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12 February 2009, 8:00 pm 97 Comments

Indie Rock Fag: “The Indie Rock Fag’s” Top 17 Homo Love Songs

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This post was submitted by Zack Rosen

“The Indie Rock Fag” is TNG co-founder Zack‘s new weekly column. Please be kind to it.

Illustration by Maggie.

Of the many annoying things about growing up gay — isolation, prejudice, having to wait until college to experience oral sex— I consider one of the most lasting injustices to be the queer inability to relate to popular love songs. While all your friends got to swoon over the latest top 40 radio hit — say, “My Heart Will Go On” or some similar drek — you couldn’t quite get into it because it was a woman singing to a man. Or a man singing to a woman. Or any combination of genders that would eventually lead to someone’s penis going in someone’s vagina in the most hetero way possible.

Luckily, as my musical knowledge expanded I got the pleasant surprise of discovering that a lot of gay love songs did, in fact, exist. Most artists have a couple love songs in their repertoire and many artists are gay. Ergo, it is possible for the discerning queer music lover to make a mixtape this valentines day and not feel that they’re bowing to straight privilege. So in my humble opinion these are the top 17 gay love songs: Each has either a queer singer or writer, or explicitly queer content. Feel free to add some (or tell me how wrong I am) in the comment box.
________

17. CSS, “Lets Make Love and Listen to Death From Above”

Not all love songs have to be treacly. While some people prefer to spend their special couple days entwined on a sandy beach or sipping champagne in a carriage, other people want to get stoned and fly to another city to see someone they have a crush on. And once they get there, what’s to stop them from having a lot of crazy sex while listening to Death from Above 1979? The mostly-queer Brazilian girl group CSS has described one of the best afternoons I could possibly imagine.


16. Patrick Wolf, “The Magic Position”

While the bisexual Englishman’s live shows leave something to be desired (the phrase “musical diary” comes to mind,) this single from his second album accomplished two wonderful tasks: It provides a great little love ditty for anyone who’s had puppy love and it allows its listeners to make adolescent “magic position” jokes. On your back with your legs in the air and a wand in your mouth? Pulling a rabbit out of somewhere untoward? The possibilities are endless.

15. The Smiths, “There is a Light That Never Goes Out”

Intense crushes have the ability to bring out the 13 year-old in all of us. That’s why Morrissey’s endless romantic yearnings are as timeless as a deep brown stain on your white cotton sheets. The master of gender non-specific pronouns’ ultimate adolescent fantasy involves finding eternal love by colliding with a double-decker bus. It’s the quintessential teenage, gay and English sentiments all in one.

14. Antony and The Johnsons, “Hope There’s Someone”

People seek out relationships for a lot of different reasons. Some are interested in sex. Others want companionship. Some people can’t cook for shit and enjoy having a hot boyfriend with an endless mastery of vegetarian cuisine (not that I’m speaking from personal experience.) As a function of my age and good health, though, I never consider another impetus for love: to be cared for in your old age and on your death bed. That’s probably why this song doesn’t get played at very many clubs.

13. Queen, “Somebody to Love”

Some love songs are successful for their specificity (see number one on this list.) Others, like Queen’s “Somebody to Love,” are so universal that a troglodyte would probably enjoy singing along. It’s right there in the title. Who doesn’t want somebody to love? The multi-tracking and giant choruses don’t hurt either. It’s not like Freddy Mercury was fooling the American public into thinking he was straight. His band’s universal appeal speaks to his ability to write great songs.

12. Tracy Chapman, “Fast Car”

Would you laugh at me if I told you I lost my “with a boy” virginity while listening Tracy Chapman? It’s OK. Most people do. The Welsh agent of my deflowering was feeling “soppy” and decided that Ms. Chapman would provide the best soundtrack for my descent into buggery. To his credit it did set a pretty nice mood. And anyone who doesn’t tear up at this song is made of concrete. (PS- Though Tracy tries to remain ambiguous on the subject of her sexuality, Alice Walker spilled the beans about their affair in 2006.)

11. The Damned, “Jet Boy Jet Girl”

Though originally performed by Elton Motello, most people are familiar with The Damned version of this sexual confusion anthem. (The less said about Plastic Bertrand, the better.) Most people have been played at one time or another by someone who hasn’t exactly figured out their sexuality yet. While getting dumped for a girl hurts, its even more painful when the dumper comes back around to liking guys that aren’t you. No matter how many times he bottomed or gave you head.

10. Peaches, “Fuck The Pain Away”

Not much to say about this one except that Peaches has immortalized one of the best short-term heartbreak solutions. My boyfriend has said before that he would let Peaches peg him. After a few listens to this I would probably watch.

border="0" />9. David Bowie, “Kooks”

A gentler kind of love song, Kooks is clearly written from a father to a son. Besides being so much less maudlin than “Cats in the Cradle,” “Kooks” combats the paucity of songs that same-parents can sing to their beloved infants. I discovered this song in college. That’s a shame because it would have been great in highschool to daydream about having a dad who threw my homework on the fire and fucked Mick Jagger instead of making me take out the garbage.

