A fun music poll

I’m in the middle of a compelling book I know I’ll discuss when I finish, Andrew Bacevich’s 2008, The Limits of Power:  The End of American Exceptionalism. I don’t read all that fast, and there is so much to consider here that it will be a few days, but tonight I took a break to cruise around a bit, and I found a fun and interesting music poll on NPR.

It’s old news, really – it was posted a week ago, but there’s no clear time limit on this one.  Questions of taste and why certain pieces of music move us were posed in a recent article in The Guardian by Oxford professor and musicologist, Eric Clarke.  The Guardian has launched a website, “Six Songs of Me,” to map as many personal playlists as possible.  You can access the NPR story and the Guardian site here:  http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2012/08/08/158442642/you-are-what-you-hear-what-your-favorite-music-says-about-you

A followup piece on NPR today covered some of the thousands of responses received, which range from serious to funny.  For instance, in the category  of “What would you want played at your funeral?” one person answered, “Stayin Alive,” and another, “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead.”

Here is the poll along with my answers.  Please feel free to list your songs in comments here as well as on the website.  Music is such an important and personal thing to so many, but it’s also fun to share.

  • What was the first song you ever bought?
  • El Paso by Marty Robbins
  • What song always gets you dancing?
  • Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits
  • What song takes you back to your childhood?
  • Medicine Wheel by Kate Wolf
  • What is your perfect love song?
  • Wedding Song by Bob Dylan
  • What song would you want at your funeral?
  • Barricades of Heaven by Jackson Browne
  • Time for an encore. One last song that makes you, you.
  • Box of Rain by the Grateful Dead

Meanwhile, this whole exercise brought to mind an exceptional clip of my choice for category two. This may be my favorite YouTube clip of all time – Mark Knopfler and Eric Clapton doing Sultans of Swing at the 1988 celebration of Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday. You absolutely cannot sit still when you hear this. Enjoy!

9 thoughts on “A fun music poll

  1. I have no idea how you managed to narrow down to one choice per. My favorites in music always depend on my mood plus external factors like season and time of day. Whatever answers I might pick today for any of those categories, they would be renegotiated tomorrow Hmm, with the exception of Domino by Van Morrison. It might hop category, but it would be there somewhere.


    • It was just a snapshot of my mood last night, tempered by making choices I would not have to explain. For instance, for a song that reminded me of childhood, I could have put down “Good Night Irene,” because when my baby sister was crying, my dad would sing that to her, totally off key, and soon the two of us would be laughing, even though it’s anything but a children’s song.

      But I could have easily listed five or probably ten choices for each category.


  2. Fun post. I guess I would like Stairway to Heaven played at my funeral and to me Afternoon Delight will always be perfect love song. The song Ghost Riders in the Sky takes me right back to my childhood. We would always sing that song on car trips, among others, but that one was always a little haunting.


    • You reminded me that my parents had a 45 of “Ghost Riders” when I was a kid. I always liked that too, and I have it on the soundtrack from Blues Brothers 2 – a fun movie that was short on plot but long great music.


  3. What was the first song you ever bought?
    The album “Ram” by Paul & Linda McCartney

    What song always gets you dancing?
    Way too many to list. Most recently, “Walking on the Sun” by Smashmouth.

    What song takes you back to your childhood?
    Pick a song by The Beatles.

    What is your perfect love song?
    “In My Life” by The Beatles

    What song would you want at your funeral?
    Ooops. I don’t want a funeral. Just burn me and spread my ashes on the Earth so that plants can grow and bloom.

    Time for an encore. One last song that makes you, you.
    Pick a song by The Beatles.


  4. Pingback: fly fly away with a fractal flight of fancy… « BuddhaKat

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