Sunday, January 27, 2013

stevo's favorite 50 songs, 2013 edition

"I may not always love you,
But as long as there are stars above you,
You never need to doubt it --
I'll make you so sure about it.
God only knows what I'd be without you ..."

-- "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys -- number 37 the last time I did this, the "first out" this time ...


Hey there!  Wow, two posts in (doing the math) five days!  Amazing!  Time to party like it’s 2008 again or something!!!

Today’s post: an update from nineteen months ago – my current list of my 50(ish) favorite songs.  As always, while I’ll count down from 50 to 1, there’ll be a few “honorable mentions” in this listing that bring the total closer to 85, than 50. 


(The previous listing from June 2011, can be accessed by clicking on this link.)

50. “Then” by Brad Paisley.  (2011 ranking: not ranked.)  I don’t know why this song grew on me so much over the last 18 months, considering that now (like then), there’s no future Mrs. Stevo, or even Mistress Stevo, in the picture … but damn if this song doesn’t get to me. 

Favorite line(s):
“I can just see you, with a baby on the way!
And I can just see you, when your hair’s turning gray!
But what I can’t see, is how I’m ever, gonna love you more?
But I’ve said that before …

And now you’re my whole life,
Now you’re my whole world.
And I just can’t believe the way
I feel about you girl.
And we’ll look back someday,
At this moment we’re in.
And I’ll look at you and say
That I thought I loved you then …”

49. “Drunk On You” by Luke Bryan.  (2011 ranking: song had not been released yet.)  My second favorite song released in 2012.  Wow, I so need a girlfriend … and we’re only two songs into this thing …

Favorite Line(s):
“If you ain’t a ten, you’re a nine point nine,
Tippin’ and spillin’ that homemade wine,
On your tied up t-shirt …
Every little kiss is drivin’ me wild,
Throwing little cherry bombs into my fire,
Good God Almighty …”

48. “Modern Love” by Matt Nathanson.  (2011 ranking: song had not been released yet.)  If you know me at all, you know I’m a huge, I mean hu-yuge, fan of Matt Nathanson.  I swear to God, at least ten percent of what’s in my iTunes, is by this guy.  This isn’t my favorite song by him – it’s not even in my top three.  (All three still to appear.)  But this song just totally rocks*.

Favorite Line(s):
“They said one big exhale never did me no good …”

(*: in hindsight, this should have been at least 25 spots higher.)

47. “The Young and the Hopeless” by Good Charlotte.  (2011 ranking: not ranked.)  Let’s just say, this song has taken on a personal meaning to me, quite a bit, over the last twelve months.  God, 2012 sucked something awful.

Favorite Line(s):
“And if I make it through the day?
Will tomorrow be the same?
Am I just running in place?
And if I stumble and I fall,
Should I get up and carry on?
Or will it all just be the same?

‘Cause I’m young and I’m hopeless;
I’m lost and I know this –
I’m going nowhere fast, that’s what they say …”

46. “Some Nights” by Fun.  (2011 ranking: song had not been released yet.)  Another song that really, really appeals to me, thanks to the last six months or so of this journey called “life”.  Plus, it’s really, really catchy.  Love the lyrics, love the sound, and would love to see this bad boy performed live this summer at a venue somewhere.

Favorite Line(s):
“Well some nights I wish that this all would end,
Because I could use some friends for a change.
And some nights I’m scared you’ll forget me again,
But some nights I always win, I always win.
But I still wake up, I still see your ghost.
Oh Lord, I’m still not sure what I stand for,
Oh what do I stand for?  What do I stand for?
Most nights?  I don’t know …”

45. “Are You Ready For The Fallout” by Fastball.  (2011 ranking: 49th.)  Hey, our first repeat offender!  There’s no way you could be a college kid in Texas in the late 1990s, and not be addicted to this band.  I think it was even like a law or something.  This song is 55 million times better than “The Way” could ever be.  Sorry, Peter Gammons.

Favorite Line(s):
“You get the worst of it every time,
Lashing out with no reason or rhyme.
To loose all this rage, at so tender an age,
Little baby growing up in a rat cage.

Are you ready for the fallout?
Who you gonna call out?
When does it finally come to blows?
I think that you’re forgetting,
The blood that you’ll be letting,
Has a price on it noone knows …”

44. “Anthem Of Our Dying Day” by Story of the Year.  (2011 ranking: 32nd.)  Took a bit of a dip this year, but Page Avenue is still one of my favorite cd’s of all time.  And this song will always have at least an honorable mention in any favorite song list for me.  Highly underrated bad breakup / bad falling out song.

Favorite Line(s):
“Here I am, pouring my heart onto these rooftops!
Just a ghost to the world, and that’s exactly,
Exactly what I need ...

