I was recently "blog-tagged" by my friend 紗繪 to name five favourite non-Chinese songs. It is quite a tall order as I listen to a wide spectrum of music and songs (opera, rock-and-roll, jazz, folk, etc) in different languages (Chinese, English, French, Spanish, Italian, etc). The challenge is to establish a set of selection criteria that I could use to compare and make the selection. I have come up with the following:
* the song has "texture" and "depth";
* the song writer and performance artist are able to stir up a strong and deep emotional response in the listeners;
* the song reminds people of an important moment in space and time, or represents the "state-of-art" in music during a particular era.
Armed with the above criteria, I then reviewed the 365 songs listed in Wikipedia's "Songs of the Century". I made a first cut of about 30, then narrowed them down to five. So, here is my first choice: "American Pie" by Don McLean.