Eric’s Top 25 iPod Songs for 2007

It’s the last week of the year, that means that it’s “End of the Year List” time.

As per with last year, there’s just one I’ll offer you. It’s the list of songs below which –for whatever it’s worth– ended up as the most played songs on my iPod this year. I know this, because I intentionally reset the song count on my iTunes somewhere during the first week of last January.

It’s a fun exercise, actually. I highly recommend giving it a shot. Because it gives you a little musical snapshot of your year…the things that were happening…what you were going through.

In the case of these songs, there are only two or three that ever got any airplay as “hits.” (What does that say about me?!) You will also note that although this is advertised as a “Top 25,” there are not twenty-five entries. Apparently, this is because iTunes will not include songs that are not also for sale at their store. Which is really just as well…since the most of the excluded ones are demos of my own songs and only got lots of plays just because I was listening for ways to improve them.

So, without further delay:

Eric’s Most Played iPod Songs for 2007

Song Artist Album

1. Lullaby Dixie Chicks Taking the Long Way
Here’s a general rule of thumb for songs on my iPod: If it’s a song that I like, Dennise likes,
and Maria likes, it’s no brainer that it’s gonna get a lot of plays. Even though we all three have iPods, mine’s the one we listen to most on long trips. Point of this being, that this where all the Dixie Chick songs on this list came from.

The album is actually well over a year old. But we ran it into the ground listening to it this year. And this sweet song is everybody in the family’s favorite among all of them. Of course, Dennise and I like it for the obvious reasons of how it makes us think of Maria.

2. Breathe Me Sia Colour the Small One
Right before Christmas last year, Dennise and I got on a kick of watching episodes of “Six Feet Under.” We got so obsessed with the show that we went out and bought all the box sets. And around the holidays last year, we were on a serious “
Six Feet Under” binge on our DVD player…sometimes staying up far too late watching “just one more” episode. In retrospect, it’s an odd way to spend your holidays, watching a show about morticians and death. But we found ourselves obsessed.

Fans of show argue that the final episode is perhaps the greatest last episode of any show in television history. That’s saying a lot. But I have to agree. It wraps things up better than perhaps any other show I’ve ever seen, pushing out the plotlines long enough so that you get to see just what happens to each character at their end. It was as fitting an end to any show –and especially that one– as I’ve ever seen. Having been total steeped in the show for several weeks, when we finally watched that last show, I found myself bawling at the lyricism of it.

This song from Sia is the wordless soundtrack to the final minutes of the show…the final minutes that fans of the show rave so much about.

“Six Feet Under” probably used music better than almost any other show I know of. This hauntingly beautiful song was a marvelous “Coda.” So, long after we stopped watching the episodes, I kept listening to this song.

3. The Long Way Around Dixie Chicks Taking the Long Way
Another from the Chicks. The opening CD track, so it also got a lot of play in the car this year. Many times, we all found ourselves singing along at the tops of our lungs while this one played.

4. Not Ready to Make Nice Dixie Chicks Taking the Long Way
Ditto for this song. It’s such an angry song, but such an honest one. I really did like the “Taking the Long Way” CD, and I hope the new fans that found the Chicks find stay with them. As you may remember, I blogged about them in my “Things to Like About Texas” section. The things they went through seem more surreal all the time as the time passes. But it was all real, and all quite disturbing that it happened in modern day America.

5. A Remark You Made Jerry Douglas The Best Kept Secret
Charles and Mary invited us to go see Paul Simon at the Nokia sometime back. That would have been cool enough by itself…and it was a great show. But Jerry Douglas was the opener. It was actually an odd pairing…but I’m glad whoever thought of it did…because he and his band were fantastic.

I bought this CD during the intermission. Apparently, folks in know know that Douglas is one of the best slide players in the world, and he’s done session work on an array of other star’s CD. (Including Fogelberg’s “High Country Snows,” as I noticed earlier this week…) This song, as you may know, is actually a Spirogyra song, and I have that original CD and loved it for years. It’s a really cool and creative cover on the slide guitar.

6. Souvenirs Gretchen Peters Gretchen Peters
Gretchen Peters is my biggest Columbus discovery for this past year. I bumped into her via MySpace, and then went out and bought several of her CDs. Her writing is smart and her voice is golden. I am always attracted to smart, nice lyrics that make you think…or at least give you permission to. Gretchen Peter’s songs do just that.

Since my Columbus discovery of her, I now seem to see her name everywhere. I believe she even played Uncle Calvin’s back a couple of months ago.

This song is a really fine tune about collecting both metaphorical and real “Stuckey’s” souvenirs. My favorite line is:

“They got Mount Rushmore on a cup,
Everybody needs one of those.
For a dollar more, they’ll fill it up,
And you can drink out of Lincoln’s nose.”

Brilliant.

If you haven’t discovered her, consider this my high recommendation that you do.

7. Picasso And Me Gretchen Peters Gretchen Peters
A second song from Gretchen Peters. This one written, I assume, from the perspective of Picasso’s longtime lover. Very nice.

8. The Aviator’s Song Gretchen Peters Halcyon
This one made me cry. I think it was the first song I heard from her on her Myspace page.

