10 love songs written for someone in particular

10 February 2024, 16:00

Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal of No Doubt in 2015
Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal of No Doubt in 2015. Picture: John Davisson/Invision/AP/Alamy

Some of the greatest love songs have bee written for wives, husbands, significant others... or just celebrity crushes.

Radio X

By Radio X

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Read more:

Listen to the Radio X Indie Love Songs playlist on Global Player!

Radio X Indie Love Songs live playlist
Radio X Indie Love Songs live playlist. Picture: Radio X
  1. No Doubt - Don’t Speak

    No Doubt - Don't Speak

    Just look at the smouldering tension in this video, which sees singer Gwen Stefani’s failed relationship with bassist Tony Kanal go under the microscope. She later married Bush singer Gavin Rossdale, but the pair split in 2015.

  2. The Kooks - Ooh-La

    The Kooks - Ooh La

    Luke Pritchard met Katie Melua when they were both at the BRITS School and the pair dated briefly. It’s thought that the first Kooks album, Inside In/Inside Out is mainly written about her.

  3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps

    Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps (Official Music Video)

    "They were real tears," revealed singer Karen O, following the release of this moving video. "My boyfriend at the time was supposed to come to the shoot - he was three hours late and I was just about to leave for tour." The chap in question was Angus Andrew, Australian-born lead singer with New York post punk act Liars. In fact, one rumour has it that "MAPS" stands for "My Angus, Please Stay".

  4. The Beatles - Something

    The Beatles - Something

    One of the Fab Four’s most tender and beautiful songs was written by George Harrison for his wife Patti Boyd. The promo video for the single was accompanied by footage of each Beatle with their wives: Boyd, Yoko Ono, Linda Eastman and Maureen Starkey.

  5. Bjork - Venus As A Boy

    björk : venus as a boy [surrounded]

    It’s never been 100% confirmed, but it’s thought that this bewitching song was written about producer Dom T, aka Dominic Thrupp, who Bjork was seeing at the time of Debut.

  6. Razorlight - Golden Touch

    Razorlight - Golden Touch (Official Video)

    Johnny Borrell wrote this indie classic about the DJ Mairead Nash, who was part of the duo Queens Of Noize. Ah, the Noughties.

  7. The Fratellis - Chelsea Dagger

    The Fratellis - Chelsea Dagger (Official Music Video)

    A bawdy song about Jon Fratelli’s wife Heather Donnelly, who was a burlesque dancer.

  8. Amy Winehouse - Back To Black

    Amy Winehouse - Back To Black

    This classic, tortured song was inspired by Amy's turbulent relationship with Blake Fielder-Civil, who had left the singer for another girlfriend. They reconciled, married in May 2007 and... well, things did not turn out well.

  9. Paul McCartney - Maybe I'm Amazed

    Paul McCartney - Maybe I’m Amazed (Official Video)

    Beatle Paul McCartney and actress Jane Asher were one of the coolest couples of the 60s, but even though they got engaged on Christmas Day 1967, the relationship was over by the following summer. Macca met American photographer Linda Eastman and the pair had a romance which saw them marry in March 1969. This epic song is a tribute to his new wife, who gave him a grounding during the stormy final days of The Beatles.

  10. Oasis - Songbird

    The first Oasis song written by Liam Gallagher and released as a single was for his then-fiancée, later wife, later ex-wife Nicole Appleton.

    Oasis - Songbird (Official Video)