My Favorite Song | Play Me Something Like “Here Comes the Sun”
It seems that I, perversely, don’t have a favorite song.
A few years ago, when I first started using iTunes and got an iPod, I made myself a playlist called “The Five Favorites”. It included, in no particular order, “Only in Dreams” by Weezer, “Another Space Song” by Failure, “Interstate Love Song” by Stone Temple Pilots, “For Me This is Heaven” by Jimmy Eat World, and “Singing in My Sleep” by Semisonic. I think.
The fact is, I can’t remember with 100% certainty what was on the list, and it has to do with more than changing tastes. Yeah, new music’s captured my heart, and old favorites have snuck into the rotation. And yes, I still love each and every one of those songs with a pure visceral feeling that I can’t explain, which is lucky, since I don’t have to, given the fact that anyone who cares about music at all knows exactly what I mean.
But I don’t have a favorite. There’s no one song that speaks to me across time and across my whole life, the way some people feel about “Blackbird”. There’s no all-timer for me.
I put forth the question a few days ago to others: “What is my favorite song?” There were a few good answers, some of which will come up later in the month. However, none of them seemed right.
There was one response that really caught my eye, ultimately: favorites are for people who have settled.
I don’t have a favorite because I don’t have something I’ve loved always. In fact, I jettisoned nearly all the music to which I’d been exposed throughout my childhood as an adolescent when I decided to start listening to “my music”; even if I came back to large swaths of it, realizing I’d been wrong to dismiss it, anything that could be considered a “favorite” from then had been stripped of its luster.
(It bears mentioning now that the music of that I jettisoned, the music of my parents, was mostly ‘80s hair metal. It taught me to love music, but it didn’t stand up to the giants that rose in the early ‘90s when I was coming into my own. I still stand by that.)
Right now, I can’t stop listening to Metric’s “Gimme Sympathy”, so I suppose that right at the moment, it’s my favorite song. However, ultimately, I think it comes down to this: there’s no all-time favorite for me, which means my favorite at any given moment is at the mercy of caprice, or my brain, or my ears, or, maybe on that right spring day when the world feels fresh and I want to skip down the block, my heart.
And I guess I’m all right with that.