Wednesday, May 29, 2013

May Day 29: Favorite tunes

Today's prompt: Five songs or pieces of music that speak to you or bring back memories.

Music is a huge part of my life. I go to it when I'm stressed, sad, happy, or just in need of a little inspiration. In fact, when I first started this blog, I started a weekly post called Tune in Tuesdays where I featured some of my favorite, most inspirational song lyrics. Maybe I should pick that back up someday?

Anyway, I digress. But yes, I love music. So picking just FIVE meaningful songs was tough, but I think I've got it down. I don't mean for so many of them to be associated (at least in part) with sad things, but those tend to be the ones I hold closest to my heart.

So enjoy....

Goodnight My Angel, Billy Joel
Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) by Billy Joel on Grooveshark
Let me try and give you the short version of a very long story behind this song. Growing up, I was very close to my cousins, especially the kids of my mom's next oldest sister. We were inseperable - basically may as well have been siblings. My cousin Andrew and I are 3 months apart, and when we were 9, Andrew's mom had a baby boy, Collin. I wasn't yet a big sister, so I loved being a pseudo-sister to Collin. When Collin was 18 months old, he was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer. He fought hard, but lost his battle just 10 days after his 3rd birthday. This song became a favorite lullaby of his. We played it for him constantly, and it became a comfort to all of us for many different reasons. When he died, a family friend and amazing singer sang it at his funeral. It will forever give me this intense juxtopsition of grief and comfort at the same time. It's beautiful.
Collin and his mom - both angels watching over us now.

Walking on Broken Glass - Annie Lennox
Walking on Broken Glass by Annie Lennox on Grooveshark
I don't even know why, but this song is a big theme song for one of our closest group of friends. I can't take any credit for it, but somewhere along the way it became the song that everyone loves to rock out to. We request it at every wedding, put it on repeat all weekend when we spend the weekend at a friend's cabin, and play it over and over again at parties. The second the music starts, everyone looks around to find each other, then scrambles to the center of the room or dance floor and goes crazy. It's honestly one of my favorite things to do with our friends. Like I said, I don't even know how it started or what the meaning is, but it's become a tradition. And it will always put a smile on my face because it makes me think of some of my very favorite people and my very favorite times.
Love these people (and it's just a fraction of the people to whom this song is the best!)
Have a Little Faith in Me - John Hiatt
Have A Little Faith In Me by John Hiatt on Grooveshark
When Sean's dad died, his family (along with me, his brother's girlfriend, and the priest) sat in the room at our church's office numbly pouring over readings and songs for what still felt like a surreal event. When it came time to decide what to put on the back cover of the program (a poem, a photo), someone suggested putting the lyrics to one of his dad's favorite songs. We talked for a minute about different song options, and I think it was Sean's middle brother who suggested "Have a Little Faith in Me" by John Hiatt. We looked up the lyrics on our phones, played it aloud, and knew right away that it was perfect. I had heard the song before but it immediately took on a whole new meaning. Later that year, when family friends threw a memorial event for his dad, that song played during an emotional slideshow. The song always made me so sad. Then, a few years later Sean and I were planning our wedding. One night we were sitting at home and Sean put the iPod on our dock and asked if I wanted to practice our First Dance. I remember saying something like, "we haven't decided what we should dance to yet," and he responded with, "I've already picked it. Come here." So I went to him and he pressed play. And this was the song that was playing. Right away I knew that it was perfect. We cried in each other's arms - because we missed his dad, because we wanted him to be there for this special day, and because we knew this song meant just what we wanted to say to each other: that no matter what, we can have faith in each other and it will be ok. It was a special way for us to have his dad especially close to us that day, and to share a song that will always carry so much love for us for so many reasons.

Friends in Low Places - Garth Brooks
Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks on Grooveshark
In high school, this became an anthem for my girlfriends and I. We didn't even listen to the words or understand the meaning - we just liked the music. Since then, it's become a tradition for us to play this song when we're together, much like "Walking on Broken Glass" has become for the group of friends above. It will always make me think of these lovely ladies - the ones who I can be more honest with than anyone else I know. Love these ladies!

I Can Only Imagine - Mercy Me
I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe on Grooveshark
The first time I heard this song was at the funeral for someone I grew up with. He was killed in a terrible accident when we were in college. But I really don't mean for this to be another story about a sad song. This song honestly moves me. It's beautiful - both the piece of music and the idea of reflecting on what it will be like to meet God one day. I know this song won't be for everyone, but it's a favorite of mine.

What are you favorite songs? Can't wait to hear them - literally!


  1. Annie Lennox is my girl.. "Why" is one of my favorite songs in the whole world..

    Granted my heart stopped for you Billy Joel selection and the sweet boy lost.. oh man.

  2. I Can Only Imagine is SUCH a good one. And nice use of literally :)