Tuesday, November 06, 2012
A Personal Soundtrack: 5 most meaningful songs.
I'm taking a class on identity and culture and it requires a lot of introspection. One of our most recent assignments was those choose the five most personally meaningful songs and to share them with the class. I really struggled with the assignment at first because music just seems so personal. I looked through my record collection and my iPod trying to find songs that played significant roles in me figuring out just who i am.
Eventually I was able to narrow it down to five, and here they are:
1. Nina Simone - "Aint Got No/I Got Life"
Throughout the years that I've been blogging, I've probably shared this video a dozen times. Of course Nina is incredible and the song is powerful, but for this class I had to dig a little further to figure out why I love it so much. As a kid, I really didn't have much. I don't want this to turn into some sob story or a plea for sympathy, because I learned a lot from that situation. One of my biggest pet peeves is listening to someone complain about the things that they don't have. My mother and grandmother were staunch believers in the ideology that if you can't make (create) it, that you probably don't need it. They were basically right. Necessity is the mother of invention, isn't it? Your given a body and tools, and the way that you choose to use them is up to you. So, this song is akin to my mother and grandmother inspiring me the same way they did as a child.
2. Bright Eyes - "Shell Games"
I discovered Bright Eyes at a time when i was deeply involved with figuring out who I was. This song in particular reminds to never have serious expectations. I know that seems weird but having high expectations is seems like a destructive force to me. Life is a shell game. You never know what's going to be under the cup, do you really want to set yourself up for disappointment? Or would you rather take things as they come?
4. Sufjan Stevens - "Too Much"
Shortly after my grandmother (meemaw) died, a friend took me to a house shaped like an elephant near the beach. We didn't really talk, but we listened to Sufjan Stevens on the way there and on the way back home. The music made everything seem so surreal but safe; uplifting even.
4. Tilly and the Wall - "Defenders"
Tilly and the Wall hold a special place in my heart. My best friend Kellyn and I have seen them live every single time they have played locally. It's such a good band to associate with such a positive friendship. When I hear them, I think back to all of the fun things we've already done and all of the fun things we will do in the future.
5.Cat Stevens - "If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out"
Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam is my all time favorite guy ever. Not just as musician either. He just seems to radiate good vibes. I had never heard anything by him until watching Harold and Maude the first time and I was immediately his biggest fan. He is one of the very few artists who can move me to tears in less than 3 minutes. I chose this song because it was the first of his that I ever remember hearing.
It was really fun to do this project and the class is going great!
I think it would be really sweet if all of you joined in on the fun! I'm going to set up a link party at the bottom of the post and I'd love to see what you come up with!!! Blog about your 5 most meaningful jams and click on the little blue frog, he'll tell you what to do!