Music for the Soul

Songs of My Life: May 2013

This month is by far my best month yet! I’ve also taken better care of myself physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally than I have in a long while. As always, the “ask the Universe and shuffle the iPod” somehow gives me the reflections of my life, feelings, thoughts, and emotion in songs. Here are my little nuggets of wisdom for this month.

Mess of Me by Switchfoot
I have always loved Switchfoot’s heavier/darker tunes and this has crunchy guitars and driving drums. Add great lyrics and an infectious hook and you’ve got a good tune. The lyrics: “I’ve made a mess of me. I wanna get back the rest of me. I’ve made a mess of me I wanna spend the rest of my life alive.” And that’s what I’m doing. Throwing out the old me, training the new me for an epic life and epic adventures.

Wrong Impression by Natalie Imbrugila
Oh the iPod on shuffle. This song is still so freaking catchy. I mean what girl or guy for that matter hasn’t sang this song loudly!

Better I Don’t by Chris Janson
I had the chance to see Chris perform in a conference room a few months ago. He’s funny in person and this song reminds me of all the shenanigans my best of best friends and I have lived. Sometimes, it’s better we don’t do what we do but at least we have fun and no one gets hurts just like the lyrics say “…dare me don’t do, don’t think I won’t, take it all off, turn it all on, get buck wild, hell bent, and stoned. It’s better I don’t…”

Aw Naw by Chris Young
Drinking songs are a staple by this Chris. The first time I saw Chris, he was playing the lobby of where I worked and played a song called “Beer or Gasoline” and I was hooked. When I heard this song, I immediately knew I had my fun time, summer time, drinking song. Bonus, he’s a tall drink of water (good looking). And these lyrics have happened to me, one too many times, “…Aw naw, somebody just bought a shot of Patron, hang on I just might have to stay. Aw naw, look at the time y’all what happened to coats on, long gone… I should be halfway home but aw naw…”

Uku by Dengue Fever
I love, love, love Chhom Nimol’s voice in this song. When I first heard it, I was transported back to my younger years and watching and listening to my mom sing along to songs in her native tongue. I thought this song was in Thai, but Chhom is from Cambodia and this song is just wonderful and infectious. On PBS Chhom says “Uku” expresses an immigrant’s longing for a world left behind. It casts a spell of nostalgia and regret. “The windy season makes me think of my village…” My mom was an immigrant and left her world in Thailand behind. She missed home and did long for what she left behind. I think of her whenever this song plays.

The video link for Uku is live from the Troubador

I Can Dream About You by Dan Hartman
This song will always be my connection to my mom. This was one of her favorite songs and any time it was on she would say, “Turn it up loud.” When I wonder if she’s near me, the Universe always lets me hear this song, and realize she is right beside me. When I was in Australia on Christmas Eve 2011, my dad had told me, I spoke with your mom last night in my dreams. She said she’s with you in Australia. Sure enough, that Crazy Little Thai Lady was. When I sat down at the start of our Christmas Eve, this song came over the restaurant speakers. We all raised a toast to her and knew she was with us.

Side note, while writing this post, I made the discover (yes, just made) that Dan Hartman is not the black R&B singer in this video like I thought he was but the bartender in this one. What the hell?! And yes, my mind was blown!

It Only Hurts by Default
This song had me at “Can hold my breath only for a little while ’til reality starts sinking in once again. I’m settling for second best. Turn the pages skip to the end…In the back of my mind, I know it only hurts when your eyes are open. Lies get tossed and truth is spoken. It only hurts when that door gets open dreams are lost and hearts are broken…”

Aman by Bombino
No idea how I came about this song. Pretty sure it was a free download on iTunes, and I have no idea what he is singing or in what language, but it’s makes me move.

Side note, Bombino is from Tidene, Niger.

Pa by Ryan Adams and the Cardinals
The love and sadness in this song reminds me of my dad. His love for my mom was profound and great and the stuff of fairy tales. Whenever I hear it, I can instantly see my dad doing what “Pa” does in this song. I don’t worry about my dad too much. His resiliency and strength are strong even if sometimes a facade for me, my sister, and nieces. He’s a great man with a great love even if time and space currently have them separated. “Pa drove to town yesterday to pick out a grave. He found the lot where she’d lay. Then he drove to old man Ed Sederdoms’s place to find him some peace…And the sun left him down in the valley, but the moon met him up in the hills by the lake reflecting the ghost of ma’s face… I felt the news through the floorboards…Like a joining of hands…I drove to town yesterday to pick out his grave. I found the lot where they’d lay…”

Never Surrender by Corey Hart
There’s a moment in life where most of us look a dream (or goal) square in the face and either give up or continue to fight for it. As I travelled along a stretch of darken highway asking the Universe, my guardian angels, my spirit guides, my totems, the stars, Luna, and my mom for some sort of sign that I wasn’t completely bat shit crazy for still holding onto my dream, this song came on. It was all I needed to hear. I couldn’t truly give in or give up. I hadn’t given 150% yet. I hadn’t tried hard enough yet and I hadn’t fought hard enough for it yet. I couldn’t surrender. Never. “Just a little more time is all we’re asking for. ‘Cause just a little more time could open closing doors. Just a little uncertainty can bring you down…And nobody wants to show you how. So if you’re lost and on your own you can never surrender. And if your path won’t lead you home  you can never surrender… Cause no one can take away your right to fight…With a little perseverance you can get things done…You never surrender…”

Side note, this song has is in my top 20 favorite songs of all time. It’s been a fighting song for me all my life.

Fear (Of the Unknown) by Siouxsie and the Banshees
Fear. One four letter word we should all remove from our vocabularies. It stunts our growth, crushes our dreams, and drives us mad yet we give in to it. Become paralyzed by it. This song is a great reminder of that pesky four letter word I want to remove from my life. “…fear takes control…fear of the unknown…Aware of what will hurt you, you’re prepared to remain this way so sad yet safe with your afflictions. Afraid to start a brand new day. We all get the strangest feeling when we’re standing mighty tall to jump from seventeen floors and crash into free fall…”

The Fighter by Gym Class Heroes featuring Ryan Tedder
This song is a reminder just like “Never Surrender” to fight for your dreams, your goals, your life. “Ya ever feel like your train of thought’s been derailed…If you fall pick yourself up off the floor and when your bones can’t take no more , just remember what you’re here for…Give em hell, turn their heads, gonna live life ’til we’re dead. Give me scars, give me pain then they’ll say to me to me there goes the fighter…here comes the fighter…this one’s a fighter…”

Constant Revolution by Mishka
I find the lyrics to this song the perfect description of my beliefs. “Look to the stars, the moon, and the sun…they say time is a great healer…experience is a great teacher to show what life is all about…it is not easy to say goodbye but you know we’ll be coming around before to long…stay true to one love and one heart and be strong…the only constant is revolution…it take courage to take a stand…”