Music for the Soul

Songs of My Life: July 2016

Someone asked if these were really songs that hit me over the month and the answer is yes. Each month new songs, new moments. They’re in the exact order from top to bottom from beginning to end of the month. Some months when I review the songs, I see patterns. Some months, I don’t see any. At the end of every week, I try to sit down and listen to the list and sometimes, as soon as I hear the song and it hits me, I make a note why it’s there. Sometimes I forget why they get dragged into the list. These songs though are part of me, part of my soul. They capture feelings I want to share or feelings I want to hide. They capture moments or thoughts. Songs that hit me the hardest linger in my head. Songs that make me smile, I go to every time I need that smile. Songs that make me teary-eyed, I ask myself why.

Theme for this month…not 100% there. Maybe just being aware. Maybe learning to be more vulnerable. Maybe it’s no theme and just songs that made me feel better or made realize my own thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

For my dear friend, Amy, and for those who don’t want to have to keep on clicking, the playlist for this month is at the bottom the post. Just hit play and the songs will play from YouTube (or click HERE). Enjoy.

“Made of Steel” by Our Lady Peace
To say I love the music of OLP is understatement, but this song from their album GRAVITY easily describes what I want from the man in my life. Someone who will kiss me on the forehead and say, “Hold your head high. Don’t look down. I’m by your side. Won’t back down. You wanted a hero tonight. I’m not made of steel, but your secret’s safe with me…” I promise to return this exact quote and kiss when he needs it.

“Litmus” by Howling
If you haven’t picked up Howling’s 2015 album SACRED GROUND, I highly recommend you do yourself a favor and pick it up. I still listen to this album at least once a week or so and if I’m stressed or feeling anxious, this is my go to album as it calms my spirit. This is my 2nd favorite track on this album (“Forest” being number one) and I’ve always been drawn to these lyrics: “Be my fate. Be my witness. Be my stone. Be my litmus. Be my love. Teach me feelings. Be my bones. Be my litmus.”

“Bitter Leaf” by Lanks
New song by Melbourne’s Lanks and it’s an infectious one. What I like about the song so much are these lyrics: “You used to shine so bright, but you soured at the taste of a bitter leaf. Took it all out on me but I see through you and you won’t be causing me no grief…” Maybe you’re the one bitter or you know someone who is and I think this song is a wonderful description of what people were (shining so bright) before the bitterness set in. This song just makes me realize that some people dull or dim my shine and I can’t allow that in my life.

“The Remedy” by Abandoned Pools
I couldn’t get enough of this song when it came out in 2003 and I always love when iTunes on shuffle plays it. Listening to the lyrics, it seems it’s from the point of view of a spurned/hurt lover and Tommy Walter (also of EELS fame) does a poetic job in writing and singing the emotion of that pain. For me, this month, I just felt a connection to these lyrics: “My soul’s a fuse. Blows away your name…Say this world is not so shallow. When you can’t beg steal or borrow. Save your breath your soul is hollow. And it’s all too much to swallow. Take this souvenir. They can’t deny you were here. This scar always there. To medicate your fear…”

“You Got Me” by Colbie Caillat
This song. I would have placed a bet that this song would NEVER be on any of my Songs of My Life playlist, but that is until I met someone who I actually liked and wanted to learn more about. To be honest, didn’t even know I had the song in my iTunes, but the Universe apparently likes to remind me I like someone and shoved this song in my face. These lyrics: “I can’t pretend though I try to hide. I like you. I like you. I think I felt my heart skip a beat. I’m standing here and I can hardly breathe. You got me, yeah, you got me…” And boy, do those lyrics sum up perfectly how I feel when I see this man.

