Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Well, Here It Is. And It's a Bit Rambly.

I've sat down to write this post no less than 5 times, but, man, I've had a hard time committing to this list of favorite songs. Look, I know it's just a silly list on a little blog, but haven't I shared with you how much music means to me? Committing to 5 songs is important to me, and I want to get this right.

Also, I'm quite fickle.

My friend Laura asked me this weekend if this list of songs is going to include music that has changed my life, songs in which I heard deep wisdom or insight that caused me to move forward in a different direction. The answer to that is no. Because, as Laura rightly pointed out, you can recognize those songs but not necessarily like them or even want to hear them again. No, these songs are songs that I can hear 1,000 times and not grow tired of them, songs that have stood the test of time for me, songs that have both lyrics and music that are ageless. Because of this, these songs have indeed touched my life over the years, certainly, but not in the way that Laura is referring to.

There's a scene in Tommy Boy (stay with me, now) where Chris Farley talks about a sale he wanted to make so badly, and he blew it. He makes this (hilarious) comparison to JoJo the idiot circus boy, who loves his new pet so much but doesn't, eh-hem, know how to love it very well, and the pet dies under the weight of his love. That's me with songs. When I find a song that I like, really like, I listen over and over until it...croaks. (Just ask my mom and sister, both of whom must have heard Bleeding Love at least 25 times while I was in Michigan for two weeks last month.) Most songs can't stand up to this kind of love. The "hook" in the song eventually breaks down and gets old, and I move on. Not so with the songs on my list.

All that being said, I've got one more thing to add: this list is not in any kind of order. If I had tried to put them in order from most to least liked, I doubt this post would have ever happened.

Here goes:

1. Least Complicated by Indigo Girls
The Indiglos, hands down, are my favorite band of all time--I have no problem committing to that. I've been to 5 of their concerts, own a half dozen of their albums, and could sing the harmony to at least 20 of their songs in my sleep. The challenge I had with the Indigo Girls was narrowing it down to only one song (my arbitrary rule was that an artist could only have one song on this list). Would it be Closer to Fine, which was the song that introduced me to the band and drew me in with one measure? Or perhaps Power of Two, which played at our wedding? Or Watershed or Love Will Come to You...? All worthy songs, but I settled on Least Complicated because of the simple joy that it brings when I listen. It's as basic as that.

2. 32 Flavors by Ani DiFranco
One verse in this song gets me every time:

And God help you if you are an ugly girl
Course too pretty is also your doom
Cause everyone harbors a secret hatred
For the prettiest girl in the room
And God help you if you are a pheonix
And you dare to rise up from the ash
A thousand eyes will smolder with jealousy
While you are just flying back

And the drums at the end of the song as it is on Canon are... delicious.

3. In Christ Alone by Stewart Townsend and Keith Getty
This song speaks my faith in a beautiful yet succinct way, telling the story of Jesus while never forgetting the why of what He did -- because of pure, uncompromising, never ending love for me.

4. In da Club by 50 Cent
Just kidding. Though those of you at the retreat this weekend could testify that I do indeed like that song way more than it deserves.

Real #4. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For by U2
It's U2; It's Joshua Tree... I think that's enough explanation.

5. Kingdom Comes by Sara Groves
I enjoy the majority of Sara Groves' music. She sings of life and relationships and faith in a way that is very much aligned with my own understanding of such things. Her voice is unique and engaging, and her music is simple, not overdone. Kingdom Comes is special because of the topic; it addresses how faith comes down to every day life -- what it looks like when the rubber hits the road. I understand how difficult that is, and the song inspires me.

Well, there it is. I wouldn't mind a bit if you all shared some of your favorites...
(I reserve the right to make editions as the mood strikes)


Laura said...

i can't even tell you the thrill i got when i clicked to your blog and realized that you had posted your list.

and it's quite a list, lady, it's quite a list. (does that sound patronizing? it's not supposed to)

i love it.

and i would post my own list, but you already know some of the shameful music that has changed my life. and the music that i don't get sick of would take a long time to decide. (hence the cds)

fig said...

Nice list but how could you forget "Fred Bear" by the Nugent.

MiniMe Mom said...

I have to show my age and agree with U2. Love that song.

Bleeding Love was the only selection on my play list after the American Idol show. Now I think I am over it. Funny.

Marc said...

Glad to see some U2 on the list, although I still consider the post-Achtung Baby U2 to be better. I'd throw "Mysterious Ways," "Daddy's Gonna Pay for Your Crashed Car," or the live version of "Mofo" on my list, probably.