this afternoon, i challenged my students to nominate the best song of the past five years...the reason being that i'm pretty sure it's justin t-lakes' "sexyback." i once got into an argument with a man at a dinner party who posited that "the district sleeps alone" is the best song of the 21st century. the man wasn't to be trusted; he didn't like donald hall. only, later i sort of agreed.
unfortunately, my students are 74 year-olds disguised as kids. while they were born in--wait for it--1992, they love old school music. they still speak of hip-hop in tupac/west biggie/east terminology. they're old school. one even requested a yo yo ma song. you know. the cellist. but just when i thought they were perfect, just when i had opened up the panel to "best song of all time," just when they threw out U2's "bloody sunday" and "come fly with me" and "eleonor rigby" and flaming lips' "the wand," a young woman said:
who is joni mitchell?
who is joni mitchell. i nearly fainted.
anyway, this is a call for submissions. best song of the 21st century. anything KORN doesn't count. just like charles bukowski doesn't count when i say "pick any poet you want."