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If you thought XPN’s Songs That Got Us Through The Year day of special programming was a treat — and indeed it was! — what you heard on the radio yesterday was only the beginning.

All told, we had almost 800 members of the XPN community suggest over 600 songs that helped them find strength in our year of COVID. Combing through the submissions, it was remarkable how little overlap we saw; a little bit later on in this post, we’ll give you the top-ranked songs, but it’s important to note that none of those songs received more than 20 votes, and most of them received fewer than ten.

But “votes” isn’t the correct wording here. This wasn’t a competition where some universally-loved song comes out on top. (Although, fun fact: only one person voted for Bruce Springsteen’s “Thunder Road”! �Ĕ) This was a celebration of community and camaraderie, a group of passionate music lovers making a playlist of songs they turned to for catharsis and comfort in a challenging time — and the full gamut of suggestions spanned generations and genres, everything from Dolly Parton to Dua Lipa.

First, let’s talk about what we heard on the radio yesterday, beginning at 6 a.m. with Kristen Kurtis on the XPN Morning Show and running through 10 p.m. when Helen Leicht and myself hosted an #XPNGotUsThrough edition of XPN Local. With the exception of Happy Rhodes’ “Feed The Fire,” every song played during that timeframe could be found on Spotify, and you can listen back and catch up on anything you missed at our primary #XPNGotUsThrough playlist below.

In addition to those 185 songs heard on the air, there were hundreds more that time constraints made us unable to fit in the mix yesterday. Though this next playlist is not an entirely complete representation of the many suggestions we received — some folks wanted to hear very specific live versions of songs not on Spotify, others requested deep track rarities, or simply songs by artists who don’t have their music on streaming services — it is absolutely full of surprises, from calming classical to show-stopping showtunes, contemporary pop and rock, and beyond. Explore and enjoy our #XPNGotUsThrough – Bonus Songs! playlist below.

Finally, some fun with numbers.

The Most-Requested Songs on #XPNGotUsThrough
10. “This Year” by The Mountain Goats
9. “Crowded Table” by The Highwomen
8. “Colors” by Black Pumas
7. “Better Things” by The Kinks
6. “And It’s Still Allright” by Nathaniel Rateliff
5. “The Good Life” by Devon Gilfillian
4. “Private Lives” by Low Cut Connie
3. “Help Me” by Low Cut Connie
2. “Turntables” by Janelle Monae
1. “A Hero’s Death” by Fontaines DC

Artists With The Most Songs Requested on #XPNGotUsThrough
John Prine – 9 songs
Bruce Springsteen – 8 songs
Phoebe Bridgers – 6 songs
The Beatles – 6 songs
Grateful Dead – 5 songs
Jason Isbell – 5 songs
Mondo Cozmo – 5 songs
The War on Drugs – 5 songs
Bob Marley – 4 songs
Dawes – 4 songs
Dave Matthews Band – 4 songs
Waxahatchee – 4 songs

All told, an amazing day of music and an amazing celebration of the XPN music community. Thank you, from the bottom of our collective hearts, to everybody who participated in #XPNGotUsThrough: we could not do what we do without you.

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