A couple of years ago, Rosanne Cash released an album titled The List.  The story behind the album was that when she was nineteen, her father, Johnny Cash, gave her "a list of one hundred essential songs in an effort to expand her knowledge of country music" and she chose from that list for this album.  I've been intrigued by this idea ever since and have spent much time thinking about and making my own list of songs my children must know if they are to call themselves my progeny.  I figured out right away that it was easier said than done.  I've been adding to this list for several months and I know that the moment I hit the Publish button, I'm going to think of three more that belong on the list and how could I have forgotten that because that totally belongs on the list, certainly over that

Once, years ago, I attended a master class with Pinchas Zuckerman and he opened up time afterward for questions.  One guy, who was obviously there with his three daughters, asked, "What pieces of music do you always have to play and really hate?"  Zuckerman said something general, like how he appreciates all of the repertoire and there are things he loves more than others at certain times, but he couldn't pick a favorite any more than he could pick a least favorite.  The question asker wouldn't let it go, "Yeah, but what pieces do you see and just roll your eyes at when you have to play them?  What composers do you not value?"  This went back and forth a few times and the guy wouldn't let it go.  Finally an exasperated Zuckerman said, "Look, do you have kids?"  The man looked at the girls sitting with him and sat up a little taller, "Why yes."  Zuckerman glanced at the girls sitting next to the man and then he met the man's eyes and said, "Do you love them all... all of the time?"  And that was the end of that question.

This list is like that for me. 

There is no way I could ever call this a list of the best songs, or best written songs, or best performed songs, or most meaningful songs.  They all mean something to me.  Either they figured prominently in the soundtrack of my life, or I learned some great truth from them, or they were incredible melodies, or well-orchestrated, or I was just impressed with how the writer rhymed It's fop with shepherd's pie peppered witch actual shepherd on top (and already there's a song that belongs on the list that isn't there - make that one hundred and one songs) but they are all important to me for one reason or another.

Let's just say here's a list of one hundred songs for which I am thankful.
  1. Here's That Rainy Day
  2. Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight
  3. Daybreak
  4. Crazy
  5. When October Goes
  6. Anything Goes
  7. I Can't Get Started With You
  8. Stardust
  9. Yesterday 
  10. I Wanna Be Like You
  11. Corner Pocket
  12. Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay
  13. Route 66
  14. Birdland
  15. Mountain Dew
  16. Mood Indigo
  17. American Pie
  18. Sweet Child 'o Mine
  19. Revolution
  20. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
  21. Thriller
  22. The Sounds of Silence
  23. Twist and Shout
  24. Georgia on My Mind
  25. Summertime
  26. The Girl from Ipanema
  27. Promises
  28. Losing My Religion
  29. Foxy Lady
  30. Lazybones
  31. Sing Sing Sing
  32. Up On the Roof
  33. This Island Earth
  34. Great Balls of Fire
  35. Eleanor Rigby
  36. Private Idaho
  37. Bohemian Rhapsody 
  38. Dream
  39. We Are the Champions
  40. Imagine 
  41. Sister Christian
  42. Whiter Shade of Pale
  43. A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square
  44. God Bless the Child
  45. Love Bites
  46. You Took Advantage of Me
  47. Scotch and Soda
  48. Sometimes Bad is Bad
  49. Angie
  50. Everybody Wants to Be a Cat
  51. Heart of Rock and Roll
  52. Snile
  53. I've Got a Crush on You
  54. Nature Boy
  55. Autumn Leaves
  56. Another Night in Tunisia
  57. Feed the Birds 
  58. Misty
  59. Up the Ladder to the Roof
  60. Zombie Jamboree
  61. I've Got You Under My Skin
  62. Puttin' on the Ritz
  63. Angela
  64. New York State of Mind
  65. Don't Fence Me In (This almost doesn't make the list because it's really a ridiculous song, but listen to Rosemary Clooney's interpretation and you'll understand why)
  66. Sophisticated Lady
  67. Tenderly
  68. Round Midnight
  69. There's a Tree in a Meadow
  70. I Fall to Pieces
  71. Without a Song
  72. Anniversary Song
  73. As Time Goes By
  74. In the Bleak Midwinter
  75. O Come O Come Emmanuel
  76. Fire and Rain
  77. Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone
  78. Wish You Were Here
  79. Comfortably Numb
  80. Yesterday
  81. Sentimental Journey
  82. What a Wonderful World
  83. Not While I'm Around
  84. Foxy Lady
  85. Don't Fear the Reaper (with less cowbell)
  86. The Longest Time
  87. The City of New Orleans
  88. The Devil Went Down to Georgia
  89. Desperado
  90. Kiss Him Goodbye
  91. Route 66
  92. Silhouettes on the Shade
  93. When Sonny Gets Blue
  94. More (the Stephen Sondheim version, not the Mondo Carne version)
  95. Sooner or Later
  96. We Are the Champions
  97. Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby
  98. Jack You Dead
  99. These Foolish Things
  100. I'm Beginning to See the Light
 What about you? What are your songs?