We'll start with a terrific song from the 1951 musical, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, with lyrics by the great Dorothy Fields, and music by Arthur Schwartz. It's performed by Shirley Booth who played the supporting role of Aunt Cissy. The song is "Love is the Reason."
Next, this is not only a far more traditional love song, it's also one of my all-time favorite love songs from a musical, and for that matter one of my favorite love songs, period. "When Did I Fall in Love" from the Pulitizer Prize-winning Fiorello! -- performed by Ellen Hanley.
We'll move away from musicals for the moment and head over to Louis Armstrong. There are other enjoyable versions of this song, notably by the Mills Brothers, but Satchmo's rendition of "Be My Life's Companion" is just one of the most joyous performances of a love song I've heard. And I'll add that the moment at the 2:25 mark is one of my favorite moments of any Louis Armstrong recording -- which is saying a whole lot.
And finally, here's Tom Paxton with one of his songs that, when he performs it in concert, describes it as "The only true love song that's been written. "Not Tonight, Marie."