8. Electronic, “Getting Away With It”

Neil Tennant does guest vocals on this slice of early ’90s perfection. It’s less a standard love song than a lament about being led on. “Walking in the rain just to get wet on purpose?” C’mon, Neil. Grow a pair. But if it was that easy to walk away from a bad situation I wouldn’t have spent half of highschool in a dark room listening to Portishead. This song is a little piece of heartbreak that you can dance to.

7. Alison Moyet, “Love Resurrection”/ Yaz, “Only You”

The jury’s still out on whether or not Alison Moyet is actually “family.” And Yaz was made up of her and Vince Clark, the straight half of Erasure. Yet their brief reunion tour this summer brought more gays and lesbians out of the woodwork than free poppers day at the Northampton Home Depot. Combined, these two songs give queer folk 7 minutes to look into each other’s eyes and be happy.

6. Dusty Springfield, “Breakfast in Bed”

Functional relationships make for boring songs. That’s why the nuances of something like “Breakfast in Bed” are so fun to unpack. As best I can tell, some lady with a girlfriend uses Dusty for emotional (and vaginal) support when things at home get too rough. When an admittedly bisexual woman implores the object of her fancy not to “eat and run” you have to assume there’s more going on that meets the eye.

5. Belle and Sebastian, “Judy and The Dream of Horses”

How many copies of “If You’re Feeling Sinister” have I owned since I was 16? Two? Three? The exact number may be lost on me but I am completely clear on how I wore them out. Belle and Sebastian have always seemed not gay, not queer, but so solidly bisexual that I identified with throughout my own youthful delusions of “Bi now, gay later.” (See also “She’s Losing It.”) So when the trumpets reach their apex and Stuart sings “the best looking boys are taken and the best looking girls are staying inside” I had no choice but to wait out the next 57 seconds and start it over. Even my MP3 skips now. That’s fine, though, because in my mind song’s final word is “h-h-h-ho-horses.”

4. Velvet Underground, “Pale Blue Eyes”

Once my old roommate and I went to the Hirschorn Museum to see an exhibit on the art of light. In a big room at the galleries center was a rotating metal orb which spun kaledaiscope shapes around the walls. We watched it slack-jawed for half an hour. It was mesmerizing. This song is like the aural version of that orb. A laconic jangle and some of Lou Reed’s least croaky vocals lead us through verses whose initial euphoria give way to a whole lot disappointment. I can’t say I know what it’s like to fall in love with someone who is married. But this song gives me a pretty good idea and it doesn’t sound fun.

3. Hedwig and The Angry Inch, “Wicked Little Town”

My first boyfriend had this song quoted in our senior yearbook. At the time I cringed to see “If you have no other choice/you know you can follow my voice” posited sincerely among so many glamor shots and Sarah McLachlan lyrics. But in the intervening 7 years I can’t believe I would ever judge this song as anything but beautiful. Sincerity is often approached with caution in the gay community but you can’t fight goosebumps.

2. Magnetic Fields, “Papa Was a Rodeo” and “100,000 Fireflies”

Considering this band’s best-known album is called “69 Love Songs” it was not easy to pick a winner from Magnetic Fields. “I Don’t Believe You” and “The Luckiest Guy on The Lower East Side” were contenders, but in the end it was simply impossible to choose. I’ve witnessed “Papa Was A Rodeo” entrance a 2,000 person venue to complete silence before causing spontaneous bouts of tears. “100,000 Fireflies” could make the grinch realize long-dormant feelings for his own sled. They are both gorgous songs and both written by Stephin Merrit, the best love-song-writer of any sexuality. So they both make the cut.

1. The Blow, “Parentheses”

There is nothing wrong with this song. The image of two partners as protective parentheses. Loving someone enough to guide them out of the grocery store if the meat selection upsets them. The assertion that babies cry because they can truly feel the world. All that sweetness and it still manages to be upbeat. That’s the general appeal.

There’s a more specific appeal for me. It was lying stoned on my roof, in a hammack with my boyfriend, watching the stars and the bats play around the apartment buildings around us and listening to this song. For a really brief second I thought how cool it was that I was with my boyfriend, hearing a song that some woman I’d never even met had written for her girlfriend. But then the song stopped and we played it one more time. After that we just went downstairs to bed.


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97 Comments »

  • Eric said:

    Honorable mention: Bright Eyes “Best Day of my Life”
    how could you forget Conor??

  • Randi said:

    sleater-kinney’s “oh!” is a personal fav.

