Yep, I can already hear the sniggering commencing...
It's the million dollar question and it is unlikely to ever be answered in a conclusive, definitive fashion. Mankind is ever going to agree on what is the greatest song ever written, but that's not going to stop a debate at the Bendigo Writers Festival this weekend on the topic.
Out of all the art-forms, I believe that music is by far the most divisive and the most subjective. In fewer other art-forms does the manifesto "One man's trash is another man's treasure" resonate so profoundly. There is hardly ever likely to be a consensus on the greatest song ever written for generations.
What could you possibly consider as the criteria for establishing a song as the best?
The structure of the song - i.e. two verses and a chorus?
The emotional impact?
The perfect chord structure?
Depth and profundity of the lyrics?
The performance or the interpretation of the song by a number of different performers?
Or a combination of all of these?
Bot only that, there could be many, many songs in the canon of song that tick all the boxes above, but then again they may do so only for some people and not all. As you can see already, it's such a touchy subject that is fraught with problems.
That's not going to stop people nominating their favourite songs for the title. Nor is it going to stop the arguments. And there still won't be a definitive answer to the question.
What songs would you nominate and why? Write a note in the comments.