10 Best songs about non-romantic love

Anna Walker 9 February 2022

This Valentine's Day, celebrate the non-romantic loves of your life with our favourite platonic love songs. 

1. "With a Little Help from My Friends" by The Beatles

Few bands have as many great love songs in their roster as The Beatles, but this choice celebrates the love of a non-romantic kind. 

Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and sung by drummer Ringo Starr, it's an ode to the importance of our friends for getting us through some of life's toughest moments. 

Best lyric: "What do I do when my love is away? Does it worry you to be alone? How do I feel by the end of the day? Are you sad because you're on your own? No, I get by with a little help from my friends."

 

2. "Chinese" by Lily Allen

This quirky pop ballad is an ode to Lily Allen's mother and the incomparable comfort of a mother's company in our lowest moments.

It's not the first time Allen has written songs for her family. "Alfie" is a playful plea to her younger brother (Game of Thrones actor Alfie Allen) to clean up his act, "He Wasn't There" discusses the complexities of her relationship with her father Keith Allen and "Go Back to the Start" is an apology to her sister Sarah for their rocky relationship. 

Best lyric: "I don't want anything more, Than to see your face when you open the door, You'll make me beans on toast and a nice cup of tea, And we'll get a Chinese and watch TV."

 

3. "My Best Friend" by Queen

Queen's bass player John Deacon wrote this song for his wife Veronica Tetzlaff, but it's taken on its own life as an anthem for friendships everywhere.

Best lyric: "I've been with you such a long time, You're my sunshine and I want you to know, That my feelings are true, I really love you. Oh, you're my best friend."

 

4. "Dance With My Father" by Luther Vandross

A song about great loss is also a song of great love in Luther Vandross's poignant ode to his late father.

Vandross was just seven when his father passed away from diabetes, and speaking of the song, his mother, Mary Ida, said, "I was amazed at how well Luther remembered his father, how we used to dance and sing in the house. I was so surprised that at seven and a half years of age, he could remember what a happy household we had."

Best lyric: "If I could steal one final glance, one final step, One final dance with him, I'd play a song that would never ever end, 'Cause I'd love, love, love to dance with my father again."

 

5. "Brown Skinned Girl" by Beyoncé ft Blue Ivy, SAINt JHN, WizKid

Featuring vocals from her eldest daughter Blue Ivy Carter, Beyoncé's "Brown Skinned Girl" offers a counter to colourism by celebrating dark-skinned women across the world. There are shout-outs to numerous pioneering black women including supermodel Naomi Campbell, actress Lupita Nyong'o, and her former Destiny's Child bandmate Kelly Rowland. 

Speaking about creating the music video as part of her Disney+ visual album Black Is King, Beyoncé told Good Morning America, "It was so important to me in 'Brown Skin Girl' that we represented all different shades of brown… We wanted every character to be shot in a regal light… It was important that we are all in this together and we're all celebrating each other."

Best lyric: "Brown skin girl, Your skin just like pearls, The best thing in the world, Never trade you for anybody else."

 

6. "Cool" by Gwen Stefani

When we end a defining relationship of our lives, where does all the love we once had for our partner go? That's the question preoccupying former No Doubt frontwoman Gwen Stefani in this punchy pop song, most likely written about her ex-boyfriend (and ex-bandmate) Tony Kanal. While the two are no longer romantically involved, she looks back on their relationship with fondness and appreciates the friendship they've been able to nurture together. 

Best lyric: "We used to think it was impossible, Now you call me by my new last name, Memories seem like so long ago, Time always kills the pain."

 

7. "My Hood" by Ray BLK ft Stormzy

This love song isn't addressed to a person at all, but to singer-songwriter Ray BLK's hometown of Catford in London. Addressing the often-complex relationship working-class communities have with their hometown, Ray sings about her affection for Catford, despite the lack of opportunities it offered, or the fact that "finding a way out is our dream".

Best lyric: "On these streets, these streets, In the dark, we glow, On these streets, these streets, We're high when it's low, On these streets, these streets, Through concrete, flowers grow, In my hood, my hood, my hood, my hood."

 

8. "My Same" by Adele

Adele may be known for her belt-it-in-the-shower love ballads, but this off-beat tune from her debut album, 19, focuses on a different kind of love—for her best friend, Laura Dockrill.

Though Adele admits their friendship has suffered its ups and downs, she is now godmother to Laura's son and Laura was shown smiling in the audience for Adele's 2021 Live at the Royal Albert Hall show. 

Best lyric: "I thought I knew myself, somehow you know me more. I've never known this, never before, You're the first to make up whenever we argue, I don't know who I'd be if I didn't know you."

 

9. "Hey Jude" by Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney wrote "Hey Jude" for John Lennon's son Julian after his father left his mother (Cynthia Lennon) for Yoko Ono.

The idea struck McCartney one day when driving to visit Cynthia, and speaking to The Washington Post about the song in 2015, he explained, "I started with the idea 'Hey Jules,' which was Julian, don't make it bad, take a sad song and make it better. Hey, try and deal with this terrible thing. I knew it was not going to be easy for him. I always feel sorry for kids in divorces."

Best lyric: "And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain, Don't carry the world upon your shoulders. For well you know that it's a fool who plays it cool, By making his world a little colder."

 

10. "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon & Garfunkel

Considered by many to be one of the greatest songs ever written, Paul Simon himself has little idea how he came to write "Bridge Over Troubled Water".

“I have no idea where it came from," he explained in the 2011 documentary The Harmony Game, "it just came, all of a sudden. I remember thinking, This is considerably better than I usually write.” 

Best lyric: "When you're weary, Feeling small, When tears are in your eyes, I'll dry them all."

 

Read more: Songs for love birds

Read more: How to put the sizzle back in your sex life

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