What are the best slow songs? Whether you call them ballads, love songs or slow jams, slow songs are usually designed for romance - celebrating it, reveling in it or weeping over it. Something about a slow melody and emotional-overload lyrics gets the heart all aflutter, so slow songs are what people turn to in special moments - weddings, graduations and even funerals are frequent places slow music shines.
Best Slow Songs
Narrowing down a list of the best slow songs can be personal business. After all, more than any other kind of music, slow songs are associated with very personal moments and memories, so your picks probably have a lot to do with which songs figure prominently in the soundtrack of your life. There are, however, some go-to slow song classics that get trotted out frequently. Here are some of the most popular slow songs going:
When a Man Loves a Woman by Percy Sledge
This song came from Sledge's first single, and what a doozy it was. Released in 1966, the song still consistently ranks high on just about every "best songs" list out there. Though the lyrics sound expertly crafted, they actually hadn't been written at all when Sledge hit the studio to record the track. Most of the lyrics were ad-libbed on the spot by Sledge - it helped that he was nursing a broken heart himself after having just been dumped by his girlfriend when she went off to start a modeling career.
Can't Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley
This song is one of those that artists love to cover - there are tons of different versions of this track - but Elvis' version remains the most popular. The song itself was adapted from a French song called Plaisir d'Amour by Jean Paul Egide Martini. A songwriting team created an English version of the song for Elvis to perform in his 1962 movie Blue Hawaii, and it soared right to the top of the charts.
I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston
Dolly Parton is the brains behind this seminal track, and her 1970s sparse version of the song was a country hit in its day. R&B diva Whitney Houston gave the song a complete makeover - taking Parton's bare and simple version and turning it into an over the top emote-a-thon for the 90s movie The Bodyguard, and radio lapped it up. This song is still one of the go-to slow songs when you're in the mood for just belting something out at the top of your lungs.
Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler
This track is another song that has been covered over and over, but Bette Midler owns it with her 1990 version that was recorded for the soundtrack of weepie film classic Beaches. This song isn't as much about love as it is friendship and is the ultimate tribute to the love and support of a special person.
What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
What a Wonderful World was a flop in the US at the time of its 1968 release. ABC Records, Armstrong's label, did not like the song so refused to promote it. It did, however, reach the top of the charts in the UK. Of course, ABC Records' instinct about the song was wrong - eventually it became a bonafide American music standard, though its underlying politically charged message is often misunderstood. Instead, it is used as a feel-good song of optimism.
More Great Slow Songs
Here are some more popular slow-paced ditties:
- It's Your Love - Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
- Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers
- Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton
- At Last - Etta James
- In My Life - The Beatles
- The Way You Look Tonight - Frank Sinatra
- Endless Love - Lionel Ritche and Diana Ross
- Let's Stay Together - Al Green
- Someone To Watch Over Me - Ella Fitzgerald
- Stand by Me - Ben E. King
Download Slow Songs
If thinking of these best slow songs has you itching to hear some, find out where you can score some slow and romantic music downloads.