After riding the real life roller coaster that is the music industry for the past couple of years, I think I have finally come upon the core reason I have dedicated so much of my life to making music: music single handedly and consistently teaches me how to make sense of my life; it constantly helps me sense of my feelings and my experiences; it expands my joy and resonates with my sorrow. Music makes me feel less alone.
For this reason, I am starting a playlist of the songs that have impacted me most and I’m going to tell you why. I’m sure this list will grow. I’ve just started and I know I’m already missing some important ones… but here goes nothing!
"Love Song" - Sara Bareilles
I’ve actually recently rediscovered this song. I love it’s subtle message of women’s empowerment. I’ve heard that this song wasn’t even written about love. It was a response to her record label’s request that she write more love songs.
"America" – Simon and Garfunkel
The opening line “Let us be lovers we’ll marry our fortunes together” is the simplest, most beautiful description of love I’ve maybe ever heard.
"Don’t Stop Me Now" – Queen
This song makes me feel free and alive and unstoppable. I stumbled upon “Queen’s Greatest Hits” during a particularly dark moment in my late teens. This song alone gave me hope.
"Here Comes the Sun" – The Beatles
I got my love of music from my family. This is one of the songs that reminds me of my dad and the very first song we ever played together. (He is a non-professional, very talented and self taught guitar player.) Also this is one of my go to songs when I need a shift in perspective. It simply reminds us “it’s alright.”
“Eye of the Tiger” - Survivor
This is my ultimate pump up song. Sometimes you just want to feel like Rocky running up those stairs. This song will bring you there.
“Long Way Around” - Dixie Chicks
This is a new favorite of mine. I feel like I’ve taken the long way in a lot of ways in my life and the path has been beautiful albeit non traditional. I love that there’s a song that celebrates this.
“The Road Home” - Heart
Maybe my favorite lyric of all time: “If you find the words won’t come, just you stand and sing.”
“Go the Distance”- Michael Bolton
Finding my voice as a person and as an artist took a very long time. I very often felt like an outsider in my own life and growing up, I SO identified with the search for belonging that this song talks about. It was also one of my first ever audition songs.
“Hands Clean” - Alanis Morisette
Jagged Little Pill changed my life. It was the first album I bought on my own, not because my friends liked it but because I did. I was hooked on the raw emotion. This song is not from that album, but it is my current favorite old school Alanis, so it’s on the list!
“Hide and Seek” - Imogen Heap
This song helped me learn to feel my feelings. I dare you to listen to this and not have an emotional reaction.
“Big Love” - Fleetwood Mac (live version)
The guitar part of this song tells a complete story. It is just so masterful and emotional and raw. I’ve felt all my feelings many a time listening to this one.
“Goodbye To You” - Scandal
This song helped me find my power. It taught me about strength and resilience both sonically and also lyrically. If someone isn’t good for you, say goodbye.
TO BE CONTINUED….
P.S. What are the songs you can’t live without? What are the songs that have changed your life? Let’s compare lists ☺