16 Songs Everyone Over 50 Must Own

You know how much I love my music and list, this is the perfect thing for me. I’m not 50 yet (in a couple of more years), but I can’t wait to get my AARP membership form in the mail. Generation X is fast approching “the 50’s” age range and now it seems to be cool to be in your 50’s!

So, if you are over 50, do you have these songs in your music library?

16 Songs Everyone Over 50 Must Own
See if your favorite tracks made it on best-selling author Jacquelyn Mitchard’s list
by: Jacquelyn Mitchard | from: AARP | March 23, 2012

Music stokes my mood, keeps me spinning, on the bike and in life, and recalls for me irreplaceable moments we get to experience once, if we’re lucky. So I’ve compiled a list of favorites from every genre, each of which speaks in some important way to our generation.

#16 In My Life (The Beatles, 1965)
As we reach the September of our lives, we hear it a new way. “There are places I remember, all my life, though some have changed …”

#15 Jailhouse Rock (Elvis Presley, 1957)
The King never did it better.

#14 God Only Knows (Beach Boys, 1966)
Paul McCartney drove his children crazy playing this song over and over, calling it the most perfect of all pop songs and bemoaning the fact that he hadn’t written it.

#13 Crazy (Patsy Cline, vocals; Willie Nelson, lyrics; 1962)
Patsy Cline said she couldn’t sing it, but this song became one of her signature pieces.

#12 For What It’s Worth — Stop, Hey What’s That Sound (Buffalo Springfield, 1967)
Written by Stephen Stills, this haunting anthem of the risks of the Vietnam protest movement still cuts deep.

#11 He Stopped Loving Her Today (George Jones, 1980)
“He Stopped Loving Her Today” refers to George Jones’ love for country queen Tammy Wynette. Its gentle dignity touches your heart.

#10 C’est La Vie — You Never Can Tell (Vocals by Emmylou Harris, 1977)
Chuck Berry wrote this song while in prison. If this song doesn’t put you in a good mood, well, I’m not sure there’s anything that would. The duchess of country pop does it better than anyone.

#9 You Shook Me all Night Long (AC/DC, 1980)
From the great album Back in Black, this is a song about … well, if I have to explain what it’s about, being over 50 still holds a big surprise for you!

#8 Hotel California (Eagles, 1977)
Don Felder, Don Henley and Glenn Frey wrote, “You can check out anytime you like/But you can never leave.” What, exactly, did the Eagles mean by “Hotel California”? It remains a great mystery of rock ’n’ roll—and one of the eeriest rock songs ever.

#7 Landslide (Stevie Nicks, 1975)
If it hadn’t been for Stevie Nicks’ lousy relationship with her co-band member Lindsey Buckingham, we’d have missed one of the most poignant pop songs of regret from this or any era.

#6 Gangsta’s Paradise (Coolio, 1995)
If you never got into rap, listen to these words, some taken from an arrangement of Stevie Wonder’s “Pastime Paradise,” all speaking of the desperate sadness of lifelong badness.

#5 Little Green (Joni Mitchell, 1971)
One of the most intimately confessional, forthright songs ever written, performed by a lyricist whose poetry arguably compares with Stephen Sondheim’s. It’s from the album Blue, which was the one to cry to in high school or college. If you can get through “A Case of You” without remembering the one that got away, you’re a better dingo than I am.

#4 A House Is Not a Home (Dionne Warwick, 1964)
Warwick asserted that this was not her favorite song from her legendary collaboration with Burt Bacharach and Hal David. OK. For my money, this is a torch song that out-blazes Julie London’s “Cry Me a River.”

#3 Lately (Stevie Wonder, 1980)
“Lately,” written and sung by Stevie Wonder, may be one of the master’s most complex and enthralling melodies, a song of infidelity. It’s stunning to recall that the inimitable Stevie had already, by this time, recorded the album Songs in the Key of Life. He was just 30 years old.

#2 Harvest Moon (Neil Young, 1992)
Both written and sung by Neil Young, “Harvest Moon” is one of the most beautiful waltzes about the September years.

#1 Once Upon a Time (Frank Sinatra, 1965)
People say that the definitive version was sung by Bobby Darin. He’s great, but this cut, recorded as Ol’ Blue Eyes turned 50, makes us ache for all the sweet byroads of our lives.

I have all of these songs, I just have to create a song list for my iPod. Most of the songs are pretty good. But I have always had a minor dislike for any and all of Neil Young songs. Not sure why, but I do.

Probably my favorite songs on this list are:

  • God Only Knows by The Beach Boys
  • Crazy by Patsy Cline
  • A House Is Not a Home by Dionne Warwick
  • Latelyby Stevie Wonder

I would love to see a 50+ person rocking out to “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio. That would be a site to see

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