Songs define moments throughout your life. They bring back memories of loves found and lost, achievements, and tragedies. Together, we can all relate to hundreds of songs about crushes. We have listed 55 musical numbers about catching feelings for the first, second, and one-hundredth time you were smitten:
1. I’ve Got a Crush on You – Frank Sinatra
Ol’ Blue Eyes wasn’t the first to sing this George Gershwin tune. Nevertheless, Sinatra, along with jazz performers like Ella Fitzgerald and Sara Vaughn, made it a standard for those with the hope they could turn their crushes into romantic partners. It describes how the narrator knows they would be together from the first time they saw the other person. Also, although the singer asks listeners to pardon their mush, they don’t care what others think as long as the other person falls for them.
2. Johnny Angel – Shelley Fabares
The worst thing about crushes is they stop you from other relationships. It’s the concept behind Shelley Fabares’ 1962 hit “Johnny Angel.” She’s completely smitten by a boy who knows nothing about her. In a quest to win his heart, Fabares gets to the point that she turns down other suitors that come down her path.
3. Surfer Girl – The Beach Boys
The idea of “Surfer Girl” came to Brian Wilson while driving to a hot dog stand. The result of his genius became one of the Beach Boys’ first hits and a standard that has withstood the test of time. The lyrics are straightforward as the narrator watches a girl surf the waves off the California coast. He fantasizes about taking her everywhere in his Woody (his wood-paneled station wagon) to make her dreams come true.
4. I Will Follow Him – Little Peggy March
Peggy March was 15-years-old when she recorded “I Will Follow Him” in 1962 — a prime age when crushes take a young person’s brain hostage. The song reveals how far the narrator will go to be with her person of interest. It doesn’t matter how deep the ocean or high the mountain she will get as close as possible. For the singer, it’s more than a simple crush. According to her, the pair is destined to be together.
5. I Want to Hold Your Hand – The Beatles
A listen to The Beatles catalog reveals they were all about love (for the most part). Even their late 1960s songs promoted adoration to individuals and the entire world. “I Want to Hold Your Hand” is an example of one of The Beatles’ numbers that emphasize unrequited love. John Lennon speaks to the anonymous girl asking her to understand that he only wants to hold her hand and feel a connection between them.
6. You Really Got Me – The Kinks
While The Beatles gently asked their subject to hold their hand, The Kinks pushed the fact they had a thing for the girl in their song. “You Really Got Me” is a hard rocker that describes how confused the singer is due to his infatuation. He never gets a response from the girl on whether she feels the same about him.
7. Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers
The first version of the Righteous Brothers hit wasn’t originally about a crush. Its first appearance was in the 1955 movie Unchained. Based in prison, it represented the feelings of inmates who passed their time by doing nothing. The 1965 version takes a different tone thanks to Phil Spector’s production. It’s about someone trying to catch and hold the feelings of a loved one during a lonely time in their lives.
8. Younger Girl – The Lovin’ Spoonful
Generally, the formula of a crush song combines someone’s love with a person equal to their age or older. It’s a practice of numbers sung by females to their partners. The situation gets reversed in 1965’s “Younger Girl.” Here, lead singer John Sebastian has a crush on a younger girl. He’s torn between thoughts of being a brother-like figure to her or waiting until she’s older. Ultimately, he decides to leave her but still can’t get her out of his mind.
9. I’m a Believer – The Monkees
The Monkees hit written by Neil Diamond accurately catches the feelings of someone who didn’t think they would ever find their match. Then, the narrator sees her face and becomes a believer. It’s to the point that the doubt he once felt is no longer on his mind. He becomes a changed man.
10. I Second That Emotion – Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
In this 1967 hit by Smokey Robinson, the narrator courts a girl who likes to string men along instead of getting serious. Although he still has feelings for her, the narrator doesn’t want to play games. So, he gives her an ultimatum. If she has a notion to only be with him, the narrator is ready to gladly second her emotion.
11. One – Three Dog Night
Harry Nilsson wrote “One” in response to calling someone and getting a busy signal. Though he released it on a 1968 album, Three Dog Night made it a hit. Listen to the singer explain why both one and two can be the loneliest numbers. It hurts even more when the object of someone’s affection leaves. It causes the man to feel alone even in a crowd.
12. A Little Less Conversation – Elvis Presley
The King doesn’t beat around the bush in this 1970 song. He’s tired of the conversations he has with his crush. He wants her to decide if they should be together. Needing some satisfaction, Elvis asks his lady to open her heart. In the end, listeners never know if the woman decides to take on the challenge.
13. I Think I Love You – The Partridge Family
The number one hit by TV musical group, The Partridge Family, starts with lead singer, David Cassidy, realizing the girl who has been his friend is now someone he thinks he loves. He tries to keep it to himself but finds it hard not to shout it whenever she enters a room. By the end of “I Think I Love You,” David decides to take a chance and tell her how he feels.