From up here the city lights burn,
Like a thousand miles of fire,
And I’m here to sing this anthem
To our dying day …”

43. “Let Me Be Your Star” from “Smash” (singers: Megan Hilty and Katherine McPhee).  (2011 ranking: song had not been released yet.)  Fine, start ripping, I don’t care.  The pilot of “Smash” stands up against any pilot of the last ten years quite well, and this song (the unofficial theme of the show, and the song performed in the closing moments of the pilot) is just EPICALLY good.  Here’s to hoping Season Two of “Smash” (coming to NBC in two weeks!) is better than Season One.

Favorite Line(s):
“I’ll just have to forget the hurt that came before,
Forget what used to be.
The past is on the cutting room floor,
The future is here with me!  Choose me!
Fade up on a star, with it all in her sights!
All the love, and the lights, that surround her.
Someday?  She’ll think twice.  Of the dues and the price
She’ll have to pay.  But not today …”

42. “Answering Machine” by Matt Nathanson.  (2011 ranking: Honorable Mention.)  Arguably my favorite “f*ck you!” song written to an ex, that I’ve ever heard.

Favorite Line(s):
“I met a new one, and she looks just like you.
She gives me everything that you didn’t want to,
And maybe?  I don’t need saving after all!
She sticks in my ribs, almost better than you did,
And maybe, I’m tired.  Or maybe she glows …

I wonder if you’re still defending?
I wonder if you’re still defending?

Cause I could fall alone, if all,
If I can fall away,
Cause you’ve been so wrong, for so long, now …

(jump to the ending)

And your new anthems that you breathe?
I’ve got you on my answering machine.
Yeah, you’ve got your anthems, and I can hardly breathe.
But I’ve got you on my answering machine.”

41. “I Hate Everything About You” by Three Days Grace.  (2011 ranking: 31st.)  Sweet merciful Jesus, if any song describes my feelings about a certain twosome over the last six months, this is it.

Favorite Line(s):
“Every room we keep awake,
By every silent scream we make?
All the feeling that I get?
But I still don’t miss you yet.
Only when I stop to think about it …

I!  Hate!  Everything about you!
So why do I love you?
I!  Hate!  Everything about you!
So why do I love you …”

40. “Miracle” by the Foo Fighters.  (2011 ranking: not ranked.)  How did I leave this off even an honorable mention eighteen months ago?  This song is really, really good.  Also served as the background noise for one of the saddest scenes in television history, when Matt Santos has to announce to the nation that Leo McGarry has died, on “The West Wing”.

Favorite Line(s):
“Everything that we’ve survived?
It’s gonna be alright.
(We’re) just lucky we’re alive.

Got no vision, I’ve been blind.
Searching everywhere,
And you’re right here in my sights.

Hands on a miracle!
I’ve got my hands on a miracle!
Believe it or not, hands on miracle!
And there ain’t no way,
That you can take it away …”

39. “Soldier” by Gavin DeGraw.  (2011 ranking: song had not been released yet.)  Oh sweet Lord, do I love this song.  The fact that it’s (at best) my third favorite by Gavin DeGraw is frightening**.  Hearing this live at Power and Light two summers ago, along with everything else from that night, is probably my favorite day of the last three years.  And yeah, that’s frightening, that a freebie Friday night concert ranks number one since the end of the last decade …

Favorite Line(s):
“I’ll get it, if you need it.
I’ll search, if you can’t see it.
You’re thirsty?  I’ll be rain.
You get hurt?  I’ll take your pain.

I know you don’t believe it,
But I said it, and I still mean it.
When you heard what I told you?
When you get worried?  I’ll be your soldier.

My aim is so true –
I want to show you!
I’ll try forever –
I’m never gonna say surrender …”

(**: in hindsight, this song is at least 25 spots too low as well ... if not 35 spots too low ...)

38. “Go All The Way” by the Raspberries.  (2011 ranking: not ranked.)  I had a huge re-interest in the classics of the late 60s / early 70s in 2012.  These rankings will reflect that.  I mean, how can you hate this song?  Straight and to the point!  (And 100% true to boot!)

Favorite Line(s):
“I never knew how complete love could be,
Until she kissed me and said,
Baby please!  Go all the way!
It feels so right, being with you here tonight …”

37. “Mixed Emotions” by the Rolling Stones.  (2011 ranking: not ranked.)  Mock all you want – it’s my favorite Stones song**.

Favorite Line(s):
“This coming and going?
Is driving me nuts.
This to-ing and fro-ing?
Is hurting my guts!

So get off the fence now –
Stop squeezing your butt.
Life is a party!
Let’s get out and strut!

You’re not the only one
With mixed emotions!
You’re not the only ship,
Adrift on this ocean …”

(**: another one at least 20, 25 slots lower than it should have been ... damn, there's some great songs out there worth loving ...)

