It makes you catch your breath. That and scents, and while we live in a more fragrance-free world than I ever imagined lately, and growing, I personally don’t have trouble with perfumes and colognes. In fact, the right scent of a Bayberry candle or Shalimar perfume is all it takes to transport me to my Grandma Bella’s house. And if I kept a bottle of that perfume in my house, just to remember, I wouldn’t smell it often. Maybe only one or two times a year – a sort of bittersweet treat to myself – to be transported. To have so many memories bottled up in that.. bottle. Well, it’s as powerful as music, isn’t it?
And I don’t have to tell you that music brings about memories in the most heart-wrenching, knee-bending way, because you probably already know that. And I don’t have to tell you that it’s really hard to narrow it down to 10 songs, isn’t it?
There. I already snuck one in and you didn’t notice, did you? Yay for me for sneaking in more! Now, let’s begin. Finish the Sentence Friday, those absolute linky pioneers, are challenging us to pick out 10 songs/pieces of music that changed us.
1 – “Missing You” – John Waite. It came out the summer my father died so my mom had to hear that over and over and over. You would think we would all hate it, but it’s a piece of him that I carry to this day. Quite literally, I catch my breath.
2 – “Learning to Fly” – Tom Petty. This song goes on every mix tape, cd, digital download, Pandora playlist, whatever. It’s one of my desert island songs. I never saw him sing it live, and it sucks to check an item off your bucket list because you’ll never do it, and not because you’ve done it. When I had the worst broken heart of my life, and it was quite literally chronic (still not over him, the punk), I drove alone to the middle of NOWHERE, Maine and made some heartbreak mixes to play on my way there and back. This was there for me. I always loved it, but after that, I loved it in ways I still can’t say.
3 – “Safe and Sound” – Capital Cities. I would hear it on the radio and think it was too cool for me. Too young. Too pop. Then I realized I was in love with it. I would use it to feel safe and sound when I was photographing my first wedding, and when my grandmother was dying and I knew it was getting close to the end. The lyrics. The melody. And the meaning. YES.
4 – “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” – Eric Clapton. Yes, by Clapton! This was our wedding song. A few weeks ago we were on a date and it came on Cassidy’s Sirius Satellite Radio in the car. It’s not something you just hear, right? I couldn’t believe it.
5 – “Thriller” – Michael Jackson. If you’re a trooper, you’ll watch this video! I won’t. This was my first love, and the first time my heart was gripped by a man and by music. Other than my musical father, of course. Michael Jackson = first love.
6 – “Romeo and Juliet” (LIVE) – Dire Straits. Pick a version. Any version. My friend Sheila put this song on a mix cd for me before I went on the most life-changing trip of my life. It was a Sweet 16 birthday gift and I was on the precipice of.. everything. I listened to that song in many hotel room windows. Eight years later, it was the weekend I met Cassidy at JFK Airport, and we were driving from western Massachusetts to Maine to see moose. We had both made mixes for potential road trips, and we both had the live version on our own mixes. After we had broken up for two years, I thought the song might kill me. It didn’t. Our wedding rings are inscribed with its lyrics. Mine says, “You and Me, Babe.” And his says, “How About It?”
7 – “Cloud on My Tongue” – Tori Amos. This one, like “Learning to Fly”, might be my favorite song in the world. It was on that same road trip and that same mix cd from Sheila. This song brings me to my knees because it reminds me of shedding youthful innocence and finding your own brand of healing magic. I believed in everything after that trip. This song helped.
8 – “Don’t Stop Believing” – Journey. I know, I know. Hear me out, though. I’ve been listening to this song since I was a young kid, and finding my own meaning. I always hear it exactly when I need to hear it. That’s not anything but magic.
9 – “Just Like Heaven” – The Cure. This was the first song, after “Eternal Flame” that I printed out the lyrics to so I could memorize them. I’m historically bad with remembering lyrics. This song overcomes such barriers. The lyrics are pure poetry.
10 – “Round Here” and “Murder of One” – Counting Crows. A tie! I love the way he mixes his words with his music, and all of his lyrics remind me of exactly what I’d write if I were a songwriter. I only know what they mean to me, and it’s lifelong.
This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “10 songs/pieces of music that changed me.” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin: HERE.
What songs would you pick?