+five favorites and why+

Over at the U2 board I frequent, my friend Murali posted a thread asking people to list their top five favorite songs in the world, and why. Here is my response:

It was difficult to choose these based on the song alone and not based on whether the artist is also one of my top five. But these are five songs I don’t want to live without. I’m very much a lyrics person too, so I’ve included some of my favorite lines.

1. “The Atrocities” by Antony and The Johnsons

A heartbreaking song about God weeping over the sins of man. It begins gently with piano, and as the song builds, Antony’s voice grows more powerful and the strings swell. It ends as softly as it began, reminding me of T.S. Eliot’s “This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but a whimper.” Beautiful music, beautiful lyrics, beautiful Antony.

God visits all lost souls
To survey the damage
And holding his bleeding heart
A tear comes to his eye
He whispers,
“It’s the atrocities of history.”

2. “Polaris” by Jimmy Eat World

This song is emo perfection. The guitars rock, the boys sing beautiful harmonies, and the lyrics paint just enough of a picture that you can remember when this night happened in your own life. The bridge of this song rocks so, so much.

3. “Starlite Diner” by Ryan Adams

There are probably 30 Ryan Adams songs that could make this top five, but this one slays them all, and it kills me every time I hear it. Simple piano and lyrics that tell a story we all know the ending to, because we’ve all been there.

Have you ever slept it off to the bones
Having woken up at night, my love,
And dreamt that you called them all
Every person you could never love

4. “Special Needs” by Placebo

I have a very special place in my heart for songs that are both beautiful and rock the fuck out. And this is one of those songs. And when I didn’t think this song could get any more amazing, I saw Placebo perform it live. I have to stop what I’m doing every time I hear it.

5. “If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next” by Manic Street Preachers

It’s not often bands write songs about the Spanish Civil War, and it’s even rarer when they’re so absolutely gorgeous and affecting. The Manics prove that you don’t have to write love songs to get people’s attention. Maybe it’s the sweeping chorus, maybe it’s the incomparable voice of James Dean Bradfield. I just know I will forever want to hear this song.

Bullets for your brain today
But we’ll forget it all again
Monuments put from pen to paper
Turns me into a gutless wonder

Close calls:
Radiohead – How to Disappear Completely
Idlewild – In Remote Part/Scottish Fiction
U2 – Love Is Blindness
Manic Street Preachers – Judge Yr’self
Deftones – Digital Bath
And about ten Tori Amos songs and covers.


~ by Jennifer Cunningham on June 11, 2009.

One Response to “+five favorites and why+”

  1. “How to Disappear Completely” is my favorite Radiohead song! Good job.

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