What Are Your Top 3 Songs? Pick NOW!


Martina Sorbara, of the band Dragonette

If you had to pick your three favorite songs, what would they be?

I joked awhile back about how when my company mentioned that it might ask some employees to contribute song suggestions for McMurry/TMG playlists on 8tracks that my picks would be things like “Convoy” by C.W. McCall, Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” and “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes. ALL OF WHICH MAY BE ON MY IPOD, DO NOT JUDGE ME. (Actually, “Jolene” is really good, and I could never trust anyone who disagrees.)

There is no way I could pick just three all-time, absolute favorites.

For nearly 15 years I’ve made compilation CDs as holiday presents, and picking 15 or so songs each year was so painful that starting in 2005 I added “bonus discs” so I could save myself the heartache of leaving something out. And that’s EVERY YEAR.

I think almost everyone with an iTunes account has at least a few playlists; I have 22 different ones just to have options for my almost-daily half-hour on the elliptical machine at the gym—some artist-specific, others thematic.  Other nongym playlists include are quasi-narrative accounts of vacations, or were designed to be played while lounging at my friend CJ’s swimming pool, or while you’re slightly depressed that it’s raining outside, or while you’re feeling swoon-y full of love.* More on that last one in a bit.

* I used to have one called “You Hurt Me and I Hate You” (after this Eurythmics song) that I made for a friend who had just been dumped, but I lost it when my computer died. I wonder if he still has that track list? …

So, picking three would be a challenge. And because I had been on vacation last week, I had less than a day to decide what the songs would be. Ultimately I decided to select one song from each of three categories that I’ve noticed most of my favorite songs fall into. And then, because this is my blog and I can do what I want, I added four other great examples for each category. Grab your headphones!

1. beautiful melodies but SAD SITUATIONS:
Dragonette, “Easy.”

“Why’m I waiting up for you late at night, coming in from someplace when it’s almost light? ’Cause it’s easy, hard as it looks.”

Other good examples below.

Also, pretty much anything by Everything But the Girl.

2. gorgeous synth-y britpop:
saint etienne, “Method of Modern Love”

I know I developed this affinity early on, while I was listening to groups such as the Pet Shop Boys, who not coincidentally co-wrote the first of the four other examples below. (Who else could incorporate a word like “disinclined” so seamlessly?)

3. swoony love songs:
Ella Fitzgerald, “wait till you see him”
(de-Phazz remix)

I have a reputation as being a bit of a robot, emotionally, but I think everyone knows that underneath most tough exteriors are big ol’ softies.** And one thing I secretly love more than anything is a good swoony, dreamy-with-hope love song.

** One year I shocked Trainer Brian—and myself—by tearing up while we were watching the Grammy Awards when Aretha Franklin performed “Nessun Dorma,” which I’d never heard before. I tried to justify it logistically—“And she just stepped in to do it at the last minute!”—but really it was just one of those random things that hit my oddly crossed wires right.

(As you might surmise from Category 1, I also love a  swoony unrequited-love song, too, though.)

Other good examples below.

WHAT SAM WORE: 7-11-13
shirt071013 pants071013 shoes010613
The shirt: Western-inspired polo shirt by Michael Bastian for Uniqlo, from the store in SoHo.
The pants: Dark-wash slim-fit straight jeans, from Uniqlo.
The shoes: “Whirlwind” sneakers by Puma, on sale at the store in New York.

2 responses to “What Are Your Top 3 Songs? Pick NOW!

  1. Hmm. I remember endless days of “You Spin Me Round” by Dead or Alive. You know, before Pete Burns went all “cosmetic surgery crazy.” Not even an honorable mention?

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