Yesterday, on Twitter, Natalie posted the following:
Educate me tweet peeps, what's the single greatest song ever written?
3:35 PM Mar 4th from web
And since I had laundry, vacuuming and bills I was eager to avoid, I spend the next hour trying to imagine how I would answer her question. It wasn't easy. How could I choose between Handel's Messiah and the entire Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Album? In fact, if I were to limit myself solely to Lennon & McCartney compositions alone, how in the world could I come up with just one to label Best?? (Think the entire Rubber Soul album, or The White Album, or Revolver. Can't be done, can it?) Next I moved on to Paul Simon. Oh man, just the man's poetry, even without his stunning music, was almost too beautiful for me to bear all in a single afternoon. In light of my life recently, this lyric of Paul's came to mind:
Don't know a soul who's not been battered,
Don't have a friend who feels at ease.
Don't know a dream that's not been shattered
Or driven to it's knees.
Oh, but I'm all right, I'm all right--
Just weary to my bones.
Still, you don't expect to be bright and bon vivant
So far away from Home . . . so far away from Home.
And that, my friends is merely the first of his lyrics that came to mind. He's written hundreds of them, many even more beautiful than this. Now, think about the sweeping beauty in Hoagie Carmichael's Stardust, or the tender way Jimmy Durante sang Make Someone Happy. Or Iz singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow. See what I mean? Where would you even begin?
I finally came to the conclusion that Natalie's question just couldn't be answered. At least not in any way that she was expecting. So this morning I sent her the following:
Single greatest song: Your newborn's first cry.
Sorry. All the rest are purely subjective.
Though I still remember it's magic, that is one song I haven't heard in about 23 years. So for now, I'll have to let this fine little number from Paul Simon and his Graceland album tide me over.
Do you have some favorites?