Top 50 Favourite Songs: Mary Dickie

So hard to choose! I am a bit sheepish that there are so few songs from the current century, but these are the ones that magically alter my mood and my heartbeat. Is it true that songwriting was that much more magnificent when I was young, or is it just because I was discovering new sounds and everything felt more exciting as opposed to my jaded ears now hearing sounds that get emptier each time they cycle back around? There are exceptions, of course.

1. “L-O-V-E,” Al Green (1975)
2. “Be My Baby,” The Ronettes (1963)
3. “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace Love and Understanding,” Elvis Costello (1979)
4. “Baby Baby Baby,” Aretha Franklin (1967)
5. “She Loves You,” The Beatles (1963)
6. “Range Life,” Pavement (1994)
7. “River Deep Mountain High,” Ike & Tina Turner (1966)
8. “Another Girl Another Planet,” The Only Ones (1978)
9. “Safe European Home,” The Clash (1978)
10. “Cruel to Be Kind,” Nick Lowe (1978)
11. “Satellite of Love,” Lou Reed (1972)
12. “Mercy Mercy Me, Marvin Gaye (1971)
13. “Sick of Myself,” Matthew Sweet (1995)
14. “A Case of You,” Joni Mitchell (1971)
15. “Big Time Sensuality,” Bjork (1993)

16. “A Good Year for the Roses,” George Jones (1971)
17. “She’s the One,” Ramones (1978)
18. “Raw Power,” the Stooges (1973
19. “Little Wing” (live at RAH), Jimi Hendrix (1969)
20. “Blue,” the Jayhawks (1995)
21. “That’s the Way of the World,” Earth Wind & Fire (1975)
22. “Girl from the North Country,” Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash (1969)
23. “Leave House,” Caribou (2010)
24. “Your Ex-Lover is Dead,” Stars (2004)

25. “Heaven,” Talking Heads (1979)
26. “A Poor Man’s Roses,” Patsy Cline (1961)
27. “Waiting on a Friend,” Rolling Stones (1981)
28. “Bandit of Love,” Carlene Carter (1980)
29. “What Goes On,” Velvet Underground (1969)
30. “Crimson and Clover,” Tommy James & the Shondells (1968)
31. “Violet,” Hole (1995)

32. “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love Babe,” Barry White (1974)
33. “They Don’t Know,” Kirsty MacColl (1979)
34. “This Time Tomorrow,” The Kinks (1970)
35. “Roadrunner,” The Modern Lovers (1972)
36. “Star Sign,” Teenage Fanclub (1991)
37. “Hot Fun in the Summertime,” Sly & the Family Stone (1970)
38. “Star Man,” David Bowie (1972)
39. “Middle of the Road,” Pretenders (1983)
40. “Sweet Thing,” Van Morrison (1968)
41. “Uptown Top Ranking,” Althea and Donna (1977)
42. “Trenchtown Rock,” Bob Marley (1975)
43. “For Once in My Life,” Stevie Wonder (1968)
44. “Cuz I Love You,” Lizzo (2019)

45. “Indoor Fireworks,” Elvis Costello (1986)
46. “Fight the Power,” Public Enemy (1989)
47. “Valentine,” Replacements (1987)
48. “You Really Got a Hold on Me,” Smokey Robinson and the Miracles (1962)
49. “You’re Still Standing There, Steve Earle and Lucinda Williams (1996)
50. “Gigantic,” Pixies (1988)

6 thoughts on “Top 50 Favourite Songs: Mary Dickie

  1. Hi, Mary. Finally, Teenage Fanclub’s “Star Sign” makes the Top 50 for someone other than me! I’m tickled, and also a little surprised that we’re the only two who appreciate it this much.

  2. Believe it or not, I’d never heard Kirsty MacColl’s original “They Don’t Know” until a year or so ago. Love it more or less as much as Tracey Ullman’s cover.

  3. Yeah, I still need to check out more of her stuff—the only other performances I’m familiar with are tracks with the Pogues: “Miss Otis Regrets/Just One of Those Things,” on Red Hot + Blue, the remarkable kickoff to Red Hot Benefit Series of comps vid hard to find now; almost whole alb had vid companions originally
    and of course “Fairy Tale of New York”

  4. For what it’s worth, I’m skeptical about the greater magnificence of songwriting in the good old days. In the arts, sooner or later, I think we all become traditionalists of one kind or another.

  5. I think different kinds of music writing/music creating flourish at different times; ’40s and ’50s used blues forms effectively for non-blues effect, e.g., “Johnny B. Goode” where verse and chorus are utterly distinct and are rock ‘n’ roll but are both 12-bar patterns; and the 1960s really are special, produced some terrific melodists like Ray Davies and Lou Reed who’d been infected by Bo Diddley and so were ready to have grooves bore away inside their tracks with the potential of exploding into rave-ups. So the ’60s are fabulous for songwriting and for song manhandling, sometimes at the same time: my James Brown choice isn’t one of his flat-out funk grooves but rather an exquisite r&b ballad (“Prisoner Of Love”) that is utterly laid to waste by the call-and-response sections he interpolates into it. My 2020s tracks are barely songs at all. My 2021 list as it stands at the moment has nothing like a song in its Top 10 except for Nathan Evans’s one-minute TikTok throwdown of “The Wellerman,” one of those 19th century ballads that goes verse chorus, verse chorus, verse chorus interminably with no progression whatsoever and runs for as long as there are bottles of beer on the wall. Yet I’m voting for the minute sliver rather than the fully realized version one month later. Also plumping for an 18-second dance shard of baile funk.

  6. Nice list, Mary! I’d never heard Kirsty MacColl’s version of “They Don’t Know” till recently either. (My daughter Izzy played it for me.) It’s probably even better than the Tracey Ullman cover but that’s the version I know best. A hard song to dislike, no matter who’s singing it.

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