Not too long ago, one of the podcasts I listen to introduced a segment where they interviewed a well-known artist asking them to talk about 5 songs that have had great impact on their lives. They have only done the segment once, and I am such a sucker for top favorite lists. Do you remember when Facebook used to have the Top 5 feature. I was obsessed with that thing, and I miss it dearly.
I loved the idea of the top 5 songs that have impacted me. So here are the 5 I thought about.
1. Anna Begins by Counting Crows
It is a must that Counting Crows be on a list like this. They are my favorite band of all time, and that is almost entirely because of Adam Duritz. The lyrics he wrote always grabbed me, and I always identified a great deal with the way he wrote. Anna Begins is about that unrequited love that so many songs have been written about in history, but there is something different for me when he sings "It does not bother me to say this isn't love, because if you don't want to talk about it then it isn't love, and I guess I'm gonna have to live with that." This song influenced me so much that I gave my unrequited love the name "Anna" in all the things I wrote for/about her during that time in my life.
2. How Blue Can You Get by B.B. King (and many others)
I know this is a staple in the lineage of blues music, but the first time I heard B.B. sing the bridge, "I gave you a brand new Ford, you said I want a Cadillac. I bought you a ten dollar dinner, you said thanks for the snack. I let you live in my penthouse, and you said it was just a shack. I..gave...you...7...children, and now you wanna give em back" I was hooked on blues music for the rest of my life, and B.B. became a hero.
3. Turn The Page by Bob Seger
I remember riding in my dad's pick-up truck asking him who was one artist he felt like really understood his life in the writing. I knew my dad loved Bob Seger. He still does. But when he said Bob Seger in answer of my question, it was this song that he said particularly connected with him at different points in his life. It was one moment when my dad and I found a common connection in music, and I adopted Bob Seger as a favorite for my life from that point on.
4. Gold & Silver by Stavesacre
This song, like most of the songs on this album, speaks of great pain. It is a great gut-wrenching lament, and yet finds that strange peace of God even though the pain continues. He wrote this song and album after a few miscarriages. It is a heavy rock ballad that drives hard in the anguish and peace. I have sat listening to this song during several difficult moments in my life.
5. Secret Of The Easy Yoke by Pedro the Lion
There is a biting challenge to typical church-goers that I just relished in when I first heard this song. Dave Bazan has always written great songs with an affront to the typical evangelical life too many Christians got used to. While I realize Bazan eventually walked away from the faith he grew up with, the songs he wrote have always resonated an enormous deal with me. This one is one of the best examples.