The Rules : Once you have been tagged (or commanded by the Queen) you are supposed to write down the top
1. All My Loving -- The Beatles. I know it wasn't the first song the Lads performed on The Ed Sullivan Show back in February 1964, but it is the moment I fell enduringly in love. "Close your eyes and I'll kiss you, tomorrow I'll miss you, remember I'll always be true." Hearing Paul McCartney sing that simple declaration of love when I was 6 marked me for life.
2. September -- Earth, Wind and Fire. It sounds happy, with the great horns and the "ba de ya" refrain. The lyrics, recalling the joys of days gone by, make my heart skip a beat, too.
3. Thunder Road -- Bruce Springsteen. The sexiest, most romantic song I have ever heard. "Show a little faith, there's magic in the night." It is about the courage it takes to fall in love and declare yourself, but it promises Boss-sized dividends, too.
4. You Don't Know Me -- Jann Arden. It's been done by everyone from Eddy Arnold to Elvis, but this is my favorite. The opposite of "Thunder Road" because the singer is "afraid and shy" and lets her change go by, too unsure of herself to declare her love.
5. Tears of a Clown -- Smokey Robinson & the Miracles. Popular when I was in 7th grade, when I was just beginning to have a little after school freedom, so it was a heady time. It also encouraged me to look up "Pagliacci," so this song is Motown as teaching moment.
6. Better Not Look Down -- BB King. I first heard this at a time when my life was in a complete state of flux. I remember reminding myself of BB's words of wisdom, "better not look down if you want to keep on flying, put the hammer down and keep it full speed ahead." Not a bad motto.
7. Stoney End -- Barbra Streisand. When I'm depressed, I'm not one to suffer quietly. That's why I love this cut. Babs puts voice to my agony, especially when she rails against "the fury of the broken thunder" that's come to match her "raging soul."