In the spirit of list making, I give you a mix of songs that can perk me up, make me smile and heal me. It's also a bit of a personal history. I am including my favorite lyric from each one, because as much as it's about the melody, the writer in me loves a good lyric.
Guantanamera/Celia Cruz "Y antes de morir, you quiero cantar mis versos del alma."
This one always reminds me of my dad and all the people I grew up around. They sang it at parties. The first time I heard it after my dad passed away, I cried and cried. Now I can listen to it and think of happier times.
ABC/Jackson Five "Naw! Get up Girl! Show me what you can do!"
A call to action that always gets me moving. The first thing I saw on the giant color TV my dad got for us was the Jackson 5 cartoon. AWESOME.
Boys of Summer/Don Henley "Out on the road today, I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadilllac, a little voice inside my head said don't look back, you can never look back."
It always takes me back to walking to school with Arlene after our Algebra 1 class at the high school. I don't think either of us knew what a Deadhead sticker was at the time.
Never Tear Us Apart/INXS "I told you...that we could fly. Cuz we all have wings, but some of us don't know why."
Junior Prom, 1989. My first little black dress. Jessica McLintock, off the shoulder with a rose where I should have had some cleavage. It was classic...for 1989.
Falling in and out of love:
Barely Breathing/Duncan Sheik "I don't know who I'm kidding, imagining you care"
Beautiful and bittersweet .
Jersey Girl/Tom Waits (or Springsteen) "Cuz down the shore, everything's alright. You and your baby on a Saturday night. Nothing matters in this whole wide world, when you're in a Jersey girl." Right on.
Love Will Never Do Without You/Janet Jackson "If you believe in love, SING!"
Great sentiment, great song, great video. Herb Ritts, you are missed.
Cinnamon Girl/Neil Young "You see your baby loves to dance."
He's right, I do.
Walk On/U2 "And I know it aches, how your heart it breaks, you can only take so much." I listened to this song over and over the summer my dad got sick. It helped. A lot.
Seal/Love's Divine "Love can help me know my name." I was listening to this song one afternoon while cleaning the kitchen and...I just lost it. All the hurt inside me just poured out in chest heaving sobs. I looked like hell afterwards, but I felt so much better.
Anthems that get me through these days:
As Cool as I Am by Dar Williams "I will not be afraid of women" Every word of this song strikes a chord, but that's the best line.
I'm Free/Soup Dragons "Don't be afraid of your freedom!" We must have listened to this one a million times in college. Reminds me of hanging out with my best friends, laughing and dancing. An excellent reminder on the days I feel low.
Freedom '90/George Michael "All we have to see is that I don't belong to you and you don't belong to me." In the last year, I have found it to be even more relevant.
Mama Said Knock You Out/LL Cool J "I'm gonna take this itty bitty world by storm, and I'm just getting warm!" A power track, makes me feel ready to take on the world.
Right Here, Right Now/Jesus Jones "There is no other place I'd wanna be. Right here, right now, watching the world wake up from history." Hell yes.
I could go on and on, but I'm sleepy now. Feel free to chime in with your faves. Consider this an endless mix tape and play on.