14. All I Want – Joni Mitchell
Hate and sorrow meet love and possibility. It’s the formula for Mitchell’s “All I Want” from her classic 1971 album, Blue. Although she’s not too fond of a former interest, she wants to know if she made a mistake. To find out, Mitchell taunts her crush and asks if he wants to dance and take another chance with her. She’s even willing to go so far as to wreck her stockings at a jukebox dive to be with him.
15. You Ought to be With Me – Al Green
Sometimes, it’s best to display confidence when you want your crush to pay attention. It’s the advice Al Green provides to the lovelorn in 1972’s “You Ought to be With Me.” Basically, don’t waste his time if you simply want to be friends. His goal is to shut down any competition to be with the person who interests him.
16. Baby, I Love Your Way – Peter Frampton
In 1975, Peter Frampton struck people’s hearts with a song about longing for a far-away love. Since then, the sensitive rocker’s song has become a staple for those who miss a lost love. The version released on 1976’s Frampton Comes Alive!, which continues to be a radio favorite, has even more emotion to stress a broken heart.
17. Dance With Me – Orleans
The band Orlean’s first hit is specific. The narrator doesn’t want anyone to dance with him. He wants to step out on the floor with a special girl. He has plans for this individual and wants to make sure the two connect before the night ends. Whether or not anything else happens after the dance is up to the listener’s imagination.
18. So Into You – Atlantic Rhythm Section
The storyteller of this 1976 hit needs the girl who entrances him to look into his eyes. However, he can’t do anything to get her to notice. “So Into You” is a crush song that tells an old tale. Those who have feelings for someone else wish they could telepathically get them to pay attention.
19. 1-2 Crush on You – The Clash
With songs titled “Hateful,” “Hate and War,” and “Guns on the Roof,” The Clash aren’t known for their love songs. The exception is 1976’s “1-2 Crush on You.” The only thing that even remotely represents the punk lifestyle in this song is the rich versus poor situation between the boy and the girl he pines for. Besides that, this tune is a straightforward number about someone who needs to know his crush and move right into a relationship.
20. I Wanna Be Your Lover – Prince
The Purple One’s first hit single addresses a subject he repeatedly came back to — convincing someone that he’s a better partner. In “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” Prince tries to convince a girl he’s a much better catch than her current beau. Plus, although he doesn’t have a lot of money, he’ll compensate with the power of love. Prince would repeat this theme in “If I Was Your Girlfriend” and many more songs.
21. Bad Case of Loving You – Robert Palmer
Robert Palmer is sick. His heart is blue because he has a bad case of loving someone who doesn’t know. The doctor can’t give him a pill to cure his ills. The woman needs to know Robert is more than cute and definitely isn’t shy. Basically, he’s the catch that she never expected.
22. All for Leyna – Billy Joel
“All for Leyna,” from Billy Joel’s 1980 album Glass Houses, is about the angst young adolescent men feel when they continually think about a girl. You drive your friends and family crazy and your school work suffers. You’re the only one who believes everything you do is for Leyna — a girl that doesn’t want to be friends, let alone a girlfriend. It’s a crushing revelation that breaks the strongest hearts.
23. Jesse’s Girl – Rick Springfield
“Jesse’s Girl” is a great example of crushing on someone songs. It also addresses a common theme about falling for your friend’s girlfriend even when you don’t want it to happen. For this 1981 massive hit, Jesse was a girl his friend Gary dated as the song appeared in Rick’s mind. It continues to be a requiem for everyone who cherishes their friend’s romantic partner.
24. Centerfold – J. Geils Band
“Centerfold,” from the album Freeze Frame, is a tale of indecision. The song’s subject is shocked to find his high school crush has appeared sans clothes in a men’s magazine. He struggles between sadness at a loss of innocence and lust at seeing her in a centerfold. In the end, although his blood runs cold, he decides to let his libido take over and purchases the magazine for future perusal.
25. Can’t Fight This Feeling – REO Speedwagon
REO Speedwagon is known for their 1980s power ballads. The most popular and the one that reaches the hearts of many is 1984’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling.” Fearing that his affection for a girl will overwhelm him, the signer contemplates sharing his infatuation with her. The song addresses the ongoing debate between keeping your feelings a secret and facing possible disappointment if you tell someone.
26. Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want – The Smiths
In the movie Pretty in Pink, the character Duckie (Jon Cryer) mopes over the fact his best friend Anie (Molly Ringwald) will never be into him. The Smiths’ “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want” plays in the background to heighten the character’s morose feelings. The song is another example of how Morrissey and his bandmates were able to show the darker side of longing after someone. Also, Duckie seems to find a new person of interest at the film’s end. So, not every crush ends in disaster.
