My Favourite Song

We all have our own favourite song. I want people to discuss at length what makes one song so special for them personally.

Ultimate Guitar

This is a series I would like others to continue to discuss their own personal favourite song and history of other favourite songs. With music I'm quite meticulous about organization and I like to keep records of my personal favourites. Some people have problems with this because they enjoy different music in different ways and their tastes are always evolving. But I'm a strange guy and I can find some pleasure in listing out my preferences, and I don't see a problem with this as I let the list adapt with my music. Will I have a different favourite song come a few years time? Almost certainly.

I'm not looking to objectively state what the greatest song of all time is, just the song I enjoy to listen to the most. I hope that there is no hating on different peoples choices in the comments and future articles, just respect that different people like different music.

For the best part of my still young life I would say it was "Bohemian Rhapsody", but a couple a years ago I realised something. I had been pressured by others to choose this song, as it was the one which the least people would express dislike when I said it. Then I had an epiphany. F--k those people. Sure, "Bohemain Rhapsody" is an absolutely terrific monster of a song, but subjectively I realised that there were other songs that I listen too more which I was more drawn to. If people think that there is only one acceptable song choice to have as a favourite, simply put, their d********. There's nothing wrong with choosing "Bohemian Rhapsody" or "Stairway To Heaven", as long as if you really search you find that there are no songs that you get more enjoyment from listening to and they really are the song that you come back to more then any others.

At the moment my favourite song is "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi" by Radiohead. I find it is simply an almost perfect song. The song is split into three parts, and I'll first look at the music behind them before looking at the vocals of the song and why they are so special for me. It opens with Phil Selway clicking himself in for a fast but very conventional rock beat on the drums. The guitars comes in with, as the song title suggests in arpeggi. Arpeggi (sometimes called "broken chord") is when the notes of a chord are played in sequence one after the other. Jonny Greenwood's, Ed O'Brien's and later Thom Yorke's guitar textures play off each other beautifully playing different variations of the same chords. The sequence remains constant throughout the first part of the song. The music swells and crescendos before crashing to earth. A staple part of the song is Ed O'Brien's backing vocals, in between the main lyrical lines. You can hear the fans sing them as substitutes during Thom Yorke's solo shows which really shows great commitment.

The second part is a bit like a breakdown. Jonny Greenwood plays a similar arpeggio, but this time on the electric piano to give an ambient sound and apart from Ed O'Brien's guitar this is what's left of the instruments.

Quiet strings come in before we are suddenly whisked into the third part by the return of the drums back in full force. The guitars play a different chord progression and arpeggi, and we hear can very clearly some Colin Greenwood bass fills, a rare find in Radiohead songs.

Thom Yorke's lyrics are very abstract and have been interpreted in a number of ways. I've heard people argue that the fish are a metaphor for the constant change on this planet, depression and even the nature of cults. But the most common argument, and the one that I agree with it that he's singing about being in love. While no one interpretation can be completely wrong, this makes the most sense for me.

"In The Deepest Ocean/Bottom Of The Sea" shows the position he is in with love. He is entirely helpless, in an unamendable situation, or so he sees it. He thinks of her eyes and is tempted but then a thought occurs to him. "Why Should I Stay here?". He could swim to the surface and escape the grip (a thought he returns to). But instead he is turned by her eyes again. He is in love, he would be crazy not to follow. He ultimately doesn't have any other option and couldn't really choose anything else.

I imagine him following to the edge and falling off as him manning up an expressing his love directly to her. His falling off is the moment of freefall while he waits for a response. Anything could happen and he naturally immediately regrets telling her, even though it was an inevitable decision. The next part is the most abstract and unclear of the entire lyrics but I think he is rejected and feels "picked over by the worms" as if he is now below even them. But then he realises this rejection has given something definite and he is set free. He need to "Hit the bottom" in order to escape. Now he is no longer trapped in the unknown thoughts of whether or not she feels the same and the response means he can finally move on from the deepest ocean he had been trapped in. I know I have been very literal in my interpretation, but I am still ultimately guessing. The beauty of good lyrics is that you can understand them to mean completely different things and still be captivated and moved by them.

