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Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Soundtrack Of My Life

I love music and it has always been a huge part of my life. I believe everything is better with music. I have over 6000 songs on my iPod and an "Essential" playlist with over 100 of my "favorites". They are from all different genres, some are fast, some are slow, some have no lyrics at all, they make me want to dance or cry, several remind me of simpler times when I was young and carefree, but all have special meaning to me of a particular time and place in my life and without a doubt every one makes me smile.

When Lucas was almost five months old he accompanied me on a road trip to Arizona and I played the entire playlist for him and shared the significance of each song. He slept though most of it, but I didn't take it personally. Since then he has heard those songs and many others over and over. I hope he grows up to enjoy music as much as I do.

When I think about The Soundtrack Of My Life, I think about losing my virginity to Prince's Sign 'O' The Times and dancing my first slow dance to Drive by The Cars and the fact that Fade Into You by Mazzy Star was playing when I got into my first car accident, and anytime I hear anything by The Grateful Dead, I will remember my first true love and Morning Dance by Spyro Gyro will always make me miss my dad.

But, there are 10 tunes that I'll never grow tired of and also represent my life in very big was (in order of their release dates):

1. Different Drum (1970) by Linda Ronstadt And The Stone Poneys

Yes, and I ain't saying you ain't pretty
All I'm saying is I'm not ready
For any person place or thing
To try and pull the reins in on me

I have always loved this song and it’s carefree, Miss Independent, you can’t tie me down message. I chose it for three reasons:
1) Ronstadt and I share our beginnings in Tucson, AZ.
2) While attending the University of Arizona I worked at Pier One Imports and actually helped Ms. Ronstadt when she came into the store one day.
3) My mother’s love of folk music - she couldn't carry a tune to save her life, but I sang along to The Mamas and the Papas, The Carpenters and Carol King growing up.

2. Pictures of You (1989) by The Cure

If only I'd thought of the right words
I could have held on to your heart
If only I'd thought of the right words
I wouldn't be breaking apart
All my pictures of you

I love 80’s music…Duran Duran, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Culture Club, New Order and of course, The Cure. Gorgeous and haunting lyrics, enough said!

3. How You’ve Grown (1992) by 10,000 Maniacs

"My, how you've grown."
I remember that phrase from my childhood days too.
"Just wait and see."
I remember those words and how they chided me,
when patient was the hardest thing to be.
Because we can't make up for the time that we've
lost, I must let these memories provide.
No little girl can stop her world to wait for me.

This song always remind me of the almost 12 years between my younger sister and I. I feel as though my parents and I always tried to make her older than she was and then we’d end up getting frustrated with her for being what she was…younger.

4. Waiting in Vain (1995) by Annie Lennox

It's been three years since I'm knocking on your door

And I still can knock some more
Ooh, boy, ooh, boy, is it crazy? Look, I wanna know now
For I to knock some more

I love the Bob Marley version of this song too, but this one stands out to me more because it’s sung by the incredible Annie Lennox; it just doesn't get any better!

5. We Danced Anyway (1996) by Deana Carter

Well they say you can't go back

But baby I don't believe that
Come along with me, come on and dance with me

I love how country songs tell a story, but this song is just sweet and fun.

6. The Space Between (2001) by The Dave Matthews Band

These fickle fuddled words confuse me
Like will it rain today
We waste the hours with talking, talking
These twisted games we're playing

We're strange allies
With warring hearts
What a wild eyed beast you be

The space between
The wicked lies we tell and hope to keep safe from the pain

Anyone who knows me (Natalie!) knows I am CRAZY about Dave Matthews and it is very hard to just pick one song from their discography because I honestly love all of them. This song got a lot of airplay, but for me it’s the unmistakable tongue twisting lyrics and message of hope that keep me coming back for more.

7. Break Me (2001) by Jewel

Feels like being underwater
Now that I've let go
And lost control
Water kisses fill my mouth
Water fills my soul

This song stops me in my tracks every time I hear it. I love how vulnerable, fragile and downright raw the lyrics are. It reminds me of me in the beginning of any relationship I have ever had. It takes a lot of guts to put your true self out there, but it has been worth it every time.

8. Someone Like You (2001) Van Morrison

I've been all around the world

Marching to the beat of a different
But just lately I have
The best is yet to come

I helped my dad search high and low for this song because he loved it and we finally found it on the soundtrack of the same title. Cheesy movie but a classic song.

9. Starry-Eyed Surprise (2002) by Paul Oakenfold featuring Crazy Town

Once again I found myself with my friends
Dancin' the night away it's like the party never ends
Then again we don't want it to stop cause
Tonight's the night it goes sweat box, laser beams, flashin' lights

This is my “power song” for whenever I need that extra boost to go a little bit further on the treadmill. It never fails!

10. The Book of Love (2004) by Peter Gabriel

The book of love is long and boring

And written very long ago
It's full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes
And things we're all too young to know

Simple melody and witty lyrics; Peter Gabriel sings with a frailty and poignancy no one else could manage. Beautiful song!

And for good measure:

11. Far Away (2005) by Nickelback

'Cause I needed, I need to hear you say that I love you (That I love you)
I have loved you all along
And I forgive you (And I forgive you) for being away for far too long

This song occupies a very special place in my heart and I can't get through it without crying, especially when I hear the line below. It makes me think of my parents who have been gone for far too long and are very much missed every single day.

This was an incredible writing experience and I enjoyed walking down memory lane and really thinking about why I chose each and every one of the songs above. Thank you, Mama Kat for the topic. Incidentally, I made a play list of just these songs and listened to it while I wrote this, reaffirming my selections.

The best is yet to be.

I wrote this post for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop - Prompt #1: Soundtrack of your life - Pick 10 songs that you would have on a soundtrack for your life, pick a line from each that you most identify with and write a short statement of why this song made it.

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Blogger KLZ said...

Aw, so pretty. I'm shocked to say I only know two of those songs. But in my defense, one of those two is The Cure. So, I still earn cool points, right? Have to go check the rest out on YouTube.

June 10, 2010 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

I love The Cure!! All of it!

I didn't know where the best is yet to be came from...I love that it came from Van Morrison. Me and my mom share a Van Morrison song, too - Into the Mystic.

I LOVE how music is a reminder of so many memories - when you hear a song, it can take you right back to somewhere...good or bad.

June 10, 2010 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Great list! It's amazing how we get transported by song. I'm actually compiling my list right now.

And Far Away? Gets me every time.

June 11, 2010 at 6:35 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

This is a wonderful list and I love all these songs too! I love that we share this great passion for music. I still need to write my post for last week's Mama Kat... Can it be a little late?

June 13, 2010 at 8:59 AM  

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