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Top Ten Unrequited Love Songs

Ah! Unrequited love. It's so very... frustrating. You love him, you don't dare tell him. Or, maybe you do and he runs like hell. Got a work crush and know it's a no-no? Then this list is for you.

If you are new to my top ten lists, this is how they work. I type in my top ten favorite songs in no particular order, and you marvel at my awesomeness.


I choose ten songs, and you get to acknowledge how right I am.

No. Not that either.

I tell you my top ten favorite songs and, if I've left your favorite off the list, you can comment and tell me about myself. If we can't come to a mutual understanding, then we settle it like the (semi) mature adults that we are. With or without light sabers. (I get the purple one!)

10. Elvis Presley - A Little Less Conversation

The original version of A Little Less Conversation is one of Elvis Presley's less well-known hits. It was included on his 1968 album Live a Little, Love a Little. Basically, Elvis just wants this chick to shut up and give him some!

'A little less conversation, a little more action please / All this aggravation ain't satisfactioning me / A little more bite and a little less bark / A little less fight and a little more spark / Close your mouth and open up your heart and baby satisfy me / Satisfy me baby.'

The remix is the version that actually put the song on the modern music map. It was made by a DJ called Junkie XL, and it blew up the radio when it was released in 2001. The remix was used as the opening song for the television series Las Vegas. Though some people consider this version to be a sacrilege, I honestly love it more than the original.

Elvis Presley A Little Less Conversation Music Video (Unofficial)

9. Def Leppard - Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad

Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad is one of those songs that are just unforgettable. It's from Def Leppard's Adrenalize album in 1992.

In this song, the singer is in love with a woman who will only give him physical love, not the emotional stuff that he wants more than anything else. He'll take what she gives him, but knows he will never have what he really needs from her.

'Here I am, I'm in the wrong bed again / It's a game I just can't win / There you are breathin' soft on my skin, yeah / Still you won't let me in.'

This song also made my list of Top Ten Hair Metal Ballads.

Def Leppard Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad Music Video

8. Dido - White Flag

White Flag is a little different, it's about someone who has been in a relationship and, now that it's over, she just can't seem to get over it. She will not give up, she won't raise the white flag and surrender.

'Well I will go down with this ship / And I won't put my hands up and surrender / There will be no white flag above my door / I'm in love and always will be.'

Dido actually wrote this song about a former lover, and it apparently caused her even more problems than she had to start with!

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Dido White Flag Music Video

7. Garbage - #1 Crush

#1 Crush by Garbage is actually about a stalker, the most extreme kind of unrequited love. The subject of the song is completely obsessed with their intended and will not be ignored.

'See your face every place that I walk in / Hear your voice every time that I'm talking / You will believe in me / And I will never be ignored.'

Obsession can be scary.

This song was on the soundtrack for the movie William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes.

Garbage #1 Crush Music Video

6. Radiohead - Creep

Creep is from Radiohead's album Pablo Honey, released in 1992. It's about a guy who is really digging this girl, but he is almost non-existent and probably doesn't deserve her anyway.

'Couldn't look you in the eye / You're just like an angel / Your skin makes me cry / You float like a feather / In a beautiful world / I wish I was special / You're so fucking special / But I'm a creep.'

Apparently, during the recording of the song, some of band members decided they didn't like it. There is a guitar part in the song that is described as 'the sound of Jonny trying to f**k the song up.' Regardless of how he felt, the guitar part made the song!

Radiohead Creep Music Video

5. James Blunt - You're Beautiful

There were so many women coming out of the woodwork to say that this song was about them that I lost count, but James Blunt's not giving any names. He has said it's about seeing his ex-girlfriend on the London train with her new man.

Either way, You're Beautiful had women swooning all over the planet with it's sensitive lyrics.

'You're beautiful, it's true / I saw your face in a crowded place / And I don't know what to do / 'Cause I'll never be with you.'

You're Beautiful was from Blunt's 2005 album Back to Bedlam and is his only number one hit so far.

The video shows Blunt taking off his clothes before committing suicide by jumping off a cliff according to an old Japanese tradition.

James Blunt You're Beautiful Music Video

4. Bonnie Raitt - I Can't Make You Love Me

This is one of the few songs that have the power to make me feel sad. Bonnie Raitt's song about unrequited love is heartbreaking and unforgettable. She loves him, but he doesn't feel the same yet she wants that one last night.