“Starshines” by 311
I’ve got about 47 Words with Friends games going…okay 47 is an exaggeration, it’s more like a dozen and here’s what I find extremely LOL funny. All the games are with complete strangers and zero of my friends. So technically, I’m really playing Words with Strangers. Any who, if you don’t play or know the game/app, you can chat to your opponent as you play and some have messaged me to say “Hi, nice playing ya” and these lyrics have floated into my head on every occurrence… “Yo, I got to say hola. Orange County to Angola. I go back to the beat. It never lets me down, zone in and let it roll-a…”

“Aloha” by 26
This came into my head during a Words with Friends round as I slapped the word ALOHA down, I started singing this song and decided at that moment I wanted to try to squeeze in the word hello or a variation of greeting into each game. So for, aloha has been the easiest word to spell in each game.

“Breathe” by Greenwheel
What a throwback iTunes shuffle. What a throwback. I loved the shit out of this song back in 2002 and was kindly reminded this month I still love this song. Back then I connected to the lyrics, “I’m alright. It only hurts when I breathe” because of the facade I was putting up. A smile on my face that hid the demons within. Now, some 14 years later, I still connect with those same lyrics, but also with “My window through which nothing hides and everything sings. I’m counting the signs and cursing the miles in between, but home Is a feeling I buried in you. That I buried in you. I’m alright. I’m alright. It only hurts when I breathe…” Those lyrics reminded me sometimes a home is not a place.

“Fred Meyers” by Glen Phillps
Glen (vocalist from Toad the Wet Sprocket fame) is a wonderful storyteller and that’s what I love about this song. It popped up onto iTunes and I remember hearing it for the first time at a live show where my friend, Peter Searcy, opened up from him. It’s one of those concert moments that just sticks in your head and when I heard this song, that memory played in my head as clear as the day. (Video is a live version of Glen performing the song.)

“Soundtrack to a Six Pack” by The Cadillac Three
This band has been a rock band called American Bang and then southern rock/country alt band called The Cadillac Black and now just The Cadillac Three. They have serious country cred. Jake Owen covered their song “Days of Gold” which was a smash for him. I prefer their original. There’s something raw and real with Jaren’s voice and it’s one of the reason I dig this band. This song is from their forthcoming release, BURY ME IN MY BOOTS, and there are so many reasons this song is on the list, but mostly, it’s the opening lyrics: “We say yes sir, no ma’am. Love Charlie Daniels Band. Whiskey from the bottle, beer from a cold can. I drive a Ford truck, he drives a Chevy. Mine’s Mean Green, his is Black Betty…” One of the things I get asked the most about here in AUS is why I say yes/no ma’am/sir. The answer is simple: I was raised that way. I say it to my elders, to people my age, to people younger than me, to children. It’s respect. If someone dares make fun of me for it, then you were obviously weren’t raised to show respect. And I also named all of my cars and preferred Chevy’s over Ford until I got my Ford Thunderbird called Thunder. (Video is a live version of the band performing the song.)

“Everything But You” by Glen Phillips
Hello, iTunes on shuffle, apparently thought I needed a lot of Glen in my life this month. I’m completely okay with that too. This song though…played at the right time, in the right moment, and settled my crazy brain with these lyrics: “I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to do. Everything seems lost, everything but you. I’m not sure what it takes, I’m fuzzy on the rules and everything’s so dark, everything but you…you terrify me, you are everything…I’ll just stick to what I know, I’m proud to be a fool…”

“Adriatic” by Saint Hughs
Being in a relationship (defined or undefined) starts out with two people, maybe one is singing these lyrics first, maybe both: “I want to love you and I want you to want to love me too. Well I stand by the roadside with my heart on the outside and I’m so desperate that you try please don’t leave me here tonight…” These lyrics popped into my head as I realized I wanted to give myself to someone. To put that trust and be vulnerable with someone. Of course, I want it to be reciprocated but I realized that in the end, I can only say my piece and hope that I am seen and heard.

“Crazy” by The Kills
Yep, this is a Patsy Kline cover. Alison’s vocals are wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. She captures those feelings that love can bring. This song is on the list because when I have crazy brain, I sing this song to myself. I could be having crazy brain over anything and I sing it to myself. What I love are these lyrics: “worry, why do I let myself worry…I’m crazy for trying. I’m crazy for crying…crazy…” Honestly, that’s me in a nutshell. I worry. I try. I cry. I laugh. I live. I learn.

