i’m going to start a meme. usually, someone tags me. but this time i’m starting.
it’s called “the perfect song”. here are the rules:
1. scan through your itunes or cd library. refamiliarize yourself with the nooks and crannies of your musical options.
2. identify five categories — genres, if you will — of music. these should be as obscure and finely-articulated as you’d like. feel free to use modifiers liberally.
3. nominate — select, really — a “perfect song” for each category. include a link for each song to something (the amazon page for the CD, or the artist’s website, or whatever). you may find it easier, as i did, to find “perfect songs”, and craft categories or genres around them.
4. ideally, some of the songs will be nominally obscure, or, at least, not completely mainstream and overplayed. no need to tell us all about songs we all know!
here are mine:
the perfect bluntly-honest, self-revealing, bluesy christian song: the lust, the flesh, the eyes & the pride of life, by the 77s, on the album 8ighty 8ight
the perfect crank-the-music-as-loud-as-possible classical vocal that almost makes me weep even though i don’t understand it because some of it is in italian, song: time to say goodbye, by andrea bocelli and sarah brightman, on the album romanza
the perfect, absolutely coolest, never-get-tired-of-hearing-it, instrumental jazz song: 1979 semi-finalist, by the bad plus, on the album give
the perfect pretty, pretty, o-so-beautiful ballad by an otherwise fiesty and occasionally crude piano-playing rocker, song: luckiest, by ben folds, from the album rockin’ the suburbs
the perfect odd, yet hauntingly beautiful christmas song about jesus sung by a very unlikely artist, song: oh little town of bethlehem, by bright eyes, on the album a christmas album
well, dang. i was going alphabetically through the artists in my itunes to find these perfect songs. and as you can see, i only got through the letter b! so i changed the title of this post to include “volume 1”; that way i can come back and add more.
but in the mean time, i’ll tag a handful of music-lovers: mike atkinson, renee altson, patrick russell, zach lind, dan kimball, and dave palmer. bring it on!
24 thoughts on “the perfect song, volume 1”
All my CDs are at work, and I’m NOT going in just to fill in this list (I love having Mondays off). But I’m curious as to where in the world you are right now. The time stamp for the blog entry says today at 11:12 am. I’m in Illinois, and the time is only 9:40. Whatever this time warp thing is, can you lend it to me? It would be perfect for those times I say something stupid! (which seems to be often)
hey jeff — well, i’m sitting at home in san diego. i don’t understand how the time stamp on my posts works. it never seems correct. i usually make sure the date is correct, and don’t bother with the time. i set the time adjustment, in my admin section, to -3 hours from east coast, which would lead me to believe that all my posts and comments would reflect my west coast locale. but i often doesn’t seem to be. whatever. i got home from cincy late afternoon yesterday, woke up in my own bed this morning, have a nice hot cup o’ coffee in front of me, and am about to start a writing day at home.
dang! thx for making it ez. this’ll take some time…
c’mon, mikey — just scan through your music for unique and not-overly-exposed perfect songs; then create a highly specific category for 5 of them. easy-peasey-lemon-squeezy. you’ll have it done in 10 minutes!
i’ll give it a shot.
i must admit, _the lust, the fleshly eyes, and the pride of life_ by the 77’s is one of my all-time fav songs. ev-ver.
nice to know it made someone else’s list.
I am in Maui right now resting and sneaking a peek online. All I can think of at the moment is Don Ho as the ultimate man-singer in every way. Do you know Don Ho?
No links but…
Take me back to 8th grade dancing with Kimberly C.-makes me wanna go through puberty again song…LADY IN RED. Chris DeBurgh
Gotta have 12″ subs a great equalizer and a pair of leather pants song. JUMP or RIGHT NOW. VAN HALEN (sammy hagar is much better than DLR)
Man I wish he was still around makes me wanna cry song HOLD ME JESUS Rich Mullins
Should’ve been way more popular but is still one of my all time favorite songs. FOREVER YOUNG Alphaville
The absolutely have to see them in concert before I die-love the lyrics and point of the song song.
So kinda of an eccletic list but these are my favorites.
Van Hagar sucks!
i have to admit, chris, that whilst this little meme is surely a most subjective and personal choice, and i can’t really stand in judgement, per se, of your list, i am finding it… um… unique.
dude…i’m on vacation right now…enjoying some of the best snow on earth having just skied for four days in a row at park city. i know i’ve been tagged…i will get to that upon my return from utah.
After Marko’s mild slam of Chris’ favorites, I’m nervous about my songs, but here goes (Zach, I agree, Van Hagar sucks):
The perfect “You dumped me, but I’m better without you anyway” song: Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright by Bob Dylan
The perfect “I’d love this song twice as much if I believed in reincarnation but I still love it” song: Galileo by Indigo Girls
The perfect “Final, mellow song to a great album from the 80s”: Verdi Cries by 10,000 Maniacs. It’s worth $.99 on Itunes.