'Here in the dark, in these final hours / I will lay down my heart / And I'll feel the power but you won't / No you won't / Cause I can't make you love me / If you don't.'

The song is from Raitt's 1991 album Luck of the Draw, which put her on the mainstream map after a twenty year struggle to get there.

Bonnie Raitt I Can't Make You Love Me Music Video

3. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts - I Hate Myself For Loving You

I Hate Myself for Loving You is from Joan Jett and the Blackheart's 1988 album Up Your Alley. It was released as a single in that year and reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The song is about a person being tired of being made to feel like an idiot for giving their all to a relationship where their hard work is not reciprocated. In my opinion, this is the kind of unrequited love that hurts the most.

'Hey Jack, it's a fact they're talkin' in town / I turn my back and you're messin' around / I'm not really jealous, don't like lookin' like a clown / I think of you ev'ry night and day / You took my heart then you took my pride away.'

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts I Hate Myself For Loving You Music Video

2. Garth Brooks - To Make You Feel My Love

Though this song was written by Bob Dylan and has also been covered by Adele and Billy Joel, Garth Brooks has my favorite version that was featured on the soundtrack of the movie Hope Floats in 1997. It was included in the deluxe version of Brooks's Fresh Horses album reissue.

'I'd go hungry, I'd go black and blue / I'd go crawling down the avenue / There ain't nothing that I wouldn't do / To make you feel my love.'

The song itself is sad and hopeful all at the same time and one of the reasons why Garth Brooks is one of my favorite artists.

**No video available, sorry**

1. Cee Lo Green - F**k You

Never has there been a song that made such great use of the f-bomb, and never did a singer look so happy to be dropping it.

Cee Lo Green released this song (the nicer title is Forget You) in 2010 from his album The Lady Killer. He talks about a paramour who would be with him if he had a few more bucks.

'Yeah I’m sorry, I can’t afford a Ferrari / But that don’t mean I can’t get you there / I guess he’s an Xbox and I’m more Atari / But the way you play your game ain’t fair.'

Note: You may have to log into YouTube to watch this video because of their obscenity rules.

Cee Lo Green F**k You Music Video

© 2012 Georgie Lowery


Laurinzoscott from Kanab, Utah on March 23, 2020:

Wow this was an awesome idea for an article...little painful to read right n o w but I trudged through and so glad I did...and Bonnie out of the songs...but wow you did I need tissue ;)

Beth Sass Music from Nashville on January 31, 2015:


Are you interested in submissions from indie singer songwriters?

I have music included in another hub and would love to send you some examples that fit this topic.


Anna on November 26, 2014:

Frank Sinatra glad to be unhappy cannot miss a list like that

Kim D. on September 28, 2014:

Have You Ever by Brandy &

All or Nothing by O-Town

Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on September 05, 2014:

I like the choices and I know there could be a million more ! :) Def Leppard one of my favs :) One you may like is All the Same by the rock band Sick Puppies. For me I inturperet the song as a man who loves a woman that keeps coming in and out of his life...maybe a stormy type of relationship. I also love Crazy by Patsy Cline which is a gripping and heart felt song about heartache. Thank you so much for sharing this interesting hub :)

shagg on September 03, 2014:

Not bad, but it's lacking some sadness in it.

If you don't mind, let me let you know some of my favorite unrequited love songs

Pearl Jam - Ten

Landon Pigg - Can't let go

Loreena McKennitt (actually, this song is from The Dubliners, and it's not an unrequited love song, but one about a love that shouldn't be) - Raglan Road

Damien Rice - Cheers darlin

Damien Rice - The rat within the grain

Damien Rice (yes, another one) - Rootless Tree

This is as far as I can remember :)

Kara Skinner from Maine on August 28, 2014:

I love this list. "Beautiful", "Creep" and "Forget You" are all songs that I really like. I also like "A Little Less Conversation", but I'm not sure if I would consider it an unrequited love song because all we really know is he wants to have sex with her and is getting impatient.

Phil on August 20, 2013:

Billy Idol's "Sweet Sixteen" was literally written about unrequited love (Google "Edward Leedskalnin").

SadSongsSaySoMuch on August 07, 2013:

Nice list. Liked being reminded of White Flag and the comment raising A Fine Frenzy's Almost Lover--can't believe I forgot that one.

