Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I was listening to some of my music this afternoon and came across some truly wonderful beautiful songs.  I began trying to think what songs I consider the most beautiful songs that effect me.  The rules I set for myself were simple.  The melody had to be one that catches in your mind and keeps coming back over and over.  The melody also had to carry the meaning of the song working hand in hand with the lyrics.

The lyrics had to be meaningful and have a purpose.  Sappy lyrics are not permitted.  The words have to convey the emotion that the writer is trying to get across.  It has to let the listener know what the message is without being cryptic.

The song has had to stand the test of time.  It has to communicate from generation to generation.  /this is the most difficult part of the test for a song to past.  There are different ways a song can accomplish this.  The original recording can be unsurpassed  and be the  best recording possible and able to touch the hearts of generations to come.  Another way is for each generation to have a new recording of the song that easily speaks to the generation it is recorded for.

There are a few song writers that immediately jump out as being great song writers with several songs worthy of making the cut.  Paul Simon, Carol King and Hank Williams Sr fit into this category.  After giving it much thought here are a few songs that I think meet the criteria

I expect there to be many disagreements pertaining to my choices.  That is the way it should be.  Music is as individual as those that listen to it and appreciate it.  This is my list as of today.  If I had written this yesterday or tomorrow, the list might be completely different.  It's music.  The way you look at music a lot of times depends on your mood or where you are in life.  

Number ten finds us with Otis Redding's "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay."  The story of a man lost in the world and not able to find himself.  After searching everywhere he finds himself in San Francisco with the realization that he has no life and the thought process leading up to suicide.

Number nine I see a song that has been covered too many times to count. Each time it is recorded it sounds new but still brings about the emotion of lost love.  "Faded Love" is this song.

Number eight is "Love Hurts"as recorded by Graham Parsons and Emmy Lou Harris.  The voices in this recording match the beauty and the pain that love can bring.

Number seven I decided was Harry Chapin's "Cats in the Cradle".  Any parent who has raised their children can relate to this song on some level.

Number six is Willie Nelson's masterpiece "Crazy".  While I prefer Patsy Cline's recording, I have yet to hear a bad recording of this song.

Now we get down to the REALLY good songs and the most difficult to choose.

Number five is George Harrison's "Something".  Easily a contender as one of the Beatles best recordings.  John and Paul never seemed to get in touch with their emotions as deeply as George did on this song.

Number four is Roy Orbison's "Crying".  Not enough can be said about this song. The melody follows the lyrics Orbison's voice puts the finishing touch on it.

Number three brings Carol King to us with "You've Got A Friend".  The same year she recorded this wonderful song, James Taylor recorded it.  It is his version that is better known but this is a song for the ages.

Number two slot is filled with Paul Simon's signature song "Bridge Over Troubled Water".  Art Garfunkels voice on the original recording is filled with passion.  you can not listen to this song without memories of someone in your past that faced tough times or a time when you were facing tough times and someone was there for you.

Number one was probably the easiest choice for me to make.  I knew it would be my number one when I first started thinking about this list.  "I'm so lonesome I Could Cry" by Hank Sr. can be recorded by almost anyone and when you sing it, you can't help but feel the loneliness and heart break of someone who feels totally alone and isolate from the world.  In my opinion it is the most beautiful pop song ever written.

I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
Words and music by Hank Williams

Hear that lonesome whippoorwill
He sounds too blue to fly
The midnight train is whining low
I'm so lonesome I could cry

I've never seen a night so long
When time goes crawling by
The moon just went behind the clouds
To hide its face and cry

Did you ever see a robin weep
When leaves began to die?
Like me he's lost the will to live
I'm so lonesome I could cry

The silence of a falling star
Lights up a purple sky
And as I wonder where you are
I'm so lonesome I could cry

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