “Dracula”) is again about vampiric love, but it’s far more emotional and poetic. Among all the songs featured on this list, “Love Song for a Vampire” is perhaps the saddest; there’s a real sense of grief of love lost, side by side with sensuality and passion.
9. Emilie Autumn – “Juliet”
“Meet me beneath my balcony and say
‘No one but you could ever fill my night
Be the sunlight in my every day…’”
The instrumental that opens this song is romantic enough on its own – a beautiful combination of guitar and Emilie Autumn’s signature violin. It then launches into something rather poppy (some listeners have likened it to J-Pop), with a rather clever intermission of “Greensleeves.” Naturally, the lyrics are inspired by Romeo and Juliet, which is a dark love story if ever there was one.
8. Love Spirals Downwards – “By Your Side”
“I’d cross the ocean just to be there by your side…”
I love how relaxing, yet how uplifting, this song is – it makes me think of swimming underwater in the sea and seeing the light shimmering at the surface above, or of small birds taking flight at dawn. The lyrics speak of affection and devotion. A nice song to wake up to in the morning, perhaps, next to the love of your life…
7. London After Midnight – “Sacrifice”
“I’d sacrifice myself to you
Right here tonight
Cause you know that I love you…”
A wonderfully Gothic song, incorporating storm sounds – straight away, it conjures images of dark, rain-beaten streets. The lyrics, which are as the title suggests are about dying for love and feature references to burning candles and the Grim Reaper, complement the dramatic music perfectly.
6. The Cult – “She Sells Sanctuary”
“The sparkle in your eyes
Keeps me alive…”
Songs about finding strength and salvation through love within an otherwise dark and depressing world seem to be pretty common in Goth music, and “She Sells Sanctuary,” The Cult’s biggest hit, is no exception. But although the lyrics do have a definite dark edge, the music itself is full of joy. If I was going to be driving along in an open-top convertible with my significant other through open countryside, this is exactly what I would want to be playing.
5. The Mission – “Tower of Strength”
“And heaven is in your kiss
Salvation lies just a touch away…”
Again, like “She Sells Sanctuary,” this song is about being rescued by love in dark times. Although not quite as jubilant as “She Sells Sanctuary,” I ranked it higher because it has just a smidge more passion – and gratitude, which is something perhaps we could do with a little more in love songs.
4. Depeche Mode – “I Feel You”
“Where angels sing
And spread their wings
My love’s on high…”
One of most well-known Depeche Mode songs, and with good reason. Sexy and strident, this song evokes the tremendous, burning passion of new love. The lyrics and choral parts of the music additionally conjures religious imagery: a trait common to some of the best love songs, as there’s a definite relationship between love and spirituality.
3. Wojciech Kilar - “Love Remembered”
When Wojciech Kilar, the man behind the soundtrack of Francis Ford Coppola’s “Dracula,” passed away this January, the world lost one of the most talented and emotive of composers. “Love Remembered” from “Dracula” is perhaps one of his finest examples of his musical genius. Incorporating hypnotic strings and a sweetly eerie flute, this piece of music tells the story of Dracula’s lost love more effectively than any lyrics could.
2. The Cure – “This Twilight Garden”
“No-one will ever take your place
so in love with you…”
Most people think of “Love Song” when it comes to romantic Cure songs, but for me “This Twilight Garden” is much stronger both in terms of music and lyrics. The dreamy music evokes a lot of imagery – it makes me thinks of gazing down from the top floor of a hotel in Tokyo, gazing down at the lights and traffic on a late summer’s night and being filled with a complex sense of longing and melancholy. But perhaps that’s just me. The lyrics are gentle yet full of passion, speaking of a love that creates a world “…where dreams are real.”
1. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Into My Arms”
“And I don’t believe in the existence of angels
But looking at you I wonder if that’s true…”
Forget the Gothic genre – in my opinion, this is perhaps the greatest love song of all time, full stop. The music itself is so simple – just piano and Nick Cave’s beautiful baritone, a very effective combination that needs nothing else. And the lyrics themselves! Intelligent, moving and beautiful. In this song, love is something so strong that it makes one question one’s own faith, or lack of – what could be more powerful than that?
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