Can't help making a couple suggestions though:

1) Ne Me Quitte Pas--Jacques Brel

Its' number of covers and duration suggests it's really got something there. And who can deny the French for mastering romantic melancholy?

2) An Ocean Apart--Julie Delpy

It gets to ride on the entire Before Sunrise/Before Sunset/Before Midnight trilogy as it plays in the opening of Before Sunset. The story with the song makes it perfect, particularly for long distance failure. Although some may prefer to go for the song sung in the movie to Jesse, A Waltz for A Night.

3) The First Cut is the Deepest--Cat Stevens/Arnold/Hampshire/Stewart/Crow

All in the title. First lost love is the only love relationship where you have never been hurt.

4) Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps,_Quiz%C3%...

Again by dint of its duration/covers. More playful than angst but always memorable from its use in the original Coupling theme by Mari Wilson

5) Two Seater--Bowling For Soup

For me a much better version of F**k You as it is over the top but still tinged with longing and melancholy in one verse.

Kristen Bell from St. Louis, MO on April 15, 2013:

Wow, I really enjoyed this list. I'll admit there were a couple songs I was not too familiar with, but "Creep" by Radiohead is one of my all-time favorite songs. I always knew some of the band members (especially Thom Yorke) were not too fond of the song, but I had no idea someone on the guitar tried to deliberately mess it up. I learned something new today :)

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on January 28, 2013:

Stina Caxe,

Garbage is one of my favorite bands of all time, and that song is a great one! Thanks for the comment!

Cristina Cakes from Virginia on January 28, 2013:

I just have to say THANK YOU! I completely forgot about #1 crush and how much I LOVE that song! I am listening to it now and thinking of my man and well.... yes!

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on January 27, 2013:


Most of my top ten lists were hard to narrow down, it's a lot of fun though! Thank you for the comment!

Nykki from Germantown, WI on January 26, 2013:

I enjoyed your list! Great songs and great hub! It would be so difficult to only write about 10 great unrequited love songs.

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on October 16, 2012:


I still listen to some of these and relive my rage... LOL.

ps. I'm old and I still have my teeth! ;)

Thanks for the comment!

Will Apse on October 16, 2012:

I miss moping to soulful music in despair and misery over unrequited love.

Its one of the things you lose as you get old. Like teeth.

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on September 25, 2012:


I don't know who Frank Ocean is and I never liked Bad Religion. You can always join HubPages and write your definitive list! :)

shane on September 25, 2012:

No frank ocean, bad religion?

Lucas on August 10, 2012:


Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on July 21, 2012:

Thank you, Free2writ3. I appreciate it.

Free2writ3 from Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania on July 21, 2012:

Great hub

spacemonkey420 on June 27, 2012:

"Strange and Beautiful" by Aqualung

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on June 24, 2012:

Kelly L,

I have never heard of Fine Frenzy, but I will look for the song. Thanks for the info!

Kelly L. on June 24, 2012:

"Almost Lover" by Fine Frenzy is good too :) Beautiful song. If you haven't heard it, you should give it listen.

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on June 15, 2012:


Deal! :)

Headfullofsound on June 15, 2012:

Only if you start with their best album, "The Smiths".

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on June 15, 2012:


I will make you a deal. I will run off and listen to some of their music and you, in return, will agree to not be blue?

Headfullofsound on June 15, 2012:

Blue. Because I weep for anyone who is not familiar with the Smiths.

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on June 14, 2012:


Maybe I've had my head in the sand but, even with my extensive knowledge of music, I only know one Smiths song, and that's because Snake River Conspiracy covered it! My bad!

ps. What color light saber do you want? ;)

Headfullofsound on June 14, 2012:

Good God in Heaven, No Smiths songs? Something's terribly wrong here.

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on June 14, 2012:


I love some country music, just not the sucky stuff! I love almost all Garth Brooks's songs, and I love Bonnie Raitt too!

Jamie Sykes from Lewisville, North Carolina on June 14, 2012:

I am kinda surprised to see Garth Brooks on here since, yanno, you're not a big country person.

I love the Bonnie Raitt song. So pretty.

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on June 14, 2012:

Nah, Modok. He lost me when he made that really raunchy album. Now I won't play his songs at all!

Modok on June 14, 2012:

What? No Bryan Adams?

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