“Sunday Kind of Love” by Etta James
Rainy weather, sunny weather, in bed, coffee, pancakes, music, books, movies, writing…there is nothing better than those things on a Sunday and I’d like to share all that with someone who understands that Sunday love affair.

“Hoodies & Hood” by Headstrong
As I sat feeling, FUCK, seriously, there was no other emotion than that word. This song started playing. First, I was like yes, screaming anger that’s what I feel and then I tuned into the lyrics: “Words leave me dry, like swords leave my dying…I’ve gotta shatter these inadequacies. I’m down so low the devils on the level with me…But now being hateful is so fucking fashionable. Keep pointing fingers at anyone imaginable…” Not only did I connect with the lyrics because I was feeling inadequate and unwanted, it also spoke volumes of what I’ve been watching with the 2016 US Election. One side spewing hate and pointing fingers. That’s the side I don’t want to win. I don’t want my feelings of inadequacies and unwanted to win either. So yeah, I just screamed FUCK and went to bed in tears.

“Ocean of Night” by Editors
This is my favorite song from their latest album, IN DREAM. After the previous night feeling the above, this song was played on repeat: “This is your slow dance and this is your chance to transform. Lost to a moment. The moment you confront the storm…I am your hope down the wire, so you can hold back the fire… “ and this song was my hope and my fire.

“Stars” by Michael Tolcher
As a star gazer and a horrible arm chair astronomy buff, I fell in love with this song the first time I heard Michael play it. These lyrics: “I look ahead. There’s so many ways to go. I wish I could see them all ‘cuz I really want to know. What’s this life? Is it only change? I’m waiting for the stars to line up and the moon to light the way in the middle of the night. I’m watching while the stars shine down and shoot across the sky. I’m wishing on that light at night…” We all want to know if the what we are doing, choosing, feeling, saying is right, but I think the sometimes the wrong thing leads to the right thing and that’s what is amazing about life.

“Timber” by Pitbull featuring Kesha
If ya know me, you know I do not have a guilty pleasure listening to Pitbull as I will proudly say, I dig his music without shame. It’s fun and easy to sing a long to. I don’t expect him to have a song that’s gonna move me to tears, but I do expect him to have a song that will get my booty shaking. This ear worm fell into my head while searching for some wooden ducks wearing Uggs on eBay. Yep, you read that right. Wooden ducks. Uggs. eBay. I really liked the ducks, but hated the fact that they were wearing Uggs, but I then  started thinking, I could just paint their ugly little Uggs into amazing rain boots or as Aussie’s call them, gumboots. I just couldn’t find the damn things on eBay. I was saved and told to search for Australian timber ducks which lead to me singing “Timber”. (Ducks are pictured to the right.)

“Velvet Elvis” by Stir
HOLY DOGS by Stir is still to this day a fantastic album. This little gem reminded me I am where I belong with these lyrics: “How did I get here? Now I can’t turn my head. Sometimes we hear what’s softly spoken. Yet still seem so afraid and when we’re healing all that’s broken. We turn to you and say. I think you’re right where you belong…”

“Off to See the Lizard” by Jimmy Buffett
What can I say about Jimmy Buffett’s music? I’ve had relationship with his music since I was in junior high school. You could say it’s my longest non human relationship. This is one of my top 10 favorite Buffett songs. I really needed to hear these lyrics this month, “Sooner or later you gotta face your fears. I heard it from the parrot verbalizing in the tree. I heard it in the song lines of the aborigines. Off to the see the lizard. Off to the see the lizard. Deja deja deja vu, believe it and it will come true. Veja veja veja du. What works for me might work for you…”

“Always on Time” by Ja Rule featuring Ashanti
Another great tune from the DJ at Bloody Mary’s during their Sunday brunch. I forgot how much I enjoyed this song. Mostly because of Ashanti singing “I’m not always there when you call, but I’m always there on time. I gave you my all…”