Ah, young love — so sweet yet so naive. When I was a young'n, unsure of romance, I kept lists of "love milestones" and "love requirements" — first hand-hold (fingers cupped), first hand-hold (fingers laced), first kiss, best perfumes to wear (I wrote, at 12-years-old, "perfumes to drive men wild," like I knew what that meant), etc. But I know I'm not the only one for whom a first kiss was the most important event. Maybe y'all didn't have heavily detailed lists, but there was definitely some thought put into the act, especially the now-nostalgic songs that were playing during that first kiss.
Maybe you were the type of kid who chilled with their crush and listened to some smooth R&B in the vein of K-Ci & JoJo's "All My Life," or maybe you and the object of your affection liked to share some angst before locking lips with the help of Taking Back Sunday's "Great Romances of the 20th Century." No matter what the case or your tastes, chances are you probably remember the song that was playing as you entered the wonderful world of smooches.
1"Naughty Girl" (2003)
Perhaps you needed some inspiration to get your freak on. Queen Bey has been providing empowered love inspiration since Day 1. When you had never kissed someone, the task could feel daunting, but luckily, B had your back.
2"First Day Of My Life" (2005)
Even if the recipient of your first kiss wasn't the love of your life, this song from Bright Eyes about life seeming new when you're in love set the perfect tone for a first lip-lock.
3"All My Life" (1997)
If you happened to get distracted mid-kiss and started humming along with K-Ci & JoJo's smooth jam, don't feel alone. This classic has been distracting kissers since the late '90s.
There's nothing quite like the sweet but powerful voice of Alicia Keys to promote kiss-heavy behavior.
5"Great Romances Of The 20th Century" (2002)
Boy: Let's listen to Taking Back Sunday!
Girl: How about "Great Romances of the 20th Century?"
*Couple listens for a few seconds*
Boy: Wanna make out?
6"Always On Time" (2001)
Something about the combination of Ja Rule's gruff rapping voice and Ashanti's velvety singing voice made preteens and teens so aware of their budding sexuality. How many first kisses were spawned by this song playing at the local mall and/or roller rink?
7"Hey There Delilah" (2006)
It's definitely not a requirement to plant a fat one on the guy or gal who learns to play this Plain White T's song about a lady with a fancy name. But at the same time, "Hey There Delilah"-induced first smooches were certainly common in the mid-'00s.
8"Come Away With Me" (2002)
I can just picture it: it's almost the end of the big dance. Everyone is tired of the fast songs and is sitting down enjoying the punch while pretending their feet don't hurt. Suddenly, "Come Away With Me" by Norah Jones comes on, everyone starts slow dancing, and just like that, first kisses are had by all.
Thanks to Coldplay, yellow seemed like the romantic color during prime first kiss season. Extra points if you both happened to be wearing yellow while sharing your first kiss.
10"We Belong Together" (2005)
On rare occasions, a break-up song can be just as stimulating for a first kiss-recipient as a song about young love. Mariah Carey's heartbroken voice in this song does some serious heart-stirring.
11"You're Beautiful" (2005)
After gazing longingly into each other's eyes but not knowing quite what to do with your hands or mouths, James Blunt's song about beauty was the perfect catalyst. All the kisser had to do was quote the lyrics to the kiss-ee and voila, welcome to First Kiss Town, USA.
12"Best I Ever Had" (2009)
Maybe your first kiss wasn't the best you ever had, but this song really was a great choice for the first track you listened to while kissing. Drake was so soulful back then.
13"Underneath It All" (2002)
If you were unsure about where your fresh new relationship was going, No Doubt's Rock Steady was the perfect album choice. First, you could listen to some great ska and soak up all the empowered vibes that comes along with that, then around track five, when "Underneath It All" came on, it would be time for moves to be made.
14"Make Me Better" (2007)
What's sexier than a partner who needs you? A partner who is fine without you, but still needs you. Fabolous and Ne-Yo remind first kissers that romance is all well and good, but stability is also important. But you first kissers out there probably got caught up in the whole slick song and didn't even consider the lesson. It's OK, you're not alone.
15"Anyone Else But You" (2001)
There's nothing like a movie with a dope soundtrack to lead to a teen's first kiss. Juno ends with lead actors Michael Cera and Ellen Page covering The Moldy Peaches' "Anyone Else But You" which is a direct translation for "this was the exact time in an adolescent date to go for that first kiss."
16"Hate That I Love You" (2007)
Rihanna and Ne-Yo's collaboration was first kiss perfection. It had just the right amount of dance-heavy vibes to get the heartbeat pounding and ready for kisses. And yet, the lyrics remind the listener that relationships are complicated and it wouldn't be the worst thing to take things slow. Multiple levels, gang.
17"Such Great Heights" (2003)
There you are, sitting on the couch in your parents' basement with the object of your affection listening to that special burned CD you created just for the occasion. The Postal Service's "Such Great Heights" is the perfect behind-the-scenes influencer. Maybe you and your intended didn't realize the song was even playing, but something about the atmosphere in the room changed and you had to do something about it. And therein lies the first kiss.