IPWatchdog has been publishing readers’ and staff picks for the Top 25 songs of all time for the past four years on the Fourth of July. See previous posts here, here, here, and here. Not one to snub tradition, this year it’s my turn. I was raised chiefly in the 1980s and 90s, but my heart has always been with 60s/70s folk music and classic rock (while my tween friends were fawning over NKOTB I was renting Yellow Submarine and Help! at Blockbuster). At nine years old, my father took me to Tower Records to purchase all of his favorite Beatles albums on cassette—loving the Beatles is passé now, but it’s sentimental in my case. The first song I fell in love with was Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, because it’s silly, and I was nine. That one didn’t make the list, but the Beatles—and Lennon specifically—set the standard for my musical tastes going forward, lyrics being key. This exercise was much harder than I expected, and my final list looks nothing like I thought it would off the top of my head. There are so many great songs across so many genres and eras from a musical and lyrical perspective that it would be impossible to choose—so in the end I just went with the songs that have had personal meaning to me throughout my life. Some of them may not be so technically “top”, but this list is all about the memories.

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