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'Best song ever ...'? (2014 thread)

17 Aug 14 - 09:02 AM (#3651554)
Subject: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: GUEST, topsie

While searching for an answer to Radio 4 BH's quiz this morning, I discovered that a magazine poll has declared Petula Clark's "Downtown" to be the "Greatest Song in the History of Music".
It struck me that mudcatters might have other suggestions ...


17 Aug 14 - 09:24 AM (#3651557)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith

Well, it's a bit like asking " Who is the beautiful women in the world?"

Why I use that example is because, back in the 60s, Raquel Welch carried that title but I didn't see it at all as because she used to remind me of my sister!
BTW, whenever I would mention that connection, back in the day, some bloke would always ask " Would you introduce to your sister?"

AS to the greatest pop song. Well, I think that you would have to have different categories as comparing e,g. a 50s pop/rock song with a Cole Porter, Gershwin, Kern type song would be like comparing chalk and cheese.


17 Aug 14 - 10:41 AM (#3651570)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: MGM·Lion

... to say nothing of Schubert Lieder; or arias from Mozart operas. "Non Più Andrai"?

≈M≈


17 Aug 14 - 10:54 AM (#3651572)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: MGM·Lion

Operatically, probably Verdi's La Donn'E Mobile; or maybe the quartet from the same opera. Or Voi Che Sapete, going back to the Mozart...

Could go on like this for hoursnhoursnhoursnhours.....

Eh?


17 Aug 14 - 11:13 AM (#3651574)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: GUEST,Derrick

You're own personal favourite.


17 Aug 14 - 11:31 AM (#3651577)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: Bill D

Oh wow! A magazine poll! I'm sure glad they got a relevant sample of competent experts on music to answer such an important question.

I was afraid they might pick "Sha-Boom"


17 Aug 14 - 11:31 AM (#3651578)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: PHJim

I'm sure many of us change our personal favourites from day to day.
Also, I would have to catagorise my favourites: My favourite folk song, singer/songwriter song, country song, jazz song, bluegrass song western swing song, fiddle tune, classical piece, show tune...

"Downtown" is a great song, but "The Greatest Song in the History of Music"?


17 Aug 14 - 01:12 PM (#3651592)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: GUEST,DTM

IMO, Downtown is average. Petula Clark has recorded much better songs than that two note anthem;-)
I should add that I'm not a big fan of Tony Hatch(et)although he has penned some decent music.


17 Aug 14 - 02:11 PM (#3651605)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: Leadbelly

At least, Pet (aged 82) still looks very pretty.

Unbelievable.


17 Aug 14 - 02:41 PM (#3651606)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker

ooohhhh best song ever... this is a tough one...

.. just how would you even start to choose between "Leader Of The Pack" by The Shangri-Las
and "Windmill In Old Amsterdam" by Ronnie Hilton...?????


17 Aug 14 - 02:45 PM (#3651607)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: Leadbelly

punkfolkrocker,

what about "Tulips from Amsterdam" by Max Bygraves? When it's spring again, they sing again...

One of my personal favorites most likely would be "El Paso" by Marty.


17 Aug 14 - 02:51 PM (#3651608)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith

"Tulips of Hamster Jam"!

Remember that one!


17 Aug 14 - 02:58 PM (#3651610)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: GUEST

The Best is Yet to Come by Clifford T Ward - perfection.


17 Aug 14 - 03:13 PM (#3651612)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: GUEST

Tunesmith,

do you mean "Two Lips of Hamster Jam" by Emile Ford?

Was a great hit in Germany.


17 Aug 14 - 03:36 PM (#3651615)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith

Regarding the "Tulips from Hamster Jam" quote.
What I was recalling was joke, and not a song.
Forgive me! But it went like this:

"A chap has a hamster and it goes missing.
Now, about the time it disappeared he was making some home-made jam.
I short time after he made the jam, some flowers begin growing from the jam.
He is puzzled, and gets in a horticultural expert to try to explain the phenomena.
The expert ponders the problem for a while and then says, what you have here is...


17 Aug 14 - 03:53 PM (#3651620)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: GUEST

Funny, Tunesmith, but I understood that you are joking.

And because there's a background behind this it was much more better than my "joke".


17 Aug 14 - 03:54 PM (#3651621)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: GUEST

Great? hardly.

Ava Maria.
God Bless America
Finlandia
The band played Waltzing Matilda.


21 Aug 14 - 03:20 PM (#3652746)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: GUEST,kendall

The sound of silence, Paul Simon.
Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, Gordon Lightfoot. This one makes me tear up every time.


21 Aug 14 - 03:49 PM (#3652757)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: Bert

I never did like Downtown, too raucous for me. I find the contrast between the BLAH, BLAH of Down Town and the diddly dum de dum of the rest of the line rather incongruous.

Gordon Lightfoot's 'Song for a Winter's Night' has got to be somewhere on the best song list.

Personally there are many songs that I would find hard not to include in a best 100 songs list.


21 Aug 14 - 04:15 PM (#3652763)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: GUEST, topsie

I don't like 'Downtown', and I find Petula Clarke's voice too whiney and nasal, but what the song has going for it is that it would probably sound just as good/bad sung by anyone else.
There are some songs that I only want to hear sung by a particular singer. For me, 'The First Time Ever I saw his/her Face' has to be Roberta Flack. 'What is Life' must be Kathleen Ferrier (a recording, obviously), and I don't ever want to hear 'Lilac Wine' by anyone other than Jeff Buckley.


