First on the list is Joni Mitchell with Sire of Sorrow (Job's Sad Song). This is a beautiful rendition from the point of view of Job as he rages against what God has done to him, but I find it a moving story of faith despite the obvious reasons for not having it. There's a bit of 'why does God let bad things happen?' in the song as well, as there is in the story of Job. Plus, it's just a gorgeous song. It's one that's remained a big favorite of mine over the year. Plus, there's a bit of the lyrics that reminds me of Jacoby (one of my characters): Still, you torture me with visions/ you give me terrifying dreams/ Better I was carried from the womb straight to the grave/ I see the diggers waiting, they're leaning on their spades. (That makes more sense if you know who Jacoby is, but hey, you should be reading katsterwrites.) ;)
Second is a group called Deadman, who, despite the morbid name, have some of the neatest songs I've heard. Their When the Music's Not Forgotten. I first heard this at the end of an episode of ...argh, the show about FBI profilers on CBS. (My mother watches too much TV.) Anyway, the bit of song that I heard forced me to suggest to the library that they really needed to buy their CD. The library finally came through, and this song rocks muchly. The group calls it a paean to Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, but the thing about good songs is that they strike a more universal chord. That's why this has been up there on my Top Five for a while now. If we stand on a hill and do not touch/ How can we do good?/ If we wash our hands of all our friends/ what change can really come?/ If we hide our fears and don't draw near/ have we really lived?/ Or all we all just standing here/ hoping there is grace?
Third is my concession to the Top 40. I've always been very fond of Five for Fighting. Their lead singer/songwriter is a guy named John Ondrasik, and he's a damned good poet. Thus, I have to give my third nod to The Riddle. I mean how you can go wrong with a song whose second line is when his heart ran out of summers, but before he died? Besides, it's a wonderful song about our place in the universe, and how we are so small and so big at the same time. That's a wonderful thing.
Fourth is a group called Runrig. I've recently rediscovered them in my collection of music (their original appearance there is the fault of aris_tgd, but I'd gotten into listening to other things). Anyway, the other day, when I was changing up the playlist on my USB stick, I pulled out one of my mp3 CDs and stumbled over One Thing. This, unlike the other songs I've chosen, is a bit of a sad song, and in my more depressive moods, I nearly take it literally. It's about a couple drifting apart, but it's a gorgeously haunting song, and speaks to all those moments when a good thing comes to an end. The picture is painted/ the colors are bold/ One for each season/ Of life I suppose/ It no longer matters/ The story's been told/ It's not going to change a thing.
Fifth and last is a Paul Simon song from his new album, Surprise. (You didn't expect to get away from this list without a Simon song, did you?) ;) Seriously, there's three songs I debated on for this album, and I ended up with Once Upon a Time There Was an Ocean. While the song I ended up choosing probably isn't his best off the album, it's the one that tickles me the most, because it's about trying to get out of the ruts in our lives, and it's got a kickass geography metaphor in the opening moments of the song. Once upon a time there was an ocean/ but now it is a mountain range/ Something unstoppable, set into motion/ Everything is different, but nothing has changed. Plus I like the way the song moves between different kinds of music, but yet holds the theme together. Everything is different, but nothing has changed, indeed.
So...those are my five favorites for the moment. What are yours?