1. вЂњIn My LifeвЂќ вЂ“ The Beatles
Mojo Magazine declared this classic the best song of all time in 2000. WeвЂ™re not trying to pick a fight with that outstanding publication, but weвЂ™ll scale back a bit and declare it a great example of the songwriting genius of Lennon and McCartney.
вЂњThough I know I'll never lose affection for people and things that went before, I know I'll often stop and think about them. In my life I love you more.вЂќ
2. вЂњOnce In a LifetimeвЂќ вЂ“ Talking Heads
This hit song was reportedly inspired by a radio preacher that David Byrne and Brian Eno heard while driving in New York.
вЂњAnd you may tell yourself вЂThis is not my beautiful house!вЂ™ And you may tell yourself вЂThis is not my beautiful wife!вЂ™вЂќ
3. вЂњI Will Follow You Into the DarkвЂќ вЂ“ Death Cab For Cutie
More about the eternity of love than life itself, this song still paints a vivid earthly picture.
вЂњIn Catholic school, as vicious as Roman rule, I got my knuckles bruised by a lady in black and I held my tongue as she told me вЂSon fear is the heart of love.вЂ™ So I never went back.вЂќ
4. вЂњGrowinвЂ™ UpвЂќ вЂ“ Bruce Springsteen
The boss shows his poetвЂ™s soul on one of the songs that got him signed by the same Columbia rep who landed Bob Dylan.
вЂњI strolled all alone through a fallout zone and come out with my soul untouched. I hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd, but when they said, вЂSit down,вЂ™ I stood up. Ooh... growin' up.вЂќ
5. вЂњForever YoungвЂќ вЂ“ Madness
From 2009вЂ™s The Liberty Of Norton Folgate, the first new album in a decade from the legendary British Ska kings, 30 years after the release of their seminal One Step Beyond.
вЂњWell Mr. Moon is counting backwards make the waters ebb and flow. And all the things we could and should have done but them old regrets well they'll come and go.вЂќ
6. вЂњYoung at HeartвЂќ вЂ“ Frank Sinatra
Billboard MagazineвЂ™s Song of the Year in 1953, the popularity of this hit convinced Warner Bros to rewrite and rename the Sinatra film they were making and use the hit as its opening and closing theme after they made SinatraвЂ™s character live happily ever after instead of dying tragically.
"And if you should survive to 105, Look at all you'll derive out of being alive. Then here is the best part, You'll have a head start, If you are among the very young at heart."
7. вЂњA ReminderвЂќ вЂ“ Radiohead
The gentle brilliance of RadioheadвЂ™s Thom Yorke is softly flexing its muscles in this evocative track.
вЂњIf I get old, I will not give in but if I do, remind me of this. Remind me that, once I was free, once I was cool, once I was me.вЂќ
8. вЂњTouch of GreyвЂќ вЂ“ Grateful Dead
The first and only real commercial hit for the perpetual road warriors, and their first video made for MTV. Despite the commercial success and the sea of fans at their concerts calling out for the song at the height of its popularity, the Dead never really went out of their way to work it into their sets for most of their shows.
вЂњOh well, a touch of grey kind of suits you anyway. That was all I had to say and it's all right. I will get by.вЂќ
9. вЂњStill Fighting ItвЂќ вЂ“ Ben Folds
A nice song from FoldsвЂ™ first solo project after disbanding Ben Folds Five, RockinвЂ™ The Suburbs, with its unfortunate release date of September 11th, 2001. The song is an ode from Folds to his young son Louis, and, if you set aside trademark Folds quirks like rhyming in the price of the roast beef combo meal, it can be summed up pretty easily:
вЂњEverybody knows it sucks to grow up. And everybody does.вЂќ
10. вЂњThe Circle GameвЂќ вЂ“ Joni Mitchell
Written as a response to fellow Canadian songwriter Neil YoungвЂ™s вЂњSugar Mountain,вЂќ with the chorus:
вЂњAnd the seasons they go round and round, and the painted ponies go up and down. We're captive on the carousel of time. We can't return, we can only look behind from where we came, and go round and round and round in the circle game.вЂќ
11. вЂњGood Riddance (Time of Your Life)вЂќ вЂ“ Green Day
Billie Joe Armstrong slows down and gets contemplative and winds up with an international hit on his hands:
"So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind. Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time. Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial, for what it's worth it was worth all the while. It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right. I hope you had the time of your life".
12. вЂњTimeвЂќ вЂ“ Pink Floyd
The only song on 1973вЂ™s Dark Side of the Moon credited to all four members of the band, this song reminds us (perhaps a bit bleakly) to take control of our lives:
вЂњAnd you run, and you run, to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking, racing around, to come up behind you again. The sun is the same, in the relative way, but you're older, shorter of breath and one day closer to death.вЂќ
13. вЂњBittersweet SymphonyвЂќ вЂ“ The Verve
The opening track on 1997вЂ™s Urban Hymns, the band had to surrender all (substantial) proceeds to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards after a court ruled they had sampled too much of the song they had already bought the rights to sample. It gives new meaning to the lyrics:
вЂњTrying to make ends meet, you're a slave to the money then you die.вЂќ
14. вЂњForever YoungвЂќ вЂ“ Bob Dylan
Recorded in two versions on 1974вЂ™s Planet Waves, after Dylan had become a father and reunited with The Band, this song is a blessing from the new parent to his progeny. Rod Stewart liked it so much he accidentally plagiarized it on his 1988 song of the same name (and melody and many of the same lyrics). WeвЂ™ve taken these to heart already so weвЂ™ll leave you with these blessings from Bob:
вЂњMay you grow up to be righteous, may you grow up to be true, may you always know the truth and see the lights surrounding you. May you always be courageous, stand upright and be strong, may you stay forever young.вЂќ
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