He's got a voice that just gives you a great big hug. That's how I describe the voice of James Taylor. His songs and his voice just calm your nerves after a stressful day. Anything he sings is so, so, so, so good. He is a soft rock icon who has touched the lives of so many people. He's just an all-around amazing rock star. Today, I would like to share with you some of my favorite James Taylor songs in this week's edition of Zach's Top 5 Favorite.

  • 5

    %22Carolina In My Mind%22

    Here's a song back from 1969. And, according to Wikipedia, "Taylor wrote it while overseas recording for The Beatles' label Apple Records, and the song's themes reflect his homesickness at the time." Also, an interesting fact about this song, "Strongly tied to a sense of geographic place, "Carolina in My Mind" has been called an unofficial state anthem for North Carolina. It is also an unofficial song of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, being played at athletic events and pep rallies and sung by the graduating class at every university commencement," according to Wikipedia. This song also made my Top 5 Favorite Songs About States.

  • 4

    %22How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)%22

    Although this is one of his most recognizable songs, it was not written by him. According to Wikipedia, ""How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)" is a 1964 hit song written and produced by the Motown songwriting team of Holland–Dozier–Holland. It was originally recorded by American soul singer Marvin Gaye and became one of his most popular songs." Later on in the '70s, James Taylor covered the song.

  • 3

    %22Fire and Rain%22

    Released in 1970, this song reached "the 227th position on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest songs of all time," according to Wikipedia. Something interesting I learned about this song was the meaning behind it. Again, according to Wikipedia, "In a BBC interview he said the song chronicled his experiences in mental institutions, such as his stay in McLean Hospital in Massachusetts as a senior in high school, and the suicide of a friend. The fire in the song refers to his shock therapy. Rain is the cold showers that follow shock therapy." And, in 2005, he explained what the song was about again. "In 2005, during an interview on NPR, Taylor explained to host Scott Simon that the song was written in three parts: -The first part was indeed about Taylor's friend Suzanne, who died while Taylor was in London working on his first album after being signed to Apple Records. Friends at home, concerned that it might distract Taylor from his big break, kept the tragic news from him, and he only found out six months later. -The second part details Taylor's struggle to overcome drug addiction and depression. -The third part deals with coming to grips with fame and fortune, looking back at the road that got him there. It includes a reference to James Taylor and The Flying Machine, a band he briefly worked with before his big break with Paul McCartney, Peter Asher, and Apple Records," according to Wikipedia.

  • 2

    %22You've Got a Friend%22

    This song was a close second. It's back from 1971. It's just an amazing song.

  • 1

    %22Shower The People%22

    And, in at number one, here's "Shower The People." Not only is this a catchy song that's easy to sing along to, it has a great message. "Shower the people you love with love." It's a simple message that means so much. And, his voice is just amazing.