If you were to add up all the times you’ve heard certain songs — whether on the radio, in concert, or via turntable/cassette deck/CD player/iPodPhonePad — which tune would end up on top?
And it’s not only frequency but duration that is at play here. For example, Kodachrome had a 14 year head start on Where The Streets Have No Name in my internal contest. Was that enough to make up for the fact that today I listen to Streets a lot more often than Kodachrome.
I don’t know. The list below is full of conjecture, supposition, and, hopefully, some accuracy.
So here goes: the five songs I have heard more than any other in my life.
1. The Boys Of Summer by Don Henley. Radio, cassette, CD, concert, YouTube. I am more sure that this is #1 than I am of any other song on this list. I can’t think of a more deserving winner anyway.
2. Hotel California by The Eagles. Same voice as #1, above, just surrounded by different talent. This one would for sure win the “radio award” portion of the contest. It only took me about three years to figure out that in the first verse he sings “warm smell of colitas rising up through the air” and then another three years to learn what a colita actually is.
3. Stairway To Heaven, by Led Zeppelin. If you count listening to a song all the way through, “Stairway” might not make the list. The older I get, the less patience I have for it. But when I was young, I always listened all the way through to the closing crescendo.
4. Where The Streets Have No Name, by U2. You know what’s silly? I just to think it was only the third best song on The Joshua Tree. I was wrong.
5. Kodachrome. I think I built up enough listens when I was 12 to make up for a relative lack in more recent times. Confession: I first thought it was called Portachrome.