Because I'm a hopelessly derivative person and have seen other people post on their blogs or columns the "what's in your Ipod" question, I figured that the alphabetical arrangement was as interesting way as any to talk about the music of the moment.
I have twenty-six songs beginning with the letter "A" in my music library. I will try to bullet my (current) three favorites for each letter:
All Out of Love--Air Supply
All Revved Up (With No Place to Go)--Meatloaf
All Right--Amy Grant
All Right Now--[Live]--Queen & Paul Rogers
All the Way to Kingdom Come--Rich Mullins
All You Zombies--The Hooters
Ally Ally Oxen Free--The Kingston Trio
Along Comes a Woman--Chicago
America--Simon & Garfunkel
And She Was--Talking Heads
And So It Goes--Billy Joel
And We Danced--The Hooters
Angie--The Rolling Stones
Another One Bites the Dust--Queen
Any Way You Want It--Journey
Anybody Seen My Baby--The Rolling Stones
*Are You Out There?--Dar Williams
Ask the Lonely--Journey
Atlantic City--Bruce Springsteen
Autumn Almanac--The Kinks
#3 Tie ("Apeman"/"Another Day")
I sometime use the Sting song in class to talk about if certain styles or genres lend themselves to certain content/subject matter. I'm always struck in a cognitive dissonance sort of way by the irresistible dance beat of "Another Day" in conjunction with its almost suicidally depressing lyrics. But maybe that's the point. The Kinks' song has a goofy cheerfulness to it that belies its message.
When I heard a cover of this while watching the DVD Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man, I turned to Cindy and Todd and said, "I hope every artist who has ever written a crappy, derivative CCM song is forced to listen to "Anthem" some day and at least has the decency to feel ashamed."
#1 "Are You Out There?"
I really like Dar Williams's lyrics. Her songs remind me of Paul Simon's lyrics at times, but with a bit more probing spiritual quality. (Yet not openly underscored like CCM.) I didn't like the album this was off of as much as My Better Self, but the song is terrific at expressing the sense of connectedness one longs for at a certain point in life while hinting (perhaps) that that longing is itself a symbol of another, deeper one.