Ok, silly me, I was doing more hymns and sacred songs.
There are lots of great secular songs. . .some would argue "Greensleeves’ (which was known in Shakespeare’s times and is mentioned in one of his plays actually). . .
I’ve always been partial to “Sumer is acumin in, ludhe sing cuckoo” (a great Medieval ronde).
And opera. Nessin Dormi, for example, anything from Mozart.
Operetta too: It’s hard not to be nearly breathless at the wit and musicality of Gilbert and Sullivan’s work.
Broadway: Lerner and Lowe, Rogers and Hart, Rogers and Hammerstein.
Gershwin’s "Porgy and Bess’ --not just Summertime, gorgeous as it is, but the swingy “It Ain’t necessarily so”. . .
Cole Porter at his peak. . .
Can’t get into Andrew Lloyd Weber that much but Stephen Sondheim can be quite mysterious and deep.
Gospel and early American music, vocal and instrumental.
Irving Berlin–a prodigy.
Of the pop tunes, the earliest work of Lennon/McCartney I prefer to the more ‘self-absorbed’ and experimental (not to mention drug-addled) later works. . .
Love to play Marvin Hamlishes’ “The Entertainer”. For that matter, ragtime works from the period as well.
Arlo Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land”. . .
Lots of great stuff. . .