Definition of torch song in US English:

torch song


  • A sad or sentimental song, typically about unrequited love.

    • ‘This time they take on the finale to Big Star's shambling masterwork Third / Sister Lovers, playing it as a country torch song of sorts, giving the cover a lovely resonance that none of their own songs were able to accomplish this time around.’
    • ‘Normally a master of the torch song, k.d. fails to inject ‘Hallelujah’ with the sublime, or ‘Case of You’ with seduction.’
    • ‘Her torch song treatment of such plaintive fare set an ideal early pace, albeit one that was ignored by a good portion of the crowd.’
    • ‘She can write an incredibly personal torch song ballad, but at the same time, with a little wink in it.’
    • ‘The huge success of ‘Stop’, in 1989, and the recent rediscovery of the classic torch song when Jamelia charted with it last year notwithstanding, however, Brown's body of work is a lot more colourful than she gets credit for.’
    • ‘You may have to belt a torch song up to that balcony bar to drown out the praises being hosannaed onto chef-owner.’
    • ‘The effect is quite lovely, our passenger tossing and turning in sleep and dimly overhearing the torch song from his neighbour's headphones.’
    • ‘It needs a danceable gay torch song as accompaniment.’
    • ‘If it weren't for my incomplete metaphors, this entry would be dangerously close to a torch song.’
    • ‘Call it a torch song, or a saloon song - categorize it as you wish.’
    • ‘‘Moonlight’ is a suave torch song - Dylan as Astaire - tinged with threat.’
    • ‘The relaxed vibe continues with the throwaway ‘Rotten Peaches’ but is stomped to death by ‘All The Nasties’, another generic piano-banger torch song featuring a classical choir.’
    • ‘The glossy black-haired beauty swayed up on the stage, her full breasts straining against the simple gown she wore as she sang a torch song.’
    • ‘The torch song blues of Everything's Not Lost are affecting enough to make you at least think about waving your cigarette lighter around above your head, but the simpering misery rings a false and jarring note.’
    • ‘‘The Track Through the Woods’ is a brooding, insistent torch song, also taking full advantage of the major/minor shifts in tone.’
    • ‘Phew again delivers a well-worn vocal here, but instead of being a vulnerable ballad, the song reaches near-epic heights of post-rock torch song.’
    • ‘‘Now you know’ is jaunty reggae and Amy does the torch song thing on ‘Take the Box’, a great take on love and pain and the whole damned thing.’
    • ‘‘Surrender’, meanwhile, is a sweltering torch song of exponentially intensifying guitar glissandos and unfettered angst.’
    • ‘Is there a torch song that laments the coming of Spring?’
    • ‘And the inflammatory I vamps a reporter shamelessly in a surprisingly dirty torch song, Open for Love.’


1920s: torch from the phrase carry a torch for.


torch song