If you would have asked me what my favorite song was in ninth grade, I would have probably said something like Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)”, AC/DC’s “Back in Black”, Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”, or the Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar.” Those were the rocking songs, the kickass songs, the ones you play on full blast in your room when you want to feel cool.
Those are no longer my favorite songs. I still like them a lot, but they don’t quite pull me to another place like they once did.
My three favorite songs today are: “Let it Be” by the Beatles, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones, and the Ben E. King version of “Stand by Me.”
Those aren’t songs you normally play loud or ones you play when you want to rock out. They are quieter and gentler. You play them when you want to catch your breath.
I don’t know when that change happened that I began to like songs that slowed things down a little bit more. But I think I began to like those songs whose choruses I could repeat to myself when I needed the message. (Singing “Brown Sugar, how come you taste so good? when you’re on the verge of an anxiety attack doesn’t really work.)
I’m a chronic worrier. I also hold grudges. I don’t like it when I do either of those things. I tell myself to “Let it be” a lot. That song probably wasn’t my favorite Beatles track 10 years ago, but I love that message to just let it be. Paul’s singing on this song is wonderful as well. Also, George Harrison’s guitar solo is just perfect. Probably my favorite in all of rock history.
“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” was one of the first songs I learned to play on my guitar in high school. It’s really easy, just C and F chords basically. My friend Ben told me that this song reminded him of the 2004 Super Bowl, when the Eagles lost to the Patriots. Ben, being a huge Eagles fan, was devastated after their loss. This song came on with highlights of the Eagles season afterwards. I think that sort of attitude is good to have, especially when it comes to sports. You’ll get what you need, you just have wait for it sometimes.
And then there is “Stand By Me”. I first fell in love with the song when I heard the John Lennon version of it, but the Ben E. King version takes it up a notch. That bass hook just gets you right away. I imagine driving down some road at night, having this song blaring with just whomever you love right by you. It’s simple, just be with me and we’ll make it through this. I think this is a good philosophy to live your life by. Stand by your friends and your family because sometimes that’s all you can do. I think life really is that simple sometimes.