So, yeah, I stole this from The Gal (something I haven’t done in a while) and it’s actually a harder task than I thought! So, I’ll do it in hunks of fifteen.
In order of how I remember them:
1) Float On – Modest Mouse
This song was out when we found out Lauren’s cancer had come back and it sort of became her theme song. There’s not one time I hear it now that I don’t think of her. The day after she left us, Cousin O’Cool was feeling beyond sad and asked Lauren’s spirit to let her know she was around. When she got into the car, this song was on the radio. She said “Rock on, girlfriend” and to this day, when we hear it, we know it’s La telling us she’s always with us in Spirit. “Don’t worry even if things end up a bit too heavy … And we’ll all float on okay…” – so many bittersweet memories here.
2) Babylon – David Gray
This is probably my most favorite song in all the world. And I don’t even know why. Whether it was the timing of it in my life and what was going on with me, the way he sings “let go your head, let go your heart …”, I have no clue. But this song feels like peace to me. And love.
3) Straight Ahead – David Cook
From his pre-Idol album “Analog Heart”, this one was a huge fan favorite. And when he spontaneously broke into it at the first show I saw him at, I just about lost my mind! I ended up without a voice for a few days from screaming so loud. “Take a minute just to breathe and think of everything you wanted and what you got instead.” This song takes me right to 2008-2009 and my first year of intense Dave-love.
4) Heart of Gold – Neil Young
My dad always called me his “heart of gold” and used to sing this song to me. This will always and forever be a reminder that my dad saw me at soul level. (Neil Young has one of those very distinctive voices and it fits this song perfectly.)
5) And you and I – Yes
Takes me back to 1980ish, just driving my old mustang convertible around Loch Raven with someone whose heart I kept trying to capture (and failed) but we had good times. He liked this kind of music and I liked him so … I liked this song. Even now, it’s really not my style but holds amazing memories for me.
6) Barely Breathing – Duncan Sheik
“Don’t know who I’m kidding, imagining you care” I could listen to this song forever and ever and never get sick of it. It’s part of a tableau of songs from a period in my life that took me to my depths. (Clearly, I resurfaced.)
7) By My Side – Godspell
I saw this play when it came out originally and loved it from the start. It’s such a profound song and one that moves me to this day. I sang these lines to Lauren in my head many times before she passed away, I so didn’t want her to go. (I tried bargaining my life for hers but the Angels told me it didn’t work that way.)
“Where are you going? / Far beyond where the horizon lies / Where the horizon lies
And the land sinks into mellow blueness / Oh please, take me with you”
The night I said goodbye to Lauren before she left us, I said to her: “Go meet your new road” – even though she was in a drug induced haze, I know, with every fiber of my being, that she heard me. And she did go meet that new road her soul had chosen. (Dag, I miss her.)
8) The Closer I get to you – Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway
Oh, I really wanted this to be about me and my sweet high school boyfriend but yeah, no. He had totally moved on from me by then and had come back from college just to go to the prom with me because he promised even though he didn’t want to. Such a pretty song, though.
9) Knocks me off my feet – Stevie Wonder
Same boyfriend, one year earlier – we were sooooo in lurve! He learned the piano parts to this most beautiful song and played them for me and when the band played it at *his* prom, he sang the lines to me “Oh but I love you, I love you, I love you more and more”. (This was before he went to Germany where he met the woman he eventually married. I reveled in being loved like that.)
10) Let it ride – Bachman Turner Overdrive
This song reminds me of being 13 and hanging out at home during the summer. That was also the year The Exorcist came out and the theme song “Tubular Bells” freaked me out like no one’s business. If it even came on the radio, I’d stop what I was doing and run to change the station. For some odd reason, these two songs are linked (not sure why now) and whenever I hear this, I always think of the other song. Weird. I love the guitar in it and always wait for just one particular moment in the song.
11) I can’t make you love me – Bonnie Raitt
Oh, the memories associated with this song. I was 32, so so so madly (and so dysfunctionally) in love with someone I couldn’t have. He bought me the BR cd and this song brings back my feelings for him. The way she sings it is full of longing, heartache and resignation – sums up my feelings for him tenfold. Still one of my favorites to this day.
12) Ghost – The Indigo Girls
“And I feel it like a sickness how this love is killing me / but I’d walk into the fingers of your fire willingly / and dance the edge of sanity / I’ve never been this close / in love with your ghost”
My friend Cindy made me listen to this song one day in a parking lot and said it reminded her of my desperate longing for the guy mentioned above. And it so so did. In fact, this is the song that both he and I remember so clearly as part of our relationship. (Yes, I actually do speak to him from time to time – waves to Hollinger – and don’t think he’d dispute that this song was so much about us at that time in our life.) One of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. Poetic and heartbreaking.
13) I’m a slave for you – Britney Spears
Don’t you *dare* laugh at me for this! (okay, maybe just a little) I am not a fan of Brit-Brit but I just dig this song. It’s more the music than the lyrics – anything that has that kind of rhythmic african tribal beat I sort of love.
14) Sweet thing and Ain’t Nobody – Rufus and Chaka Khan
Songs I sing for no one because I’ve not had a real, real love that fits these although I wished I had. (Love that lives in my head – yeah.) I can wail these two songs with the best of them (in my car, of course. Never, ever in public) and can feel these down to my bones. Great songs, both. “Ain’t nobody / loves me better / makes me happy / makes me feel this way ….”
15) Make Me – MWK
“Make me fall for you, as if I had nothing else to do / Let me hold you true to what I thought I knew” – MWK is the band that Dave played with before American Idol along with his buddies Andy Skib and Neil Tiemann. Andy has a really interesting voice and this song quickly became one of my very favorites. Dave and band have performed this now and again on tour and I know it’s heresy for me to say this but this song truly belongs to Andy. I will always choose Dave’s voice over Andy’s in a contest but no one owns this song like Skibbie. It’s a great big bombastic song to blast on your car radio on a summer day.