  • janekaysey said:

    kind of bittersweet but still my favorite

    Rufus Wainwright “Go or Go Ahead”

  • clearlyhere said:

    I hadn’t really heard any of these songs before. I was curious if any would appeal to my Opera/Musical Theater head.

    I listened to Papa was a Rodeo and 100,000 more than five times in a row.

  • Clearlyhere said:

    I take it back. I had heard Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

    See musical tastes above.

  • amory said:

    If Tracy Chapman (Wha?!!) is indie than Death Cab definitely is. In which case you MUST include I’ll Follow You Into the Dark.

  • amory said:

    clearly I didn’t read the rules. whoops. (red face)

  • Philip said:

    For Alison Moyet, “Dorothy” and “Whispering Your Name” from the Essex album are better than “Love Resurrection,” but that’s a fine choice, too.

    Joan Armatrading, “Love and Affection,” “Turn Out the Light,” and one of the best tormented love songs ever, “The Weakness in Me.”

    Bronski Beat turned the medley “I Feel Love/Johnny Remember Me” into a haunting love song. Jimmy Somerville nailed it again in his band Communards with “You Are My World” and “There’s More to Love Than Boy Meets Girl.”

    Sylvester, “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” — criminal omission from the list. He nailed several more love songs, too, including “Shadow of a Heart” and “My Life is Loving You.” And his version of “One Night Only” (from Dreamgirls) is definitive. Plus, his 1979 live album, Living Proof, has a killer version of “Sharing Something Perfect Between Ourselves,” which he dedicates to his boyfriend from the stage.

    And finally: gay punk icon Tom Robinson showed a softer side on “Still Loving You.” A quirky, hands down brilliant love song, and I think you can download it (along with almost all of his other solo work) for free from his website.

  • Nick P said:

    Some Runners Up to Consider

    What's You're Name-Depeche Mode
    (for those who like straight boys singing gay lyrics)

    This Is My Love- Hercules & Love Affair
    (for newly found passion)

    Chocolates- The Aluminum Group
    (for hopeless romantics)

    Lust for Life- Girls
    (for restless youths)

    Arthur Russell- Hey! How Does Everybody know
    (for closet cases)

    Yesterday, When I Was Mad- Pet Shop Boys
    (for long time couples)

    Spondee- Matmos
    (for gay robots)

  • Huntington said:

    What, no Lightning Seeds “Pure”?

  • Anonymous said:

    From “If You’re Feeling Sinister” — “Seeing Other People” is both gayer and more of a love song than “Judy and the Dream of Horses.”

  • Pete said:

    I would have chosen “You’re My Best Friend” as the Queen selection instead. (Sure, he says “girl” at one point, but who’s he fooling?)

    It’s such a pure, uplifting song.

    And gay. Very, very gay.

  • A said:

    Frankly I would have chosen “Queen’s “Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy.” That song pretty overtly describes a gay relationship, which is pretty amazing for a tune written in 1976. It’s also got one of Brian May’s patented “was that really a guitar?” guitar solos. The Bowie song I would have chosen is probably “Lady Stardust.”

    I love those two songs, and BTW, I’m hetero.

  • John said:

    A few suggestions, some gayer than others (some probably not gay at all, but I’m gay and like them, so whatevs)… in no particular order:

    1. R.E.M. “At My Most Beautiful”

    2. Broken Social Scene “I’m Stil Your Fag”

    3. Camera Obscura “Knee Deep at the National Pop League”

    4. Carole King “I Feel the Earth Move”

    5. The Clientele “Bookshop Casanova”

    6. Jolie Holland “Crush in the Ghetto”

    7. Nirvana “Rape Me” (just kidding)

    OK, and now my Magnetic Fields section:

    1. Strange Powers

    2. If there’s Such a Thing as Love

    3. I’m Tongue-Tied

    4. The Book of Love (this will be played at my wedding/commitment ceremony/whatever)

    OK, and now my Of Montreal selections, since Kevin Barnes is queerer than I am:

    1. One of a Very Few of a Kind

    2. Everything Disappears When You Come Around

    3. Dreamy Day of Daydreaming of You

    4. Lysergic Bliss

    5. Your Magic is Working

    I may have just started listing songs I like, I’m not sure. But they’re all very good! Great list, Zack. More lists of things, please!

  • Anonymous said:

    I’m stunned not to see “Go West” (either version) on the list.

    As a hetero white male (and here I admit my general ignorance of gay love songs), I find this expression of love and perseverance in the face of persecution humbling. Anyone who can’t feel the love in the original lyrics or Neil Tennant’s vocals probably can’t feel love, period.

    And of course, since it’s a Village People classic, it’s bigger and gayer than Big Gay Al’s biggest gayest day.

