Welcome to the second part of my top 10 songs of all time! Things are definitely getting more interesting now, as we now leave behind the borderliners, and we now discuss the songs which are regular fixtures in my top 10.
I really love this song, but for some reason I find it really hard to pinpoint what I really like about it. I’m listening to the song and singing it in my head over and over again, and the song just has this very unique feeling and sound to it. Perhaps it is the opening piano intro that gets you hyped up immediately. Perhaps it is the feeling of mystery and darkness that pervades that throughout the song. Perhaps it is the vocals which is at the same time emotional and yet subdued. Perhaps it is the epic and ambitious scale of the song.
But perhaps it is the words “But I Won’t Do That.” I remember thinking to myself just what “that” is, what “that” really signifies, and in fact I still often think about it now more than 15 years later. This is what the female vocalist Lorraine Crosby sings at the end, after which Meat Loaf sings that he won’t do “that”:
After a while you’ll forget everything,
It was a brief interlude and a midsummer night’s fling,
And you’ll see that it’s time to move on.
I know the territory – I’ve been around,
It’ll all turn to dust and we’ll all fall down,
And sooner or later you’ll be screwing around.
I’ve always been a little bit confused by this part. What has screwing around and moving on has to do with love? The way I interpret it is that he sings that he would do anything for love, as opposed to anything for you. As such I believe that this means that he would do anything to be close to that special someone, to be in love with that person. What he won’t do is to leave that person to seek love elsewhere. He would do anything for love, as long as it’s with that person. I’m not sure if that’s the appropriate explanation, but it’s an explanation I personally feel connected to.
The only song on the list that is less than five years old, and even that comes with an asterisk as it is a cover of a Queen song from the eighties. Perhaps there is just a teeny weeny bit of chauvinism involved, as Stevie Ann not only hails from the Netherlands, but even from the beautiful province of Limburg!
But saying so would be a grave injustice to this amazingly talented young singer, who is able to transform a so-so song from Queen into a song of such beauty and emotion that I almost feel like crying every time I hear it. She simply has such a strong and pure voice that I don’t need to explain any further. Just sit back and enjoy. I do feel slightly bad about choosing a cover above any her original songs, but her covers are just amazing pieces of work. Just listen to her rendition of Britney Spears’ Toxic. Haunting. One Year of Love remains my favourite however. At least until she finally decides to officially release a cover of Times Like These by the Foo Fighters. I might need to bump her up a few places up this list once that happens.
Ok, enough about love for now and let’s move on to the amazing Cranberries. I briefly contemplated about putting Ode to my Family onto the list (I forgot to mention earlier that I restricted myself to one song per artist), but in the end Zombie won out quite easily. Dolores O’Riordan has a captivating and haunting voice, and hearing it in full fury in this anti-war protest song just gives me the goose bumps. The entire song is a tour de force, but the bridge between the couplet and refrain is just plain eerie.
But you see, it’s not me, it’s not my family
In your head, in your head they are fighting
With their tanks and their bombs
And their bombs and their guns
In your head, in your head, they are crying
Really, how many singers can pull this off without sounding utterly out of place? As if this wasn’t enough, the song is accompanied by excellent guitar riffs and bass which enhance the whole dark and eerie atmosphere. Simply a masterpiece.