The perfect “Song that haunts and intrigues you” and the first song I ever heard by them: Reasons Why by Nickel Creek.
The perfect “Puppy Dog Teenage Rock-Out Love Song” (and I’m not saying this just because Zach might read this. This song genuinely blows me away): For Me This is Heaven by Jimmy Eat World.
I’ll come back for Volume II if there is one.
syler, subjectively, of course, i say: nice.
The perfect joy is not an emotion, but a chosen state of mind song – “Hear Me Lord” by Oliver Mtukudzi
The perfect response to worship song – “No Place Closer to Heaven” by Charlie Peacock
The perfect “if this is the first song that you remember it may explain a lot” song – “Afternoon Delight” by Starland Vocal Band. Ironically, this song became a #1 hit on my seventh birthday.
The perfect have a little “funk” with your Christian music song – “City on a Hill” by Patsy Moore
The perfect song to sing to your new bride at the wedding reception – “All the Time in the World” by Stephen Crumbacher (sorry, couldn’t find a good link for this)
If I haven’t messed up the links, this should look decent. If not, blame someone else for not providing instructions! :)
I’ll put the extra twist on it – must have Canadian content.
best song that Americans who don’t live in states that start with M and border Canada won’t understand – The Hockey Song by Stompin’ Tom Connors
best song by a white guy from Toronto who aspires to the greatness of the Godfather of Soul but isn’t willing to play funk – My Sword Hand’s Anger by the Apostle of Hustle
best American cover song made famous by a Canadian whose best album involved a church and a mike, much like Nebraska – Thunder Road by the Cowboy Junkies
best tune that went on repeat when my kid was 3 months old and that I could never tire of – Lodestar by Sarah Harmer
best protest song sung by ex pat Canadians now living in New York – Resist War by Chris Brown and Kate Fenner
Long Live the Queen.
Come on, Blair, don’t stereotype! I know every single word to “The Hockey Song” and used to sing it at least 41 times a year. My team used to scream “Bondra scores!” instead of “Bobby scores!”–not out of disrespect, but because we loved Peter Bondra that much. I am from an “M” state, but we don’t border Canada even remotely. So careful with those generalizations!
Part of the point of posting is to get corrected or at least chided about something since this is an exercise in idiosyncricity. I’m assuming that Michelle is not too upset.
Given the Bondra reference and the M reference, I would guess that Michelle lives in Maryland. I thought about the M state comment because a friend of mine from a northerly M state once suggested that he felt he had more in common with Manitoba and Ontario than with California and certainly more than Alabama. No slam on California or Alabama but wouldn’t Maine, Minnesota, Michigan and Maine look good in Canada? I’d be willing to take Maryland as well but without a border it would be difficult.
blair, i’m from california, and i am SO offended. but, then, i grew up in michigan, so i’m not offended. so there!
Blair, it’s cool! I definitely had to rib you on that one. You probably don’t know too many African-American women who know all the words to “The Hockey Song”. LOL. :)
And yes, I’m from Maryland – and I’d gladly start a petition to become part of Canada. Who WOULDN’T want to be a part of the country that birthed the world’s greatest sport?? :)
Michelle, you are correct that my list of African American women from an M state not bordering Canada-hockey loving-enthusiastic singing- wannabe Canadian is very short. In fact you are it. If you are ever in hockey town, and no Marko that isn’t Detroit but where the Hall of Fame resides, give me a call and we can go to Gretzky’s.
i just can’t scan through over 12k songs in 10 minutes. but i think this comes close (altho i could do a dozen more of these lists):
the pefect zone-out, get-one-with-nature song: “wondering where the lions are” by bruce cockburn (pronounced coe-burn for any unfortunate bruce novices) (sorry…but a razor-thin second is ‘mountain cathedrals’ by bob bennett)
the perfect oh-honey-you-own-my-soul-and-melt-my-heart song: “that kind of love” by alison krauss (see also the velvet voiced mindy smith)
the perfect i-need-to-get-in-a-majestic-frame-of-mind-real-quick aka the perfect rock-n-roll-classical song: “o fortuna” from the concerto carmina burana (you have definitely heard this on multiple movie soundtracks – still brings chills)
the stop-making-this-faith-thing-SO-complex-you-ass song: ‘give me jesus’ by fernando ortega (and not many people know this song is a noted black spritual from slave days)
the perfect tragic-story-song-that-rocks-in-a-serious-rootsy-way: ‘four blue walls’ by the duhks
sorry this list is oh-so-serious, but marko already took my fave 77s song…sniff
I am not crazy about Christian music, though I appreciate it for possessing much more sincerity that the sheer law-of-interest pop. Jazz rocks and it will forever. Always search the web for it bollywood music is a site where one can compile perfect playlists. A cushy spot for a music addict!