Minnie Darke’s The Lost Love Song is a winsome and heartwarming love story that follows the brokenhearted Arie after his blazingly talented fiancée, Diana, passes away. A classical pianist, Diana composed a beautiful love song that, after her death, begins to make its way around the world and just might bring hope and light back to Arie’s life. We thought it only fitting to ask Darke which five songs she thinks are the most romantic she’s ever heard.
Can music make you fall in love? Capture the spirit of your own love story? Can it help you stay in love? These songs did the trick for me.
1. In my teens—"Raspberry Beret” by Prince
For me, this boppy tune from the purple pop star is permanently emblematic of my first love affair with a boy who had a car. I only have to hear the opening riff and all of a sudden it’s high summer. The windows are down, there are smudgy toe prints on the windscreen and sand on the red leather of the bench seats. Probably, I’m eating a rainbow Paddle Pop on the way home from the beach. I confess that at this time in my life, I even had a raspberry beret. And if it was warm, I wouldn’t wear much more.
2. In my 20s—"The Ship Song” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Oh, the sweet angst of being in one’s 20s, and in the turbid depths of a love affair with a tragic, emo art boy with big green eyes. The one I always knew wasn’t quite right for me but couldn’t resist even so. I sailed my ships around him, I burned my bridges down, and Nick Cave sang the soundtrack to the great and terrible pain of an on-again, off-again relationship.
3. In my 30s—"First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes
This song makes a cameo appearance in The Lost Love Song as the wedding song at Arie’s little sister’s nuptials. It wasn’t released at the time of my own wedding, which happened under a waterfall in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. But, if it had been, I’d definitely have chosen it as my own wedding song because it’s as simple, straightforward and beautiful as the moment in life when you commit yourself utterly to one person. I’m so glad I didn’t die before I met him.
4. In my 40s—"If I Ever Lose My Faith in You” by Sting
I came close to picking Shania Twain’s “You're Still the One” for my 40s, because—I confess—I do sing along to it super loud in the car when it comes on the radio. But the song that really pierces me to the core in this phase of my life is Sting’s “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You.” It’s a song about how true love holds steady, even when every other belief is crumbling, and despite the challenges of our complicated world (politicians who look like game show hosts, miracles of science that turn from blessings to curses). It’s a song that might sound disillusioned if you couldn’t hear the idealistic belief in love beating at its core.
5. In my future—"I Know You by Heart” by Eva Cassidy
Maybe nobody else is masochistic enough to work out in advance what song they would want to listen to if they lost the person they love. But I think I already know that if I’m ever in that situation, I’ll turn to this exquisite autumnal song by Eva Cassidy. I’ll walk with Eva’s soaring vocals down roads of orange and gold, remembering everything that I’ve come to know by heart.