Don’t know how autobiographical it is, but it’s about a pilot is his relationship to the writer. He’s always off flying, and his family/loved ones are left on the ground and left behind. Very, very poignant bridge…and, again, very smart, nice lyrics.

9. Lightly Tread Billy Jonas Get Real
This one is the first cut from my good friend Billy Jonas’ newest CD. Billy’s another one who always offers up some tasty, thoughtful lyrics, and tackles issue of spirituality and life without become dogmatic. If you liked “Life So Far,” you will love “Get Real.” (And if you don’t have “Life So Far,” you should run out and get it.)

10. Hanalei David LaMotte Spin
Another one from a friend of mine. Like Billy, David is one of the great songwriters from Asheville, NC. This is not a deep song, but I love the feel, the music, and especially the way it builds to the closing chorus. David: if you ever sing this live and I’m around, I want to sing background with you.

11. Imogene Gretchen Peters Halcyon
Yet another from Gretchen Peters. This song ties her as the artist who appears most often in this year’s top twenty-five list. A tasty song about a no-nonsense woman who wins the jackpot at the slot machines, but still keeps her life-bearings. Very, very catchy song, without being too “hook-y.”

12. Sir Aly B Jerry Douglas The Best Kept Secret
Another one from Jerry Douglas, from that same CD. Beautiful production and playing.

13. The Calling Mary Chapin Carpenter The Calling
The title track from Mary Chapin-C’s new CD. This is great CD. And this song is classic Mary Chapin-Carpenter. If you’ve ever been a fan of hers, this CD will not disappoint. I like the way this song tackles the whole issue of people being “called,” but broadens it out to be very inclusive.

14. To the Morning Dan Fogelberg Home Free
Before December 16th, there were no Dan Fogelberg songs in my Top 25. This one was must have been lurking just below the cut off. (Maybe in the 30s or 40?) Anyway, a few plays, and suddenly it appears at number 14. I’m so pleased about this. It’s terribly fitting that Dan song or two make this list, and this is one of my all-time favorites…from him or anyone else.

This is the very first song on his very first CD. It’s a song that I blogged about before, so I won’t rehash all that here. But sufficed to say it’s been a “desert island” song of mine for 25 years….and I was honored to be able to sing it at the Tribute show. (Seen here.)

“And maybe there are seasons,
And maybe they change,
And maybe
True love is not so strange.”

15. Babylon David Gray White Ladder (Extra Tracks)
LIke the last entry, this is also not a new song. I first had my Columbus moment –with the song, and David Gray– way back on the old “Mp3.com.” And I loved the song ever since. Can’t really tell you while. Just like it.

16. Paris in a Day Ellis Paul A Carnival of Voices
Once again, as with the last two, not a new Ellis Paul song. But it’s my personal favorite. The joy of the music and the joy and spontaneity of the lyrics are infectious. The song is about two lovers –“foolish Americans” — who try and see all of Paris in one day. Something about that just sounds like such a fun idea. And, actually, my one and only visit to Paris was very close. It was an about eight-hour layover where we did much the same thing….we checked out bags, took the train in from the airport, and rushed about from the Eiffel Tower, to Notre Dame, trying to cram as much into those hours as we could.

So, I’ve always really identified with the song and how fun it was to be in Paris, trying to cram as much in as we could. As with everything from Ellis Paul, the man really knows how to weave out a story in three to four minutes.

17. Marigolds Beth Wood Marigolds
This one’s from my friend, Beth Woods, who lives just across town in Arlington, but whom I never see. It’s title track of her great CD that came out around the time she won Kerrville New Folk.

18. Easy Silence Dixie Chicks Taking the Long Way
This is my personal favorite on the Chick’s CD. I love it because it describes how I feel about Dennise. Both of us have such public lives, and the truth is that we’re both incredible introverts that can often be misunderstood by those on the outside. But we’re able to give each other a private space, and an “easy silence,” that “keeps the world at bay.”

This song ties the Chicks with Gretchen Peters for most-played-artist of 2007.

19. On With the Song Mary Chapin Carpenter The Calling
This song is a dedication to the Dixie Chicks from Mary Chapin-C’s new CD. It takes on the reflexive “patriotism” of the early war period…when the Chicks were in the midst of such controversy. Interesting to note that things have changed enough that such a song by a country artist barely causes a “ripple” in the public’s imagination now. But if you’ve been worried about the direction of this country, and concerned about free speech and free expression, you’ll like this one.

20. Stars Dan Fogelberg Home Free
The second track from Dan’s first CD. In the tribute show, Rusty and I sang this one back to back (as seen here). So, to me it’s fitting that it also makes the list. Not my favorite Fogelberg song. But what it probably means was that I listened to “Home Free” more than I realized this year.

21. Free In You Indigo Girls All That We Let In
An old one from the Indigo Girls from my favorite CD of theirs in the past few years. Really fine CD, and a really fine song. It’s a love song, talking about how love makes one free. But it also make a nice metaphor for the God/human connection too. This is one I play a lot because it’s become a favorite of me and Dennise to describe our relationship.

Hope you enjoyed this list. If any of you post your own Top 25, let me know. I’d love to learn something new, and have some more Columbus discoveries.

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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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