Another Elvis Song of the Year (2022)

Happy 2023, friends. I know I haven’t posted in a few months, but I’m still out here listening to Elvis Presley sing frequent, energetic, and loud. His music is certainly one of the many blessings of my life.

The Mystery Train will continue to lumber on this year. Look for my re-watch of Elvis Movies to continue. Though extremely time-consuming, I had a lot of fun with those posts last year.

I’ll of course continue to examine Elvis’ music as well – perhaps including at some point a look at the long-awaited Elvis On Tour boxed set, which Sony released digitally at the end of 2022 while delaying the physical release until sometime early this year. After avoiding the related bootleg recordings for decades, I’m holding out for the CD version rather than plunging in with the digital-only version.

There’ll probably be some other posts scattered across the year as well, including topics I haven’t even thought of yet. As for maintaining a proper posting schedule, my only consistency is to be inconsistent. The Mystery Train does not adhere to a timetable, therefore it is never late.

One area where I am relatively consistent, though, is my first post of each year. I like to indulge my analytical side and look at my music listening trends for the previous year.

I have been tracking these numbers annually since 2010 (except, apparently, for 2017, for which I inexplicably have no data). There was a huge change in 2022 in one aspect compared to every previous year. I backed up no new Elvis tracks to my digital collection on iTunes, primarily because I bought no Elvis music in 2022. I continue to have exactly 5,000 Elvis tracks.

Have I finally reached a point where I have all the Elvis I need?

Wellll, I wouldn’t go that far just yet. After all, I have pre-ordered that Elvis On Tour set.

On with the numbers. Drumroll, please.

Out of those 5,000 Elvis tracks, the one I played most often in 2022 across all devices was…

Credit: Vevo’s Elvis Presley channel (YouTube)

…the legendary “Jailhouse Rock” from 1957. It took the prize for my most-played song of the year with 17 plays.

Second place went to another killer track, 1972’s “Burning Love” with 16 plays.

I listened to 2,023 unique Elvis tracks on my devices in 2022 (meaning 2,977 Elvis tracks went unplayed all year). Including duplicate plays, I listened to 5,306 Elvis songs on my devices during the year. That is about 15 Elvis songs a day on average.

Out of 6,638 non-Elvis tracks in my collection, my most played song overall in 2022 was for KING & COUNTRY’s “The Proof Of Your Love” from the album Crave (2012). This recording played 7 times on my various devices, putting it in 50th place.

Credit: For KING & COUNTRY channel (YouTube)

The number of non-Elvis songs in my collection has declined – due to various digital deletions I made in 2022 when I donated the associated physical CDs to a thrift store. I only purchased one new album last year (for KING & COUNTRY’s What Are We Waiting For?), so my music spending was down significantly due to focusing on other financial priorities.

Overall, I listened to 6,692 recordings using my digital devices last year (including duplicate plays). That works out to 18 songs a day. I listened to 3,098 unique tracks during the year.

While a slight increase from 2021’s 17 songs a day, my music listening remains down compared to the 2010s. For instance, in 2019, I listened to 35 songs a day. I expected a more significant increase in 2022, as after 2 years of being fully remote, I returned to working in person a few days a week — and thus, had more car time for music during my commute.

In any event, Elvis dominated my listening in 2022 – leaving room for only about 3 non-Elvis songs a day! My listening is normally not that out of balance, but it was definitely an Elvis year.

Thank you for reading and for indulging me in my analytical diversion.

Jesus answered many prayers for me in 2022, filling my life with blessings. May He do the same for you in 2023.


“God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.”
2 Corinthians 9:8

2021 Songs of the Year

Well, folks, congratulations for making it to 2022!

My traditional first post of each year is an analysis of my music listening trends for the previous year. I know you have been waiting anxiously to learn about these numbers, and there were a few surprises in the 2021 data.

Out of exactly 5,000 Elvis Presley tracks in my digital collection on iTunes, the one I played most often in 2021 across all devices was a shocker…

Credit: Vevo’s Elvis Presley channel (YouTube)

I did not backup the undubbed/unedited version of “Merry Christmas Baby,” as released on Back In Nashville, to iTunes until December 8, 2021, and I stopped playing Christmas music after December 25 – so it was at a huge disadvantage to Elvis tracks that I have been playing all year. However, it still took the prize for my most-played song of the year with 14 plays.

In a tie for second place with 13 plays each were the master versions of “Mystery Train” (1955), which of course inspired the name of my blog, and “Any Day Now” (1969).

The win for the alternate version of “Merry Christmas Baby” is even more remarkable considering the track clocks in at over 8 minutes, whereas “Mystery Train” is about 2 and a half minutes, and “Any Day Now” is about 3 minutes.

This means the alternate “Merry Christmas Baby” played for about 114 minutes total in 2021, while runners-up “Mystery Train” came in at about 33 minutes and “Any Day Now” at 39 minutes for the whole year.

I listened to 3,333 Elvis songs on my devices in 2021 (including duplicates). That is an average of 9 Elvis songs a day. I listened to 1,747 different Elvis tracks during the year.

Out of 6,663 non-Elvis tracks in my collection, my most played song overall in 2021 was Bethel Music’s “It Is Well,” with lead vocals by Kristene DiMarco. Featured on the 2014 album Live At The Civic: You Make Me Brave, this recording played 11 times on my various devices this year.

Credit: Bethel Music channel (YouTube)

My other top-played songs by artists not named Elvis Presley were:

  • Joy” by for KING & COUNTRY, Burn The Ships, 2018, 10 plays.
  • God Only Knows” by for KING & COUNTRY, Burn The Ships, 2018, 9 plays.
  • “Fine Fine Life” by for KING & COUNTRY, Crave, 2011, 9 plays.

Overall, I listened to 6,350 recordings using my digital devices last year (including duplicates). That works out to 17 songs a day. I listened to 3,751 different tracks during the year.

My music listening was way down in 2021 compared to previous years. These numbers are about half of what they were in 2020. I would chalk it up to the ongoing global pandemic (i.e., not having a commute to work greatly reduces my music listening time), but this was also true of 2020. So, I am not sure what is going on in my music listening habits. I know I still love music, though, especially by Elvis!

As we continue to face the surging virus, I pray that you and your family have a 2022 full of health and peace.


“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the Champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”
Hebrews 12:1-2