I have fallen in love several times in my life with songs. I have been known to buy a CD (or more recently to download one) and play the one song that prompted the purchase five or six times in a row. I tend to need to immerse myself in a song like I would a book or a movie and just one play isn't enough for that experience. The first time I heard Stephanie Dosen's song "brave," for example, I sat on the floor and let it flow over me play after play until I was full. More recently it has been Polly Paulusma, James Blunt, Rosie Thomas and Deb Talan. I can play their music until I can feel it in my bones.
I never used to listen to music very much in my house unless I was cleaning. Once I got my driving license I was a mixed-tape QUEEN. I still have the box of tapes in my closet at home and when I am in Canada and alone in my car, they come out. I'll drive along and remember who I was when I was listening to The Indigo Girls and Sarah McLaughlin and Tracy Chapman and the Tragically Hip and the various Canadian bands I loved so fiercely in my youth.
Some time ago I began thinking about the concept of a personal soundtrack. I thought, if they made a movie of my life, what songs would capture the different parts the best? It's not about the songs that I like now, it's about the songs that captured who I was then. (No matter how embarrassing they are!) So for the last few days I have been going through my iTunes files. Due to geography, I haven't got access to everything I once loved, so this is a working list of the 12 songs that are on the Soundtrack for My Life (in chronological order.)
1. Shake your sillies out - Raffi
I lived at a summer camp when I was small - my earliest musical memories are silly camp songs! (And yes, I do have this song in my iTunes library.)
2. The Lion Sleeps Tonight - the Tokens
One side of my extended family used to go camping every single year. During that camping trip we would all sit around the fire and sing fun songs. This is the only one of those songs I have in my files.
3. Pop Goes the World - Men Without Hats
Yes, this is embarrassing, but I won the album when I was on Campus Quiz (t.v. show!) and my friend Robin and I used to listen to this song in the back of the bus in grade school. We even had a dance routine you could do sitting down.
4. If I had $1,000,000 - The Barenaked Ladies
Parties, my friend's band and the BNL coming to do a concert at my high school.
5. Closer to Fine - The Indigo Girls
There can be no other song that more fully symbolizes my time at camp and with camp friends - we sang this a lot. And no list of the songs in my life would be complete without something by the Indigo Girls. I truly love them.
6. Untouchable Face - Ani Difranco
Definitely THE bitterest breakup song ever. She rocks.
7. Wannabe - The Spice Girls
Captures my time with crazy fellow Pioneers - if you dance to the Spice Girls in the parking lot of your work, you like the people you work with!!
8. Wide Open Spaces - The Dixie Chicks
This was the song that helped me go to England the first time.
9. Don't Marry Her - The Beautiful South (the swearing version)
Fun times being a waitress in the UK and doing nothing else but drink in the pub!
10. Life For Rent - Dido
Do I move to the UK again or not? YES.
11. London Rain - Heather Nova
This is a sappy song but it makes me think of Mark and I every single time.
12. Somewhere Over the Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo'
This is just the craziest, happiest song. It's good for who I am right now - following dreams, hoping for the best, waiting for the rest of the movie!
So there you have it. There were songs that I liked more, but these really would be played in those scenes of my life. I may come back to this in the future, but for now that's me. So now I challenge you to create and share your own soundtrack. I am starting a meme (will someone please tell me what that means?!) but I'm challenging everyone. If they made a movie of your life, what would be playing in the background?