My Funny Grahamstown Valentine… the perfect playlist


From poetic soul classics and soaring pop promises to sexy rock rhapsodies, unapologetically political singer-songwriter croons and beyond. Miles Keylock took to the streets to find out what love songs strike the perfect chord with Grahamstown’s citizens this Valentine’s Day.

“Angels and Devils the Following Day” by Dory Previn off Mythical Kings and Iguanas (1971)

The key lines for me in this [early-in-my-life] ‘song’ story are: “and the one that was gentle hurt me much more than the one who was rough and made love on the floor”. For me, this song is about class associations… you can tell I tried to live my politics! – Professor Lynette Steenveld, Journalism & Media studies


“I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston from The Bodyguard soundtrack (1992)

Okay, everyone’s heard the song like a ba-zillion times at weddings. But for me it just doesn’t get stale. I mean, just listen to Whitney’s voice! What man wouldn’t want his woman declaring her love like that! – Shameema Jacobs, BA 1st year


 “As” by Stevie Wonder off Songs in the Key of Life (1976)

The poetry, depth and sweep of it. It is broad, big and very high – there’s nothing cheesy or kitsch about it. It’s just a declaration of eternal devotion. – Lesego Ramplokeng, poet, teacher and PhD student



 “Remarkable” by Jaheim off Ghetto love (2001)

This song is just something else. Check out the lyrics: “I wanna spend my life with you… From first sight/ that first night/ I knew instantly…” It’s a special song for me. – Bomvani Stofile, cleaning support staff, Rhodes University


“I’ll Walk Beside You by Alan Murray and Edward Lockton (1939)

I first heard this at a wedding when I was 12 or 13. My father was playing the organ and his best friend was singing: “I’ll walk beside you through the world today/ While dreams and songs and flowers bless your way/ I’ll look into your eyes and hold your hand/ I’ll walk beside you through the golden land”. It’s a wedding song. – Wame Molefe, writer


“My Funny Valentine” by Chet Baker off Chet Baker sings (1954)

Yes, Chet’s voice is so sad, but it’s so beautiful. When he sings those lines “so, don’t change a hair for me/ not if you care for me/ stay little Valentine, stay” I fall in love all over again. – Rob Nel, musician, researcher


 “Forever Mine” by the O’Jays off Identify Yourself (1979)

The lyrics are so beautiful. They sing about staying in love forever. For me this is what true romance sounds like. – Lulama Nzuzo, cashier Spar Tops


“For my Mother” by Boyz II Men off Evolution (1997)

For me, my mother is “the queen of my heart”. I play this for her whenever I want her to know how much I love her:  “Mama I just want you to know lovin’ you is like food to my soul”.  – Sisanda B, cashier Pick ‘n Pay


“Wild Horses” by The Rolling Stones off Sticky Fingers (1971)

My best lyric is: “Lets’ do some living/ After love dies”. (Mick) Jagger sings it like he means it. For me, this is the best post-break-up, come back and let’s go to bed Valentine’s song, no issue. – Marius Venter, carpenter/ pool player/ barfly


“Come a Little Closer” by Brandy off Full Moon (2002)

This is a song that all the single ladies should sing to their men on Valentine’s Day: “When I look in your eyes I can see a million possibilities”… It’s sexy, but also happy.  – George Lyanda Sladsth, car guard


“I Need you tonight” by INXS off Kick (1987)

Remember Michael (Hutchence) singing “All you got is this moment…”? Bruce and Caitlin Cook, Australian tourists lost in Bathurst Street


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