|I listen to music basically always.|
I've tried to group songs by Artists since so many of my emotions are tied to Artists as a whole with certain stand-out songs carrying even a heavier emotional tie. I'm going to attempt keeping it to just a couple songs per artist so as not to overwhelm you, we'll see how that goes.
Ani Difranco- My relationship with Ani started in 1998 and has been a constant in my life ever since. I've heard people say that she's angry or bitter, but I whole-heartedly disagree. Yes, I use some of her songs when I'm feeling pissed off or wronged but I also use them to feel like a valuable woman with all the strength I need already inside of me.
Untouchable Face- The first time I heard this song was at the University of Puget Sound in the car with Greta before starting camp as a UDA instructor. The first song of Ani's that I'd heard was Amazing Grace but I fell in love with her during Untouchable Face. It is basically my go-to song when I'm angry and would like to give a verbal throat punch to someone (even if it's just in my mind).
Joyful Girl- I have used this song so many times over the years if I'm feeling down and need a reminder that little things matter and that things get better. It's one of the songs that I use as a replacement for someone holding and rocking me, telling me it's all going to be okay.
Tori Amos- If you've met me and have spent more than 10 minutes in my company I have probably found a way to reference Tori in some way, I worship her (not literally, but "love" didn't seem to carry the right amount of weight). Sometimes I have no idea what her lyrics mean but for me that's part of the beauty because I can fit them inside me and make them be what I need them to be.
Baker Baker- This song instantly calms me. Because I fell in love with this song outside of a break-up I can listen to it at anytime to soothe my nerves. But it's also been in heavy rotation after a few break-ups accompanied with silent tears and the sound of my shakey voice. I've sung this song softly into the ears of more than a few babies urging them to fall asleep, it's never failed.
Jackie's Strength- I can not have a Tori Amos list without this song. It's the first one I ever heard. I was sitting in the backseat of my sister's car as we were pulling away from her apartment building. She later gave me this CD and an obsession was born.
Over the Rhine- I can remember with distinct accuracy where I was when I first heard OtR, I was sitting with Rachael on her bed, in her and Rob's apartment in Seattle. We were sharing a set of headphones listing to...wait for it....a walkman. It was love at first listen and one of my only regrets is that I have never seen them live with her, and although I've seen them three times it is a dream of mine to share a live experience with her.
Bothered- The first song of theirs I heard, and it was love at first listen. This is another song that holds and rocks me.
Born- I wish I could put you in my heart when I listen to this song, it's probably the only way you'd ever understand what it does to me. It usually always makes me tear up, but it also gives me hope and gives me comfort in the fact that who I am is pretty amazing.
Okay, so those artists up there? Those are my favorites, my loves, the ones who - should anyone speak negatively of - will cause me to kick some ass and throw punches. Now we'll move on to some randoms and possibly funny ones. Starting with:
I am a Child of God- Yep, a children's hymn from when I went to church. I sing this song to myself ALL the time to calm down especially in the middle of the night when I wake up from a scary dream. There is no other song that can bring my heart rate back to normal faster than this one.
Walk Like an Egyptian- When I was younger we weren't really supposed to listen to the radio, but Kareen and I would sneak it anyhow and our favorite song was Walk like an Egyptian. We would sing along (I'm not sure what words we were saying since I'm pretty sure I still have no idea what the lyrics are) and choreograph dances, which I'm sure were super amazing. This song always puts me back in our basement bedroom in front of our double sliding mirrors.
Reba McEntire, Fancy- The first CD I ever bought was by Reba, except I told my mom that my friend Andrea had given it to me because I didn't want her to know I'd spent my money. All of her songs take me right back to High School, and give me a youthful feeling. I can remember singing this song and feeling a little naughty and tough.
Dave Matthew's Band, #41- For a long time I had a hard time listening to Dave Matthews Band, most of the songs and even the sound of his voice reminded me of my first love and I couldn't get past it. This song in particular, at one point he'd written out the lyrics and given them to me (see? a boy after my same heart), I still have them somewhere in a notebook. I can listen to Dave now without problem, but this song is a different story but it's not because it makes me sad. No, it makes me happy and makes me glad that my first love was such a good one. Even if it did maybe ruin me for anyone else.
Beautiful Liar- This song always makes me smile because it reminds me of Stephanie and the photo-shoot we did in the stairway at the dorms. She was Beyonce and I was Shakira, and we were awesome at being them.
Fidelity- This song makes me feel like I'm walking around in Portland again, a skip in my step surrounded by trees and things that are green. It's always springtime with this song and there is always a smile on my face.
Bulletproof- I'll never get sick of this song. I taught to it at Vega and then I taught it to the Rosebuds and both experiences were wonderful and made me feel valued and good at what I do. And even though I taught it at Vega first it instantly takes me back to the Group-X room in Bally's with the wonderful group of women that I danced with and that always builds me up.
Jem (whole album but linked to They)- When this album first came out I used it to warm up my class for week after week after week. I can't listen to it without being taken right back there, it was winter time so it always reminds me of the cold and the dark and I wish I could get past those feelings because I really like the songs but they feel like winter to me.
Circle in the Sand- This is a weird one because I feel like the memory doesn't, or shouldn't, belong to me. Every summer we would take a vacation with our family friends and my older sister's friend was singing this song one day on the beach and drawing out circles and hearts in the sand. I was off to the side pretending like I wasn't eavesdropping but I so wanted to go over there, sing the words and draw shapes in the sand with them.
There are so many more that I could put on here and probably later tonight or tomorrow or weeks from now I'm going to think of a perfect example with a great story and wish I'd put it on this list but for now this is going to be it. I need to get myself ready to go babysit some adorable girls tonight, which needs to include changing out of the clothes I'm wearing- I biked for 16 miles in them today. Try not to be grossed out that I didn't immediately shower and change.