    –dccarles

  • Mika said:

    for me it’s bowie’s “the bewlay brothers,” which i always think of as being about my first boyfriend, who died at 26 of AIDS, and me (back, of course, when i was male).

  • Jason M said:

    This list has me searching iTunes for what my collection is missing, and burning up my V-day party money in the process. Hey, I’m not complaining.

    I would add the cover of “Goodbye to Love” by American Music Club.

    Haven’t heard a better transition from despair to hope in under 3 minutes!

  • Anonymous said:

    what, no husker du?

  • Chip Chandler said:

    I’m kind of surprised not to see an Elton John song on this list, especially “Elton’s Song,” a beautiful meditation on a boy’s unrequited crush on the most popular boy in his school.

  • Philip said:

    Oh, yeah, I forgot about “Rikki Don’t Lose My Number” — questionably gay when Steely Dan first sang it, definitely gay when Tom Robinson covered it on his Hope and Glory album. (Funny how the sexuality of the singer changes the perception of the song.)

    Seriously, check out Tom Robinson’s stuff: http://www.tomrobinson.com/

    You can download most of his solo stuff for free. The whole Hope and Glory album is revelatory, and “Still Loving You” is such a gritty and hard-earned love song, but upliftingly beautiful at the same time.

  • Anonymous said:

    I’m not gonna say “nay” to any of these, but the conspicuous lack of anything by Bob Mould (“Could You be the One,” “Thumbtack,” many dozens more, etc.) and Mark Eitzel (“Blue and Gray Shirt,” “Steve I Always Knew,” etc., etc.) is a little criminal.

  • Anonymous said:

    While I love Queen’s “Somebody to Love”, my choice is “Love of My Life” for a song about pure, painful, forever love. The haunting “Bijou” is wonderful, too. By the way – Freddie was the only gay Queen member, and the song “You’re My Best Friend” was written by John Deacon for his wife and mother of his 6 kids.

  • Anonymous said:

    I could never get enough of Pet Shop Boys’ Domino Dancing video, with the boys first fighting over a girl, then fighting each other, tumbling in the sand. You have to use your imagination to make it a gay love story – and of course I did. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXA_DYapGgc)

  • Steve said:

    If you’re gonna mention Husker DU, then I think the Grant Hart penned Green Eyes is the most obvious choice.

  • Angel Benton said:

    I’m surprised that there is nothing from Culture Club since every single song from them was about the relationship between Boy George and Jon Moss.

  • Richard King said:

    Ha ha ha
    Love, love this thread.

    Some songs to consider:
    1. Pet Shop Boys, Jealousy, To face the truth, So hard, What have I done to deserve this?
    2. Sonic Youth, Good-bye to love
    3. George Michael, Freedom 90
    4. Mazzy Star, Fade into you
    5. The Cure, Friday I’m in love
    6. The Stone Roses, I wanna be adored
    7. Soft Cell, Tainted love
    8. Level 42, Something about you
    9. Morrissey, The last of the famous international playboys
    10. Madonna, Crazy for you
    11. Expose, When I looked at him
    12. Massive Attack, Protection
    13. Portishead, Sour times
    14. Feist, Inside + out
    15. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Maps
    16. Sade, Never as good as the first time
    17. Prince, The beautiful ones
    18. Pizzicato Five, Happy/sad
    19. O.M.D., If you leave
    20. Kon Kan, I beg your pardon (I never promised you a rose garden)

  • dabble-boy said:

    Parentheses is pretty amazing but I didn’t actually think the singer was a lesbian? Plus I don’t think there’s any real subtext in the lyrics to suggest it’s directed towards someone of either gender. Plus a lot of the other songs are pretty much just directed to a non-gender specific “you” too.

  • Anonymous said:

    I agree that Bob Mould and Mark Eitzel should be on here. I’ve loved since before I knew they were gay. And before I knew I was.

  • Anonymous said:

    Imperial Teen – You’re One
    Sleater-Kinney – The Size of Our Love
    Dolly Parton (she counts, right?) – I Will Always Love You
    Pet Shop Boys – Liberation
    Sigur Ros – EVERYTHING

    And if I had to add a Bob Mould, I guess I’d add “If I Can’t Change Your Mind” or “Helpless” by Sugar.

  • Anonymous said:

    Two more honourable mentions: “Gloria,” by Patti Smith, and “Michael,” by Franz Ferdinand.

  • Anonymous said:

    Oh, and “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk,” by Rufus Wainwright. Though some of my friends say it’s not a “really” a love song… *shrugs* Well, the lyrics are open to interpretation, I guess.

  • Anonymous said:

    The Magic Position is actually Patrick Wolf’s third album, for what it’s worth.

  • J. said:

    Great list…and “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk” also a great addition. “I Think We’re Alone Now” always struck me as super-, super-gay. And if you want to go super-classic, Ma Rainey’s “Prove it on Me Blues.”

