The feeling of unrequited love is one that most people will experience at some point in their lives. While it’s often portrayed in movies and songs as a beautiful tragedy, the reality is that it’s anything but. These 20 songs perfectly capture the range of emotions associated with unrequited love- from heartache and loneliness to anger and resentment.By the way, if you’re a fan of rock songs about unrequited love, you might also want to check out songs about bad love, and songs about unrequited love.
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic – The Police
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic is a song by popular 80s band The Police. The song was released in 1981 as part of the album Ghost in the Machine. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic was an instant success, reaching the top spot on the UK Singles Chart and becoming one of the band’s most well-known songs. The song is about a man who is head-over-heels in love with a woman who seems to be able to do no wrong. No matter what she does, everything she does is perfect in his eyes. The song has a feel-good vibe and is perfect for dancing along to.
Just My Imagination – The Temptations
The song Just My Imagination was released by The Temptations in 1971. It was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, and was produced by Whitfield. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaked at number three on the UK Singles Chart. It has been covered by numerous artists, including George Benson, Michael Bublé, and Rod Stewart. Just My Imagination is a slow, soulful ballad that tells the story of a man who is dreaming of his ideal woman. The lyrics are full of longing and desire, and the song has a haunting, iconic chorus. The Temptations’ performance of the song is considered to be one of the greatest vocal performances in popular music history.
I Can’t Make You Love Me – Bonnie Raitt
“I Can’t Make You Love Me” is a song written by Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin, and recorded by American singer-songwriter Bonnie Raitt for her eleventh studio album Luck of the Draw (1991). The song achieved great commercial success, peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and reaching the top of the Adult Contemporary chart. The song also won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female. “I Can’t Make You Love Me” has been covered by numerous artists, including George Michael, Adele, and Beyoncé. The song is often cited as one of Raitt’s best-known songs and has been praised by music critics.
Everything You Want – Vertical Horizon
“Everything You Want” is a song by the American alternative rock band Vertical Horizon. It was released in 1999 as the second single from the band’s album of the same name. The song peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it the band’s only number-one single in the United States. “Everything You Want” is a mid-tempo ballad with an upbeat message about chasing one’s dreams. The song’s narrator tells the story of a young man who is in love with a woman who is unattainable. Despite knowing that he will never have her, he still tries to catch her attention.
Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad – Meat Loaf
The song “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” is a ballad written by American rock musician Meat Loaf, along with composer Jim Steinman. The song was released in 1977 as a single from Meat Loaf’s album Bat Out of Hell. The song peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States, becoming one of Meat Loaf’s most popular songs. The song has been covered by a number of artists, including Bonnie Tyler, REO Speedwagon, and Poison. In 2010, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” is a sentimental ballad about a relationship that is falling apart.
Almost Lover – Alison Sudol
Almost Lover is a song by American singer-songwriter Alison Sudol. The song was released as the lead single from Sudol’s debut album, A Fine Frenzy, on May 22, 2007. Almost Lover peaked at number 27 on the Billboard Adult Top 40 chart and number 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. The song is about a relationship that ended abruptly and the regrets that come with it. Alison Sudol’s lyrics are both heart-wrenching and relatable, making Almost Lover one of the most popular break-up songs of all time.
Creep – Radiohead
The 1992 song “Creep” by the English alternative rock band Radiohead has been described as one of the most haunting and eerie songs of all time. The song is about an insecure man who is secretly in love with a woman who he believes is out of his league. The lyrics are written in first person, and the speaker expresses his feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. The music itself is equally unsettling, with a slow, droning bassline and discordant guitar chords. The climax of the song comes when the speaker breaks into screams of “I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo!” These words perfectly capture the feeling of desperation and isolation that can come from unrequited love.
To Be with You – Mr. Big
Mr. Big is a hard rock band formed in 1988, known for songs like “To Be with You” and “Alive and Kicking”. The band’s sound is a combination of elements from blues, heavy metal, and pop music. Mr. Big has released eight studio albums, the most recent being …What If in 2019. “To Be with You” is a song from the band’s 1991 album Lean into It. The song was written by guitarist Paul Gilbert and was originally released as a single in 1991. The song peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1992 and remains one of the band’s most popular songs.
Put You in a Song – Keith Urban
“Put You in a Song” is a song co-written and recorded by Australian country music singer Keith Urban. It was released in December 2010 as the fifth single from his 2010 album Get Closer. The song peaked at number two on both the Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts in early 2011. “Put You In A Song” was co-written by Urban with Nashville songwriter Sarah Buxton, who also co-wrote his 2009 hit “Sweet Thing”. The song is a love song, with Urban singing about how he wants to put his lover into a song so he can think about her all the time.
Stacy’s Mom – Fountains of Wayne
The song Stacy’s Mom by Fountains of Wayne is a pop rock song about a high school boy who is in love with his best friend’s mom. The song was released in 2003 as the lead single from the band’s third studio album, Welcome Interstate Managers. The song was a commercial success, peaking at number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming the band’s highest-charting single to date. The song has been covered by numerous artists, including Weezer and Hayley Williams of Paramore. The song has also been featured in television shows and films, such as the 2004 film 50 First Dates.
