After I named some of my favorite beautiful songs recently — including Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Boxer” — I received a call from Garfunkel’s manager, Mort Lewis. The singer had just performed a concert in Evans, and Garfunkel also places “The Boxer” high on his list of beautiful songs, his manager said.
Lewis was very gracious and invited me to Savannah to attend Garfunkel’s next concert because I had missed his local visit. Along came an ice storm, however, and I had to stay in town for a while.
By the way, Lewis said his own most beautiful song is Frank Sinatra’s version of “I’ll Never Smile Again.” It was written by a woman whose husband had died, and although it is indeed beautiful, it also is very sad.
I received a number of e-mails and posts with readers’ favorite songs (edited slightly for space and style):
A reader who leaned toward Simon and Garfunkel was “Jake.” He posted: “The album ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ had many lovely songs on it, but the song I have treasured most by them is ‘Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme’ … It always brings me back to the summer of 1968 when I graduated from high school.
“Georgia, by Ray Charles, is another song I love to listen to, especially when feeling a little nostalgic for the state I lived in for 30 years.”
Bill Harding cited “The Only Living Boy in New York,” a Simon and Garfunkel song, along with two-dozen other songs. He, too, had a Sinatra tune: “It Was a Very Good Year.”
He added: “Most of these songs are rarely (if ever) heard on Augusta radio and they’re just the tip of the soft-rock iceberg.”
Robert Kendricks, of Crawfordville, Ga., had a couple of songs to run the gamut: “The 12th of Never,” for love, and “I Believe,” for the spiritual side of life.
J.D. Wiggins, of Johnston, S.C., wrote in: “I watched the 50th reunion of The Beatles on CBS … and many of their songs will live forever. But this song by Canadians Danni and Lizzy Nelson (solo version), ‘Dancing in the Sky,’ has imbedded itself in my brain with the tenacity of a bulldog. It is so beautiful and haunting.”
Jean Heinzman said Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers is “Always my #1.” I can see her point.
Lou Schlein wrote: “I can’t say I was an avid fan of The Beatles; however, their hit ‘Hey Jude’ still runs through my mind, solidifying this phase of my young life. Elvis, Conway, George Jones, Waylon & Willie, CCR’s ‘Lodi’ all set the nostalgia of their given era.
“Yesterday at church we sang ‘Amazing Grace,’ all three stanzas; on the last I found myself in a moment of asseveration, leaving me in a hum.”
Others cited the Beach Boys’ ‘The Warmth of the Sun,’ Chet Atkins’ cover of ‘The Boxer,’ Bette Midler’s ‘The Rose,’ Richard Harris’ (and others’) ‘MacArthur Park,’ and the Eagles.
The good songs play on, but I’ve run out of room.
Reach Glynn Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.