My test of a beautiful song is whether it sends shivers down my spine.
It is not necessarily mainstream classics that cause my shivers, but more the relationship to a special time or person.
Songs like the Corrs Runawy with its beautiful harmonies and classic Irish folk style or Deep Blue Something’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s with its guitars are gorgeous songs, but there are so many more.
Yesterday, an all time classic written and sung by Paul McCartney is one of the great songs, with its beautiful guitar opening and mellow vocals.
Glenn Campbell’s version of the Jimmy Webb written Galveston is amazing. Jimmy Webb’s lyrics are so powerful, an anti-war classic sung in military time, making it all the more poignant.
Somebody’s Baby by Jackson Browne a song that makes me think of my wife each and every time I hear it. Shivers down the spine and a smile on my face.
It so also hard to go past Leaving on a Jet Plane. I love both the Peter Paul and Mary and Chantel Kreviazuk’s versions however it is always John Denver’s version that sends shivers down my spine. I saw John Denver at Adelaide Oval play this song with a close friend whose father had recently died and as Denver played the tears just gushed down my friend’s face.
There are so many Joni Mitchell songs that I love but it’s Free Man in Paris that fits this bill best. Jose Feliciano’s opening guitar is awesome, but it’s the memory of a day on my own where
I was a free man in Paris
I felt unfettered and alive
There was nobody calling me up for favours
as I wandered down the Champs Élysées. An amazing day the memory of which is rekindled every time I hear the song.
Walking in Memphis and the words
“Tell me are you a Christian Child?”
And I said “Ma’am I am tonight”
does it every time.
So there are some examples of beautiful songs that send a shiver done my spine but of all of them it is Anne Hathaway’s version of I Dreamed a Dream which truly stands out, it is simply emotionally raw and beautiful.