Sunday, June 5, 2011

This is the Short Answer

A friend from Bob Jones put on facebook for "country music fans" to post their top ten or top five favorite songs so he could add some country music to his playlists. I like country music. I like how they take a cliche or a phrase and give it a twist. I like Sugarland's and Natalie Maines's twang. I like the songs about how good life is right now. But songs to suggest in a public forum? I know I have appallingly unsophisticated taste in music; I like what I like irregardless. In my typical obsessive way, this got me thinking: What are my favorite country songs?

It's a complicated question. My favorite songs are the favorites because of the memories they invoke: walking down the aisle to meet Craig to "Cowboy Take Me Away;" or singing at the top of my lungs with my sister to "Man, I feel like a Woman" (I haven't heard that in a long time); sobbing the first time I heard "Something in Red" (I was pregnant, alright? I cried at the craziest things); pulling away from a wedding where I saw an old boyfriend and hearing "Bye, Bye" on the radio - how often does the radio cooperate so nicely with what you want for the soundtrack of life ('cause for sure I had the rearview mirror torn off and I was not looking back)?

I don't know that I'd really say, "add these to your playlist," and this is by no means comprehensive (because you could pull out some random song and I would immediately say, "that's my favorite song!").

(editorial note: I'm not going to punctuate the song titles with quotation marks because I'm lazy and don't feel like doing it over and over. The song is first, the artist second. Also, no links because that will take forever and I've got books to read. Except "Something in Red." I had to google it to find out who sings it, so she gets a link.)

Favorite Country Breakup Songs:

1. Little Goodbyes, SheDaisy
2. Blame it on Your Heart, Patty Loveless*
3. Picture to Burn, Taylor Swift
4. The Dance, Garth Brooks
5. Bye, Bye, JoDee Messina

Favorite Dixie Chicks songs**:

1. Wide Open Spaces
2. Cowboy Take Me Away
3. Ready to Run
4. The Long Way Around
5. You Were Mine
6. Goodbye Earl
7. Don't Waste Your Heart
8. Long Time Gone
9. Favorite Year
10. Truth No. 2

Favorite Songs by a Man:

1. Drive, Alan Jackson
2. The Good Stuff, Kenny Chesney
3. Unanswered Prayer, Garth Brooks
4. Live Like You were Dying, Tim McGraw
5. You're Gonna Miss This, Trace Adkins

Songs that remind me of Dating Craig:

1. Breathe, Faith Hill
2. Cowboy Take Me Away, Dixie Chicks
3. This Kiss, Faith Hill
4. Fearless, Taylor Swift***
5. I Could Not Ask for More, Sara Evans (but Edwin McCain did it better)

Songs that make me Cry:

1. Something in Red, Lorrie Morgan
2. Streets of Heaven, Sherrie Austin
3. Highway 20 Ride, Zac Brown Band
4. Already Gone, Sugarland+
5. Come On Come On, Mary Chapin Carpenter

Songs my Children (mostly Kate, Sam usually wants no part) will Deign to Listen to:

1. Love Story, Taylor Swift
2. Best Days of Your Life, Kellie Pickler
3. Chicken Fried, Zac Brown Band
4. Picture to Burn, Kellie Pickler
5. Cowboy Casanova, Carrie Underwood

Favorite Country Songs by People you would not expect to be signing country:

1. This, Darius Rucker
2. First Cut is the Deepest, Sheryl Crow
3. All Summer Long, Kid Rock
4. Perhaps Love, Placido Domingo++

(yes, I am ending with a 4-point list. My brain is exhausted from digging out song titles and artist names. And Craig is sick of answering my questions ['cause it's easier to ask him instead of thinking] and thought I was buying every song I was asking about. As if. He knows my ipod is full [clearly I'm going to have to be pickier about what's on it, like no more Backyardigan episodes].)

* (not, as I thought, Trisha Yearwood)

**Because they do get their own category

***Right. It wasn't out then. But something about "you take my hand and drag me headfirst, fearless" totally takes me back to that time.

+oh come on, you can't tell me that "it's our whole life down to one box" doesn't get you.

++OK, I tricked you a little with that one. It's a duet with John Denver

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