There’s no purer fan of music than a child. When you’re young, you love music unconditionally. You don’t think about historical context, or a song’s back story, or how the music is derivative of something else, or how not every lyric is really coherent. Take away these considerations and add the youthful exuberance that comes with just discovering music and have the opportunity for someone to develop personal favorites that will transcend time and logic; sentimental favorites tend to stick with you.
When you’re deciding which songs your group should perform, there’s a temptation to aim for something contemporary, and there’s certainly value in doing so. But rarely are you going to find a song that you’re more passionate about putting together, much less singing, than one that exists at the very roots of your love for music. Better yet, if it’s a song you loved in your childhood, there’s a chance it will be a song that connected with your contemporaries in your group, and even similarly-aged members of the audience.
You shouldn’t rely solely upon songs that have been around for years, but when you’re looking for a departure from the norm, and song that can draw a little extra fire from and appeal to your group on an emotional level, don’t be afraid to think simple, and go back to the music you loved as a kid.