The 25 Best Punk Rock Love Songs

It's hard to hold hands in a mosh pit, but we can try.

by Alex Heigl

Punk doesn't have the most varied emotional palette, but beneath every crusty jacket, does not a beating heart also lie? If their safety pins prick them, do they not bleed? And don't a few of them really know their way around hooky melody? Here now are the best expressions of punk rock love ever bashed out on an out-of-tune guitar.

25. "You Drive Me Wild," The Runaways

It's more sludgy hard rock than by-the-book punk, but Joan Jett's voice practically sets speakers on fire in this tune. That she probably wrote it about a woman makes it that much more badass.

24. "I Love You," Johnny Thunders

Johnny Thunders gave a whole generation of Les Paul-slinging wastrels license to bare their hearts. "I Love You" is as disarming and honest a love song ever written — it's the pleading, hopeful Act 1 to his better-known ode to heartbreak, "You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory."

23. "Baby, I'm An Anarchist," Against Me!

Okay, so it's a faux-'50s ballad, and Against Me! has since recanted their anarchist politics. That said, you cannot hate a song that paints a star-crossed love affair between an anarchist and a "spineless liberal," particularly one with lines like, "But when it came time to throw bricks through that Starbucks window, you left me all alone, all alone."

22. "Stay With Me," The Dictators

The Dictators were loud, drunk, and crude, but in between salvos like "Avenue A" and "Pussy and Money," they found time for boozily honest tunes like "Stay With Me," proving that even the most besotted punks could be heartbroken too.

21. "Your Name is Tattooed On My Heart," Screeching Weasel

Combining one of the best band names ever with The Ramones' cartoonish sense of hooks, Screeching Weasel's best work seems like pure, distilled adolescence. Take "I Wanna Be With You Tonight:" if a line like "If you kissed me, I would blow up / If you kissed me, you would throw up," doesn't bring you back to ninth grade, nothing will.


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