Song of the Day #3,386: ‘The Things That Everybody Does (Live)’ – Tift Merritt

The best 30 Day Music Challenge categories are the ones left completely open to the participant’s interpretation. How you interpret the challenge is as meaningful as the song you ultimately pick.

Such is the case with Day 23’s direction to name ‘A Song That You Think Everybody Should Listen To.’ Does that mean a song you find important, so if everybody listened to it the world would somehow become a better place? Or a little-heard song that you feel needs the exposure?

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Song of the Day #3,385: ‘Lose Yourself’ – Eminem

All of you CrossFitters and Orange Theorists, get ready. Day 22 of the 30 Day Music Challenge asks for the name of ‘A Song That Motivates You.’

I immediately thought of this in the context of physical activity because that’s the way I typically see motivational music presented in commercials. But I’m sure we all listen to music to motivate ourselves for other reasons — a big presentation, a test, you name it. Let’s see what my dear readers come up with.

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Song of the Day #3,384: ‘Hannah Hunt (Master Softee Remix)’ – Vampire Weekend

Kicking off Week Five of the 30 Day Music Challenge, our task is to name ‘A Favorite Song With a Person’s Name in the Title.’

This challenge made me laugh, because it reminded me of my wife’s irrational aversion to songs written about (and titled after) specific women. Hall & Oates’ ‘Sara Smile,’ for example, which also makes her shit list for the opening line “baby hair, with a woman’s eyes.” What the hell does baby hair look like on a grown woman?

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Song of the Day #3,382: ‘Burning Love’ – Elvis Presley

Note: Because I posted my Random Weekend Tom Petty SOTD during the week, I’m using this slot for the weekday post that was bumped.

Mother’s Day was months ago, but here’s another chance to honor your mamas, as Day 20 of the 30 Day Music Challenge asks you to name ‘A Song That Reminds You of Your Mom.’

Many artists fit this bill for me, from Frank Sinatra (who, to be fair, reminds me even more of my father) to Traveling Wilburys, Carole King, Carly Simon, George Winston, Paul Simon and Bruce Springsteen.

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Song of the Day #3,380: ‘Rocket Man’ – Elton John

It’s time for everybody to admit their age, as Day 19 of the 30 Day Music Challenge calls for ‘A Song From the Year You Were Born.’

In my case, that’s 1972, and I had quite a list of impressive works to choose from. Some of my favorites include Jackson Browne’s ‘Doctor My Eyes,’ The Rolling Stones’ ‘Tumbling Dice’ (and all of Exile on Main Street, for that matter), the Eagles’ ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling’ (already used in this game), and Al Green’s ‘Let’s Stay Together.’

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Song of the Day #3,379: ‘One Too Many Mornings’ – Johnny Cash & Bob Dylan

Day 17 of the 30 Day Music Challenge calls for a rather strange offering: ‘A Song That Features Your Favorite Artist.’

First of all, this requires me to have a favorite artist, which I think is an impossibility. My favorite artist at any given moment depends on what I’m listening to, my mood and a dozen other factors. Second, what exactly does “features” mean in this context? Is it the same as ‘A Song By Your Favorite Artist,’ in which case why not just say that? Or does my favorite artist have to be featured on somebody else’s track (in the now ubiquitous “feat.” sense)?

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Song of the Day #3,377: ‘Magic (Live)’ – Olivia Newton-John

We’re halfway through the 30 Day Music Challenge as we kick off week four, and Day 16 is a good one: ‘One Of Your Favorite Songs From a Movie.’

As with so many of these categories, this one can be interpreted in several ways. Should I pick a song that appears in a movie but wasn’t originally written for the film? Some of my favorite filmmakers have worked wonders with the “drop the needle” approach of using popular songs as score. Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson, Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese all come to mind among countless others.

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