36. “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do” by Brantley Gilbert.  (2011 ranking: song had not been released yet.)  I tend to like the depressing, down, break up / screw you song genre.  This one, is probably the only song I love, that’s about a guy ... who’s never going to give up on the girl he loves.  (Pause).  Gee, wonder why I’m single.

Favorite Line(s):
“Hey old friend, thanks for calling.
It’s good to know somebody cares.
And yeah, she’s gone,
But I don’t feel like talking.
It might be just too much to bear.

To hear somebody say it stops hurting?
Or to hear somebody say she ain’t worth it?

Cause you don’t know her like I do!
You’ll never understand.
And you don’t know what we’ve been through –
That girl’s my best friend!
There’s no way that you're gonna help me –
She’s the only one who can.
No, you don’t know how much I’ve got to lose –
Cause you don’t know her like I do …”

35. “Lucky Town” by Bruce Springsteen.  (2011 ranking: not ranked.)  Fell back in love with his most underrated effort last year.  This song is still epically good twenty years later.  Dear God – it’s really been TWENTY TWO YEARS since “Human Touch” and “Lucky Town” were released.  My God, I am old.

Best Line(s):
“Now here’s to your good looks baby,
Now here’s to my health.
And here’s to lonely places that we take ourselves.
When it comes to luck?  You make your own.
Tonight?  I’ve got dirt on my hands,
But I’m building me a new home!”

34. “Daydream Believer” by the Monkees.  (2011 ranking: not ranked.)  I love this song.

Favorite Line(s):
“Oh I could hide, beneath the wings,
Of the bluebird as she sings.
The six o’clock alarm would never ring …

But six rings, and I rise,
And wipe the sleep out of my eyes.
My shaving razor’s cold, and it stings …

Cheer up, sleepy Jean!
Oh what can it mean
To a daydream believer
And a homecoming queen …”

33. “Hands Held High” by Linkin Park.  (2011 ranking: 30th.)  The first appearance by LP on my favorites list, and it won’t be their last.  The lyrics perfectly sum up my feelings about the George W. Bush administration.  

And, sadly ... the Barack Obama administration as well.

Favorite Line(s):
“Jump when they tell us they wanna see jumpin?
Fuck that!  I wanna see some fists pumpin!
Risk something!  Take back what’s yours!
Say something that you know they might attack you for!

Cause I’m sick of being treated like I have before,
Like I’m stupid standing for what I’m standing for.
Like this war’s really just a different brand of war?
Like it doesn’t cater to rich, and abandon poor? …”

32. “Get It Like You Like It” by Ben Harper (believe it or not, could not find a Youtube! link).  (2011 ranking: 38th.)  The best song off my favorite cd of all time (Both Sides of the Gun), and his performance in the monsoon at Starlight in 2006 is still my second favorite concert I’ve ever attended. 

Favorite Line(s):
“But Johnny Damon swung a bat!
Grand slam!  That was that!
Eighty six years, and the curse was gone!!!”

31. “I Got a Name” by Jim Croce.  (2011 ranking: not ranked.)  God, I love this song.  It's my mom's favorite song not involving someone named John, Paul, George, or Ringo ... and at times, it's mine too.  

Favorite Line(s):
“Like the fool that I am, and I’ll always be?
I’ve got a dream.  I’ve got a dream.
They can change their minds, but they can’t change me –
I’ve got a dream.  I’ve got a dream.
Oh, I know I could share it if you want me to.
And if you’re going my way?
I’ll go with you …”

30. “Sinners Like Me” by Eric Church.  (2011 ranking: 16th.)  Slipped some in the last eighteen months, but it still has to be one of the four or five or six anthems of my life.  And yeah, every so often, I still pull up the live performance I was privileged enough to witness back in 2011.

Favorite Line(s):
“My momma had a soft spot,
For a hell raisin’ boy.
So she had two more just like him.

It takes an angel, to raise a family
That comes from a long line,
Of sinners like me.

Well now maybe, who knows?
Maybe one day I’ll settle down,
And give my dad a grandson of his own.

And when the doctor smacks him?
He’ll probably take a swing –
Cause he comes from a long line
Of sinners like me …”

29. “Come On Get Higher” by Matt Nathanson.  (2011 ranking: 29th.)  The song that put him on the map … and it’s nowhere close to his best effort.  Even if it is his funnest song he’s done to date.  Well, save for “Modern Love”, that one might be just as much fun.

Favorite Line(s):
“I miss the pull of your heart.
I taste the sparks on your tongue.
And I see angels and devils,
And God when you come …
On …
Hold on!
Hold on, hold on, love!”

28. “Tonight I Wanna Cry” by Keith Urban.  (2011 ranking: not ranked.)  2012 was a horrific, absolutely brutal year for me.  I sadly cannot even count how many times I’d come home, and live this song.  

