Whether consciously or subconsciously, I think everyone has a soundtrack of songs that could define their life time if recorded and played. These songs never leave us and when we hear them, our lives in that particular moment come alive again…the feelings and emotions. Without music, many moments of our individual histories would likely lie unremembered. Though now, I do not have many moments to listen to music, when I do, I always crave the tried and true favorites!
My soundtrack begins in and around 1988 when I was 6 years old and music began having a memorable place in my life.
The childhood/adolescent years…
Track 1: “Locomotion,” Kylie Minogue. My older sister Maryanne introduced us all to the Australian singing sensation early on in her career when she was still acting in the hit T.V. soap Neighbors. I still remember singing along to Minogue’s boppy pop tunes thinking this was the coolest music on earth. I wanted to look and sound just like her! Listen here and laugh!
Track 2: “Chariots of Fire theme,” Vangelis. What can I say about this song? It and the movie it was in changed my life. From childhood onward it had an indelible impact and was the reason I went out for my first run at 12, a move that sparked a passion for years to come. Eric Liddell is a spiritual hero of mine and this song seems to capture the short yet well run race that was his life. Listen here.
Track 3: “Fare Thee Well Love,” The Rankin Family. Canadians may remember well this folk band of 5 siblings from Nova Scotia. Their music and lyrics were like poetry. With a lead singer named Cookie, how could they go wrong?:)
Track 4: “500 Miles,” The Proclaimers. It was the early 90s. My parents liked The Proclaimers and they became a household staple. Wherever our family mini van took us, the odds were big that the music of these twin brothers from Scotland was blasting! “And if I haver yeah I know I’m gonna be I’m gonna be the man who’s havering to you.” Anyone else wonder what haver meant? I did. Apparently it means talking.
Track 5: “Trust in the Lord,” Judy Rogers. This woman had an undeniable impact on my life and my faith in my adolescent years. Without her music, I would not have memorized any scripture and I would not have cared for the Westminster Catechism. Thanks goes to my parents for seeking out godly influences for us whenever and wherever they could!
Track 6: “How I Love You,” Keith Green. I may not love Keith Green for his musical sense but his lyrics? Nothing like them anywhere! 100% conviction. 200% passion. He was “bananas for Jesus!”
Track 7: “Unchained Melody,” “My Girl,” “Stand By Me,” etc. The music that defined my mother’s generation also had a powerful impact on my life as an adolescent. I loved (and still love:) being with my mom. I didn’t see her has someone to escape from. She and I would listen to oldies together and I’d sing along to my favorites. Listen to “Stand By Me” here.
The teenage years…
Track 8: “Slide,” Goo Goo Dolls. When it came to current, secular music, I was totally, undeniably CLUELESS until grade 9. Up until then, I associated “No Doubt” with the album from Christian band Petra. Who was Gwen Stefani anyways?! And then, the Goo Goo Dolls came into my life. From “Slide” to “Name,” to “Black Balloon,” I became a fan. For the first time, I was embarking on the process of really defining my musical tastes.
Track 9: “Bittersweet Symphony,” The Verve. For some reason, this song is synonymous with high school. The repetitive tune got under your skin and stayed there. The most memorable line: “Got to make ends meet, gotta find some money then you die.” Fortunately with God, there is more to life than this but with out Him, they have it about right! Listen here.
Track 10: “Everybody Hurts,” R.E.M. Here is where teenage angst hit the scene in my life. I was 17 and feeling disillusioned. Automatic To The People was the first cd I ever bought…and the first and only I ever broke into several pieces because Everybody Hurts was making me too depressed! I knew I had to stop listening to that song!
Track 11: “With or Without You,” U2. They became like a religion to me. I loved and still love this song, this band. I don’t think anyone hates them though some may dislike Bono’s transition to supposed savior of the world status in recent years. Regardless though, With or Without You is a classic. Joshua Tree is genius. Listen here.
Track 12: “All the Small Things,” Blink 182. Whether you liked them or not, this song seemed to define the music of 1999. It carried a sense of anxious curiosity for the new millennium to come and though I didn’t like them then, I must say Rick’s appreciation for them got the better of me! Say it ain’t so!
Track 13: “Wherever You Will Go,” The Calling. It was 2002 and I was set to embark on a 3 month stay at L’abri Christian fellowship in Switzerland. I would be going alone on this adventure. Somehow, this song seemed to speak to me as I thought about God’s presence in my life…”Way up high or down low, I’ll go wherever you will go.” It seemed to play whenever I turned on the car, as if God was assuring me He wa
s with me and that I would go wherever He wanted me to go.
Track 14: “Please Forgive Me,” David Gray. As a hopeless romantic, this song seemed to me to be one of the most fervent love songs I had ever heard. I mean, what girl wouldn’t melt if I guy said to them, “Please forgive me if I act a little strange, for I know not what I do. Feels like lightening going through my veins, every time I look at you.” Melt, melt! Listen here and melt!
Track 15: “Maybe Tomorrow,” Nouveaux. Before meeting Rick, this song was a comfort, a solace in times of wondering when the right guy would come along. God made me realize through this song that I could pray for my future spouse even before meeting them…and they might be praying for me as well! How wonderful and awesome a thought for those still waiting! “I said a prayer for you today, may troubles be far away. And I’ll be here on bended knee until the day you say you’ll marry me.” Listen here.
Track 16: “Yellow,” Cold Play. When this song was popular, I loathed it. After it lost some recognition though, it grew on me like so many other songs from this band! And the best lyrics? “For you I’d bleed myself dry.” Now that’s sacrifice!:)
The adult years (should I be listening to classical now?:)
[Rick has had an undeniable influence on my taste in the last 5 years and fortunately we have the same tastes...]
Track 17: “The Adventure Final,” Angels and Airwaves. A long build up leaves you in suspense of this song. It’s catchy. Listen here.
Track 18: “Like An Angel,” Josh Zandman. While dating, Rick introduced me to this song as an expression of his feelings towards me. A beautiful song, an unforgettable memory of first hearing it, one lucky girl! “Suddenly I was fading away from the scene, like an angel suddenly you keep me warm outside in the rain. Just like an angel…”
Track 19: “Time,” Chantel Kreviazuk. Songs expressing the quick passage of time are always powerful and this one by Canadian singer/songwriter Chantel Kreviazuk is no different! I thank my cousin Katy for first introducing me to her music through a mix tape she once made me. Listen here.
Track 20: “Every Little Thing She Does,” The Police.
Track 21: “Desire,” Ryan Adams. No, not Brian Adams. Ryan is his name! Apparently this moody singer/songwriter has beat up fans who have jokingly referred to him as Brian. He may have some good music but watch out cause apparently he’s not very nice!
Track 22: “Oh Lord Your Love,” Caedmon’s Call. Need a reminder of God’s constant love and faithfulness even in all our unworthiness? This is your song! Listen here.
Track 23: ?
There you have it! A blend of Christian and secular artists…so many more songs could be mentioned but these are the tops, the favorites. This leads me to ask you, dear reader: what song or songs have been influential in your life?