I’ve written about my “addiction” to music before.
I am prone to have a song, or an artist, “on repeat.” Looking back at my Facebook posts during 2016, I shared links to youtubes of 19 songs that I had listened to over-and-over-and-over-again during the year.
Some of them were by artists that I was going to see soon, or who I had seen recently. Some were songs that I have been listening to for years. Some were from my “desert island” artists: Jackson Browne, Dylan, The Boss, Neil Young, The Rainmakers. There was quite a bit of variety, but it always came back to lyrics.
In addition to being compulsive about listening to music, I read a lot. Not books so much anymore. I subscribe to lots of magazines and probably spend too much time online reading a variety of things.
One of the best things I read during 2016 was a piece called “My life in six songs.”
Well, I’m not gonna even try that exercise….but if I could audit Natalie’s MTHP 200 Psychology of Music course I think it would be a blast!!
What I am gonna do is pick the six songs from my 2016 Facebook “on repeat” posts whose lyrics have been played the most in the apartment, in the car and in my head.
It’s easy to pick the first of the six. Here’s what I wrote on July 18, a couple of weeks after I saw them at the Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland on July 1: “I didn’t run to the city in 2011, but the first few lines describe how I was feeling back then: ‘…I was running from the past, My heart was bleeding, And it hurt my bones to laugh…’ ”
I continue to be mesmerized by the tune, whether I’m watching a video of Derek Trucks making the slide guitar sing and cry or listening to Susan Tedeschi belt it out.
We will be seeing them at The Ryman on March 2. It will be awesome….
The second song has got to be this one by the Bottle Rockets. We saw them twice in 2016; the first time at a house concert on August 26.
I detest the stars&bars; I LOVE this song. “Heritage” my ass…..the word has four letters and it does start with an H….
“That good ol’ boy’s waving
The stars & bars
It’s a red, white & blue flag
But it ain’t ours
Wave that flag hoss, wave it high
Do you know what it means?
Do you know why?
Maybe being a Rebel ain’t no big deal
But if somebody owned your ass
How would you feel?”
The halfway point of my half dozen songs from 2016 is one whose lyrics baffle me a bit, but it’s a song that I can’t shake.
Here’s what I wrote at 10:31 pm the night of my birthday:
“What’s on your mind?”
I got two things on my mind right now:
1. Why can’t I get this song outta my head?
2. WTF did he find in the drawer??
If I was in Dr. Wlodarczyk’s class, there is no doubt that one of my six songs would be by Jackson Browne. Hell….they might all be by him.
The one that I’m gonna pick for 2016 wasn’t even written by him…but this one has some lyrics that hit home during 2016…and in 2017 too!
“Ever since the world’s existed
There’s one thing that is certain
There are those who build walls
And those who open doors…”
And then there is this line: “There can be freedom only when nobody owns it…”
Enough said about politics in these United (?) States….
My last two songs of 2016 are by a fellow who I hadn’t listened to much until a couple of months ago. Man-o-man have I been missing out. You have been too if you have never listened to Amos Lee.
I’m picking two songs of his with very, very different sentiments. This first one has one of the best break-up lines I’ve ever heard.
“If you feel a chill in the air
It’s my spirit hanging somewhere
and if you ever get scared
Look on the bright side
You got a new life…”
I heard this last song for the first time 6 or 7 weeks ago. I’m sure that I have heard it 100 times since then. And I’m probably just getting started. The song starts like this:
“My heart is a flower
That blooms every hour
I believe in the power
I do believe in the power of love. And I love this line from “Flower”:
“Tomorrow’s coming and yesterday’s gone…”
This “pick only six songs” is a tough assignment. I could easily have picked several other songs:
“Stay ahead of the Wolves” by Bob Walkenhorst and Jeff Porter. On 10/28 my FB status: “I needed to hear something like this 5 years ago….there were wolves everywhere I looked back then. Five years on, this is one of their many songs that play in my head often.”
Bob & Jeff played it the next night to a packed house at The Rock House. I tear up everytime I think of it…
On Valentine’s Day I posted a link to “Late to the party” by Kacey Musgraves. “…who needs a crowd when you’re happy at a party for two?”
The Strumbella’s released a catchy tune titled “Spirits” with this line: “I just want to be alive while I’m here…”
Nothing makes me feel more alive than music.
Be. Just BE.