THE BEST SONG EVER RECORDED
Today I was listening to the best song I know. I think it is the best (English language) song ever recorded.
Just yesterday morning, they let me know you were gone.
How do I know? What are the requirements in the “best song” category?
Suzanne, the plans they made put an end to you.
1. Universal theme. Love and loss, it doesn’t get much more universal than that. Who hasn’t felt the yearning for another, the grief and pain of their absence?
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song,
2. Simple, accessible melody. Gimmicks have no place in the best song. No digital effects, no record scratching, no clashing metal, no angsty discordant punk, you get the idea. The best song is one you can play on a single guitar or piano, with a single voice.
I just can’t remember who to send it to.
3. Simple, accessible lyrics. I’m talking plain English, folks. If it contains slang from the 70s that current kids would laugh at, that’s not it. If it contains the words “ho,” “chillin’” or “Snoop Dogg,” that’s not it either. The best song has words that everyone can understand, words that unite us rather than compartmentalize us.
I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
4. Emotionally resonant. My elder daughter first heard this song when she was 5 years old. She listened intently until the song was over, and with tears streaming down her face she asked me to play it again.
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend, but I always thought that I’d see you again.
5. Stands the test of time. Well, so far so good. This song’s been around for 34 years and still gets radio play.
The song is of course James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain.”
What’s your Best Song Ever Recorded?
Been walking my mind to an easy time, my back turned towards the sun.
Lord knows when the cold wind blows it’ll turn your head around.
Well, there’s hours of time on the telephone line to talk about things to come.
Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground.
Oh, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend,
but I always thought that I’d see you baby, one more time again, now.