Friday, August 10, 2012

My Favorite Songs...

Well I’ve done it. After years of talking about it, I’ve actually come up with the ULTIMATE Top 5 list. My Top 5 favorite songs of all time.

It was a tough list to make and I put a few rules in place to make sure that I wouldn’t regret my choices a few years from now. One of the most obvious rules is that new songs or songs and artists that were new to me could not make the list. This actuall
y left off a couple of songs and artists that I really like. However, this also means that the list is subject to change in the future if some of these (now) new songs and artists continue to be must listens for me.

Let me just say that the most surprising thing about this list (for me) is that some of my top five favorite artists and albums don’t necessarily have songs on this list.

So below you will find a list of songs that I find myself constantly adding to playlists or going back and listening to on a pretty regular basis. Often monthly. They are as follows and in this order.

1. Copied Keys by Kathleen Edwards – There are a few things about this song that keep bringing me back (for one I’m a sucker for sad songs), but the weeping guitar is what really pulls at my heart strings and keeps me coming back for more.

2. Silver Springs by Fleetwood Mac – As far as I know, the only version of this is a live version and it is amazing. It is Stevie Nicks at her best. It is both soothing and inspiring as a song writer.

3. ‘Round Here by Counting Crows – the 10 minute live version – Counting Crows have always been masters of rewriting their own music. The live version of nearly everything they write is better than the original. They themselves have often said that it takes a while after the recording process to figure out how the song should really sound. I would put this ten minute live version of ‘Round Here up against some of the greatest, most historic live versions of any song I’ve ever heard. At one point the band brings the song down so low that lead singer Adam Duritz shushes the crowd only to bring it back up to a point where the crowd actually cheers.

4. Ghost of Tom Joad by Bruce Springsteen – I love this song because it is both acoustic (another thing I’m a sucker for) and a song of protest. At one point in the song, singing from a first person’s perspective, Springsteen sings, “Now Tom said ‘Mom, wherever there's a cop beatin' a guy. Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries. Where there's a fight against the blood and hatred in the air. Look for me Mom I'll be there.’”

5. Calling Out Your Name by Rich Mullins but performed by Chris Rice. The Rich Mullins purists are going to kill me on this one, but as talented as Rich was on the hammer dulcimer, I prefer Chris Rice’s dueling acoustic guitars version. Calling Out Your Name is a song of nature reflecting and crying out the name of God. In the song Rich paints a portrait of nature and indeed of America when he talks about the moon moving past Nebraska and painting laughter on those cold Dakota hills. Mullins also talks about a silence in the Badlands, a line that literally inspired me to plan a trip to the Badlands. The chorus ends with the line, “and I hear the prairies calling out Your name”. It’s hard to try and sum up this song by pulling out a line here and a line there, and that’s exactly why it made my list. It is one of the most complete songs I’ve ever known.

Honorable Mention –
- Where The Streets Have No Name by U2
- Fortunate Son by Credence Clearwater Revival
- Man of Constant Sorrow covered by Dan Tyminski
- Did You Hear The Mountains Tremble by Delirious?