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Top 50 Songs for My 50th Birthday

I turned 50 this week and I’m not sure how I feel about it! I did a lot of cool stuff with some very special people but one of the most enjoyable was compiling a list of the top 50 songs of my life. I really didn’t think anyone would be interested but after several friends asked if I was going to post them I figured what the heck. So here’s my list.

I’m going to update 10 each day for the next 5 days so I can write a little something about each set of 10. Check back for the next 10 tomorrow. I would LOVE to hear your additions/subtractions/reactions etc.

Songs 50-41
For Good; Wicked Broadway Cast Recording
Hallelujah; Matthew Schuler
I’ll Be Your Man; Zac Brown Band
Banana Pancakes; Jack Johnson En Concert
Seasons of Love; Rent Broadway Cast Recording
Superstition; Stevie Wonder
Jolene; Ray LaMontange
Baba O’Riley; The Who
One Day More; Les Miserable Broadway Cast Recording
Old Blue Chair; Kenny Chesney

The first 10 songs include 3 broadway tunes which is not a foreshadowing of things to come (there’s only one more in the whole list). They do represent an allure that I have for the art of live musical theatre in general and Broadway specifically. I’ve seen Wicked more times than a normal person, been backstage wearing the mask at Phantom and regularly watch “backstage” video blogs on for fun. I’ll be your man is for my daughter Rebecca. Baba O’Riley has the best story for creative name- look it up.

Songs 40-31
When Love Comes To Town; U2 with B.B. King
Whenever God Shines His Light; Van Morrison
Dream On; Aerosmith
Roll Away Your Stone; Mumford and Sons
That’s Amore; Dean Martin
Steamroller Blues; James Taylor
Have I Told You Lately That I Love You; Van Morrison
Dustbowl Dance; Mumford and Sons
Meeting Across The River; Bruce Springsteen
Bring Him Home; Ramin Karimloo

These next 10 songs include a pair of songs from Van Morrison and two from Mumford and Sons. Van Morrison is one of my favorites (obviously) and these two songs are both fro Avalon Sunset. It is amazing how many albums he has produced over the past 40 years- Spotify lists at least 32. Mumford on the other hand has 3 but both of these songs communicate such a raw true emotion they deserved to make the list. The first Springsteen song shows up here and there are plenty more coming! Meeting Across The River comes of of Born to Run and is probably the least popular song on the album, but I love the way you can tell a story with just a piano and a trumpet, so it makes my list! That’s Amore is from my first date with Elizabeth – we saw Moonstruck.

Songs 30-21
Wild Billy’s Circus Story; Bruce Springsteen
Gravity; John Mayer
Seven Bridges Road; The Eagles
Cheek to Cheek; Ella Fitzgerald and Louie Armstrong
If I Should Fall Behind; Bruce Springsteen
Tupelo Honey; Van Morrison
Reason to Believe; Bruce Springsteen
Country Road; James Taylor
Atlantic City; Bruce Springsteen
Awake My Soul; Mumford and Sons

These songs include 3 from Bruce Springsteen and there are more to come in the top 20. It’s fair to say I am a passionate Springsteen fan. I once (a long time ago) stood in line for 6 days to buy tickets to a Springsteen concert. It was worth it! I have seen him 7 times and counting. Wild Billy’s is from his first album and rarely played but one of my favorites as it represents Bruce’s mastery of story telling. The other two are both from the Nebraska album which is amazing for many reasons especially when you know that it was recorded on a 4 track cassette recorder in his basement! Gravity, Seven Bridges Road and Awake my soul are best in their live versions.

Songs 20-11
She Will Be Loved; Maroon 5
The River; Bruce Springsteen
Nebraska; Bruce Springsteen
Walkin Man; James Taylor
Brother; Needtobreathe w/ Gavin DeGraw
Racing in the Street; Bruce Springsteen
Washed by the Water; Needtobreathe
Free/Into the Mystic; Zac Brown Band
And So It Goes; Billy Joel
Sunday Morning Acoustic; Maroon 5

The top 20 starts with Maroon 5 and wraps up at 11 with another Maroon 5. In between 3 more Springsteen songs including the Title track for the River. Also in this set are two songs from Needtobreathe who are as fun and talented as any band. I’ve seen them multiple times in all kinds of venues from a free block party in Philadelphia to the 930 club in DC. Their collaboration with Gavin DeGraw works for both of them. The Zac Brown mash up of Free with into the Mystic is live from Bannaroo and is just about as good a combination of two songs I’ve ever heard. Top 10 tomorrow!