In "Weird Fishes" the whole thing just fits together so well, the music and the lyrics compliment each other tremendously and the final products is for me a never-ending source of musical pleasure. For other fans of the song, here are some great versions I would recommend looking at the "From The Basement":

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This performance shows a slightly different version of the song. The quality and standard of "From The Basement" is very high, and though this is live this could be a final recording as the sound engineering has been mastered expertly. Another version of the song where Thom Yorke is playing it solo:

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This is an interesting take making the guitars sound like a video game track. Finally, here is the earliest version of the song I could find:

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It's interesting to see how the song has developed over time, as it was originally much more string heavy and featured the guitars much less prominently.

Please respond with your own "my favourite song", giving a detailed analysis of why there is that one song which you just love so much.

114 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I think this is a good idea for a thread. My favourite song cycles pretty regularly, and can be pretty much any genre. There's no real formula for how I choose them either, they just appeal to me for some reason. My favourite right now is probably Ocean by John Butler. For anyone actually interested, a few more I can think of are: - The Hero Dies in This One- The Ataris - Say It Aint So- Weezer - Hold On- Yes - White Walls- Between the Buried and Me - Summer of '68- Pink Floyd
    My favorite song after 15 years it's still The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel, emotion just grows from that song.Also another song with emotion its Floods by Pantera, that solo just brings a tear to my eye.
    Citizen Erased by Muse because it goes through many different styles and dynamics during the song. I love the clean guitar interlude parts and my favorite part is the very end where Matt is playing the piano and softly singing.
    Butterflies & Hurricanes for me is my favorite song ever. CE comes in 2nd for the same reasons. Absolutely amazing live too.
    METALLICA- FADE TO BLACK This song appeals almost everyone Its also emotional as **** i can relate to the lyrics and the song itself just makes me want to cry
    I don't know why you'd get downvoted for showing your OPINION on here! Anyways, I'm a big fan of that song too! And I like most songs with real EMOTIONS in the music!
    i have the hole discography of metallica and i like the most of their songs.They have some heart touching songs(mama said,hero of the day,and don't forget "nothing else matters"
    Aalways changes, of course! Was could have lied by rhcp, then fake plastic trees, then now idk..
    I think either Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd or Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin. I know they're common, but there's a reason for that.
    Although they have a lot of good songs this is the one I gravitate to Smashing Pumpkins - Mayonaise I'm also a fan of Sir Psycho Sexy by the rhcp
    The Becoming by NIN. The most creative bombshell ever.
    Posted my favorites in the above post, but The Becoming is definitely my favorite NIN song. Love all the different parts to it.
    I can't pick a definitive favourite song, but while Bleak by Opeth would usually take the prize (that song showed me all the millions of different things you could tie in together to make a song, and still make it seem organized and an important part of a whole as opposed to a million riffs stitched together) right now I can't get enough of the title track of Devin Townsend's Ki. Beautiful song.
    Radiohead - let down I've listened to it in over 3 years, and I'm still finding small details, melodies, and parts I never heard before - It is an neverending musical journey, always making me marvel of how humans could ever make something so perfect, intelligent, creative, and beautifull, with such an amazing sense to even the smallest details (ex. I love the little guitar lick in the bridge, during Thom Yorkes final "Let down", with the arcade-mix melody following right after)
    Probably whatsurname by Green Day simply for personal reasons such as it being the last song on a record that made me pick up a Guitar all those years ago... Right now though I'd say Central by Frusciante...quite a leap from Green Day hahaha.
