My friend bls started a meme awhile back asking for people's Top 20 Songs of All Time.
"Best of all time" questions always make me twitchy -- I think I'm just commitment-phobic in this regard. Because I know that, six months from now, I'll read through a "best of" list I've written and say, "What was I thinking?" And I overanalyze everything, so I've been dithering for several days thinking about, "Well, would that mean best lyrics, or best melody, or most significant for its time, or what?" (I'm really fun to live with, too.)
Anyhow, I decided to approach the question from a different angle. I thought, "What are 20 songs that, if they're playing on my radio or on a CD as I'm parking in my garage, I have to sit and listen to the end of them before I get out of my car?" So I'm going to list some Garage Moment Songs. You will note a dearth of sacred music; I think I'd want to keep them on their own Garage Moments list. (My blog, my rules.)
The Valley -- Originally by Jane Siberry, I'm especially partial to k.d. lang's cover.
Night and Day Really, pretty much the whole Cole Porter songbook. Absolutely no one could write lyrics to pop songs like Cole Porter.
In My Life and Something -- the original Beatles recording...oh, and the long version of Hey, Jude, which I have been known to sing along to, every "na."
A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall
The House Is Haunted -- an oldie but goodie; the Chenille Sisters and the James Dapogny Band recorded this together; their version of Johnny Mercer's "Bob White" is also garage-worthy. And then there's "The Codfish Ball" -- how can you not love a song with lyrics like, "The catfish is a dancin' man/but he can't can-can like the sardine can"?)
You've Got a Friend -- off Carole King's Tapestry album
Carolina on My Mind
Night and Day, I've Got You Under My Skin -- pretty much the whole Cole Porter catalog. No one -- no one -- could write pop music lyrics like Cole Porter.
Lorena, the old Civil War ballad of longing and loss that many of us first heard in Ken Burns' The Civil War
Boots of Spanish Leather -- Nanci Griffith's cover (which I understand the Bobster likes muchly)
Fall on Me -- REM
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, from the Rattle and Hum album, with the gospel choir backing
Lili Marlene -- Marlene Dietrich's world-weary cabaret version, of course
Summertime -- Janis Joplin's cover
Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
Stairway to Heaven I know -- I'm dating myself. No Bic flicking, but I still do air guitar accompaniment toward the end.
Wild Mountain Thyme "And we'll all be together/when the bloom is on the heather..." I love that song.
Song for Ireland by Mary Black -- always gives me chills down my spine.
So there's a few songs. As you've noticed, I spend a lot of time sitting in my garage.