And this was bloody flipping HARD!
Happy Monday! And what an exciting Monday it is. What's that? How can a Monday be exciting? Well, normally I would say it can't, but today I'm participating in my very first Blogfest and counting down my ten favorite songs of all time. A special thank you goes out to Alex J. Cavanaugh for organizing this event.
I'm sure you can imagine how complicated I found composing such a list. I will not swear my list is perfect - I'm not running out to carve it into cement or get it tattooed on my back. What I will say is I spent a lot of time considering my selections, and each song I've chosen is one that inspires me in some capacity. Some are part of a significant memory; others remind me of a time in my life I occasionally long for. Each ignites an emotional response, whether that be a smile, chills, or tears. And as far as I'm concerned, that's the best evidence of an excellent song.
My list is designed with the following things in mind:
- My eclectic taste
- My strong appreciation for history and culture
- The memory/memories associated with a particular song
- The ability of the song to inspire me
- The meaning of the lyrics
- My attempt to create a list most unlike any other in this Blogfest
10. Silhouettes on the Shade (The Rays, 1957) I love the oldies and I love the Malt Shop era. In fact, when teaching a lesson on the 1950s, I used to turn my classroom into a malt shop - decorations, costumes, music, and ice cream sundaes. The kids sat in "booths" while filling in a "menu." "Servers" came around to take their sundae order and I even conned another teacher into live musical performances. ANYWAY, this is one of my favorites from that era. I love the harmonies and how their voices blend. And I love how the song screams history.
9. Whatever You Imagine (Whitney Houston, from the movie The Pagemaster, 1994) Go ahead, laugh. Are you done yet? Fine, thirty more seconds....I'll wait.....
Seriously, this song captures everything I believe about reading and books - that by selecting the perfect one, your imagination takes you into another world, whether it be one of fantasy, adventure, or horror. I used this movie to kickoff my literacy promotion unit with my students, showing them their is a book out their for everyone, and the characters come to life in your head. Now, this song speaks to me as a writer. I imagine myself as an author, and these lyrics remind me whatever I imagine can become a reality.
8. Viva La Vida (Coldplay, 2008) One of the most successful songs by one of my favorite groups, I'm drawn to this song because of the strong string section and percussion, as well as its message of "Long Live Life." Viva contains numerous historical and Christian references and I've always found Chris Martin to be one of the most brilliant contemporary artists/songwriters.
7. Dream On (Aerosmith, 1973) An awesome power ballad. Just plain awesome. To me, this song is about the hunger to be somebody - to follow the path that will lead us to our dreams, and to continue dreaming until that moment comes true.
6. Let It Be (The Beatles, 1970) A song that reminds me everything is going to be alright. And we all need that at times. The lyrics tell me to release my problems, worries, sorrows, and burdens, and to simply, let them be.
5. Living On A Prayer (Bon Jovi, 1986) Bon Jovi is clearly my favorite rock band. Ever. His greatest hits album is a frequently played album in my car, and I could have included many of his hits on my list today. However, aside from being my favorite, I do feel like I'm living on a prayer these days. Trying to do something I always wanted to do. AND, I believe I'm halfway there. The bulk of my first draft is behind me, and as far as I'm concerned, that's the hardest part. I'm much more of an editing kinda guy.
4. 21 Guns (GreenDay, 2009) I know what I'm fighting for. There are a lot of interpretations, but for me, this song means surrendering yourself to the chaos surrounding you. I've applied that concept to surrendering myself to the situations beyond my control. My guns are down and I'm moving on. It took time to get to this point, but so far, 2011 has been a giant step in the right direction.
3. Hallelujah (Rufus Wainwright, 2006) Do I need to say anything further? The song gives me chills. It ignites feelings of hope, faith, and accomplishment. I'll take that deal.
2. The Boxer (Simon and Garfunkel, 1968) The fighter still remains, and I am a fighter. This song embodies perseverance and overcoming loneliness and poverty. As a writer, I find perseverance to be the key.
1. Lightning Crashes (Live, 1995) Yet again, I could have picked any Live song, so I went with the one that introduced me to my all time favorite band. They've been with me since seventh grade - pulled me through some tough moments in high school, my student teaching experience, my first classroom, and now, take part in my quest for publication. This particular song is beautiful; it symbolizes the transference of life. In the video, one family mourns the loss of a loved one while another welcomes their newest addition. To me, that is an amazing concept; it lends itself to so many further analytical elements, and that's why I love it. I find this group to be unbelievably awesome - the messages they send through their lyrics have touched me deeper than any other musical artist. Their impact has been invaluable.