I want to pop up a big thank you into left field to Krista for this meme… It was horribly difficult and happily nostalgic. Unlike the 100 lists, where you struggle for the last few items, I found the songs coming to me fast and furious and had to slash and burn about 15 of them at the end. 15 cuts that I will probably regret terribly…
After going through all the songs, I totally want to make out with myself, cheat on myself with some sweaty guy at a bad party after 4 too many California Coolers, and beg myself to come back because I love myself… I’m an idiot for losing the person that knew me the best.
No order. Just songs that have a lot of history. Or none, but I love them dearly. Here goes.
1. Lights – Journey
This song is summer. It’s tearing around San Fran with Steph on a Saturday with the money I stole from my mom with her ATM card (Sorry Mom… I really am still sorry about that). It’s being 16 and free and living dangerously with the person on the planet that knows your own brain and heart inside and out and not even caring that the emergency brake seems to be going out and we aren’t sure where the freeway is and are lost in the fashion district of Frisco at 2am and a strange man just tried to open our car door… because we are young… and gorgeous… and alive.. and together. Naaaah naaah neh naaah nah… nah nah neh naaaaah nah…
2. Save All Your Love – Great White
Someone that I had an ENORMOUS crush on used to acoustically perform this at parties I went to… and used to ask me to sing it with him to the crowd of drunk people. And he wasn’t mine. And I wasn’t his. And there was no possibility that it would ever be anything different – but oh, man… I would sing this song with him and wish…. that he was aiming those words at me. He made excellent guitar faces.
3. Bad Goodbye – Clint Black & Wynonna
My all time favorite duet. “My heart won’t let me put you through… what my mind knows must happen now”… oh, one of the great rubs in life. I don’t love you anymore, but I’d still walk through fire to not hurt you. We’ve all been there.
4. Stupid – Toad the Wet Sprocket
I think it’s no surprise that a song entitled “Stupid” has to be on my personal mix tape. This is also my all time favorite band and I could sing every word of this song in my sleep. It’s a happy, fun, nostalgic stupid and the handful of people who have surprised me with this Toad song in my life will forever have a soft, lovely place in my heart. You know who you are.
5. Look What You’ve Done – Jet
I’m fascinated by songs that sound like one thing and the lyrics say another. This Disney lullaby that says, “Oh, look what you’ve done – you’ve made a fool of everyone”, just kills me.
6. Black River – Amos Lee
Give me a campfire. Give me my deck. Give me Monte and Chris on the guitar and this song. If you haven’t listened to Amos, please do. His voice will transport you.
7. Times Like These – Foo Fighters
You know I love the Foo. The acoustic version is even more poignant – it’s about somehow finding a way to love one another again in a time of division and war and labels and teams. It’s about deciding to stand up and fight or just decide to not even be a part of it. It’s big and small. It’s everyone and also just you and me.
8. Still Lovin’ You – Scorpions
Hello 1989. It’s been a long time. We had a mesmerizing year, didn’t we? I was 18 and for the first time in my life felt truly sexy. I could work my black boots and my black tights and my black skirt and my shirt cut down to there… and I could sway my hips and throw my long hair back and forth across my face to this song and boys…men… would watch. And for the first time, I felt like a woman. Too bad I was such a prude tease good girl.
9. The Blowers Daughter – Damien Rice
Beautiful. A fairy tale to music that you can actually visualize, if you try.
10. Home – Sheryl Crow
A bittersweet song for me as home was always difficult to pin down. We moved all the time growing up. I mostly considered my grandparent’s house my “home” and when they finally sold it in the early 90’s, I was devastated. I always had people that loved me, but longed for “home”.
11. The Rock – Etta James
Everyone thinks of “At Last” the quintessential wedding song when they think of Etta James — but I am a huge fan of hers and I can tell you that most of her songs are not about love and lasting. Her songs are about heartbreak and doing people wrong and being done wrong and picking up all the pieces when your life is shattered. I love this song because it’s about moving on, but moving on strong.
12. Be Mine – David Grey
I don’t remember how it happened, exactly. But this is our song. We danced to it at our wedding and my heart lurches a little bit every time I hear it.
13. The Flame – Cheap Trick
This one is my first love. This one is losing yourself completely in another person. This one is fierce, painful love that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemies.
14. What If – Coldplay
I love Coldplay and still listen to them at least once a week… but what I love about this song is the vulnerability of a cocky, extremely rich and famous person still wondering – loudly, poetically, publicly – what if you decide you don’t want me anymore? What if nothing I could say or do would change that? What if you throw me away? And while I think Gwenyth Paltrow is something of a douche, I love that he loves her enough to still have a least a nugget of worry about how lost he would be without her.
15. To Make You Feel My Love – Garth Brooks
From the “Hope Floats” soundtrack, also recorded by Trisha Yearwood (and don’t even get me started on their love story). It’s my favorite Garth song and one of my favorite movies (if you don’t like it, you can suck it) and I always feel fierce and triumphant when he says “You aint seen nothin’ like me yet”
16. Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
Have you ever been in a bar when this comes on? Or driven in with a carload of girlfriends to Oakland Stadium and heard this performed live to tens of thousands of people? Because whether its 100 people in a bar or 50,000 people in a stadium – when they all raise their voices to sing, “We’re just two lost souls swimmin’ in a fishbowl, year after year” – you have no choice but to feel connected to this world.
17. Black – Pearl Jam
My coming of age song. This is about torn jeans and flannel shirts and the pool hall and that breath of time before I chose my life.
18. Question – Old 97’s
I first heard this song on the TV show “Scrubs” when Turk proposed to Carla. He played this song over a boombox while standing on car and JD ran around the car in circles with sparklers in his hand. It was so romantic, I almost threw up. I then found out that Kory was already a big Old 97’s fan and fell in love with all their music. I secretly harbored the hope that one day I would come out of work and Kory would be on a car with this song playing while Monte ran around the car in circles with sparklers. (His actual proposal was actually even more romantic, involving 12 dozen roses and Christmas lights and surprise parties…but that is another story)
19. A Dream About You – Keri Noble
A song by a woman about how badly she feels about how she ended a relationship with a man that loved her too much, too quickly and how she wished even years later she could apologize for making him cry. I love it because I relate but also because there are so few songs out there about a woman regretting how badly she broke a man’s heart.
20. Blue – The Jayhawks
This song is Cape Cod. This is me in a bubble bath, shy. This is Kory humming along to this song while sitting on a chair next to the tub, but politely facing the other direction while I tried to make those bubbles cover me. This is him passing me slices of mozzarella and olives and crackers and dark chocolate. This is candles and rain and claw foot tubs. This is falling in love.
21. Time and Time Again – Counting Crows
This song is finding a new life.
22. First Day of My Life – Bright Eyes
One of the most romantic songs and the all time most romantic videos. If you haven’t seen it, watch it here. I get teary eyed every time I see the love and loss in this video. I am drawn to watching love in all its forms in this video – and I don’t know why, but the part at end when the woman just strokes the place between her lover’s eyes seems so tender and intimate to me that it just pulls me apart, every time. Yes, this was extremely shmoopy. WHAT? I can be shmoopy sometimes!
23. Seein’ Things For the First Time – Black Crowes
I listened to this song about 47 million times when I divorced my first husband.
24. I Can’t Make You Love Me – Bonnie Raitt
One of the few songs that I really wish I could sing. Like, in a bring-down-the-house kind of way.
25. We’re Going to Be Friends – White Stripes
A great way to end my mix tape – and my favorite song when I saw them live at First Ave.