Top iPod/iTunes Songs: 2006

We are days from the end of the year. And so, everyone and their dog is coming out with a “Best Of” list. The Dallas News is counting down to the “Texan of the Year.” Time Magazine has named YOU “Person of the Year.” (Planning to put that one on your resume? Me too).

My favorite of these is Google’s annual “Zeitgeist” list of the most popular searches for the year. Browse it, and I bet that if you’re over 45 you haven’t heard of most of them (“Bebo,” “Metacafe,” “Wiki”). The world is changing, and lots of folks are interested in things you probably know nothing about. I hope that gives you pause. It certainly gives it to me. (Pause, that is…)

Other searches (“World Cup”) remind us of how the rest of world is bonkers over things we care nothing about here, no matter what our age.

Google not only lists the top searches for the year, the company also breaks them out in different categories. And thus, I was saddened to learn that, of all the News searches done this year, the words “Paris Hilton” were searched more than any others. “Orlando Bloom” came in second.

Top “Entertainment” searches, I could grudgingly understand. But top News searches?! What does this mean? A sign of the Apocalypse? (You could make a convincing case…)

Interestingly, the first real news topics to pop up in the “news” list are “Cancer” and “Hurricane Katrina.” Words like “Iraq” don’t even crack the top ten. What does this mean…that, in the privacy of our own homes, the things we search most are those that scare us most (Cancer), or that a year-and-a-half-old hurricane still rumbles around our cultural subconscious, no matter no much the media has moved on?

Other interesting factoids include that the top search for concert tickets this year was the Cheetah Girls. And unless you have a daughter about the age of mine, you have no earthly idea who this is. But if you do, you are “totally” not surprised.
Winking

The most searched-for “definition” was “define promiscuity.”
I assume most folks really do know what it is. But maybe we all secretly do want to know what the “limits” are…

Well, the Zeitgeist is a fascinating read. Check it out.

Today, I was updating my iPod, and stumbled on the “most played” feature. For those of you a equally fanatic about your iPod/iTunes, you’ll know what that is. But, to explain, it’s a bit like your own, personal music “Zeitgeist list.” It allows your “most listened to” songs are.

So, what follows is

The Top 25 Songs from Eric’s iPod:
(The links go to iTunes, unless the musician doesn’t have the song on iTunes…and, in that case, they go somewhere else where you can find it…)

1. Song: Gonna Be Some Changes Made
Bruce Hornsby
Halcyon Days
Number of plays: 24

Man, did I dig this album this year. Downloaded “Halcyon Days” early in the year and, from the looks of things, played the heck out of it. I’ve always been a big Bruce Hornsby fan, and this album is really quite good. It’s far different from his “and The Range,” days. It’s funky, jazzy, and features wicked jams that will remind the listener how Hornsby used to tour with The Dead.

I won’t comment on all the songs from this album that also make the list. But as you scroll down, you’ll clearly see that this CD was a huge favorite of mine this year. I assume that says a lot about just how much I listened to it as a collection. And, even for a CD-junkie like me, listening to a whole CD is apparently becoming more and more rare. It seems to me one of the things iTunes does is to uplift the individual song, or self-created playlist, and to de-emphasize the CD concept…

So, take the number of songs on this list to be a sign of just how highly can I recommend this CD to anyone.

2. Song: Dreamland
Bruce Hornsby
Halcyon Days
Number of plays: 23

3. Song: Mirror On the Wall
Bruce Hornsby
Halcyon Days
Number of plays: 23

4. Song: Halcyon Days
Bruce Hornsby
Halcyon Days
Number of plays: 20

5. Song: Candy Mountain Run
Bruce Hornsby
Halcyon Days
Number of plays: 19

6. Song: Circus On the Moon
Bruce Hornsby
Halcyon Days
Number of plays: 19

7. Song: Lost In the Snow
Bruce Hornsby
Halcyon Days
Number of plays: 19

8. Song: Illinois
Dan Fogelberg
Souvenirs
Number of plays: 19

Several Fogelberg songs crack my Top 25. And I am sure this is because of the Tribute Show from earlier in the year. To get myself ready for it, I used to drive around listening to the cuts, to learn my vocal parts. In this case, the harmonies. I have to say, though, I am surprised this specific song ended up his high on the list…

9. Song: To The Morning
Dan Fogelberg
Home Free
Number of plays: 18

Not surprised by this one since, as I have mentioned other places, this is one of my all-time favorite songs, and I was singing the lead in the show. Because I have a history with this song, it was a vocal I really wanted to nail. And I really had to spend some time with since it’s so far out of my usual range.

10. Song: Dear Mr. President
P!nk featuring Indigo Girls
I’m Not Dead
Number of Plays: 18

I cannot remember a song like this in years. I cannot remember a song that has made me cry like this one has. The song is very un-P!ink for those who know her usual stuff. It features the Indigo Girls singing and playing guitars, and P!nk singing the lead, on a song she wrote for the President. After being directed to it online somewhere, I immediately bought the whole album on iTunes.

