It’s been about two months since I first embarked on this endeavor of musical self-discovery, and about a month since the last entry into that aforementioned endeavor. When I first started this, it was supposed to be an activity to keep me occupied over Winter Break, a distraction from the doldrums of vacation.
What it turned into, however, was an undertaking.
It’s hard to describe what makes a song good. Oh sure, it’s easy to single out songs you like, songs you dislike, and to judge songs against others. But to sit down and hash out what actually makes a song good, let alone what makes it a favorite, was far more difficult than I could have imagined. I started out with 50 candidates to this list and all the confidence in the world that I could trim it down into 25. But as I trimmed, more candidates appeared. Even as I released installments in the countdown, more candidates came to mind. And as I approached the final 10 that I would label as my favorite of all time, I began to realize just how difficult this whole shindig was turning out to be.
After all, music isn’t just something you can tap a foot along to or belt out in the shower. It’s a mood, it’s a tone. It’s something that is constantly evolving and effecting people in an array of different ways. Many of the songs on my list are on here specifically because they evoke some sort of powerful memory or emotional response. Does that make them the best songs ever? Certainly not, but it does make them something special to me, a criterion I hadn’t even considered when starting out.
But here they are, a top 10 list that I can say with 95 percent certainty is accurate, at least at this current juncture. I’m sure in a month or so I’ll look back and wish I could’ve changed some things, maybe reordered a few or added some others. But one thing I know is that if I only had 10 songs to listen to for the rest of my life, this would be them. So as to not besmirch the moment (or give myself additional work) here are my top 10 favorite songs of all time:
10. “Let Her Cry” by Hootie and the Blowfish
9. “Hammering in My Head” by Garbage
8. “Welcome to Bucketheadland” by Buckethead
7. “Americana” by The Offspring
6. “To the Moon and Back” by Savage Garden
5. “Black Friday Rule” by Flogging Molly
4. “Tribulations” by LCD Soundsystem
3. “The Beat That My Heart Skipped” by Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip
2. “Born of a Broken Man” by Rage Against the Machine
And my favorite song of all time is…
1. “All I Really Want” by Alanis Morisette