    The Necrotizer
    Lateralus by Tool - to me a perfect song and epic. The song takes me on a journey every time I listen to it. The music is excellent (Danny Carey's beat that comes over the breakdown mid way through the song is a 10). Lyrically the song is amazing. A masterpiece alround.
    I'm a Punk, so I'm a huge fan of Green Day. Even though their recent songs have been personally disappointing. They released a song called Scattered which is actually quite enjoyable. Really enjoyed this column. Not a big Radiohead fan but I have a few songs. That's an upvote from me.
    "I'm a Punk" made me laugh. :') Also, Landslide by Fleetwood Mac, especially the live version.
    Bob Dolan :D
    Ah, nothing like getting downvoted for your personal opinion ey? Hell, if Green Day means punk to you? Then i say rock the f**k out \m/
    Silver Blues
    Downvotes already. This is a discussion based solely on subjective opinion, therefore there is nothing for anyone to justifiably dislike. People have their favorites, don't shit on them. This column is a neat idea.
    Obviously, they dislike anyone who likes something they do not. For me, I'm liking Slash's "We Will Roam" at the moment. Give it a little bit though, as my 'favorite' changes constantly, to old stuff I'll always love to new stuff that I fall in love with. So basically, it'll change Friday, as that's when I typically pick up new music.
    Free - The Stealer The song is just genious, the chord phrasing makes me shiver and it's also so rhytmically grabbing, makes you wan't to move. I also hear some good minor and major chords mixed which just gives me the shivers.
    I would have to go with "The Glass Prison" by Dream Theater 14 minutes of mind-melting keyboard and guitar solos playing off of each other perfectly I think one of Dream Theater's faults is the vocals and lyrics, and that it never really fit with the instrumentation(for me, at least) But in this song, the lyrics and instruments fit perfectly The lyrics are masterfully written, and flow naturally with the mood of the music It's able to create the emotion and mood of the song, and translate it well for the listener and I can relate to the lyrics, as well Just a masterpiece
    Last Rites/Loved to Deth by Megadeth. That riff after the solo is just ferocious! Gets me pumped real quick!
    Mine would have to be Cowboys from Hell (Pantera). When I heard this one for the first time I was completely mindblown. The riffs, the vocals, the solo, the groove, everything... No words are good enough to describe it all.
    Love that song too... It's just pure energy. Not my favourite song though \m/
    i can't really chose a song, if i could, it'd probably be radiohead though, they're my favorite band x) weird fishes is a favorite off of in rainbows, i'd also add let down, paranoid android, and true love waits from them. can't forget sigur ros either, saeglopour is beautiful
    Camel - Lady Fantasy Var. - Fly Me To The Moon Opeth - The Drapery Falls My favourite songs have stayed about the same for four years now, and my music tastes haven't changed in a while so I'm pretty confident I won't be changing my mind on them any time soon. The first song that really captured my emotions was Lady Fantasy by Camel, and it still moves me every time. The musicianship is incredible and it really pushed me into classic Prog Rock. Fly Me To The Moon's smooshy mushy sappy lyrics got meaning for me when I met the love of my life, and for the four years since then I've never heard any version of the song that didn't make me think of her, putting a goofy smile on my face. The Drapery Falls by Opeth doesn't hold any emotional significance for me, but it did help give me a whole new understanding of music. It was also the first song with Black Metal elements that I'd heard, and it introduced me to the heavier side of metal and my future favourite band (Opeth).
    I don't know about black metal elements, but I'd rather not be that guy so never mind that. Ditto for me. Love the entire Blackwater Park album to bits.
    The ones that come to mind for me are Never Let This Go - Paramore My Apocalypse - Escape the Fate Enchanted - Taylor Swift Jasey Rae - All Time Low In The Cold - Acceptance Break The Silence - Killswitch Engage All songs that changed the way I wrote or listened to music
    this song speaks directly to my soul everytime I just can't explain its greatness
    Starlight by Muse...Everything about it, from its simplicity to its great signature riff to its heartfelt lyrics and it angelic falsetto vocal. It takes me to a place in my life when I needed that song....