(Side rant commencing in five, four, three ...)

I will never – never – understand why certain people in my life, felt like they had the right, to treat me as they did last year.  I will never understand it, I will never forget it, and I probably will never forgive it.  And since those two people still present themselves as "friends", and read this site regularly, let’s just move on, before I type and post something we'll all regret, since after all, "taking what you want, without regard to how it hurts or screws over someone else, is wrong!  You should not be allowed to get ahead, by screwing over someone else!"  Right?  Right?  

Jesus f*cking Christ, the hypocrisy of some people ... makes me wanna cry ...

(and calming down in two ... one ...)

Favorite Line(s):
“I’ve never been the kind to ever let my feelings show.
And I thought that being strong, meant never losing your self control.
But I’m just drunk enough, to let go of my pain.
To hell with my pride –
Let it fall like rain, from my eyes.
Tonight I wanna cry.”

27. “Silver Springs” by Fleetwood Mac.  (2011 ranking: 7th.)  Look it, “Go Your Own Way” is an awesome song, it’s a great “f*ck you!” effort.  But this one is better.  Especially the live version off The Dance, linked above*.  

(*: with all seriousness here -- this might be THE greatest "music video" of all time ... especially the last ninety seconds.  An epic "losing all control" moment twenty years in the making.  Epic!  Plus, watch the whole video -- Lindsey KNEW it was coming ... at some point.  He was scared sh*tless the whole time ... and somehow absorbed it, when "it" happened.)

When Stevie turns the mic, stares right into Lindsey’s eyes, and lets him have it, it’s one of the most epically awesome 90 seconds of music you’ll ever have the privilege to enjoy.  Seriously, give the link a listen – and focus on how long it takes Stevie to calm down when she hits the final line.  She literally is so angry at her former lover, she can’t calm down until a solid five, six seconds after she ends the rant phase of the song.  


Favorite Line(s):
“Time casts its spell on you,
But you won’t forget me!
I know I could have loved you,
But you would not let me!

I’ll follow you down, til the sound,
Of my voice will haunt you!
You’ll never get away from the sound
Of the woman that loved you!

(unleash 20 years of pent up rage in five, four, three …)

I’ll follow you down, til the sound,
Of my voice will haunt you!
(Was I just a fool?)

(cue the "oh SH*T!" look in Lindsey's face ...)

You’ll never get away from the sound
Of the woman that loved you!
(Was I just a fool?)

(cue the "just bend over and take it" stance from Lindsey ...)

(Give me just a chance!)

(cue Stevie with the "I am screwing you over -- permanently! -- for everyone in human history to enjoy as often as they want to!" face of triumph ... and damn if you ain't rooting for her at this point ...)

You’ll NEVER get away!  NEVER get away!

(feel the hate!!!)

YOU COULD BE MY … Silver … Springs.
My … blue green … colors flashing …”

Sweet Merciful Jesus ... that song ROCKS!

26. “Yeah!” by Usher, featuring Lil’ Jon and Ludacris.  (2011 ranking: 22nd.)  How this song wasn’t ranked one of the top three efforts of the 2000s, let alone ranked in the top 100, by Rolling Stone, is still one of life’s great mysteries.

Favorite Line(s):

25. “My Kind of Crazy” by Brantley Gilbert.  (2011 ranking: song had not been released yet.)  Yes, please!  The sooner, the better.

Favorite Line(s):
“But when you’re done?  Can I come backstage,
And get you to sign your name on that
Zeppelin shirt of mine you’re wearing –
I’ll never wash that thing again!

Yeah, she’s my kind of crazy!
Little games she plays?  
Lord they’ll never get old.
She’s too cute to get on my last nerve!

The way she throws her little fits,
Poking out her lips, to bite my rambling kiss?
There ain’t a fight that she can’t win.
That’s my baby!  And she’s my kind of crazy …”

24. “Dancing on the Ceiling” by Lionel Richie.  (2011 ranking: 34th.)  Look it, it’s a horrific, absolutely sh*ttacular song.  It is -- WITHOUT QUESTION! -- THE WORST MUSIC VIDEO EVER!!!  (See link above.)

And I!  DON'T!  CARE!!!  Sometimes?  You just have to enjoy life, and enjoy something that makes you happy!  

And this song? 

Speaks for itself!!!

Favorite Line(s):
“Well come on!  Let’s get loose!
Don’t hold back, cause it ain’t no use!
It’s hard to keep your feet on the ground –
Cause when we like to party?  We only want to get down!

Oh, what a feeling!
When we’re dancing on the ceiling!
Oh, what a feeling!
When we’re dancing on the ceiling! …”

23. “Bye Bye Bye” by NSYNC*.  (2011 ranking: 20th.)  Mock away all you want.  And yes, I still can do every dance move in this music video to perfection, thirteen years later.

