Asking me to name my favourite song is like asking a mother to choose her favourite child. My tastes are so eclectic and I am what I like to call an “emotional listener”. Similar to how some people are emotional eaters, who consume food and binge eat in parallel to how they feel, I gluttonously consume music.
I nibble at light rock and pop tracks when I am calm and relaxed, take seconds of early 90s hip-hop and dance music when I am happy, devour alternative rock, indie folk and country when I am blue, and I raid my iPod and strip it bare of metal when I am upset.
That said, if I were held at gunpoint and forced to choose only one (okay, maybe just top 20), “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Neil Finn. This song, which Finn originally sung with his band, Crowded House, is timeless and still gets tons of airtime on the otherwise apathetic airwaves. But the melody and lyrics of this song are so unpretentiously lovely that I also fell in love with all the covers, even the one by Christian-pop group Sixpence None the Richer.
It used to be that whatever version I was listening to at the time was my favourite. That is, until I heard Neil Finn, removed from his band, undress this song of all but the bare necessities and render it with such strong sincerity that this acoustic never fails to bring tears of wonder and happiness to my eyes.
My friends in high school and college used to make fun of me for listening to music and bands from the 60s, 70s and 80s but I never minded because, as Finn shows on this track, great music is timeless and when you create something beautiful, no amount of change incurred by the rest of the world can deface it.