Thursday, February 11, 2016

Soundtrack of My Life

My birthday is this month.  I’ve always been a reflector, one that takes stock of life at various points, and this is especially true around New Year’s and my birthday. 

As I think back on the events of this last journey around the sun, as well as events of yesteryears and even “yesterdecades” for that matter, I’ve discovered that so many of my memories have a song is attached. When I recall those memories, they play back in my mind with music in the background, much like a scene from a movie that features a song from the soundtrack.  There are several instances in which it has become impossible for me to think of one (the event or the song) without automatically thinking of the other.

Thus the idea was born - the soundtrack of my life.

I’ve given careful consideration to this list and I chose not include a song from every year of my existence.  The songs that made the list either have a very vivid memory associated or some significant meaning or I just really, really like it.  Some of the songs I explain, some I don’t because the memory is sacred and I wish to preserve that.  Also keep in mind, that a song might fall into a era different from the year it was released.  Remember, each song is associated with a memory and sometimes the event happened after the song was released.  

MY EARLY YEARS (1974-1985)

Burning Love - Elvis Presley
I have some distant, hazy memories of my grandmother, who adored Elvis, dancing around her kitchen while listening to this song on her 8-track.

The Tide is High - Blondie
This song conjures up a visualization of Wanda’s Beauty Shop, where my mom and I went to get out hair cut in the late 1970s.

Cool Night - Paul Davis

Whenever I hear this song, images of my sleepy little hometown in the early 80s flash in my mind.

Celebration - Kool and the Gang

Every time I hear this song, I am instantly transported back to the skating rink in my little hometown.  As a kid, I used to go skating at least once a week.  

The Reflex - Duran Duran
Duran Duran was my first band crush and this is my favorite DD song.

Wake Me Up (Before You Go Go) - Wham! 
My very first childhood best friend hosted the best sleepovers when we were kids.  We played board games, stayed up late to watch “Night Tracks” (an all night program music video program that aired on TBS in the 80s, before MTV became available in my little hometown), and when the weather was nice, we were allowed to sleep in the little camper her parents owned.  I distinctly remember this song playing in her house one morning, presumably on the radio, and her mom singing along with it.

You Give Love A Bad Name - Bon Jovi
I’ve often claimed that this song changed my life.  Yes, I know that is a ridiculously overdramatic claim, but there is some truth to it.  You see, a big part of my identity, whether I want it or not, since I was 13 years old stems from being a Bon Jovi fan.  I have friends from junior high and high school that say that when they hear a Bon Jovi song, even to this day, that they instantly think of me because they remember how consumed and crazy I was about Bon Jovi when we were in school.  Had this song never existed, then a good piece of my identity would be different.

MY TEEN YEARS (1987-1993)

Tell Me - White Lion
When I hear the lyric, “Tell me baby all through the night, that you’ll never let me go…” I remember how I felt as a teenager  - bursting with hormones, dreaming of how it would feel to have a guy whisper those words into my ear.  It was a quintessential "us against the world" anthem.  Yes, I realize that is super corny, but when you are 13 or 14 years old, you are corny.

I’ll Be There For You - Bon Jovi
Memories of the prom, my high school sweetheart, and the electricity of young love.

Into the Night - Benny Mardones
I don't remember this song when it was first released in 1980.  It was re-released in the late 80s and that's how I came to know it.  (For an incredibly good laugh, watch this video, which I had never seen before I composed this entry.)

Because I Love You (The Postman Song) - Stevie B. 
Memories of a rekindled teenage romance.  The first time this guy and I dated, we lived in the same town.  When we reunited, he was on the other side of the globe.  This was before texting, FaceTime, Skype, or email.  Our communication was strictly conducted in brief long distance, overseas phone calls and dozens of letters.  I feel sorry for teens nowadays, for they will never truly know the feeling of anticipation and excitement of receiving love letters via snail mail.

It's So Hard to Say Goodbye - Boy II Men
Memories of graduation.

