Friday, May 9, 2008

The Soundtrack To My Life.

I was browsing through iTunes and came across a section of ‘Celebrity Playlists.’ Now, except for the fact that I’ve yet to make a blockbuster film, release a platinum album, or be a household name (operative word being YET), what makes these celebrities’ taste in music more important than mine? Nothing. Everyone loves music. So, I love music. The music I love might not all be winning any Grammy Awards or be on any Top 10 lists of any kind, but I love it nonetheless. When I listen to these songs, it’s like peeing your pants (no one gets that warm feeling but you!!!) That being said, whether I’m depressed, excited, about to go out on the town, in the shower, feeling nostalgic, or just driving, there are quite a few songs that elicit emotions.

So, here are a handful of songs that I think are the ‘Soundtrack to My Life’ (and how). Some are classics, some are not. Many of them are ‘guilty pleasures.’ (These are in no specific order…)

1. ‘Top of the World’ by The Dixie Chicks – Love them or hate them, this is one of their best songs ever, and probably my favorite song of all time. It was written by Patti Griffin, who is an amazing singer/songwriter. It’s about a dying man who’s looking back on his life with unbearable regret. Not very uplifting, but extremely poignant. It’s a devastating reminder to truly understand your role in this world and how just being you affects the lives of those around you. Plus, the instrumental music (especially the strings) almost brings me to my knees.

2. ‘Boogie Shoes’ by KC & The Sunshine Band – Whether it’s the background music’s swing or the downright fun theme of the song, I can’t help but smile when I play this. It’s one of those songs you sing to and dance around in your underwear when you’re (hopefully) all by yourself.

3. ‘Anyway’ by Martina McBride – During a VERY difficult time in the Boergers’ lives, this song came to me almost as a how-to manual of how to get through it (and any curve ball life may throw my way). I immediately had this song on repeat and encouraged anyone and everyone to embrace it as I did. When the chips are down and I feel like giving up or feel sorry for myself, this song is the epitome of uplifting. Its message is universally understood. I cry almost every time I hear this song.

4. ‘Candy Man’ by Christina Aguilera – This song makes me feel like I should have been born in the jazz age or that I could swing dance. The recreation of the Andrew Sisters’ ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’ is 3 parts Jazz, 1 part diabetic-sweet pop brilliance. I also appreciate how it sounds squeaky clean, but has razor-sharp (and almost scandalous) lyrics.

5. ‘Walk On’ by U2 – this uplifting anthem is a constant reminder that perseverance coupled with optimism can help you overcome so much. It also reminds me to not live in the past or hold grudges, and always keep my gaze forward (no matter what).

6. ‘The Way You Love Me’ by Faith Hill – Above all other country music stars, Faith hill is my favorite. Of all of her great songs, this remains one of my favorite. It’s musically fun and the lyrics encapsulate the act of falling and being in love and the indescribable bliss one feels when those feelings are reciprocated. ‘I only wish you could see the way you love me’ = priceless

7. ‘B.Y.O.B (Bring Your Own Bombs)’ by System of a Down – this is my angry anthem. It’s absolute hard rock jam with an unstoppable guitar that fuels this political outcry about politicians sitting in a big rotund room making decisions that they are so far removed from. The lead singer’s voice is the best of both worlds. He belts and screams, but at the same time can actually carry a tune with a voice that has an amazing timbre.

8. ‘I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ by The Scissor Sisters – This is a pop-techno-rock group from Europe. Needless to say, they are less than renowned (unfortunately). All that aside, it blows my mind that a song with this title makes me want to do nothing but dance. This is like my 21st Century version of ‘Boogie Shoes.’ This song livens up everything from cleaning my apartment, to doing laundry, to washing dishes.

9. ‘Because of You’ by Kelly Clarkson – this is another depressing song. 1st of all, I think Kelly has an amazing voice. 2nd of all, this is very personal, painful autobiographical song about her parents’ divorce. Being that my parents are redefining the Hallmark Corp. outlook on true love, I have little empathy for this situation. Therefore, I try to sympathize with the pain that is transmitted in this ballad. This is probably my favorite song to belt in the shower. (PS – the remake of this song with Reba McEntire, as a duet, brought this song to a WHOLE new level I didn’t think possible!)

10. ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ by ANYONE – all classic, Christian Christmas songs/hymns aside, this is my favorite Christmas song ever. The lyrics emanate classic movie romance, and (this sounds corny) just makes you feel warm. From the classic Judy Garland version to Sarah McLachlan’s rendition, every version of this song uncovers another facet of its greatness. When I listen, I usually picture the craziness that is fitting my entire family in my parents’ house, and realize that all of the sheer chaos is worth it. ‘Through the years we will all be together, if the fates allow.’ (I pray that is true). It could be the middle of July and I will still be listening to this song.

There are many, many more. But, these are the frontrunners and I will probably still love these songs 20 years from now. What would the soundtrack to your life sound like?!?!

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