The most difficult question of all

Every once in a while, when I meet someone new, they will ask me a question to which I don’t think I’ve ever given a satisfactory answer. The dreaded question is: What kind of music do you like? I usually mumble something along the lines of “The Beatles… Bossa Nova… and… I don’t know, mostly dead people”. I mean, it’s a difficult question to answer, isn’t it? Most people like a lot of different music. The set of music I like happens to contain a lot of disconnected subsets, so it’s particularly difficult to describe the whole set with a finite number of terms. So I’ve decided to dedicate some time to giving a somewhat better answer than I usually give in this post, with the hope that from today on I can just refer people here when they ask. So here’s a youtube playlist and a table. The songs are in no particular order. I did not include songs that I enjoy for something besides the music or the lyrics, e.g. comedic value, they were in a movie that I like, etc.

Edit: It appears that some of the songs don’t show up in the embedded player, probably because of licensing issues. Click here to listen to it directly from youtube.


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Song Title Composer Performer
Libiamo Ne’ Lieti Calici Verdi The Three Tenors
Der Hölle Rache kocht
in meinem Herzen
Mozart Diana Damrau
Près des remparts de Séville Bizet Maria Ewing
1812 ??? Tchaikovsky Gothenburg Symphony
Slavonic Dance No. 8 Dvo?ák Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra
I Dovregubbens hall Grieg Hallé Orchestra
Invierno porteño Piazzola Filarmónica de Montevideo
Por una cabeza Gardel Carlos Gardel
Águas de Março Jobim Tom Jobim & Elis Regina
Agua de Beber Jobim Quarteto em Cy
Izaura Roberti/Martins João Gilberto
Roda Viva Buarque Chico Buarque & MPB-4
Sozinho Veloso Caetano Veloso
Che Trompo Arasa Giménez B. Rojas & J. C. Barreto
India Flores Luis Alberto del Paraná
Alma Guaraní del Paraná Luis Alberto del Paraná
Dos gardenias Carrillo Buena Vista Social Club
La vida es un carnaval Cruz Celia Cruz
Guantanamera Díaz Celia Cruz
Libre Bravo Nino Bravo
Te extraño Manzanero Andrea Bocelli
Les feuilles mortes Kosma/Prévert Yves Montand
Milord Moustaki/Monnot Edith Piaf
Rosa Brel Jacques Brel
As Time Goes By Hupfeld Dooley Wilson
Dream a Little Dream of Me Andre/Schwandt/Kahn Louis Armstrong
Come Fly With Me Van Heusen/Cahn Frank Sinatra
The Sheik of Araby Smith/Wheeler/Snyder Django Reinhardt
My Favorite Things Rodgers John Coltrane
I Got A Woman Charles Ray Charles
Can’t Buy Me Love Lennon/McCartney The Beatles
Eleanor Rigby Lennon/McCartney The Beatles
Come Together Lennon/McCartney The Beatles
Satisfaction Jagger/Richards Rolling Stones
I Wish Wonder Stevie Wonder
Money Waters Pink Floyd
Wish You Were Here Gilmour/Waters Pink Floyd
Tears in Heaven Clapton/Jennings Eric Clapton
Wonderful Tonight Clapton Eric Clapton
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road John/Taupin Elton John
Bennie and the Jets John/Taupin Elton John
Don’t Stop Me Now Mercury Queen
Crazy Little Thing Called Love Mercury Queen
California Dreamin’ Phillips/Phillips The Mamas & the Papas
Fortunate Son Fogerty Creedence Clearwater Revival
Sweet Child o’ Mine Rose/Slash/Stradlin Guns N’ Roses
De música Ligera Cerati De música ligera
For What It’s Worth Stills Buffalo Springfield
People Are Strange The Doors The Doors
My Generation Townshend The Who
Pata Pata Makeba Miriam Makeba
The Internationale Bragg Billy Bragg