I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston
As Whitney herself sang, "bittersweet memories..."

MY TWENTIES (1994-2003)

Return of the Mac - Mark Morrison
I’m not much of a dancer and the few times I have danced, I required some liquid courage in my system beforehand.  I loved this song and danced to it every time it would play when my friends and I were out in the bars in the summer of 1997.

Blue on Black - Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Lie to Me - Jonny Lang

Livin’ La Vida Loca - Ricky Martin

Take Me Home, Country Roads - John Denver
I never truly appreciated this song until I moved from my home state of West Virginia.  Over the years, it has come to occupy a very special place in my heart.

It’s My Life - Bon Jovi
Such a great life anthem...

I Could Not Ask for More - Edwin McCain
Memories of when I knew I had found The One.

MY THIRTIES AND BEYOND (2004 - present)

Here Without You - 3 Doors Down

Southern Cross - Jimmy Buffett version
One chilly July evening while on North Stradbroke Island (Australia), I looked up to the night sky and saw the Southern Cross for the first time.  At the moment, I instantly started singing this song.  (No disrespect to Crosby, Stills, and Nash, I just prefer Jimmy's version.)

Mambo No. 5 - Lou Bega
To my knowledge, this is the only song with my name in it.  How in the word could I not include it?   LOL!  Seriously, though.  This song brings back memories of playing "iPod DJ" on a bus trip through New Zealand with a bunch of teenagers.

It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay (Remix) - Whitney Houston
When I completed my one and only half-marathon, this song kept helped push me through the wall I hit around mile 10.  The remix version has such a great beat, I kept hitting replay over and over through mile 13!  I have absolutely no idea what I listened to during that last tenth of a mile to the finish line.  I was just so happy to be at the end, I could've cared less what I was listening to!

Read My Mind - The Killers

Beautiful Day - U2
Memories of Ireland...

September - Daughtry

Yeah - Joe Nichols
Memories of a little road trip with my mom

Make It Rain - Ed Sheeran

It Was a Very Good Year - Frank Sinatra
This song was released long before I was even born.  Although I've heard it throughout my life, I only started to really appreciate it once I hit my 40s.

There you have it, the 30 songs that would be on the soundtrack if my life was a movie.  

Here's my question to you - would you share one song that you would add to the soundtrack of your life in my comments section?  I'm very curious to see what others would choose.  Thanks for stopping by!

Linking up with Kristin @ Stuff, Things, Etc. 

and Joey @ Hodgespodges.


  1. I still adore Into the Night. I did on the re-release and still do now!

    Can you give me your email address? I want to put it in my address book because when I go to email you back on a comment there's no email associated with it.


  2. this is so awesome! i see a lot of songs i know and love here. my mum loved Elvis so i grew up on his music.

    Here Without You is one of my faves.

  3. Of course, I love this post. Of course, I share many songs that I love with you. Of course, the entire paragraph that you wrote about "Bad Name" could be written about me with "She Don't Know Me." I have a post that you'll enjoy:

    I like the idea of telling stories of why a song means something to you. I should do something similar. Hell, I still have a Bon Jovi post that I've been working on a couple of months that I haven't perfected.

    The one song I'd add that is dissimilar to any you have listed, but it is significant to me is "Slide" by the Goo Goo Dolls. After all, I have a lyric from that song tattooed on me. I guess it's pretty significant :)

  4. So many good songs!!! I forgot all about Because I Love You! It reminds me of dancing (with all my friends, rather than boys) at middle school dances. I also forgot about that Edwin McCain song! I still love I'll Be.

  5. I'm loving this list! Some songs I had forgotten and now I'm singing at my desk!

  6. My mom used to sing that Wham! song in the mornings. The Bon Jovi thing is funny; my friends used to think of me any time a Nelly Furtado song came on because I was such a huge fan of hers haha! Return of the Mack- yessss! And Lou Bega- LOL. I think everyone who had their name in that song loved it! Great picks!


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