My Ultimate Playlist
I was asked by my friend, Marie (teacher at my son's school), to help her compile a list of 20 songs that her middle schoolers should know. Of course, musical taste is very individual but I'm going to give it my best shot. This list includes some oldies and some of the best new music out there. I'm sure there will be readers out there who will disagree with my picks or want to add some of their own. Feel free to leave comments about what songs you would put on the list.
Here are my songs (not listed in any type of order except when they popped into my head):
by The Verve
- A fabulous song to play very loud with your sunroof open or your top back wearing some cool sunglasses (a la Reese Witherspoon in Cruel Intentions).
by The Rolling Stones
- As the first notes play, it feels like the first time you've ever heard it. Such a classic. Makes you want to stop whatever it is you're doing and listen.
by Patti Smith
- Same song as the Stones, but Patti Smith reinvents it with her gravelly, harsh voice. Makes me want to be a rock star.
by The Cure
- Ahhh. College. Takes me back.
The Ballad of Love and Hate
by The Avett Brothers
- This song is so lovely. Imagine Love and Hate being married. So many layers and meanings can be interpreted from these lyrics.
by Ben Folds and Nick Hornby
- The product of a collaboration between Ben Folds (of Ben Folds Five) and novelist Nick Hornby (About A Boy, High Fidelity). The song is about two people who are destined to be together but never actually meet. They come close (if viewed From Above) by going to the same party or movie, but it never happens. Deep down they know somethings missing, but are unsure what it could be. Thought-provoking.
Don't Fear The Reaper
by Blue Oyster Cult
- Such a great old tune. Romeo and Juliet. Need I say more.
by The Civil Wars
- A new song with an old feel. Makes me want to put on my cowboy boots and stomp. Lovely images of baptisms in rivers and outlaws and memories of my ancestors in the deep South.
by The Counting Crows
- One of the best by this band, although I generally like all of their songs. The piano in this takes my breath away and makes my heart hurt. Coffee black and egg white. Taffy stuck and tongue-tied.
by Damien Rice
- Begins ever so softly with piano and guitar and builds to a mind-blowing crescendo. I can feel the chill of the water as I surrender and float.
A Little Bit of Everything
- Another new one on the list. Dawes has a great folksy sound and touches on a variety of life experiences in this ballad.
Radio Free Europe
- A classic song by a classic band from the days when I played pool and ping pong with them after sets at The Chukker.
by Mumford & Sons
- I love anything with the banjo and by this wonderful band, but if I had to pick just one song, this would be it.
I Can't Stand The Rain
by Ann Peebles
- Her voice is so soulful. I can feel my hips sway with the music. It's songs like this that make me wish I could sing.
Baby I Love Your Way
by Peter Frampton
- You know you love him. From one of the best albums ever.
by 'Til Tuesday
- Oh yeah. Got to have some Aimee Mann.
You're So Vain
by Carly Simon
- With backup vocals by Mick Jagger, this is a great song that had tongues wagging when it was released in 1973. She had just married James Taylor, but had famous relationships with Mick, Warren Beatty, and Kris Kristofferson. When asked, she is evasive, but it seems fairly clear it's about Beatty.
- From their new Strangeland album. Beautiful piano and lyrics. Sometimes I like a good sad song and I can listen to this one over and over. The lyrics are about the memories of a lost love. "I see you in the sweetness of our child. I see you when I'm kneeling on the floor. I see you silhouetted on a wall but I don't see myself there at all." Sigh.
Scenes from An Italian Restaurant
by Billy Joel
- I remember seeing Billy Joel in concert and going crazy when this song started. It's 7 and a half minutes long and is a medley of three songs. It has piano, jazz, and rock & roll.
Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
by Elton John
- My favorite of Elton John's. "While Mona Lisa's and Mad Hatters, sons of bankers, sons of lawyers. Turn around and say good morning to the night."
Now I think I'm going to sit back, relax, and listen to some of the tunes on my list. Maybe you've learned about one or two that you didn't know or had forgotten. Either way, you know me a little better by listening to them.
You've been buzzed!