22 Aug 14 - 12:53 PM (#3653036)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: GUEST,DTM

I saw Pet Clark in concert several years ago and she was superb. Although I wasn't a big fan at the time, I was accompanying a friend who was.
Oddly enough, I thought the weakest songs Petula sang were her hits. Her renditions of various other songs in jazz, blues, etc. modes were absolutely brilliant.
"Tell Me It's Not True" (from 'Blood Brothers') was a show-stopper.

I'm now 'a fan' :-)


22 Aug 14 - 01:11 PM (#3653046)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: MGM·Lion

topsie -- I would rather hear the composer, Ewan MacColl sing "First Time Ever"; tho Roberta Flack certainly does do it beautifully.

But I still think that La Donn'E Mobile & Voi Che Sapete & Non Piu Andrai have better claims. But then, Verdi & Mozart are my ideals as operatic composers. A Wagnerian would presumably think differently.

But if we are in the popular field, the older 20s-40s Berlins, Porters, Kerns et al are the guys for me... And what about dear old Lennon&MacCartney then? Can't help feeling this is a bit of a pissing·down·the·wind thread...

"Best song ever..."? Tell you what -- I'm going to write it; think I have a window about next Thursday to get it done & dusted. Shouldn't take more than about ¾-hr...

≈M≈


23 Aug 14 - 05:26 AM (#3653204)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: GUEST,Desi C

What an impossible question. But just for fun and off the top of my head, and in categories, here's a few I clas as best
Country Music - Blue Side Of Lonesome, Cold Cold Heart
Folk Music - Dirty Old Town, The Band Played Waltzing Matilda, Peggy Gordon
Irish - The Rare Ald Times, The Town I Loved So well, Slievenamon,Singing In Kilkenny
Pop/rock Satisfaction, Yesterday, In My Life
Opera - The Aria from Carmen


23 Aug 14 - 06:19 AM (#3653212)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: MGM·Lion

Which aria from Carmen, Desi? Toreador's song, or the card-playing, or Habanera ...? Carmen is one of the most tuneful of operas...

≈M≈


23 Aug 14 - 10:14 AM (#3653255)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: GUEST,kendall

Best country song? "Sunday morning coming down,"


23 Aug 14 - 11:48 AM (#3653279)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: MGM·Lion

Two candidates which occur to me —

Noel Coward's "Don't put your daughter on the stage, Mrs Worthington"

Max Bacon's "Cohen the Crooner" [google it: I have also refreshed the thread on it that I OPd three years ago, whcih , followed thru, will give all inf re its provenance, authorship, &c]]

≈M≈


23 Aug 14 - 12:19 PM (#3653289)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: GUEST,Bignige

The trouble is when Downtown was first released back whenever, not many English people had actually been to the States,(unlike these days of course), so at the time we didn't really understand what Downtown really was.


23 Aug 14 - 12:55 PM (#3653302)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: GUEST,kenny

My Auntie Helen singing "The Laughing Policeman".


23 Aug 14 - 02:37 PM (#3653327)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: GUEST,Sandy sans cookie

So, so totally subjective and so many great songs! I loved "Downtown" and Petula Clark, but best ever just doesn't pass my ear test. In a pop/folk vein Judith Durham and The Seekers outdoes Petula, but that does not touch my favourite "old country" standards...........


24 Aug 14 - 05:05 AM (#3653454)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: GUEST,Desi C

RE MGN
Well, you show up my rather lack of knowledge of Opera as I don't know the actual name, but it's the main one i.e that very carchy part that goes la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la has a Spanish Flamenco sound to it?


24 Aug 14 - 05:08 AM (#3653455)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: GUEST,Desi C

Kendal

Certainly a contender, and definately the best hangover song ever


25 Aug 14 - 12:53 AM (#3653735)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: PHJim

GUEST,DTM - PM
Date: 17 Aug 14 - 01:12 PM

"IMO, Downtown is average. Petula Clark has recorded much better songs than that two note anthem;-)
I should add that I'm not a big fan of Tony Hatch(et)although he has penned some decent music."


That "two note anthem" has at least 9 notes the way Petula sings it. Not a lot, but there are plenty of good songs with only 9 notes.


25 Aug 14 - 03:03 PM (#3653961)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: Andy7

The only song that EVER made me stand still and listen, with my mouth hanging open in wonder, was 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'.

It has the perfect combination of a beautiful lyric, haunting tune, strong emotion and wonderful vocal. Despite the fact that Paul Simon later admitted that the final verse doesn't really fit (it's true, it doesn't).

Other than that, I'd say there are 3 possible reasons why a song might be perfect:

1. You wrote it yourself (if you happen to be a great songwriter),
2. It brings back strong memories of that certain moment in your life, or
3. There's just something about the melody/words/message that you love; and this will be different for all of us, thank goodness!


26 Aug 14 - 12:55 AM (#3654099)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: Micca

Desi C do you perhaps mean this one?
this is from the Migines-Johnson film of "Carmen is


26 Aug 14 - 04:55 AM (#3654160)
Subject: RE: 'Best song ever ...'?
From: MGM·Lion

Could be that one - Vaguely translated as "the dance of the tinkling drumsticks". But I think he most likely meant The Habanera (google)

≈M≈
    I'm going to close this thread and transfer the 2018 messages to the 2018 thread. It's too confusing to have two threads on the same subject going at the same time.
    -Joe Offer, Mudcat Music Editor-