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Music to my ears

WORLD 2024 playlist entries are in


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There’s nothing like music to evoke an era, and scores of you wrote to share five songs that take you back to your youth. The idea, you’ll recall, was to create a WORLD 2024 playlist that would unite us across ­generations. Each email was like opening a little gift, and it was so much fun to see the enormous range of eras and genres.

In all, you submitted more than 600 (and counting) songs. Once duplicates were merged, the final tally was more than 450. Sadly, I had to omit a few songs for thematic reasons. I was saddest to leave behind Cab Calloway’s million-selling, jazz-scat, call-and-response number, “Minnie the Moocher.” Despite her big heart, Calloway tells us, Minnie’s red-hot profession was not, shall we say … Biblically compatible.

The oldest song on our playlist is George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” Several sources say Gershwin’s instrumental classic embodies the “zeitgeist of the Jazz Age.” Also among the oldest selections: “All the Things You Are” (Artie Shaw Orchestra), “Sing, Sing, Sing” (Benny Goodman), and multiple Glenn Miller songs, including “Fools Rush In,” “String of Pearls,” and “Pennsylvania 6-5000.”

The song with the most votes (6) was “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon & Garfunkel. (Not what I would’ve thought!) After “Bridge,” the songs with the most votes were “I Want To Hold Your Hand” (the Beatles), “25 or 6 to 4” (Chicago), “Good Vibrations” (the Beach Boys), and “Close to You” (the Carpenters), all with five nods each. I love all those songs, especially the Beach Boys, whose music I recommend any time you need to do some mindless and unpleasant task, such as cleaning out a storage shed, and need to feel better about it. (Who can stay grumpy while listening to “Fun, Fun, Fun”?)

Of course, it wouldn’t be a true WORLD playlist without songs from WORLD staff. Some top staff ­selections: Myrna Brown, co-host of The World and Everything in It: “Boogie Wonderland” (Earth, Wind, & Fire and the Emotions). Rebecca Cochrane, editorial director, God’s WORLD News: “Faithfully” (Journey). Daniel Devine, editor, WORLD Magazine: “God’s Own Fool” (Michael Card).

I laughed when one young staffer told another he was happy to see somebody posting songs that weren’t “geezer” music. By the way, it was our young staffers who contributed the most music from Christian artists. Songs like “4:12” (Switchfoot), “Nothing Is Beyond You” (Rich Mullins), and “Sweet Victory” (Twila Paris).

A big thank-you to our intrepid executive assistant, Jennifer Kuyper (no direct relation to Abraham) for entering 600-plus songs in a spreadsheet. Her next step is to build the playlists for Spotify and Apple, so she could probably use prayer! To get you started, I’ve scoured Jenn’s spreadsheet for a representative sample:

“Heartbreak Hotel” (Elvis Presley). “Runaway” (Del Shannon). “Fly Me to the Moon” (Frank Sinatra). “Satisfaction” (the Rolling Stones). “Blackbird” (the Beatles). “My Generation” (the Who). “Like a Rolling Stone” (Bob Dylan). “For What It’s Worth” (Buffalo Springfield). “A Day in the Life” (the Beatles). “Monday, Monday” (the Mamas and the Papas). “Bad Moon Rising” (Creedence). “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” (Crosby, Stills, & Nash). “Into the Mystic” (Van Morrison).

“Roundabout” (Yes). “Ain’t No Sunshine” (Bill Withers). “Stairway to Heaven” (Led Zeppelin). “Take It Easy” (Eagles). “Shambala” (Three Dog Night). “Fantasy” (Earth, Wind, & Fire). “Blue Bayou” (Linda Ronstadt). “Ain’t That a Shame” (Cheap Trick). “Bohemian Rhapsody” (Queen). “Stayin’ Alive” (the BeeGees). “There Is a Redeemer” (Keith Green). “Walk Like an Egyptian” (the Bangles). “Old Enough To Know” (Michael W. Smith). “Free Fallin’” (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers).

“Because He Lives” (the Gaithers). “Daisy” (Switchfoot). “One” (U2). “Ironic” (Alanis Morrissette). “Jolene” (Dolly Parton). “Ring of Fire” (Johnny Cash). “Chariots of Fire” (Vangelis). “What a Wonderful World” (Louis Armstrong). “Rock With You” (Michael Jackson). “The Thin Ice” (Pink Floyd).

Check back on this page in our next issue for a QR code and web link to take you to our full playlist.


Lynn Vincent

Lynn is executive editor of WORLD Magazine and producer/host of the true crime podcast Lawless. She is the New York Times best-selling author or co-author of a dozen nonfiction books, including Same Kind of Different As Me and Indianapolis. Lynn lives in the mountains east of San Diego, Calif.

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