    My favorite song is Small Hands by Keaton Henson. Well it is my favorite song at the moment. I have a different favorite song about every month.
    New Day by Karnivool. An incredible song that goes through really tender quiet sections and then huge riffs and vocals and then back again. It's an experience as much as it is a song.
    My favorite song of recent is probably Play Dead. Very relatable lyrics, and Bjork is such an incredible vocalist. I love her to death.
    atm its Yurika by Yoko Kanno
    Its melodies are beautiful as hell. And like the feel of the song describes the character, Yurika, perfectly. This seems like the result of taking a girls essence and making it into a song.
    To me, yoko kanno always makes just really good stuff no matter in what genre direction she moves. great tune btw, didnt know that one
    megadeth - a tout le monde Dream theater - hollow years velvet revolver - messages ozzy osbourne - Mr.Crowley Eagles - Hotel California
    'xander vasil
    "If we had found you any later, you would have drowned" by Empire! Empire! (I was a lonely estate) There is no reason I should be explaining myself. Just listen.
    At the moment I'd probably say "Happiness by the Kilowatt" by Alexisonfire. I'd choose that because the whole package of the concept, lyrics and instrumentation of the song feel almost perfect to me at this time
    Happiness by the Kilowatt is a great song, saw them do it live on their last date in St. Catherines, before this whole farewell tour thing
    Oceansize - Trail of Fire Silent/Transparent, Oscar Acceptance Speech, The Frame, Savant and Ornament/The Last Wrongs all get honourable mentions too. Anything by Oceansize really. Moya and BBFIII by GY!BE are amazing works too. I'd pick more GY!BE, but their other work is really best listened to along with the rest of their albums. Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada is really the most condensed they get. Amazing band though. Couple of Biffy Clyro songs for personal reasons. Amplifier are amazing. Sigur Ros make beautiful stuff. Also, Mogwai.
    I need to get myself an F#A#[infinity] vinyl. On the topic of post rock-ish stuff You Are There and Hymn To The Immortal Wind from Mono have some amazing tracks.
    Been travelling for the last couple of months, lots of ups and downs. When it all gets too hectic, put my headphones on, close my eyes and listen to the whole of Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space by Spiritualized. Start to finish. Centres me perfectly. s
    Still Loving You - Scorpions This song is so emational and insane. And the guitar solo at the end Omg ! Defenitly my favorite song. I cry sometime while listening it ..
    Man, I remember when I first heard weird fishes, I listened to it for days, still a good ass song.
    Stevie Ray Vaughan's cover of Little Wing
    check out this amazing little wing done by Eric Gales Schofield and Tomo Fujita 3 awesome jazz/blues guitarists. this is imo the best little wing around
    Deliver Me by Parkway Drive, it's not a masterpiece but it makes me wanna scream, like I'm in a rollercoaster. It gets better every time I hear it. PD: My first comment, sorry for my english, I'm spanish and I have little experience
    I used to headbang to Marilyn Manson's 'Beautiful People' when I was like, 3 years old, and I still do it... Does that count as a continuing favourite song..?? hehehehehe
    Nero Galon
    Impossible to have a favourite. If you have one then you probably haven't listened to enough yet.
    In a bit of the 'It Might Get Loud' documentary it shows Jack White listening to an old Son House record and he says that's been his favourite song ever since he first heard it. Pretty sure he's listened to a lot of music in his time.
    Holy shit man this is hands down my favourite at the minute too..This song is an absolute masterpiece
    We Share Our Mothers Health, maybe Marble House by The Knife. Or Wishing by Edo G & Masta Ace, favourite songs right now. Sorry, one electronic one hip-hop. But the Pixies still rank as my favourite band ever.
    The first time i knew i wanted to play guitar was when i heard the first minute of "Hearts Burst Into Fire" by Bullet For My Valentine. Which turned out to be quite a heavy band. People who are familiar with this song know the intro i am talking about. It just sounded awesome. After listening the song hundreds of times, i start to notice so much heart in the song (No pun intended..). Check out the Acoustic version, you will understand what i mean. This song has changed me. so much.