This video was pure genius.  I'm telling you, the look JT gives three minutes in, the snicker with the "yeah, you want me!" eyes?  Awesome.

Favorite Line(s):
“Ain’t no lie!
Bye Bye Bye!”

22. “Save Me, San Francisco” by Train.  (2011 ranking: unranked.)  Gotta thank my Chiefs tailgating group for turning me onto this awesome effort.  Awesome song**.

Favorite Line(s):
“I’ve been high!  I’ve been low!
I’ve been yes, and I’ve been oh hell no!
I’ve been rock and roll and disco –
Won’t you save me, San Francisco?”

(**: another one at least 15 slots too low ...)

21. “Every Monday” by the Marvelous 3.  (2011 ranking: honorable mention.)  Another song that totally, perfectly describes my 2012 – in this case, my feelings about the 2012 NFL season.

Favorite Line(s):
“I shed five bitter tears,
Into five bitter beers,
Looked at my watch and said
Where have the years gone?
I’m wasting away like a castle of clay,
Slowly crumbling too …

Every Monday I get this pain!
Every Wednesday it hits my brain!
Every Friday I die, cause everyday,
I still think of you …”

20. “Jesus of Suburbia” by Green Day.  (2011 ranking: 13th.)  The best effort off of one of the best cd’s ever recorded (American Idiot).  An epically good nine minutes that perfectly sums up my feelings about organized religion.

Favorite Line(s):
“Well there’s nothing wrong with me.
This is how I’m supposed to be!
In a land of make believe,
That don’t believe in me …”

19. “Tyler” by the Toadies.  (2011 ranking: 8th.)  Probably my great “what could have been” band.  They only had the one major effort (Possum Kingdom) that gave us the title track, “When I’m Away”, and this awesome effort.  

Favorite Line(s):
“I finally went out to the kitchen,
While I had myself the urge.
I rummaged through the refrigerator,
Poured myself a beer.
I can’t believe I’m really here!
And she’s lying in that bed!
I can almost feel her touch,
And her anxious breath …”

18. “I and Love and You” by the Avett Brothers.  (2011 ranking: 9th.)  I have absolutely no idea why I love this song as much as I do.  I just like it.

Favorite Line(s):
“Oh Brooklyn, Brooklyn – take me in!
Are you aware of the shape I’m in?
My hands, they shake.  My head, it spins.
Aah Brooklyn, Brooklyn – take me in …

Dumbed down and numbed, by time and age.
Your dreams?  They catch the world a cage.
The highway sets the traveler’s stage,
And all exits look the same …

Three words that became hard to say –
I.  And Love.  And You.
I.  And Love.  And You.
I.  And Love.  And You …”

17. “Burn One Down” by Ben Harper.  (2011 ranking: 21st.)  Does this even need explaining?

Favorite Line(s):
“Herb is a gift from the earth.
And what’s from the earth, is of the greatest worth.
So before you knock it, try it first.
And you’ll see it’s a blessing, and not a curse.

If you don’t like my fire?  
Then don’t come around.
Cause I’m gonna burn one down.
I’m gonna burn one down …”

16. “Let It Be” by the Beatles.  (2011 ranking: not ranked.)  You all have no idea how much I leaned on this song, at times this year.  Along with the one up next …

Favorite Line(s):
“And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree?
There WILL be an answer!
Let it be.

For though they may be parted?
There is still a chance that they will see,
That there WILL be an answer!
Let it be …”

15. “Across the Universe” by the Beatles.  (2011 ranking: unranked.)  Without question, my favorite Beatles song. 

Favorite Line(s):
“Ja Guru Dava Om.
Nothing’s gonna change my world.
Nothing’s gonna change my world.
Nothing’s gonna change my world.
Nothing’s gonna change my world …”

14. “Halfway to Heaven” by Brantley Gilbert.  (2011 ranking: song had not been released yet.)  This song gets to me.  It’s my favorite song off his epic cd, of which this song is the title track.  This song just gets to you, makes you think.  Sometimes, that’s a good thing.

Favorite Line(s):
 “When you see life flash before your eyes?
The good, the bad, the wrong, the right?
Fade into a bright white light,
Shining down on you?

You’re hanging on by a thread,
Wondering which one’s your last breath?
Knowing there’s so much you have left to do?

You live your life a better man,
When you’ve been,
Halfway to heaven …”

13. “Work” by Jimmy Eat World.  (2011 ranking: honorable mention.)  “Futures” is still my favorite cd of all time … although “Tapestry” by Carole King is the best cd ever recorded.  This song is really good folks.  Really, really good.

Favorite Line(s):
“All the best DJ’s are saving,
The slowest song for last.
When the dance is through?
It’s me and you!
Come on, would it really be so bad?