Black – Pearl Jam
Black is a song by the American rock band Pearl Jam. It was released as the fifth single from the band’s debut album, Ten, on August 27, 1991. The song reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was written by lead singer Eddie Vedder and guitarist Mike McCready. The lyrics are about personal turmoil and the struggles of a relationship. The song has been ranked as one of the greatest songs of all time by various publications. In 2006, it was voted number 216 in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list. In 2009, it was voted number 4 in Triple J’s Hottest 100 of All Time list. In 2010, it was ranked number 5 in NME’s 150 Best Tracks of the
Lovefool – The Cardigans
Released in 1996, “Lovefool” is a pop song by the Swedish band The Cardigans. The song was written by Peter Svensson and Nina Persson and was included on the band’s third studio album, First Band on the Moon. “Lovefool” became The Cardigans’ biggest hit, reaching the top ten in multiple countries and becoming a major international success. In the United States, the song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song’s success helped to propel First Band on the Moon to critical and commercial acclaim, cementing The Cardigans’ status as one of Sweden’s most popular bands. “Lovefool” remains one of the band’s most iconic songs and is considered a pop classic.
Foolish Games – Jewel
“Foolish Games” is a song by American singer-songwriter Jewel, released as the second single from her debut album Pieces of You. co-written with Steve Cooley and produced by Bruce Robb, the song deals with theTheme of unrequited love. It peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1997 and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). An accompanying music video was directed by Paul Boyd and features Jewel singing in various locations while footage of a couple played in reverse. The song was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 40th Annual Grammy Awards.
Surrender – Billy Talent
“Surrender” is a song by Canadian rock band Billy Talent. It was released in 2003 as the second single from their self-titled debut album. The song was a moderate commercial success, peaking at number nine on the Canadian Hot 100 chart. It also received positive reviews from music critics, who praised the song’s melody and lyrical content. “Surrender” is about the difficulties of growing up and making choices in life. The lyrics tell the story of a young man who is struggling to find his place in the world. The song’s protagonist is torn between two paths in life, and he must ultimately choose between them.
You’re Beautiful – James Blunt
You’re Beautiful is a song by English singer-songwriter James Blunt. It was released as the lead single from his debut album, Back to Bedlam (2004), on 18 July 2004. The song peaked at number one in several countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and Italy. In the United States, it peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has sold over 5 million copies worldwide. The song received positive reviews from music critics.
I Hate Myself for Loving You – Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
The song I Hate Myself for Loving You by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts is a 1988 rock song that became a huge hit, reaching number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song’s themes of obsession and addiction resonate with many fans, and its catchy hook has made it a enduring classic. Jett co-wrote the song with Desmond Child, who also produced it. The song features a heavy guitar riff and a driving beat, both of which contribute to its exciting and anthemic sound. I Hate Myself for Loving You was one of the first singles from Jett’s album Up Your Alley, and its success helped to solidify her reputation as a powerful rock singer. In recent years, the song has been featured
The Heart Wants What it Wants – Selena Gomez
“The Heart Wants What it Wants” is a song by American singer Selena Gomez. It was released on November 6, 2014 as the lead single from her second studio album, For You (2014). The song was written by Gomez, Antonina Armato and Tim James, while production was handled by Rock Mafia. “The Heart Wants What it Wants” is a pop ballad backed by drums and strings. Lyrically, it talks about the confusing moment when one is in love with someone who is not good for them. Gomez recorded the song during a time when she was going through a difficult breakup with Justin Bieber.
Over My Head – Fleetwood Mac
Over My Head is a song by the rock band Fleetwood Mac. It was released as a single in 1976 and reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was written by Chrissie Hynde and is about a relationship that is falling apart. The lyrics describe the feeling of being overwhelmed by love and not being able to think clearly. The song has been praised for its catchy melody and emotive lyrics. Over My Head has been covered by numerous artists, including Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, and Kelly Clarkson. It has also been featured in several films and television shows.
Can I Be Him – James Arthur
James Arthur’s song “Can I Be Him” is a heart-wrenching ballad about the singer’s feelings of insecurity and insignificance. The lyrics convey a sense of desperation as Arthur begs for someone to love him unconditionally. The song speaks to the universal fear of being undeserving of love and feeling like one is not enough. Despite the depressing subject matter, the song is incredibly beautiful and features Arthur’s stunning vocals. The raw emotion in the song is palpable, and it is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever felt unworthy of love. “Can I Be Him” is a moving testament to the power of love and its ability to heal even the deepest wounds.
Grenade – Bruno Mars
“Grenade” is a song by American singer-songwriter Bruno Mars from his debut studio album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans (2010). The song was written and produced by Mars, Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine, with additional writing from Brody Brown, Claude Kelly and Andrew Wyatt. “Grenade” was developed from one of Mars’ songs titled “Bet It All”, which he wrote while struggling to find success in the music industry; he then forwarded the song to one of his producers who helped finish it. Released as a single on September 28, 2010, “Grenade” was an instant success worldwide. It peaked at number one in fourteen countries and topped the Billboard Pop Songs for eleven weeks as well