27. Infatuation – Rod Stewart
There are times a crush digs so far into your brain that you do stupid things. Rod Stewart addresses his condition in 1984’s “Infatuation.” His desperation eventually becomes an obsession that makes him drink too much and develop a Jekyll and Hyde personality. However, Stewart thinks things will settle down if his crush can provide him with the smallest amount of love.
28. I’m On Fire – Bruce Springsteen
The daddy Bruce Springsteen mentions in his 1985 hit isn’t a father figure. It’s the boyfriend of the girl he’s crushing on. For the rest of the song, Bruce tries to convince her that his love for her is so strong that it feels like someone stuck a knife into his skull and ripped his innards from it. The way to cool the fire inside is to be with her. Like other songs on this list, listeners are left to imagine what happens next.
29. Crazy for You – Madonna
“Crazy for You” was recorded for the 1985 film Vision Quest. It revealed Madonna could sing both ballads and dance numbers alike. It also uses a familiar trope in crush songs — the feeling someone gets when they get close to a special someone on the dance floor. Listeners feel the tension as the pair moves and their breaths and bodies come together.
30. Crush on You – The Jets
The first two lines of the Jets’ “Crush on You” don’t delay getting to the issue, “How did you know ’cause I never told/But you found out I’ve got a crush on you.” However, the other individual’s feelings seem to be mutual. The narrator can tell from the confident way they walk and act. Perhaps there’s a happy ending after all.
31. The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson
Bad, the successful 1987 follow-up to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, contains plenty of songs about love and the emotions it creates. “The Way You Make Me Feel” focuses on his goal to win the love of his crush. The famous video shows Michael as he follows the lady of his dreams and tries to woo her with his song and dance.
32. She Drives Me Crazy – Fine Young Cannibals
Roland Gift, the Fine Young Cannibals lead singer, is running out of time. He needs to know if his crush will set him free so he can be with her. Like similar songs, “She Drives Me Crazy” details the unfortunate effects of a crush in a catchy pop tune. These include lack of sleep, bouts of obsession, and feelings of loneliness when they feel like their infatuation is living their life without them.
33. Check Yes Or No – George Strait
In the age before text messages, kids used to pass paper notes back and forth in class. Many times it was between a guy and his first crush. They would pass notes around asking a love interest to check yes or no if they liked them. Although the same heartbreak existed, the song is a gentle reminder about lost loves.
34. #1 Crush – Garbage
“#1 Crush” is an anthem for everyone who enters dark and desperate places when they have a crush on someone. Therefore, it fits perfectly in the soundtrack to 1996’s Romeo + Juliet with Leonardo Di Caprio and Clare Danes. There’s nothing darker than a boy and girl who commit suicide when their romance, which is a mutual crush, fails because their families don’t want them to be together. “#1 Crush” emphasizes this when the singer states they would die for the object of their affection.
35. Crush – Jennifer Paige
There are many songs with crush in the title or as the song’s name. The 1998 version by Jennifer Paige is far different than the number with the same title by The Dave Matthews Band. Here, Jennifer has a hard crush on someone. Yet, she plays it cool with him. “Let it be what it’ll be,” she says while probably trying to keep the quiver out of her voice.
36. Crush – The Dave Matthews Band
In an interview about this 1998 song, lead singer Dave Matthews said “Crush” was more about worshipping a woman than getting to know her. So, when you have feelings for someone, you want to spend every moment with them. The song’s subject has this moment when he spends the night with his major crush.
37. U Got It Bad – Usher
There are times when you don’t want a crush. For instance, when you still think about your ex. It’s the theme of Usher’s 2001 “U Got It Bad.” He wants to shake the feelings he has for his former partner. However, his mind has other ideas.
38. Sk8er Boi – Avril Lavigne
Avril Lavigne’s 2002 power-pop anthem tells and twists the concept of a crush into a tale of regret. At the start, Sk8er Boi falls for a beautiful girl with zero interest in him. Fast forward several years, and Sk8er Boi is a huge success. Meanwhile, the past girl of his dreams lives a life full of mediocrity. The moral of the song is don’t be too hasty to ignore someone’s infatuation.
39. Can’t Get You Out of My Head – Kylie Minogue
“Can’t Get You Out of My Head” is an example of a catchy song filled with lament. In between a chorus of “la las” are lyrics that describe how far her crush is in her head. It’s all she can think about daily. She’s also afraid of thinking about something else because his image may fade.
40. Stacy’s Mom – Fountains of Wayne
Plenty of pubescent boys have fallen hard for their friend’s mothers. The band Fountains of Wayne put it to lyrics in 2003. In “Stacy’s Mom,” the narrator tells his unrequited love that he’s a grown man. Plus, since his friend’s father is no longer in the picture, the signer now has a chance to be with the woman of his teenage dreams.