The things we think might be the same?
But I won’t fight for more.
It’s just not me, to wear it on my sleeve,
Count on that for sure.
All I can say?  I shouldn’t say …

Can we take a ride?
Get out of this place while we still have time?
You wanna take  ride?
Get out of this place while we still have time,
While we still have time?

(interlude … then the money shot …)

I can’t say I was never wrong.
But some blame rests on you!
Work and play?  They’re never ok,
To mix the way we do …”

12. “Heartbreak World” by Matt Nathanson.  (2011 ranking: honorable mention.)  If it’s somehow possible for an absolutely depressing song about losing everything that matters to you, can somehow be uplifting?  This song somehow pulls it off.

Favorite Line(s):
“In this heartbreak world, of just imagine?
With its tired talk, of better days?
In this heartbreak world, where nothing matters?
Come on, let’s make this dream that’s barely half awake,
Come true …”

11. “Wherever You Will Go” by the Calling.  (2011 ranking: 10th.)  No, I cannot defend for even 2/1000ths of a second, why I love this song as much as I do.  It’s sappy, it’s a cheezy ballad, it’s everything I don’t tend to like in a song.  Having said that … it’s 11th on my favorites list.  Deal with it.

Favorite Line(s):
“If a great wave shall fall?
Yeah, fall upon us all?
Well then I hope there’s someone out there,
Who can bring me back to you!

If I could?  Then I would,
I’ll go wherever you will go!
Way up high?  Or down low?
I’ll go wherever you will go …”

Well, it only took 24 pages in Word … but we’ve reached the Top 10!  (kazoo voice) !!!!!!!!!  

I should probably note ... if you’re still somehow reading this ... that every remaining song on this list, is here because it has a specific meaning to me.  I'll try to note what that meaning is, when it applies, going foward.

Having noted that, here we go …

10. “Me and You” by Kenny Chesney.  (2011 ranking: not ranked.)  Some songs just get to you.  This one does for me.  

The reason this song hits me ... is that I cannot help but think of “The Ex” every time I hear it … and I can't help but be so godd*mned grateful that no matter how badly I botched the breakup ... she’s still THE best friend I have, four years later.

I love ya, girl.  I always will.

Favorite Line(s):
“Ordinary?  No.  Really don’t think so.
Not a love this true.
A common destiny, we were meant to be,
Me and You.

Like a perfect scene, from a movie screen?
We’re a dream come true.
Suited perfectly, for eternity?
Me and You …”

9. “Perfect Memory” by Remy Zero.  (2011 ranking: 4th.)  This was my late buddy James’ favorite song, and you’re damned right I cried like a newborn baby when they played this at his funeral mass.  Only the good die young, I guess.

I miss ya dude.  Always.

Favorite Line(s):
“But then how this world slipped through my fingers.
And even the sun seemed tired, but I still cared.
And as they lowered you down, my heart just jaded.
In the moment the earth made no sound,
But you were there.
And you helped my lift my pain into the air …

And I’ll remember you.
And the things that you used to do.
And the things that we used to say –
If it don’t hurt you?  It won’t hurt me.
If it don’t hurt me?  Then it won’t hurt you.
If it don’t hurt you?  It won’t hurt me at all …”

8. “It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi.  (2011 ranking: 12th.)  This one ... wow.  No matter how much people try to change me, mold me, make me what they want me to be? 

THIS!  Is my response.

And be honest -- just listen to the words.  Listen to the song!  It's YOUR response as well, to everyone who tells you what to do.

It's.  MY!  Life! ...

Favorite Line(s):
“This is for the ones who stood their ground!
For Tommy and Gina -- who never backed down!
Tomorrow’s getting harder, make no mistake –
Luck?  It ain’t enough – you gotta make your own breaks!

It’s my life!  And it’s now or never!
I ain’t gonna live forever!
I just wanna live while I’m alive.

It’s my life!  My heart is like an open highway –
Like Frankie said, I did it my way!
I just wanna live while I’m alive,

Cause it’s my life …”

THE Honorable Mention: “Don’t Stop Believing” byJourney.  (2011 ranking: 6th.)  Yes folks, this is the ONLY “Honorable Mention” in the listing for 2013.  

I had actually intended to keep the Top 50 to a legitimate Top 50 … only I realized, the remaining seven songs, I wouldn’t bump for this one … but I would bump any song behind this one, for it, so here it is.  

This song reminds me, every time I hear it, of “The Crush”.  And of course, the final scene of “The Sopranos” (rimshot!)  But mostly “The Crush”.  

Anytime you wanna live out the lyrics, girl?  

I'll take that midnight train going anywhere ...