  • Anonymous said:

    Can we have some Melissa Etheridge? Maybe “Come to My Window,” “I Want to Come Over” or almost anything on the album Lucky?

  • catvincent said:

    All this way down, and not a sign of ‘Lola’ by the Kinks? For shame…
    And for yer classical types, Delibe’s Flower Duet from ‘Lacme’(the one in The Hunger and those airline ads).

  • Anonymous said:

    I’d have to nominate REM’s Night Swimming. More recently you might want to thing about Franz Ferdinand’s Michael and of course just about anything by the Scissor Sisters.

  • royiskeen said:

    so many to list here.

    firstly, Love Resurrection is great. The line “I want you to grow in my hand” was always suspect…

    The Smiths “This Charming Man” seems an obvious choice. And “Hand In Glove”

    The Blow Monkeys “You don’t Own Me” (not really a valentines song)
    The Hidden Cameras “Boys Of Melody”
    Morrissey “To Me you Are A Work Of Art”
    k d lang “Barefoot”
    k d lang “So In Love”
    Dusty Springfield “Some Of Your Lovin”
    Dusty Springfield “I Close My Eyes And Count To Ten”
    The Presets “This Boy’s In Love”
    Rufus Wainwright “Tiergarten”
    George Michael “Outside”
    Holly johnson “Love Train”
    Frankie goes To Hollywood “The Power Of Love”

  • Don Normann said:

    YESSSSS! Someone mentioned Franz Ferdinand’s “Michael”, which is pretty much in my Top Ten Favorites of “New Queer Singles” that really aren’t singles, but should be.

    Most of the songs I love are ones that either applied to my own love life at one point or another, or the lives of people close to me.

    My “lucky 13″…

    1. Wendy and Lisa – Are they really a couple, or just a couple of very close friends? Well, one of their latter albums was called “Girl Bros.” – the math doesn’t seem that difficult to do. Their delish cult hit EROICA is chock-a-block with songs that could appeal to any gender or any sexual background. My faves are “Strung Out”, “Mother of Pearl” (with k.d. lang on b’vox) and “Porch Swing”, the perfect two-guys- or-two-girls-lying-snuggled-in-a-hammock song.

    2. Lost love and missed opportunities are always big themes with “the children”, and one of the best songs to come along in a while about the subject is Scissor Sisters’ “It Can’t Come Quickly Enough.” Everybody remembers “Take Your Mama” or “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’”, but I love how Jake and the kidz channeled the great Giorgio Moroder on this one.

    3. My pick for Depeche Mode song? “Halo”. Perfect background score while you pine for the straight-but-curious lover that got away.

    4. My Elton song? “Someone Saved My Life Tonight.” Sentimental favorite, and written about how he came THISclose to being trapped in a faux-hetero marriage to a social-climbing slag. Dame Dwight, I can most definitely relate.

    5. “John, I’m Only Dancing” by David Bowie and “Boys” by Bauhaus -Both make me feel like I was born about a decade too late.

    6. You know that swoony, druggy, warm-and-burbly feeling you get when you finally get to make out with that stud you’ve been dying to get close to for eons? Nope, me neither, but I imagine if you could set it to music, it would sound like Bryan Ferry does on Roxy Music’s “Angel Eyes” – the ORIGINAL version, not that ghastly latter remix.

    7. I always wished there were more angry, pounding, revenge-f**k songs to help work out some issues, and one of the best is Nick Name and the Normals’ “I F***ed Your Boyfriend”, not just because the gender of the person the tirade is directed at is non-specific, but also because Kent “Nick Name” James chews on each word of the lyrics like really good steak. YUMMM.

    8. The Sixties and Seventies were indeed filled with straight love paens that made me want to vomit incessantly until I could make it to the Eighties, but there were some lifelines I clung to with desperate gratitude. One of the GAYEST songs ever – at least for me – was The 5th Dimension’s “Last Night I Didn’t Get To Sleep At All.” And yes, I just admitted that out loud.

    9. Not inherently about being gay, David and David’s “Being Alone Together” is probably more about the alienation and isolation of two people locked in a relationship that has long since flatlined. I choose to see it even today as a cautionary tale – what awaits anyone who makes that deadly “choice” of pleasing your folks and “finding a good woman to settle down with.” Yeah, RIGHT.

    10. One of the finest, non-gender specific songs that captures all the drama and angst and highs and lows of a tumultuous love affair? Leave it to the Pretenders on “Lovers Of Today.” For this song alone, Chrissie Hynde should be nominated for sainthood.

    11. No list could ever be complete without including the great Annie Lennox. Though this song has been co-opted by every chick flick in the known universe, “Why” is still to me, one of the best breakup songs ever written and beautifully performed.