41. You Belong With Me – Taylor Swift
2008’s “You Belong With Me” goes out to the women who were best friends but never girlfriends. Of all crush types, the one that’s so close yet so far hurts the most. Taylor Swift emotes these feelings in a vocal that mixes strength and vulnerability.
42. Crush – David Archuleta
The 2008 song has the distinction of being the highest-charting number with this title to date. It’s not surprising it quickly hit number one on the Billboard charts. It reflects everything someone feels when their infatuation starts to become love, particularly the moments you’re mesmerized by when they appear.
43. Teenage Dream – Katy Perry
Teenagers aren’t the only ones to get crushes on someone. It also happens with adults. According to Katy Perry, crushes make you feel like a teenager again. In turn, it creates a euphoria not felt in decades. In the end, Katy believes that these opportunities are still possible as we grow up.
44. Just The Way You Are – Bruno Mars
The lead single from Bruno Mars’ 2010 debut album reveals how a guy falls for a girl. As people do with their crushes, he romanticizes everything she does, no matter how plain. It shows how simple thoughts about an unmet love turn into perfection.
45. One Thing – One Direction
The irony about “One Thing” is tens of thousands of girls had a crush on the boys who performed the song. While they knew the reasons why they liked Harry, Niall, Louie, and the other members of One Direction, the number itself asks why someone has a crush on another person. Although they take your breath away you aren’t sure why.
46. Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen
The hit of the summer of 2012 has the narrator taking the plunge on her crush. She gives them her number and asks for them to call … maybe. Meanwhile, she’ll continue to pine for him until something happens. The song’s video partially answers the question of what happened.
47. Boyfriend – Justin Bieber
Justin Beiber gets right to the point in this 2012 song. He wants to be a girl’s boyfriend. He then proceeds to tell her why he’s the right person to be with her. In interviews about “Boyfriend,” Justin said it came from his heart. If only others could get past their fears and be direct with their crushes.
48. Shower – Becky G
Other performers sing about the devastating effects of crushes. They can’t eat, sleep, or focus. Becky G does the opposite in 2015’s “Shower.” She relishes the feelings that come with infatuation. You get that extra lift in your steps and you can’t stop smiling. Plus, you become the best version of yourself to impress the other person. In doing so, you draw others into your universe.
49. Yeah Boy – Kelsea Ballerini
In 2015, Radio Disney named Kelsea Ballerini’s “Yeah Boy” as the best crush song ever. It makes sense as it features all of the elements of a good catching feelings song. It starts immediately with Kelsea claiming her heart stopped and listened when he caught her attention. She wants to keep cool but her emotions keep getting in the way. Those who had healthy crushes have felt exactly the same way.
50. Treat You Better – Shawn Mendes
It comes down to one thing for Shawn Mendes in “Treat You Better.” He can be an exceedingly better boyfriend to someone than their current partner. He’s sure of this because Shawn sees how poorly the other guy treats her. He believes someone like her deserves a gentleman in their lives to cherish them.
51. Bad Liar – Selena Gomez
There have been so many crush songs where the narrator describes the trouble they have keeping their feelings a secret. “Bad Liar,” the 2017 hit by Selena Gomez, is a recent example. Although she tries to play it coy and cool, those darn feelings for her crush keep coming to the surface. Every time she sees him a fraction of her mind becomes obsessed with loving him.
52. Into You – Ariana Grande
Ariana is into someone so hard that she can’t breathe. That’s a hard crush for someone to have. She also knows her feelings won’t be satisfied until they go beyond holding hands and kissing. Although the other person doesn’t seemingly know she has a crush, Ariana is willing to roll the dice to see if chance favors her.
53. Sucker – Jonas Brothers
Infatuation makes you do crazy things. The Jonas Brothers dance on cars, stumble out of bars, and walk through the dark to be with their crushes. In other words, they’re suckers for the opposite sex. Nevertheless, they’re still proud of what they do to draw their attention.
54. Harry Styles – Adore You
Similarly, Harry Styles would do absolutely anything for a girl he’s absolutely devoted to. It includes walking through fire. She doesn’t have to say “I love you” when he does these things. Harry just wants his crush to know that she’s constantly on his mind. In the end, “Adore You” is about the initial bliss of infatuation. A time when someone thinks they could do anything for the love of another.
55. Fever – Dua Lipa
Last but not least is Dua Lipa’s 2020 dance-pop song “Fever.” The title is fairly self-explanatory. It finds the singer flustered and feeling a bit feverish around someone she likes. Dua knows it’s infatuation because she felt fine before he came along. Now, she gets red whenever he’s around.