Favorite Line(s):
“Just a small town girl,
Living in a lonely world.
She took the midnight train going anywhere …

Just a city boy,
Born and raised in south (KC)!!!!!
He took the midnight train going anywhere …”

7. “The Best of What’s Around” by Dave Matthews Band.  (2011 ranking: 39th.)  Cannot believe this is the only DMB song in the top 50 songs I love.  This song never fails to make me think of “The Champ”.  

And I’m not sure anything can more perfectly nail our friendship, than this song does.

Favorite Line(s):
“Hey my friend!  It seems your eyes are troubled,
Care to share your time with me?
Would you say you’re feeling low,
And so a good idea would be,
To get it off of your mind?

See, you and me?  Have a better time
Than most can dream of,
It’s better than the best!
So we’ll pull on through.

Whatever tears at us?
Whatever holds us down?
If nothing can be done?
Then we’ll make the best of what’s around …”

6. “Second Place Victory” by This Day and Age.  (2011 ranking: 3rd.)  This is my college roommate Vineet’s favorite song.  And for good reason – it’s damned amazing.  It’s amazing to listen to, put into context.  (A guy “settling” for the girl he has – because she’s better than he ever dreamed of attaining.)  

Which is why it also makes me think of “My Chica” as well.  Sometimes, getting everything you desire and dream of in life?  Is fantastic.  

And sometimes … “settling” for your “second place victory”, is so f*cking amazing?  

You forget why you wanted anything other than second place, to begin with.

Favorite Line(s):
“It’s breathtaking to think of you,
And to learn that sometimes,
The only way out is through –
It’s mind numbing …

To think of yesterday.
I’d run to you now, if I could –
But things have changed. 
I heard you say …

It’s enlightening.
Think of the breeze!
To believe in things, that we can’t see.
So here we go –

Let’s show them how to live!
Accept the pain.  Always forgive.
Watch the sun go down,
Learn the sound of following,
All that’s complete …”

5. “One Step Closer” by Linkin Park.  (2011 ranking: 5th.)  This song never makes me fail to think of “The Voice of Reason”.  The Projekt Revolution concert of August 24, 2004, will probably always go down as the favorite day of my life … at least until I find someone dumb enough to say “hell yes!” to the proposition of being Mrs. Stevo.  Damn, that day was so f*cking needed. 

And so f*cking perfect. 

Favorite Line(s):
“I cannot take this anymore.
Saying everything I said before.

All these words?  They make no sense.
I’ve found bliss in ignorance.
The less I hear, the less you say.
You’ll find that out anyway.
(Just like before …)

Everything you say to me?
Takes me one step closer to the edge, and I’m about to break!
I need a little room to breathe –
Cause I’m one step closer to the edge, and I’m about to break!”

4. “How Do You Get That Lonely” by Blaine Larsen.  (2011 ranking: not ranked.)  There are days in life, that I will never forget when, where, what, I was doing.  

The listing would basically be this:

a. (approximately) 10:58am (CT), Saturday, December 19, 1998.  My college graduation day … and I was at D/FW, picking up my parents, watching President Clinton be impeached by an interim Speaker of the House, because Speaker Gingrich had resigned, for doing what President Clinton did.

b. (approximately) 8:03am (CT), Tuesday, September 11, 2001.  My dad called me at work.  "A plane hit it!  Are you watching this?  A plane hit the Trade Center!"  How my dad thought I had a TV in my cubicle, I have no idea.  How anyone could focus after that event ... I also have no idea.  Because my day was spent ... well, that would be ...

c. (approximately) 9:23pm (CT), Tuesday, September 11, 2011.  "I'm ok.  I'm here.  Let my folks know, please -- I can't get through to them." -- my college roommate Vineet, who survived the attack on the South Tower, responding to my voice mail from twelve hours earlier.  I've never in my life felt as happy as I did in that moment -- hell, I'm literally bawling while typing this, twelve years later.  To see the "917" area code on the caller ID ... epically awesome.

d. (approximately) 6:52pm (CT), Friday, August 20, 2004.  The moment I was told my buddy James had killed himself.  The first non-grandparent loss my life ever endured.

e. (approximately) 7:56pm (CT), Tuesday, October 5, 2004.  The day life changed forever, for our Chiefs group, when I heard Gregg’s fist pound the kitchen cabinet, upon hearing that our friend Randy had chosen to check out from this life.

f. (approximately) 7:38am (CT), Thursday, February 22, 2008.  The day my life was enriched forever, when I got the “it’s go time” text from my brother, that my “Special Little Guy” was on his way into this world.

And …

g. (exactly) 9:32am (CT), Saturday, December 1, 2012: a text from my brother.  “Get on Twitter!  NOW!**”

The Jovan Belcher tragedy – and it is a tragedy, not just for Kasandra Perkins, for precious baby Zoey, but for Mr. Belcher himself – it rocked me to my core.  How could someone, at the age of 25, making a million plus dollars a year, with a supportive fiance, a beautiful daughter, a supportive family, how could he possibly piss all that away, over one argument?

