CLOSE

The Best ________ Songs Of All Time

I'm about to rip off two of David Israel's popular running features, On Music and Tuesday Turnip. Apologies in advance.

Some friends of mine are working with internet radio station LuxuriaMusic to compile a list of the best songs for getting you "in the mood." This started a discussion about lists ranking the best songs of all-time, which I'm going to carry over to the blog (dancing into David's "On Music" territory).

Rolling Stone came out with The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time issue in 2004. Here's their Top Ten:

1. "Like a Rolling Stone," Bob Dylan
2. "Satisfaction," The Rolling Stones
3. "Imagine," John Lennon
4. "What's Going On," Marvin Gaye
5. "Respect," Aretha Franklin
6. "Good Vibrations," The Beach Boys
7. "Johnny B. Goode," Chuck Berry
8. "Hey Jude," The Beatles
9. "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Nirvana
10. "What'd I Say," Ray Charles

But you don't need to publish a rock magazine to make your own list. By typing "greatest songs of all time" into Google "“ part two of this two-part homage to David Israel "“ I found plenty more.

"¢ 100 Years...100 Songs: America's Best Movie Music (AFI)
1. "Over the Rainbow," The Wizard of Oz
2. "As Time Goes By," Casablanca
3. "Singin' in the Rain," Singin' in the Rain
4. "Moon River," Breakfast at Tiffany's
5. "White Christmas," Holiday Inn

virginradio.jpeg"¢ Virgin Radio (UK) Top 500
1. "Chasing Cars," Snow Patrol
2. "Iris," The Goo Goo Dolls
3. "One," U2
4. "Wonderwall," Oasis
5. "I Predict A Riot," Kaiser Chiefs

"¢ The Rock Czar's Top 100 Indie Rock Songs
1. "Float On," Modest Mouse
2. "Slow Hands," Interpol
3. "Take Me Out," Franz Ferdinand
4. "Neighborhood #1," The Arcade Fire
5. "Time is Running Out," Muse

HearYa.jpg"¢ HearYa, an indie music blog, has its Top 100 Indie Songs of All Time (all songs were originally released on an indie label)
1. "Live Wire," Motley Crue
2. "Lake of Fire," Meat Puppets
3. "Sitting Still," R.E.M.
4. "Spirit Walker," The Cult
5. "I Will Dare," The Replacements

"¢ One Hit Wonder Central's Top 100 One Hit Wonders
1. "Into the Night," Benny Mardones
2. "Tighter, Tighter," Alive and Kicking
3. "I Wanna Be Rich," Calloway
4. "House of the Rising Sun," Frijid Pink
5. "Sh-Boom," The Chords
(these rankings will change based on what people are searching on their site)

"¢ Australasian Performing Right Association's Top 100 New Zealand Songs of All Time
flightofconchords.jpg 1. "Nature," Fourmyula
2. "Don't Dream It's Over," Crowded House
3. "Loyal," Dave Dobbyn
4. "Counting The Beat," Swingers
5. "Six Months In A Leaky Boat," Split Enz

(Do we have any readers from New Zealand? Let us know. We've got some Kiwi-centric stuff in the works.)

"¢ Finally, Alaska Jim has the ultimate list of these kinds of lists. He pointed me to Spin Magazine's Top 100 Most Representative Funk Songs ("Sex Machine" by James Brown is #1), the Top 300 Songs 1998-2004 ("Everybody Here Wants You" by Jeff Buckley) and Kylie Minogue's Top 75 ("Breathe" takes top honors).

So, if you want to share your favorite chart, we'd love to hear it. Or go contribute to the one LuxuriaMusic is putting together.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
holidays
Bleat Along to Classic Holiday Tunes With This Goat Christmas Album
iStock
iStock

Feeling a little Grinchy this month? The Sweden branch of ActionAid, an international charity dedicated to fighting global poverty, wants to goat—errr ... goad—you into the Christmas spirit with their animal-focused holiday album: All I Want for Christmas is a Goat.

Fittingly, it features the shriek-filled vocal stylings of a group of festive farm animals bleating out classics like “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” The recording may sound like a silly novelty release, but there's a serious cause behind it: It’s intended to remind listeners how the animals benefit impoverished communities. Goats can live in arid nations that are too dry for farming, and they provide their owners with milk and wool. In fact, the only thing they can't seem to do is, well, sing. 

You can purchase All I Want for Christmas is a Goat on iTunes and Spotify, or listen to a few songs from its eight-track selection below.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
holidays
What Are the 12 Days of Christmas?
iStock
iStock

Everyone knows to expect a partridge in a pear tree from your true love on the first day of Christmas ... But when is the first day of Christmas?

You'd think that the 12 days of Christmas would lead up to the big day—that's how countdowns work, as any year-end list would illustrate—but in Western Christianity, "Christmas" actually begins on December 25th and ends on January 5th. According to liturgy, the 12 days signify the time in between the birth of Christ and the night before Epiphany, which is the day the Magi visited bearing gifts. This is also called "Twelfth Night." (Epiphany is marked in most Western Christian traditions as happening on January 6th, and in some countries, the 12 days begin on December 26th.)

As for the ubiquitous song, it is said to be French in origin and was first printed in England in 1780. Rumors spread that it was a coded guide for Catholics who had to study their faith in secret in 16th-century England when Catholicism was against the law. According to the Christian Resource Institute, the legend is that "The 'true love' mentioned in the song is not an earthly suitor, but refers to God Himself. The 'me' who receives the presents refers to every baptized person who is part of the Christian Faith. Each of the 'days' represents some aspect of the Christian Faith that was important for children to learn."

In debunking that story, Snopes excerpted a 1998 email that lists what each object in the song supposedly symbolizes:

2 Turtle Doves = the Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings = the first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation
7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

There is pretty much no historical evidence pointing to the song's secret history, although the arguments for the legend are compelling. In all likelihood, the song's "code" was invented retroactively.

Hidden meaning or not, one thing is definitely certain: You have "The Twelve Days of Christmas" stuck in your head right now.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios