It's February, and love is in the air. With only ten days left till Valentine's Day, I thought I'd share my top five Valentine's Day sheet music covers.
Mind you, this music was not written strictly for Valentine's Day, but the covers evoke love and romance, and the music and lyrics convey likewise, so they'll do for this post.
So let's go ahead and dive right in!
5.) Love's Own Kiss (From High Jinks) (1913): This cover does not have any overtly romantic visuals, but the title is, of course, very romantic. Often, whenever a song is part of a larger work, (usually a musical or an operetta,) a generic sheet music cover is designed for the show, while the songs with that cover might be different. For example, in this case, the musical High Jinks has other songs besides this one, and this same cover design is used for all of them. (Of course, for the other songs, the title at the top is different, but this design remains consistent.) Some of the other songs from High Jinks are probably not romantic, hence the generic and non-romantic cover design. And yet, the use of red and pink throughout, along with the song title, evokes a hint of romance nonetheless.
4.) I Love Her Oh! Oh! Oh! (1913): We have all had at least one experience of falling head over heels in love with that one special person we can't stop thinking about, which makes this cover universally relatable--even 107 years later. The excited look on the gentleman's face, coupled with his giddy, jumping posture, are at once comical and sympathetic. We laugh, but at the same time we shake our heads with amusement and think "this was/is/could be me."
3.) I Love It (1910): Aside from having been in love, I'm sure most of us have danced with our sweethearts at least once, which makes this cover as relatable as the last one. And while the title seems a bit impersonal, it's really all about enjoying the moment, while at the same time acknowledging that our dance partners are a big part of that moment. I Love It refers to the music, as one can tell from reading the lyrics, but the song ends with "I love it, love it, 'most as much as I love you."
From an artistic standpoint, though, I like this cover because of its interesting use of color. The center and bottom of the image are both colored with a very subdued blend of pink and purple, whereas the title, being bright red, leaps out at the viewer, giving this cover design very bold contrast.
2.) Old Love Letters (1912): For all the glory of romance, there are those bittersweet times when we love someone who, for one reason or other, can't be with us as we might hope. In these moments, we might feel that we lost, but its the remaining tangibles that remind us of what we once had. Conversely, even when it does work out, we still take sweet pleasure in keeping those old love letters we wrote to each other. In any case, this cover is a beautiful reminder of that.
The thing I like best about this cover is that, even though it is a romantic subject, the color treatment is very out-of-the-box, since it eschews overtly romantic colors such as pink or red. Although you can find some pink in the stamps and on one or two of the envelopes, the color scheme is mostly blue and gold. These are not colors that one would normally associate with romance, but they are very effective nonetheless.
1.) Kisses (1918): Maybe I'm a bit biased, but there's something about the red and black color scheme (or technically, in this case, pink and black,) that I personally can't get enough of. And yet there's so much more to this cover than that! The composition is beautifully and thoughtfully arranged, the lettering is exquisitely done, and last but not least, the dark box behind the two figures emphasizes them by throwing them into sharp relief. All of this makes for a wonderfully designed cover that easily earns the number one spot.
Do you agree with this list? Which of these covers did you like the best? Are there other covers you wish I had included? I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Talk to you soon!