So I started thinking. "Nightswimming" is a song I enjoy a good bit (in a certain mood, anyway), but it's not what I consider a "perfect" song. (Notice the quotation marks. I cheerfully accept that this is about to be a wildly subjective post.) I have a hard time explaining what makes a "perfect" song for me, but I think I've finally come up with a few criteria. Keep in mind that we're discussing perfection within the context of rock 'n' roll songs - I loves me a good piano nocturne, but that's off-limits for this discussion.
A "perfect" rock 'n' roll song must do the following, according the the Arbitrary Rules of Mockingbird:
- Tell a story. Gotta love the narrative. The more universal, the better, but I'm a sucker for lyrics.
- The story must be told from the perspective of looking backwards with knowledge gained over time.
- Have a "hummable" hook - it's even better if it makes you want to belt out the lyrics.
- Clearly capture a mood, time, season, etc.
- Do the whole thing in under five minutes.
So what should I add to my playlist? Are my criteria just random and wacky? What works for you?