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Top 10 Songs You Wished You’d Written

This was originally posted as a MySpace bulletin, but I am transforming it into a blog meme. After all, I’d like to provide some justification for my answers. And bulletins are for wussy-men.

For shits and giggles, and to maintain the MySpace bulletinness of the meme, here’s the prior responses I received. Please do not feel obligated to re-post these, since I myself don’t know any of these people other than Mike (who in my wittiness I call Mikey Nashville because his name is Mike and he now lives in Nashville).

Top 5 Songs you wish you had written…

April:
1) Foo Fighters – Everlong
2) Coldplay – The Scientist
3) Smashing Pumpkins – Tonight Tonight
4) Say Anything – Alive With The Glory Of Love
5) Bob Dylan – It Ain’t Me Babe

Lee:
1) Marvin Gaye – Let’s Get It On
2) The Beatles – Come Together
3) Ryan Adams – To Be Young (is to be Sad, is to be High)
4) Brand New – Jesus Christ
5) Michael Jackson – Thriller

punkrockbeth:
1) chesterfield king – jawbreaker
2) teenage riot – sonic youth
3) pussy control – prince
4) dancing queen – abba
5) rebel rebel- david motherfucking bowie.

mike:
1. “Night Goat” – The Melvins
2. “Dark End of the Street” – not sure who did it first… Dolly Parton? i like the Flying Burrito Bros version the best
3. “Under Pressure” – Queen & David Bowie
4. “Summer’s Kiss” – Afghan Whigs
5. “My World Is Empty Without You” – The Supremes
(and please believe me when i say that the What Jail Is Like EP by Afghan Whigs did not influence this list, despite their covers, “Dark End..” and “My World..” really are two songs i wish i’d written)

DISCLAIMER 1: I’m expanding this list from 5 to 10. Because I can.

DISCLAIMER 2: This, like any “Top List” meme, can only be reflective of what I think currently. It’s nearly impossible to ask somebody this question a get the same answer as you would last week, last month, last year, etcetera. With that in mind, off we go.

1. “I Am the Warlus” by The Beatles Because it IS complete nonsense, but it still had people searching for some grand meaning, i.e. the great debate over whether John or Paul was the walrus, which John settled definitively in Glass Onion when he revealed “the walrus was Paul” (like it matters). And though this remains probably everyone’s least favorite Beatles album, the string arrangement on this particular track was brilliant.

2. “Sunday Morning Coming Down” by Kris Kristofferson No better song was ever written about morning-after hangover depression, nor has any song ever captured the feeling of regret a recovering addict/alcoholic feels when s/he looks back on crazier times (perhaps without even meaning to). And even if I had written the song, there’s still only one man – Johnny Cash – who could have sung this song and given it the proper emotional context that he did with his delivery of lines like “And there’s nothing short of dying/that’s half as lonesome as the sound/of the sleeping citty sidewalk/and Sunday Morning Coming Down” and “I’m wishing Lord that I was stoned”.

3. “Hello Darling” by Conway Twitty Because it’s the greatest country song ever written. Period.

4. “Creep” by Radiohead There isn’t a single male who was a teenager at the time of or within the four years after this song appeared on their LP “The Bends” that didn’t think this song was about them or fit what they were feeling at some point to a T. And that, my friends, is exactly why this song was written. Don’t go thinking that you’re just like Thom Yorke, it’s just that what you went through wasn’t nearly as unique as you thought it was at the time. And that’s the genius behind this song. C’est magnifique!

5. “Cigarettes & Chocolate Milk” by Rufus Wainwright Nothing sums up what I feel in my more self-destructive moments than this song. Apologetic and brutally honest with a good hook. What more can you want?

6. “Shankill Butchers” by The Decemberists Because the one thing better than writing a damn fine song is writing a damn fine song that reveals to people once they Google and/or Wiki the song title that there actually was a group of men known as the Shankill Butchers that terrorized Belfast throughout the 70s.

7. “Maybe Not” by Cat Power Because I want to write something that’s beautiful, plain and simple.

8. “Daydream Believer” by The Monkees It’s the perfect pop song. It’s ridiculously catchy and bouncy. It’s poetic enough to give the songwriter props (while ignoring the actual performers), but at the same time doesn’t take itself seriously at all during those brief moments. Bee tee dubs, it was Neil Diamond who penned it.

9. “If You Could Read My Mind” by Gordon Lightfoot “I walk away/like a movie star/who gets burned in a three-way script”. Isn’t that reason enough? Well, it should be. If not, it’s one of the greatest songs ever written on the subject of falling out of love.

10. “I Threw It All Away” by Bob Dylan Because if I’m going to write a song that’s going to be a tribute to the old country songs I love, I would also want it to maintain that unmistakable quality that makes it my own and doesn’t come across as me trying to ape a genre. And that’s what Bob did with this song.

So yeah, re-post you bastards. You don’t have to give reasons. And you don’t have to post it as a blog, maybe just a bulletin. Hell, you don’t even have to give 10 like I did. Just pick 5. DO IT!

Getting up in three and a half hours is going to be some funnnnnnnnn shit.

More later…

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  1. January 8, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Great list, except that now I have an earworm- the Gordon Lightfoot song.

    • January 8, 2008 at 10:41 pm

      Little secret – it’s my goal in life to drive women insane. So far it’s working out pretty well.

      • January 9, 2008 at 2:10 am

        PS unfortunately not in a good way.

  2. January 9, 2008 at 12:36 am

    “I Threw It All Away” is an awesome song, but my FAVORITE song on that record… possibly one of my FAVORITE songs of all time is “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You.”

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