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wonders never cease Thursday, January 21, 2010

THURSDAY, JANUARY 21st, 2010 play list of the week: 14 songs to reverse your age

[caption id="attachment_2898" align="alignleft" width="374" caption="click to listen"]tossing_lucy[/caption]We’re all getting older, despite our best efforts. You are actually older now than you were when you started reading this post, and you’ll be older still when you finish. Isn’t there a Diem that you should be Carpeing? If somehow you do have a few moments to spare, this week’s play list features some of our favorite songs about passing through our time in this crazy little thing called life. Whether you face your future cheerfully and gracefully or bravely soldier on with a grim weariness, we truly hope that this tiny window of your life is improved a bit before you move on to more important things. Sit back and enjoy, unless you have more important things to tend to:

1. “In My Life” – The Beatles
Mojo Magazine declared this classic the best song of all time in 2000. We’re not trying to pick a fight with that outstanding publication, but we’ll scale back a bit and declare it a great example of the songwriting genius of Lennon and McCartney.
“Though 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.”

2. “Once In a Lifetime” – Talking Heads
This hit song was reportedly inspired by a radio preacher that David Byrne and Brian Eno heard while driving in New York.
“And you may tell yourself ‘This is not my beautiful house!’ And you may tell yourself ‘This is not my beautiful wife!’”

3. “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” – Death Cab For Cutie
More about the eternity of love than life itself, this song still paints a vivid earthly picture.
“In 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 ‘Son fear is the heart of love.’ So I never went back.”

4. “Growin’ Up” – Bruce Springsteen
The boss shows his poet’s soul on one of the songs that got him signed by the same Columbia rep who landed Bob Dylan.
“I 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, ‘Sit down,’ I stood up. Ooh... growin' up.”

5. “Forever Young” – Madness
From 2009’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.
“Well 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.”

6. “Young at Heart” – Frank Sinatra
Billboard Magazine’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 Sinatra’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. “A Reminder” – Radiohead
The gentle brilliance of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke is softly flexing its muscles in this evocative track.
“If 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.”

8. “Touch of Grey” – 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.
“Oh 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.”

9. “Still Fighting It” – Ben Folds
A nice song from Folds’ first solo project after disbanding Ben Folds Five, Rockin’ 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:
“Everybody knows it sucks to grow up. And everybody does.”

10. “The Circle Game” – Joni Mitchell
Written as a response to fellow Canadian songwriter Neil Young’s “Sugar Mountain,” with the chorus:
“And 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.”

11. “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” – 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. “Time” – Pink Floyd
The only song on 1973’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:
“And 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.”

13. “Bittersweet Symphony” – The Verve
The opening track on 1997’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:
“Trying to make ends meet, you're a slave to the money then you die.”

14. “Forever Young” – Bob Dylan
Recorded in two versions on 1974’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). We’ve taken these to heart already so we’ll leave you with these blessings from Bob:
“May 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.”

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