How could he drive seven miles to One Arrowhead Drive, demand to see the three people that truly mattered the most to him – Mr.’s Pioli, Crennel, and Gibbs – and kill himself in front of them, despite their best efforts to prevent it?

How could he hurt that much … and nobody knew?

In the interest of full disclosure … I had never heard this song before, prior to December 1, 2012.  It popped up when I was listening to (of all things) the Martina McBride Pandora channel later that week at work.  And godd*mmit, this song got to me.  I immediately bought it on iTunes when I got home that night, and it’s loaded into the rotation on my Blackberry to play.  This song hit me squarely between the eyes. 

And this is why.

(**: that day also directly impacts number one on this list … and yes, that means we have a new number one favorite song, for the first time since October 2002.)

Favorite Line(s):
“It was just another story,
Printed on the second page,
Underneath the Tigers football score.

It said he was only eighteen –
A boy about my age.
They found him face down, on his bedroom floor.

There’ll be services on Friday,
At the Lawrence funeral home.
And out on Mooresville highway,
They’ll lay him ‘neath the funeral stone.

How do you get that lonely?
How do you hurt that bad?
To make you make the call,
That having no life at all,
Is better than the life that you have?

How do you feel so empty,
That you wanna let it all go?
How do you get that lonely …
And nobody knows?”

3. “I Don’t Wanna Be” by Gavin DeGraw.  (2011 ranking: 2nd.)  I promise – number four was the last depressing, downbeat song on my top 50.  This song, honestly, is the anthem of my life.  Hearing this at Power and Live eighteen months ago, was one of the highlights of my life.  There is no song, no written word, anywhere, that more perfectly describes my view of life, and my view of me. 

Favorite Line(s):
“I don’t have to be anyone other,
Than the birth of two souls in one.
Part of where I’m going?
Is knowing where I’m coming from!

I don’t wanna be anything other
Than what I’ve been
Trying to be lately!
All I have to do,
Is think of me?
And I have peace of mind!

I’m tired of looking around rooms,
Wondering what I gotta do,
Or who I’m supposed to be.
I don’t wanna be anything,
Other than me …”

2. “Innocent” by Our Lady Peace.  (2011 ranking: 1st.)  OK, fine, it’s still probably number one, if you put a gun to my head.  But 2012 so rocked me to my core, that one song took on more importance to me.  And I am someone (in case you hadn’t noticed by reading this site) who puts every thought he has, to music, so music is pretty damned important to me.  (Hence a 31 page (and counting) Word Doc on my favorite 50 songs.  (Pause.)  This is probably where you thank me for keeping the song to page ratio below one to one?)

This song, is so epically good, it’s criminal it’s so forgotten.  David Cook covered it on his run to the “American Idol” crown, and I swear – I thought my roommates at the time, were about to evict me on the spot, I was so into his performance of this song.  (And his cover sucked, to be honest.) 

Then again, I think the fact that I was simply as into “Idol” as I am, probably made them both contemplate “kick him to the curb – now!” thoughts.

This is the song I listen to as I head into every Chiefs game I attend.  There’s a reason why I have the headphones plugged into my phone, on the walk in, and why I rarely if ever converse with anyone.  This song sets the mood.  It gets me fired up.  It inspires me.  Give it a listen – it’ll inspire you too.

Favorite Line(s):
“I remember feeling low.
And I remember losing hope.
And I remember all the feelings
And the day they stopped …

We are!  We are all innocent!
We are all innocent!
We are, we are!

We are!  We are all innocent!
We are all innocent!
We are, we are …”

Which leaves one song to go …

1. “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane.  (2011 ranking: 23rd.)  When it comes to how I view you, whoever you are – those I love, those I hate; those who are family, and are not; those who are friends, those who are acquaintences; those who randomly read this, those who clicked a directed link to read this – no song more perfectly captures how I feel about every person I know, or come into contact with. 

Because with each of you, I have a connection of some kind, that is unique to just “us”.  And for those I truly love, I truly embrace, those who no matter what you or I do, we won’t ever let go or abandon the other party?  

You all have a “somewhere only we know” unique to yourselves, with me.

And if I learned anything in 2012, it is this --

We cannot go there often enough.

Favorite Line(s):
“I came across a fallen tree.
I felt the branches of it looking at me.
Is this the place we used to love?
Is this the place I’ve been dreaming of?

Oh simple thing!  Where have you gone?
I’m getting old, and I need something to rely on.
So tell me when, you’re gonna let me in –
I’m getting tired, and I need somewhere to begin …

And if you have a minute?  Why don’t we go,
Talk about it, somewhere only we know?
This could be the end of everything!
So why don’t we go?
Somewhere only we know?
Somewhere only we know …”

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