From stirring personal messages like Jim Croce’s 1973 posthumous ballad “I’ll Have to Say I Love You in a Song,” to contemporary acoustic Indie favorites like Rogue Wave’s “Eyes,” the 10 best acoustic guitar love songs feature some of the most impassioned vocals, as well as some of the most beautiful guitar melodies ever recorded. Memorable favorites for lovesick listeners, these songs have stood the test of time to leave lasting impressions on generations.
- “In Your Eyes” by Jeff Gaines. Included as a bonus track to Gaines’ 1992 single “Scares Me More,” this acoustic cover of Peter Gabriel’s hit from his 1986 album “So” features Gaines' grainy, soulful vocals and intense acoustic riffs. Slower and much more passionate than the original, Gaines' cover is by far one of the best acoustic guitar love songs ever performed.
- “For Emily Whenever I May Find Her” by Simon and Garfunkel. Performed most memorably for their “Live 1969” album, Paul Simon’s slow, sweet romantic ballad about being in love saw Paul Simon on acoustic guitar highlighting Art Garfunkel's sweet, lyrical vocals and has been covered by everyone from Tori Amos to The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
- “The Scientist” by Coldplay. Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and lead guitarist Johnny Buckland have performed “The Scientist” with acoustic guitars during a number of their concerts. This stripped-down, raw version of Coldplay’s lyrically powerful ballad showcases Martin’s impassioned vocals and impressive acoustic guitar by Buckland.
- “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” by The Beatles. In an attempt to write a song like folk singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, John Lennon crafted one of the best acoustic guitar love songs ever written and even sang with an unusually rustic inflection to mirror his American contemporary. The song is one of the Beatles most memorable hits and has been covered by bands like Oasis and The Beach Boys.
- “Layla” by Eric Clapton. Played acoustically by Clapton for “MTV Unplugged," Clapton’s bluesy acoustic cover of the song made famous by his band Derek and the Dominos in 1970 is one of the best acoustic guitar love songs ever written. Inspired by Clapton’s love for the wife of friend George Harrison, the song features Clapton’s unmatched mastery of the acoustic guitar.
- “Eyes” by Rogue Wave. Featured on the soundtrack to the 2005 film "Just Friends", this sweet acoustic ballad by Indie rock band Rogue Wave is one of the best acoustic guitar love songs in recent years and features slight country leanings and Zach Rogue’s uplifting vocals.
- “Hold You in My Arms” by Ray LaMontagne Featured on the 2004 debut album “Trouble” by folk favorite Ray LaMontagne, this endearing love song highlights LaMontagne’s signature raspy voice as well as his sweet acoustic guitar melodies, all backed softly by soulful arrangements of percussion and strings.
- “Such Great Heights” by Iron & Wine. Featured on the soundtrack to the 2004 Indie film “Garden State,” this song was originally written and performed by The Postal Service in 2003. Iron & Wine’s quiet cover consists of nothing more than Sam Beam on acoustic guitar and emphasizes Beam’s delicately whispered vocals. One of the best acoustic guitar love songs ever made, the song was even included as a B-side to The Postal Service’s original single.
- “Time After Time” by Eva Cassidy. One of Cyndi Lauper’s most successful singles when it was originally released in 1984, the song was performed by the late Eva Cassidy on her posthumous album “Time After Time.” Cassidy’s slow, poignant cover is a sharp contrast to the 80's pop original and features Cassidy’s moving vocals with a slow acoustic guitar accompaniment. Released four years after her death in 1996, the song is haunting in its beauty and is one of the best acoustic guitar love songs ever performed.
- “I’ll Have to Say I Love You in a Song” by Jim Croce. Recorded as a gift to his wife after a disagreement in 1973, the song was released posthumously after Croce's untimely death later that year. This deeply personal and emotionally stirring love song is one of the best acoustic guitar love songs ever written and climbed the Billboard charts in 1974 to become Croce’s fifth Top Ten hit.
What Others Are Reading Right Now.
Acting, comedy and strong spirits converge in Speakeasy. When host Paul F. Tompkins interviews entertainers—Key and Peele, Alison Brie, Rob Delaney, Zach Galifianakis—about all sor …
10 Things Women Expect Men to Know How To Do
To make ladies swoon or at least not cringe, you’d better be able to handle the following…
Speakeasy: Jonathan Banks
The Emmy-nominated Breaking Bad star talks Beverly Hills Cop, Wiseguy, sitcom work and his new flick with Danny Trejo, Bullet. Oh yeah, a few Mike Ehrma …