Thursday, 12 August 2010

this song

1. Carly Simon - You're so vain
2. PIL - This is not a love song
3. George Harrison - This Song
4. Monty Python - I Bet You They Won't Play This Song On The Radio
5. Weird Al Yankovic - Don't Download This Song
6. Paramore - Stop this song
7. Psychostick - This Is Not A Song (It's A Sandwich)
8. Bon Jovi - This Ain't A Love Song
9. Julien Clerc - This Melody
10. Elton John - Your Song

Listen to these songs on Spotify!

Personal note: This list is about the notion of self-reference (enjoy this great Wikipedia entry). Carly Simon's song in this perspective is the absolute favorite. With the line 'You probably think this song is about you.' she gives the listener a difficult puzzle to solve...

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


1. Queen - You're My Best Friend
2. Joe Cocker - With A Little Help From My Friends
3. Andrew Gold - Thank You for Being A Friend
4. Carole King - You've Got A Friend
5. Dionne Warwick - That's What Friends Are For
6. Rolling Stones - Waiting On A Friend
7. Robert Palmer - Can We Still Be Friends
8. Clem Snide - African Friend
9. Alain Clark - Father And Friend
10. The Beach Boys - Friends

Listen to these 10 songs in Spotify!

Personal note: Some songs in this list are very dear to me. I love the laid back hit by the Rolling Stones. And Alain Clark sings about the relationship I had with my father. Listening to these songs makes you realize how special true friendship can be.

Monday, 9 August 2010

my instrument

1. Mark & Clark Band - Worn Out Piano
2. B.B. King - Lucille (B.B. King's guitar's name)
3. Diana Ross - My Old Piano
4. The Osmonds - My Drum
5. Tom Waits - The Piano Has Been Drinking
6. Neil Young - This Old Guitar
7. The Beatles - While My Guitar Gently Weeps
8. John Hiatt - Perfectly Good Guitar
9. Jamiroquai - When You Gonna Learn (Didgeridoo)
10. David Sylvian - Red Guitar

Listen to these songs (and more) on Spotify!

Personal note: As a guitar player I know that an instrument can become your friend. It gives you comfort, brings you joy and is always there for you. There are some great 'ode'-like songs in which artists sing about their instrument. Pianos and guitars are most popular.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

New York

1. Billie Holiday - Autumn In New York
2. Leonard Cohen - First We Take Manhattan
3. Billy Joel - New York State of Mind
4. Art Garfunkel - A Heart In New York
5. Suzanne Vega - New York Is a Woman
6. The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl - Fairytale of New York
7. Frank Sinatra - New York, New York
8. Madonna - I Love New York
9. Sting - Englishman In New York
10. U2 - New York

Personal note: I made this list in 2008 in preparation for running the New York Marathon, my first. It turned out to be one of my most impressing experiences. I fell in love with the city and its people. The songs became the soundtrack of great memories...

Saturday, 7 August 2010

the numbers one to ten

1. U2 - One
Metallica - One
2. Ryan Adams - Two
3. The Cure - Three
4. Miles Davis - Four
5. Tenishia - Five
6. Faithless - Six
7. David Bowie - Seven
8. Karma to Burn - Eight
9. Dianne Reeves - Nine
10. Jewel - Ten

Personal note: making these lists is a fun challenge. On the one hand there are billions of songs available, on the other the idea is to find the best known songs that fit in best. In this case number 'one' delivered me a dilemma, with two available songs both from te top ranks of the Dutch Top 2000. The solution: an ex aequo on 1.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

the year ...

1. Zager and Evans - In the year 2525
2. The Stooges - 1969 and 1970
3. Prince - 1999
4. The Clash - 1977
5. James Blunt - 1973
6. David Bowie - 1984
7. New Order - 1963
8. Ryuichi Sakamoto - 1919
9. Incognito - 1975
10. Tommy Guerrero - 1966

Personal note: I wasn't born yesterday. It was 1966, actually. I was always a bit jealous of people born in years about which a famous song was written. My brother was born in 1969. He has The Stooges. When making this list I finally found a song about the year 1966. A bit obscure maybe, but hey, I'm not too picky. To get things right for the next generation, with lots of effort and precision work, I managed to have a daughter born in 1999. One day I'll buy here a nice 12" copy of Prince's superhit!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010


1. Velvet Underground - Run run run
2. The Beatles - Run for your life
3. Iron Maiden - The loneliness of the distance runner
4. Spencer Davis Group - Keep on running
5. Bruce Springsteen - Born to run
6. Kate Bush - Running up that hill
7. Rush - Marathon
8. Sheryl Crow - Run baby run
9. Van Halen - Running with the devil
10. Jonathan Richman - Roadrunner

Personal note: I made this list in 2008 in preparation for running the New York Marathon, my first. Training with these songs on my iPod gave a real boost to running faster, longer, with more joy.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

a bird

1. The Beatles - Blackbird
2. Fleetwood Mac - Albatross
3. Manfred Mann - Pretty Flamingo
4. Prince - When doves cry
5. Simon And Garfunkel - Sparrow
6. Barclay James Harvest - Mocking Bird
7. Abba - Eagle
8. Thom Yorke - Black Swan
9. Labbi Siffre - The Vulture
10. Jethro Tull - Mother Goose

Personal note: Birds are great metaphors for songwriters that want to tell stories about either vulnerability and beauty (singing birds) or danger and power (birds of prey). But the best thing is that birds can fly! They symbolize freedom and offer an helicopter view to the scenes you're describing. So for your next song... try a bird or two.

Monday, 2 August 2010

not being perfect

1. Randy Newman - I'm different
2. Howlin' Wolf - Built for comfort
3. Ian Dury & The Blockheads - Spasticus Autisticus
4. Neil Innes - How Sweet to be an idiot
5. Frank Zappa - Dancing Fool
6. Beck - Loser
7. Radiohead - Creep
8. Bon Jovi - Ugly
9. Nirvana - Dumb
10. Cliff Richard - I am no hero

Personal note: It's easy to sing about the other person being perfect. Many love songs provi it. It's takes courage to sings about your own shortcomings. In some of these songs the artist even takes pride in not being perfect: don't call me fat, I am built for comfort.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

a car brand

1. Janis Joplin - Mercedes Benz
2. Bing Crosby - In My Merry Oldsmobile
3. Gruppo Sportivo - Tokyo ('In My New Toyota It's Not Far Away')
4. Serge Gainsbourg - Ford Mustang (In French)
5. Prince - Little Red Corvette
6. Syd Barrett - Opel
7. Spider Murphy Gang - BMW
8. ZZ Top - Chevrolet
9. Bruce Springsteen - Pink Cadillac
10. The Scabs - Matchbox Car

Personal note: In this list Janis Joplin defies the idea that cars are toys for boys. The Scabs from Belgium believe they are, though. In this list I present more car songs from Europe: from Germany (Spider Murphy Gang) and the Netherlands (Gruppo Sportivo). The last one I smuggled in, I admit, because it's not really about the Toyota. But I thought, one of the largest brands in the world had to be in.