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Gwen’s Favorite Songs

March 4, 2011

About two years ago, we were hanging out with our friends Paul and Becky listening to music at a bar and they had the great idea of creating a list of our all-time favorite songs. Our deadline was St. Patrick’s Day. The project sounded overwhelming, but Paul and Becky were on a mission and they made a CD of their favorite songs and gave us a copy. I just made my CD tonight. Yes, two years later I finally compiled my list of faves! It’s not that I didn’t want to do it. I really have been giving this some serious consideration. How do I rank one song over another? How do I know that it’s really a favorite song and not just something I like at the moment? Should the song be out for a certain amount of time before it can make it on “the list?” And how can I mix genres together on a favorites list? Surely, I can’t mix New Edition with Radiohead, right?

So after endless hours of deeply considering hundreds of songs that I love, I came up with a list of 15 songs that are among my favorites. It’s definitely an incomplete list. For one, if I had a definitive list of favorite songs I’d have to put “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight and “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” by Deniece Williams on it! My biggest criteria for a song making the list was whether it was a song that I ALWAYS have to listen the entire way through. Some songs I’m jamming out in the beginning, but I move on to the next song before it’s over. Each of these songs are ones that I always find myself wanting to hear until the very end (even my #1 choice, which is over 8 minutes long). Based on this criteria, I had to leave “November Rain” by Guns N Roses off. LOVE the song, but sometimes I listen to the whole thing and sometimes I cut it short. But it is worthy of an honorable mention! And I also decided not to include songs that I’ve liked less than 5 years, so artists like Adele, Marie Digby, Sara Bareilles, Bic Runga and so many more aren’t on here. I did make an exception for song #3, because this song just slays me. It’s that amazing!

Here’s my list:

1) Purple Rain – Prince
2) Creep – Radiohead
3) Falling Slowly – Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
4) You Only Hide – Something For Kate
5) A Case Of You – Jane Monheit
6) The Blower’s Daughter – Damien Rice
7) Send The Pain Below – Chevelle
8 ) Let Him Fly – Patty Griffin
9) Redemption Song – Bob Marley
10) Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John
11) Good Enough – Evanescence
12) Both Sides Now – Joni Mitchell
13) Poses – Rufus Wainwright
14) Please Send Me Someone To Love – Sade
15) Bittersweet Symphony – The Verve

An observation I had when creating this list was that bands/artists with a vast collection of music and I love all of it didn’t make the list because I’d have to include so many of their songs (like The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and Selena, who would certainly make my top 5 list of favorite music artists). It’s hard for me to say, without hesitation, that there is one song that I love above all others from each of them. I just love too many of their songs to do it. Another observation is that more than half of these songs have made it on to movie soundtracks (1, 3, 6, 12, 13, 14, 15). I always feel that a great soundtrack can make a movie (and vice versa). Also, only 5 of the artists on the list are American! I’m not surprised about that, though.

I wonder what my list says about me. For the most part it’s mellow… occasionally melancholy… and then abruptly aggressive. Each song grips at my heart. I could listen to this list over and over again and not get tired of it!

If you were to create a list of your favorite songs, what would definitely make the list?

2 Responses to “Gwen’s Favorite Songs”

  1. Rachel says:

    Love your song picks! I love #3 as well…esp live at the Ryman! :)

  2. Administrator says:

    OMG I am so jealous!! I just bought a CD/DVD of The Swell Season and it includes a live performance. I just love that song! Though I’m kinda thinking I like “Say It To Me Now” even more. He did an acoustic version of it to open the show – not even a microphone for his voice! It was so powerful! I am in looooooove with his voice! He’s so passionate! Sigh… : )

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