“What kind of music do you like?”
I fumbled around for an answer.
I had just arrived on the set of an FSU film production and been introduced to Dalton and Emmy, two of my three “children.” As we were getting to know each other, one of the first questions had to do with music. Dalton is a Britney Spears fan. Emmy likes a lot of things, including the song “Fireflies” by Owl City. I was still drawing a blank. Even with prompts, like, “Well, do you like Celine Dion?”
I have gotten out of touch with a lot of things about myself over the past 14 years of having and raising children. My “deer in the headlights” reaction to such a basic question was, to me, a not-so-gentle nudge in the direction of reacquainting myself with the things that make me happy. (And to being able to have a basic conversation with a new acquaintance.)
My first thought was to pick the top ten songs that I love, and categorize them. It wasn’t quite so easy — it was almost impossible to pare it down to ten (that’s why there are 11). And the categorization was a little messy. But I am more prepared to answer the question next time I am asked, and I enjoyed the exercise of thinking through my musical tastes.
There are 7 “contemporary” songs (for lack of a better word), 4 show tunes, and some “footnotes.”
The seven “contemporary” songs are:
“The Story” by Brandi Carlisle. I hear this song at work a lot over AOL radio. It is a haunting song that compels me to listen, especially the line, “because even when I was flat broke…..you made me feel like a million bucks.” Isn’t that something all of us friends try to do for each other?
“God is Not Sleeping” and “Hope in a Hopeless World” by Phil Roy. I first discovered Phil Roy when listening to XM radio, and I bought the cd containing “God is Not Sleeping” to give to my friend Rose when she was dealing with cancer. He sings, “In the struggles of my life, he’s right there beside me.” “Hope in a Hopeless World” belongs in two categories for me — the contemporary thing and the “mentions New York City and/or evokes a NYC vibe” category. This song is more of a call to action, with lines like, “Churches are full, but the prayers are not heard; Saturday’s child don’t wanna go to Sunday school; Whatever happened to the golden rule; It takes hope in a hopeless world.”
“Feels Like Home” by Chantal Kreviazuk. This song is in several movies, including “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” It is played when the characters are on the East River walkway. I’ll close out this blog with a line from this song.
“The Things We’ve Handed Down” by Mark Cohn. I used an excerpt from this song on Tenley’s birth announcement, so it will always be sentimental. One of the stanzas from this song that I used on her birth announcement was, “Don’t know why you chose us; were you watching from above?; Is there someone there that knows us; Said we’d give you all our love.” I’m sure at 13 she often wonders why she chose us too — at least that’s what she says with all those eye rolls right now!
“If You’re Not the One” by Daniel Bedingfield. This song was the soundtrack to my thought process as I came to grips with a relationship road I didn’t take. One of the lines is, “If you are not mine then why does your heart return my call?”
“The Riddle” by Five for Fighting. I found this song on my perpetual search for lyrics I can use in things like dance recital programs, etc. This song is better for a son than a daughter, but I love the story it tells (even with the grammatical issue of “There’s a reason for the world; You and I.”
The “show tunes” are:
“Slipping Through My Fingers” from Mamma Mia!, which Tenley and I saw together. I used an excerpt from this song in the dance program ad for Tenley’s recital a couple of years ago. It captures that feeling that a mother has as her importance in her daughter’s life wanes in inverse relationship to the daughter’s peers. “Do I really see what’s in her mind? Each time I think I’m close to knowing; She keeps on growing, slipping through my fingers all the time.”
“Long Before I Knew You” from Bells are Ringing, another birth announcement song (for Wayne Kevin). “Long before I knew you I loved you so.”
“You’ll Never Walk Alone” from Carousel. I heard this song when I was in the 9th grade, during a difficult time in my life. I have loved it ever since, especially “Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart, and you’ll never walk alone.”
“For Good” from Wicked. This song makes me think of how happy I am to have had so many interesting, challenging, and loving friends through the years. “Whatever way our stories end, I know you have re-written mine by being my friend.”
Now for the additional notes and then the close:
1) I have begun to enjoy the singer “Sissel.” I referred to her version of “Going Home” in a previous post.
2) Anything by Yes takes me back to the time when Wayne and I were dating.
3) This is a thread throughout the discussion above, but anything that mentions New York City or takes me back to the time I lived there in ’89-’92 gives a song a chance of making it on my list.
4) Things really get eclectic when I start thinking about the types of music I like on my running mixes (such as 3OH!3), and the stuff my kids are listening to that I secretly like (mostly Tenley –Wayne Kevin is a classic rock guy).
Back to “Feels Like Home.” The day I spent on the set with Dalton, Emmy, and the rest of the cast of Water Wings was different than any other day I have ever had. I remarked to a friend in a Facebook exchange shortly after that it is truly a mystery how playing someone else can bring you closer to who you really are.
The song “Feels Like Home” ends with “It feels like I’m all the way back where I belong.” I’m not sure I’m exactly “all the way back where I belong,” but I’m closer, and I appreciate Dalton and Emmy reminding me that my playlist and I should get reacquainted with each other.
I’ll “run” into you next week!
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.