Saturday, September 26, 2009

My All Time Favorite Top 40 Songs (SNGF)

What is my all-time favorite song? Randy's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun topic this week asks that very question. For me, that's a really, really tough choice. The songs that make my heart soar, those that make me cry, and the ones with happy memories attached would make up my top 40. I've written before about music and memories and the music that defined me. But I didn't single out specific songs in either of those articles. So I'm going to take a stab at that tonight. Here comes my top 40...

From my early childhood years, I'd have to start with You Are My Sunshine, sung by my mom. Mom was not a songbird but she sang this to me as a lullaby of sorts. Later, when I was in grade school, she and I would sit side by side on the piano bench and pump the pedals of our player piano as the piano roll mapped out the melody and the keys played on without our help. We sang along over and over again. I tried to learn to play it myself when I took piano lessons but never quite got it. Another song that makes my list from the player-piano-days was The Beer Barrel Polka. What a fun song!!! We played that song till the piano roll broke! And who could forget that wonderful tune from the Peanuts Gang movies, Linus and Lucy, by Vince Guaraldi. Definitely one of my all time favorites! (3)

From my junior high and high school years, I'd have to include some Motown songs in my top 40. Gotta have My Cherie Amour by Stevie Wonder, Ain't No Mountain High Enough by Diana Ross (saw her perform at the Fox Theater in Detroit - fabulous!), and Just My Imagination by the Temptations. And then there were the rock songs... Easy to Be Hard by Three Dog Night, Out in the Country by Three Dog Night, Best of My Love by The Eagles, Ventura Highway by America, You Made Me So Very Happy by Blood Sweat & Tears, Lookin Out My Back Door by Creedence Clearwater Revival, and I Get Around by The Beach Boys. Specifically from my senior year of high school I need only hear any one of these four songs and it takes me back to the slow-dance songs that were played at Homecoming, the Sponge Dance, and Senior Prom... Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin, Colour My World by Chicago (saw my daughter's high school marching band perform this and loved it almost as much as the original), Summer Breeze by Seals and Croft, and We May Never Pass This Way Again by Seals and Croft (our "class song"). I can't forget my favorite Beatles songs, Yesterday (saw Paul McCartney perform this live), Something in the Way She Moves, The Long and Winding Road and the John Lennon solo, Imagine. And then there are a few others to round out those oh so memorable high school years including, We Were Always Sweethearts by Boz Scaggs, Melissa by The Allman Brothers Band, and one that others may roll their eyes at but it was and is wonderful to me... My Melody of Love by Bobby Vinton and more recently by Michal Gielniak (It's the Polish in me, what can I say?!). (21)

That brings me up to the college years. I have to start with Night Moves and Rock n Roll Never Forgets by Bob Seger and Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen. I've seen both of these guys in concert multiple times and even saw them on stage together at a concert here in Detroit. Another guy I saw in concert more times than I care to count was Rod Stewart. Maggie May was my favorite Stewart tune. And a song that was popular much earlier but I didn't listen to it until my college years was Light My Fire by The Doors. (5)

I didn't like much of the rock music from the 80s so I moved on to jazz. But I have no real favorites from that period. Then, in the 1990s, I found country. My favorite country songs have to be Shameless, If Tomorrow Never Comes, and The Dance by Garth Brooks (saw him in concert), I Still Believe in You by Vince Gill (saw him perform live multiple times), Past the Point of Rescue by Hal Ketchum (saw him live), and We Must Be Loving Right by George Strait (saw him perform live). (6)

That leaves me with some classics that fit everywhere and no where special. These are simply songs that make my heart sing. What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong, Pachelbel's Canon in D (I fell in love with this song hearing my daughter play it on the violin), Silver Bells and Silent Night (my two favorite Christmas songs). And that makes up the top 39 of my top 40 songs. What's the number one song? Here you go! (4)

Happy Saturday Night everybody! Thanks for the trip down memory lane Randy!