December 7 10

Closer to Fine began playing from my iphone in the car on the way home from school. Emily says, “WOAH. What is this song? I am absolutely in love with it.” I hadn’t heard it in years. But, yet, suddenly I am transported back to my early teens to where I discovered an overplayed copy of a tape in my sister’s room. I was likely searching for something mega important, like lipstick, but stumbled upon a tattered old mix tape and popped it in my boom box. I didn’t know it at the time, but my life was forever changed by that song.

“Music, you know, true music, not just rock ‘n’ roll, it chooses you. It lives in your car, or alone, listening to your headphones — you know, with the vast, scenic bridges and angelic choirs in your brain. It is a place apart from the vast, benign lap of America.” - Lester Bangs in Almost Famous.

And it wasn’t the only one. Music has shaped me. Who I am. What I love. Who I love.

First kisses and first dances and first crushes and first loves and first times.

Unforgettable friendships. Unforgettable moments. Unforgettable places. Unforgettable things.

These are a sampling of some of the songs that have completely shaped who I am. Just as the people and places and events surrounding them chose me, Lester Bangs was right, all of these songs chose me as well. I will never be the same for having heard them once, twice, or eight-thousand times.

1. Free to Be You and Me – Marlo Thomas and Friends

2. Maybe – Annie

3. Minuet in G – Bach

4. You Got The Right Stuff – New Kids on the Block

5. Glory of Love – Peter Cetera

6. In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel

7. Happiness is a Warm Gun – The Beatles

8. Closer to Fine – Indigo Girls

9. Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond

10. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana

11. The Space Between – Dave Matthews Band

12. She Talks To Angels – The Black Crowes

13. Tiny Dancer – Elton John

14. Karma Police – Radiohead

15. Call Me Ishmael – Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly

16. Hide and Seek – Imogen Heap

17. Forlorn – Sunna

18. The Shining – Badly Drawn Boy

19. Two-Headed Boy – Neutral Milk Hotel

20. I and Love and You – The Avett Brothers

What songs have shaped you? What songs would show up on the soundtrack of your life?

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  1. Not surprisingly, a few of the ones you listed here (Nirvana, Radiohead) would be on my list, as would:
    Unforgiven – Metallica
    Can’t Buy Me Love – The Beatles
    Pride – U2 (surprised there was no U2 in your list, actually)
    Rearviewmirror – Pearl Jam
    Man on the Moon – REM
    Witness – Screaming Trees
    Walk This Way – Run DMC
    Black Dog – Led Zeppelin
    Price to Pay – Blues Traveler
    Another Horsedreamer’s Blues – Counting Crows

    [Reply]

    Comment by SciFi Dad on December 7, 2010
  2. SciFi Dad – it’s probably because this isn’t a list of my favorite songs…just really important songs in how I became ME. Does that make sense? While I love many U2 songs…when I sat down to think about the songs, there wasn’t one that has changed me.

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    Comment by ali on December 7, 2010
  3. Round Here – Counting Crows
    Lost and Found – Imogen Heap (gives me goosebumps everytime)

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    Comment by Julienne on December 7, 2010
  4. Fabulous list, lady. I understand you better now… good!!
    I think my lit would have to include some Bjork and Frente. Crazy music, crazy times.

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    Comment by Grumble Girl on December 7, 2010
  5. I love this idea! I’m really going to think on it today. Thank you.

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    Comment by Karen on December 7, 2010
  6. That Imogen Heap song is so haunting – I love it.

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    Comment by Avitable on December 7, 2010
  7. I and Love and You is totally OUR song isn’t alimartell?

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    Comment by Jen on December 7, 2010
  8. This is so true! A few of mine would be:

    Far Behind- Candlebox
    Red Water – Rehab
    Everything is Free – Gillian Welch
    Feels so Good – Sonique
    Water Runs Dry- Boys II Men

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    Comment by Erica on December 7, 2010
  9. The Cure… can we say a phase?
    Oh, and Madonna… again, a phase, but a totally different kind. Oh my..

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    Comment by suzanne on December 7, 2010
  10. Music for me is like breathing, I don’t think I could live without it.

    That being said, I am drawing a complete blank on songs. Mostly because I rarely can remember song titles. I could sing them to you though.

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    Comment by Issa on December 7, 2010
  11. - Beth, KISS
    - Wonderful Tonight
    - The entire Achtung Baby release, which I can seriously only listen to when I’m alone.
    - Fools Rush In, any artist, including, but not limited to Corey Hart
    - Hazard, Richard Marx (sigh…I know…)
    - Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
    - Have I Told You Lately

    My entire list seems lame, but gah, some of these stab me in the heart they mean so much to me.

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    Comment by fadkog on December 7, 2010
  12. Jeff Buckley – Last Goodbye.

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    Comment by gorillabuns on December 7, 2010
  13. These Are Days by 10000 Maniacs sent me right off to college and every time I hear it, I think of those wonderful, wonderful years.

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    Comment by alison on December 7, 2010
  14. As cheesy as it is, Strawberry Wine transports me back to riding on a bus in high school with 30 other girls on our way to a football game. I can still hear everyone’s voices singing along every time I hear it.

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    Comment by Lauren on December 8, 2010
  15. Watching The Wheels- John Lennon
    Follow You Follow Me- Genesis
    Drive All Night- Bruce Springsteen
    Girlfriend- Matthew Sweet
    One Headlight- Wallflowers

    [Reply]

    Comment by Liza on December 8, 2010
  16. First of the Month – The Loonies. ALWAYS reminds me of college and my good friends. Every month we would sing that when we had to pay rent. And every now and then, one of my friends will send us all a text on the 1st with the lyrics to the song.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Kristabella on December 8, 2010
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