    12. Nobody mentioned a new favorite of mine, Matt Ember’s “End of the World”. Gorgeous man, gorgeous song, heartbreakingly gorgeous video.

    13. Yes, I’m superficial, shallow and need so badly to be locked in the arms of Colton Ford, looking deep into his soulful eyes while he sings “The Way You Love Me” to me as we like naked in our Heavenly Bed…I know, I know, so would about ten-thousand other gay men. And no, I did NOT forget about the restraining order…

  • Anonymous said:

    Camera Obscura, “Come Back, Margaret.”

    About a threesome gone terribly awry, when one gal falls for the titular character.

    Actually, were I to be with Tracyanne Campbell, it’d automatically be a threesome, since I’d be beside myself with joy…

    -Jamey

  • Dirty Davey said:

    Somewhat older, and–in the US–more famous in Madness’s cover version, but how about Labi Siffre’s “It Must Be Love”?

  • Southern Beale said:

    Dusty Springfield’s “Son Of A Preacher Man” should definitely make this list — it was written by a guy.

    “The only boy who could ever reach me, was the son of a preacher man …”

  • Righteous Bubba said:

    PETE SHELLEY, HOMOSAPIEN.

    I INSIST.

  • Anonymous said:

    Electronic, “Getting Away With It”
    That’s Bernard Albrecht from New Order doing the vocal there.

  • Anonymous said:

    @dabble_boy: The Blow’s singer (Khaela Maricich) mentions ex-girlfriends on her blog occasionally. She writes a lot of songs about boys, too, but anyway, she belongs on the list.

  • Anonymous said:

    I like Michael Stipes cover of Pale Blue Eyes better. More angst.

  • Lisa said:

    No Ani DiFranco? For an angry, I-know-exactly-how-many-days-it’s-been breakup song, I love Superhero.

  • WQuoyle said:

    Bob Mould singing Stephin Merrit: “He Didn’t” (from the 6ths “Hyacinths and Thistles” if that combo sounds inviting)

  • Anonymous said:

    definitely have to include most songs of bloc party's a weekend in the city.. especially the single 'i still remember' … having lyrics like.. 'we left our trousers by the canal and our fingers almost touch.. you should've asked me for it i woulda been brave .. etc etc ect' < — shoulda made number 1 on this list

  • mattyfantastic said:

    OR you mean…any song by belle and sebastian

  • Tmt said:

    Not a single mention of Tegan and Sara…

  • Kyle said:

    Wall of Voodoo “Can’t Make Love” – casual bisexuality in the early 80′s.

  • JustAGuy said:

    How can you forget “Michael” by Franz Ferdinand?

  • Shiny said:

    How about Big Gay Heart by The Lemonheads?

    Btw, Lola by The Kinks is just amazing.

  • tinkerbell said:

    Well hello everyone i am donna i love my tinkerbell chingching now t is crazy loving my cats and saying we are going to die because the koreans are going to bomb us in hawaii… well i am off to go to a gay stripper bar with my girls and i am going to be made into a DRAG QUEEN for the first time yyyyeeeeeeee!! I am so happy i love milk. I am not single boys so stop asking yes im a man not a girl either. And im gay… shhh dont let mother know yeah i live with her and yes i live in the bathroom. I have a boyfriend and you know, i have another one too….ok i lied i have ONLY 19 bf’s and i have no children… but anyway enough about me i want to hear what you boys are up too…mmmmmm…i also have 50 cats running around in my bathroom… and my mom has no clue im in her bathroom with my 50 cats… so yes mmmm yes

  • Ben said:

    I always sort of imagined “I think we’re alone now” wasn’t about a boy and a girl. Tommy James version esp.

  • Jake said:

    This is a great list of songs; but for the Tracy Chapman song I would replace “Fast Car” with “For my lover” from the same CD.

  • seymour said:

    “This boy’s in love” by The Presets

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlDZumpQY_4

  • matthew said:

    Who doesn’t like Plastic Bertrand?!?!?!

  • karl said:

    Definitely Lola by The Kinks, but they also have a few other songs that are overt – like “Out of the Wardrobe” and some say “See My Friends”

  • mr.monster said:

    i’ve always loved the sexual confusion of r.e.m.’s “9-9″

    “twisting tongues, gotta stripe down his back (down her back)”

  • Flip Cub said:

    Okay, I have a few…

    “He Hit Me”, Grizzly Bear from the Friend EP. It’s a cover, but applicable nonetheless.

    At the end of Bonnie Prince Billy’s The Letting Go LP, there’s an untitled track. There’s nothing particularly gay about it, but it’s gorgeous. I put it on a mix CD for my ex-boyfriend, and he said it made him cry. (Yeah, I know, he’s a ninny.)

    Believe it or not, Cat Power’s The Greatest LP makes for some pretty awesome make-out music.