Folks say there are no good protest songs these days.
Not so. And in my book, this one is first and foremost. And, from what I can tell, I believe it has resonated with a generation of folks younger than us boomers/busters. They do have their protest music, and this is the best what they have.

Years from now –when we’re fighting the next war, and some 20-something hipster has morphed into a graying, 40-year-old protest singer– she’ll be singing this song, instead of “We Shall Overcome,” at the protest rallies. And all the other 40-year-olds will be singing along.

By the way, in studying up on P!ink, I have discovered her earliest musical roots were, in fact, in folk music…singing with her Dad who’s a Vietnam Vet at events when she was a kid.

She’s got that storyteller gene in there somewhere.

11. Song: What the Hell Happened
Bruce Hornsby
Halcyon Days
Number of plays: 17

12. Song: Hooray for Tom
Bruce Hornsby
Halcyon Days
Number of plays: 17

13. Song: Heir Gordon
Bruce Hornsby
Halcyon Days
Number of plays: 17

14. Song: Not So Silent Night Hometown
Eric Folkerth
Demo Tracks
Number of plays: 17

I guess I’m a little embarrassed that one of mine is on here. All I can assume is that I was playing it a lot to listen to the final cut, and make sure I liked it.

15. Song: Delayed Effect
Amilia K Spicer
Seamless
Number of plays: 16

What a pleasant surprise. Amilia has become a Kerrville friend, and she’s a great singer-songwriter who lives LA and Austin. In fact, I just got to see her open for Gorka about a month ago now. As someone who’s a consummate procrastinator and serious introvert, I appreciate this song quite a bit.

16. Song: Song F
Bruce Hornsby
Halcyon Days
Number of plays: 16

17. Song: Wishing You Were Here
Chicago
The Very Best of Chicago: Only the Beginning [Disc 1]
Number of plays: 15

This was another that just up the list so I could learn the background vox for the Chicago Tribute shows. Turned out that, day before the show, we switched things around and I ended up singing lead.

18. Song: Love Gone By
Dan Fogelberg
Nether Lands
Number of plays: 16

Another one from the Fogelberg Tribute Show. Again, listened to it to learn background vox.

19. Song: Joy To The World
Tom Prasada-Rao
Christmas In The Ashram
Number of plays: 16

From Tom’s CD “Christmas in the Ashram.” I’ve got the CD on the iPod, and I’ve also got this song in a holiday compilation of my favorite acoustic/folk Christmas songs. I love Tom’s version of this song, and his holiday CD is a favorite around our house.

20. Song: Same Old Lang Syne
Dan Fogelberg
Innocent Age
Number of plays: 15

Another one that jumped up the list because the tribute show. Another one I sang lead on that stretched my true range beyond its comfort level. So, I had to listen a lot, sing a lot, and try to pick it up. (The car is a wonderful place to practice vocals).

It’s another of my all-time favorite songs, and it was great to get to re-know it again this year. Dan F. says that it’s the song more folks tell him “actually happened” to them once upon a time.

21. Song: Christmas In The Ashram
Tom Prasada-Rao
Christmas In The Ashram
Number of plays: 15

Happy to see this one on the list too. The song was written by Chris Rosser, but was popularized in the folk music world by my friend, Tom P-R, who used it as the title track for his own holiday CD. Tom’s holiday CD was a favorite of mine before I never really got to know him personally, and we have it in the changer every season.

Christmas in the Ashram is a funky, funny, tender song, and among people who know it, is one of their modern holiday favorites.

22. Song: Near Apart
Amilia K Spicer
Seamless
Number of plays: 14

Another nice song from Amilia.

On a song like this, there is something in Amilia’s voice and playing that gives a massage to your whole mind and soul.

23. Song: Follow
Annie Burns
Days In Italy
Number of plays: 14

A song with a wonderful spiritual message. I met the Burn’s Sisters at the South Florida Folk Festival a couple of years back, when we shared a Friday night stage. I re-met them down at Camp Casey last year, and got a chance to tell Annie just how much I loved her CD. I really figured that, if any song from this CD would make this list, “Surrender” would be the one since it’s the cut that drove me to buy the disk in the first place. (It’s an amazing song, too!) But the stats don’t lie and, apparently, I liked the “follow your bliss” message of this song even more.

24. Song: Come Home
Bill Nash
Runs With Scissors
Number of plays: 14

As I’ve already mentioned this month, this a song from my friend, Bill Nash. I am sure that over the past year I did a lot of listening to it to learn it. It’s also on a holiday “playlist” that features the other two TPR songs in this top 25.

25. Song: Call On Me
Chicago
The Very Best of Chicago: Only the Beginning [Disc 1]
Number of plays: 14

Another great Chicago song, learned for the tribute show. What blew me away about this song –when I started listening carefully and looking at the sheet music– is that the song has a lead vocal, a harmony-lead vocal, and FOUR PART harmony during the chorus. In fact, some of the harmony parts are not obvious when you listen to the song CD, and learning them was a challenge.

It’s another great driving-around-in-the-car song.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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