Really Beautiful Songs

What songs do you think are beautiful? To me, a beautiful song is one that just makes me stop and listen. I don’t even want to sing along, not even internally, with a truly beautiful song for fear that I might miss one second of the melody or words or singer’s voice. It’s probably just me but whenever I hear a great, beautiful song, I imagine that I am on the beach somewhere staring into the horizon with the “beautiful song” as the background. They don’t have any special meaning; they just sound really good. Here are some of my personal favorites:

“All I Know” by Art Garfunkel. So simple but it still kicks my ass. I’ve literally listened to this song for hours straight.

Cassandra Wilson’s cover of “Time After Time” Holy shit, this version is so great.

"Songbird” by Fleetwood Mac I have to close my eyes when I hear this for some reason.

"I Do” by Jude I thought it might have been the lyrics that I liked but I love the melody too.

"This Tired Boardwalk” by Roy Joseph I don’t think he is signed but my friend is his friend and told me to check out his website and download some stuff. Wow.

All of these songs have that one note where the singer changes registers or does something distinctive that inevitably makes me rewind the track and listen to that note one hundred times in a row.

What are your beautiful songs?

My favourite songs always seem to tell stories or give little snippets of life… here’s a few faves.

"You Don’t Know Me" - by either Jann Arden or Kenny Loggins. Jann’s version appears on the soundtrack to “My Best Friend’s Wedding” while the Loggins’ version is on his “Celebrate Me Home” album.

"Fare Thee Well" - by the Rankins. One of the saddest songs ever but beautifully written and performed.

"Ave Maria" - timeless and despite my Agnostic leanings this song is truly beautiful.

They are here.

In addition, classical songs that always move me are the Kindertotenlieder (Mahler, preferred version Fischer-Dieskau), Winterreise (Schubert, again F-D), Knoxville (Barber, Dawn Upshaw) and Vier letzte Lieder (R Strauss, no perfect version yet).

In the jazz repertoire, I particularly like Autumn leaves.

My flavor of the moment is Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor. Listen for the “falling stars” (that’s how I describe his piano style).

Otherwise, the music that never fails to break my heart for its sheer emotional beauty is anything by Puccini.

Oh, there is so much more…not enough time in this life for all of the beautiful music!

Thanks for asking!

This Mortal Coil’s version of “Song to the Siren” is hauntingly beautiful.

You’d struggle to beat “Because” by The Beatles off Abbey Road. A cover version was featured during the closing credits of American Beauty you might recall. Indeed, just quote all of Side Two of Abbey Road if truth be known…

I shall have to nominate “Linger” by the Cranberries.

Aaaaah … Puccini.

Especially Turandot, which can move me to tears several times. Especially Barbara Hendricks singing Signore, ascolta. You can hear the first minute of this song here. Or, the entire scene between Turandot, Calaf and the Emperor when Calaf answers the three riddles. And who can resist Nessun Dorma, although it has been done almost to death.

Then there is the sublime beauty of Madame Butterfly.

But my all-time favorite Puccini has to be O! Mio babbino caro from Gianni Schicchi

You may feel otherwise, but I love love love the beauty of “Down in Splendour” by Straightjacket Fits.

It’s corny, but I’ve always thought the Eagles’ “Desperado” was a beautiful song, if only for the line

What a poignant description of getting older.

Eva Cassidy’s version of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” (or, for that matter, Eva Cassidy’s version of anything).

For a really surprising version of “Desperado,” check out Sheila Behman singing it on the CD The Langley Schools Music Project.

I’ve always loved “By My Side” from Godspell. It’s emotional, beautiful, heart-rending.

And I must agree with you about Art Garfunkel singing That’s All I Know. It’s rare to hear such raw emotion and beauty in a song! Michael Stipe, in my opinion, approaches it frequently, as in Everybody Hurts, You are the Everything, or Losing My Religion. (REM)

Other sad and beautiful songs I love are Empty Garden by Elton John, Send in the Clowns by Judy Collins (I’ve seen Bernadette Peters sing it too, and she always cries) and the Ode to Joy chorus from Beethoven’s Ninth. Well the entire Ninth is awesome. I always put on the second movement when I need to get pumped for a difficult task. But I’m off the subject.

And now, don’t laugh at me please, but I’ve always liked Steve Perry’s voice, of Journey. :eek: The band generally is pop crap, and I’ve always wished he’d use his voice in better service to the world of music. LOL. Anyway, I love the emotion in his voice at the beginning of Oh Sherry.

Chopin’s piano concerto number one - stunningly beautiful in the usual Chopin way with piano and symphonic accompaniment.

Edward Elgar’s Nimrod - The epitome of the word stirring.

But a beautiful song does not have to be classical:
Led Zeppelin - Ten Years Gone. Well, it’s as beautiful as you’re going to get from Led Zeppelin.

The Youngbloods - Get together. Sure, it’s an old hippie song, but the sweet guitar melody is undeniably beautiful and mixes well with the message of love.

Nick Drake - Pink Moon. Used on a Volkswagon commercial (4 teens in a convertible driving on a starlit night). I love the simplicity and the innocent feel of the song.

Ocean Blue - Ballerina Out of Control. 80’s Modern is wierd because the artists seemed to go out of their way to “uglify” otherwise beautiful songs, but this one shines. I find it a soothing yet haunting melody that, oddly enough, you could even dance to.

The “Soon” part of ** The Gates of Delirium ** by Yes.

“Soon, oh soon the light,
Ours to shape for all time,
Ours the right;
The sun will lead us,
Our reason to be here.”

Peter Gabriel’s Passion: Music From the Last Temptation of Christ
Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Volume II

A couple by Mozart:

From the Marriage of Figaro, Cherubino’s aria “Voi, che sapete che cosa a amor”

From Cosi Fan Tutte, the trio “Soave sia il vento”

VNV Nation - PTF2012

… instrumental, orchestral, heartbreaking … what else do you need?

The Beatles indeed. Abbey Road side two, Eleanor Rigby, Yesterday, She’s Leaving Home, In My Life.

The Stones: You Can’t Always Get What You Want.

Isreal Kamakawiwo’ole: Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World.

John Lennon: Imagine, Woman, Watching the Wheels.

Paul McCartney: Bend Little Willow.

That’s enough for now.

“All the Things You Are” by Jerome Kern, sung by anyone, especially Carmen Mcrae.

“Lullaby of Birdland” sung by Sarah Vaughn