    Ditto for Lavender Diamond’s song “Oh No” from their Imagine Our Love LP.

    And while we’re on the topic, Paul van Dyk’s dance mixes make for some pretty nifty fucking music.

    My second boyfriend gave me a mix tape that had Christian Death’s Only Theater of Pain on side A and The Misfits greatest hits on side B. I was 17 years old, and yet so romantic at such a young age… I listened to the shit out of that tape, too.

    BTW, someone mentioned Tegan and Sara. Tegan did a duet with Tom Gabel of Against Me! on their New Wave LP. It’s a love song called “Borne on the FM Waves of the Heart”. It does absolutely nothing for me, but maybe it will pull at your heart strings. Maybe. It’s a great song anyway.

    I need to think about this some more…

  • jetiz said:

    youve done great research on it
    thanks
    hope this will help you guys

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ck_f4BIVQYg

  • spookiness said:

    I’m severely dating myself, but two really powerful alternative bands from the 90′s that really lit a fire in me were Kitchens of Distinction, and Gene

    KOD- Gorgeous Love, circa 1991, and for that matter pretty much any of their stuff

    Gene- We Could Be Kings, and Why I Was Born.

    passionate, moody stuff

  • cleverred said:

    the moving units!

  • Ab said:

    Yeah…I don’t think Fast Cars is a love song…

  • still_lovesick said:

    I second Bloc Party. Their music is so quintessentially adolescent…spirited and vital, but fundamentally emotional as well. “Silent Alarm” is peppered with love songs, but Kele didn’t get specific about his sexuality until “A Weekend in the City.” The second half of that record has two of the best gay love songs ever on it (“Kreuzberg” and “I Still Remember”).

  • Brian said:

    1. The Magnetic Fields: Take Ecstasy With Me.

  • IndieRocker said:

    No Tegan and Sara? Missy Higgins, Franz Ferdinand, Sufjan Stevens…???

  • Samus Verbose said:

    BOYS OF MELODY by the hidden cameras
    CHASING CARS cover by Sarah Bettens
    LOVE DON’T CARE by Firehouse
    GIRLS KISS GIRLS by Pittsburgh Slim
    I KISSED A GIRL & I LIKED IT by Katty Perry

  • Westwind said:

    Mason Jennings – “Beautiful Man” and “Duluth”

    he is a straight musician but both these songs are pretty easily relatable to me being gay.

    In “Duluth” Mason Jennings sings

    “Nobody says the things he says, nobody move’s like he moves and nobody makes me feel this way I’m gonna marry that boy oh lord im gonna marry that boy.”

    its tech a cover of a song written by someone else but hearing a man sing it gives it a very gay tone :)

    In a “beautiful man” Mason Jennings is singing about a beautiful man from the perspective of a hetero man. Near the end of the however he does sing that

    ‘whenever i pass him walking i start batting my eyes’

  • Sean said:

    I thought the list wasn’t bad, but seemed to basically just take big name gays acts and their singles.

    Tegan and Sara are an obvious choice seeing as how just about every album is chalk full of relationship songs.

    Canadian indie icons Broken Social Scene are also excellent. All their songs are gender neutral, and some penned by gay members. “I’m Still Your Fag” and “Lover’s Spit” immediately come to mind.

    What I’m wondering though… HOW IS “TO BE ALONE WITH YOU” by Sufjan Stevens NOT on the list?

    Oh if you want a super catchy/quirky modern day gay indie love song, you have to check out DIAMOND RINGS – “All YR SONGS”

    “Pale Blue Eyes” as someone else on the list pointed out is a definite must too.

  • M.A. said:

    A lovely doo-wop lesbian love song from the (now defunct) Long Blondes called Polly:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKW71QtLYRE

  • Jason Tayar said:

    The biggest indie album this year, which received a 5 star review from Mojo Magazine is “Queen of Denmark” by John Grant.
    Have you heard of him? It is awesome.

    The very best gay love songs ever.

  • Alberto Quintanilla said:

    Interesante, creo que voy a pasar más seguido por acá, saludos!

  • Driving Lights · said:

    during Valentines Day, i always give my girlfriend some roses collection for her to enjoy `

  • Jay Beaman said:

    I know it’s not important but I just wanted to let you know that “let’s make love…” is actually referring to James Murphy’s record label and various compilations. DFA. Death From Above.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_DFA

  • zack (author) said:

    I always thought they meant the band, though James’ Murphy’s label came first, I believe.

  • FinnFellow said:

    Here’s lesbian love song from Finland. It has charted #2 here in 2007.
    Female singer Jenni Vartiainen and her song “In front of people”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Un5BrdI0EU (in finnish with english lyrics)

    Some video-cover -versions of that song
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaSzWYJCwpc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_ys5Q4cSb8

    Many songs can be very gay, with right couple, like Christian and Oliver in German tv-serie Forbidden love.

    “Touch and Go – Straight to Number One
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gddhIGlRxW8

    John Barrowman – I know him so well
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3cRlBwoqR0 and singer of that song, John Barrowman is gay.

    Cari Cole – A Million Kisses
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq99CENdJx0

    The Rasmus – Lost and Lonely (Finnish band)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuK4lbfsIQs

    Gay-men John Barrowman & Daniel Boys – I Know Him So Well
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9F_j3yHhYEo

  • pascal simons said:

    It’s been a great pleasure discovering this site. It’s hard to find some nice gay music. I don’t mind listening to straight music, although I can really relate to it. I’ve never had a girlfriend and only know what it’s like to have sex with a man. Not sure if I’m fully gay, but here’s my submission;

    http://www.homo100.nl > dutch top100 gaysong chartlist.

    PSB – I made my excuses and left

  • pascal simons said:

    A few more songs I really like

    “Tracy Chapman – All that I have is your soul”(wow, that tracy chapman is great singer!)
    “Gloria gaynor – I am what I am”
    “Labi Siffre – Something inside so strong” (the ultimate fight for your right song)
    “The ronettes – to know him is to love him” (not intended to be gay, but I’ve sort of really adopted some of their songs lyricwise)…. Same goes for the carpenters

  • pascal simons said:

    Geez, am I the only one still writing on this part of the board :D

    here’s another one : http://www.lovegodsway.org/GayBands

    please ignore the slightly ignorent and perhaps hatefull message that accompanies the list. The bottom part is about gaybands to be on the lookout for. top part is dedicated to psychedelic bands….
    it’s really a nice lineup

  • Tarryn said:

    Hey all! Im a musical theatre gal so I thougt I would include some theatre songs for you to have a look at… Hoping there maybe a few new ones for you!

    You can have the TV – Something that I wanted you to know(there is a youtube video of this done with Tell me on a sunday
    )
    Now – this is on a Scott Alan Album called dreaming wide awake.

    I’ll Cover you – Rent

    Nver met a man – from Will Rogers Follies

    well its almost 1am here – ill add some more later!! night!

  • pascalsimons said:

    Lance Bass – On The Line

  • ooop said:

    I ‘d like to add Skin, the singer of the band ‘ skunk Anansie ‘
    Some songs : faithfulness, secretly, Tracy’s flaw, …
    Tracy’s flaw is obviously lesbian. Many other songs by Skin are.

    and 1 song from Camera Obscura : ‘Suspended from class’, which is part the soundtrack from ‘Imagine me and you ‘, wonderful lesbian movie

    and this wonderful song ‘ Off you ‘ by the band ‘The Breeders ‘, which doesn’t appear as a gay band but… check the lyrics on this one ;-)

  • Ben said:

    May I strongly recommend to you all:
    Grizzly Bear – Plans

    I once saw in an interview that the lead singer (who is gay, I think the only one in the band actually) said this was one of their only directly gay songs. Beautiful atmopsheric tragic pining love song for an Argentinian lover.

    Additionall, I see someone’s mentioned their cover of ‘He Hit Me’ and while it’s actually also one of my favorite songs of all time, it’s about negative aspects of romance. So yeah… could be a buzzkill.

  • GoblinShark said:

    The ultimate would be “Main Man” by T. Rex

  • Francisca Winesberry said:

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  • Notlez said:

    Hey!!! “diplomat’s son” by vampire weekend is also about a gay relationship!!!! One if the members said it themselves!!! And it’s a great song :)

  • Carl said:

    You forgot Kashka From Baghdad by Kate Bush… Any middle aged British queen who reads this is going to be veeery unhappy… And even some American ones, too. And even some young ones, like me. But the title of the article is fantastic so it’s hard to be too upset.

  • Jason said:

    Is this for realzies? A list of best gay love songs and not one single person has mentioned Erasure?!?! (other than to mention that Vince Clarke was the straight part of them)I mean wow, they are almost nothing but gay love songs and have been active musically since 1985 and are still putting out new songs today. Just one awesome gay love song after another. Oh L’Amour, If I Could, a Little Respect, You Surround Me, Am I RIght?, Always, Angel, Rain, Catch 22, Magic Moments, Breathe, I Could Fall in Love With You…the list goes on and on and they are all awesome. You could make a mixed tape of love songs to last an entire evening and never leave their playbook. The album I Say I Say I Say is filled almost entirely with the most romantic and sweet ballads. Miracle off of I Say I Say I Say is one of the prettiest songs I have ever heard with back up vocals sung by St. Patrick’s Cathedral Choir. If you have never really listened to them and you want some queer love songs, do yourself a favor give them a try.

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