Monday, October 24, 2016

Songs for Life

By now, most of you know of and are possibly participating in Alyssa's "Back to Blogging" link-up.  I've been enjoying what I've been reading, and I've been enjoying the challenge of the prompts. 

Surprisingly, this prompt has/had me stumped:
1. Three (or however many you choose) songs that define your life and why

I love music.  I love live music.  I love listening to music, finding new music, feeling music, reading about music, and talking about music (as evidenced by my monthly playlist posts with Jana as well as other music posts on this blog.)  So, why did this one stump me?  Because I was overwhelmed with all the songs I love and why I love them.  To ask myself what songs "define" my life...well, that's just tough, but a question I've been trying to tackle.

It's My Life by Bon Jovi - My love for Bon Jovi began in 1984, and it never waned, but it was solidified and stamped into my personal history with the 2000 release of "It's My Life".  It bridged hair band '80s rockers with an updated, polished, new millennium band.  It bridged generations of fans; some discovered this band for the first time with this song.  It bridged teenage Erin with adult Erin; I was 11 years old when I first set sight and heard the sounds of Bon Jovi, and I was 27 when this song hit the airwaves.  The simplicity of the statement "It's my life, it's now or never, I ain't gonna live forever" is strong and powerful for me.

Just a Girl by No Doubt - It was 1995, and I was 22 years old when this song was released.  Already, I'd experienced a serious relationship with a very controlling man who wanted to mold me and fit me into his definition of what I should look like, how I should think, and what I should be when I grew up.  That very year, I was ending that relationship with this person.  No Doubt exploded onto my scene, and I was instantly in awe of Gwen.  Gwen's tongue-in-cheek lyrics of "I'm just a girl, little ol' me" and singing "I've had it up to here" was my jam.  It's exactly what I needed to hear at the time. It's still my jam.  And, I'm still in awe of Gwen.  She is creative and ambitious.  She is a girly-girl who hangs with the guys.   She is open, honest, and vulnerable (through her lyrics), but she is not scared to be strong and in-your-face. All of these traits are lovely little traits for "just a girl."

Slide by Goo Goo Dolls - Okay.  You may think this is a weird choice.  Basically, the song is about wanting "to wake up where you are".  I choose to believe it's a love song of sort.  So, why is this a song that defines my life?  Well, I have loved and still love all things Goo Goo Dolls.  But, it's this lyric: "What you feel is what you are and what you are is beautiful" that gets me every.single.time.  It has served as a reminder to me at those times that I am feeling really, really ugly (both physically and emotionally) to strive to FEEL beautiful, so I can BE beautiful.  Again, I don't just focus on the physicality that the world "beautiful" can signify.  I focus on the beauty within as well.  Even more so.  How much does this lyric mean to me?  Enough to get it tattooed on me permanently.

Scars by Papa Roach - This one.  This one I've sung at the top of my lungs through tears more times that I can count.  It is a song that embodies what I love about live music: people of all ages, all backgrounds, all ethnicities, religions, genders, identities, coming together to sing a song while squished together, swaying together, sweating together, hands and voices raised, because I've been in many Papa Roach live show pits experiencing this.  I can relate to every.single.word of this song, but this is significant for me: "I can't help you fix yourself, but at least I can say I tried, I'm sorry but I gotta move on with my own life."  Eventually, I realized after spending so many years thinking I needed to "fix" someone else, what I really needed to do was focus on my own self-worth, well-being, and happiness.

Take Tomorrow (One Day at a Time) by Butch Walker - If you've read any of my posts talking about music, chances are you've heard that there's this musician named Butch Walker that I love.  I mean it.  I love this man.  This is from the album that made me fall in love with this man (yes, I was a fan before this album, but this album is when I fell in love.)  This song closes the album and the sentiment is one that speaks to me to this day.  "Give me all your fear, throw it all away, think of all the good things, no matter what they say, we'll take tomorrow, baby, yeah, one day at a time."

Worth mentioning:  Any song by Willie Nelson.  I am instantly taken to Texas when I hear Willie Nelson.  I think of my dad.  I think of road trips.  I think of Lone Star and Shiner Bock beer.  I think of honky tonks.  I think of bluebonnets.  I think of a man that is a legend and an icon who is unconventional and unapologetically himself.  He isn't the best looking.  Not at all.  He isn't the best singer.  Nope.  But, he is Willie, and he embodies Texas.

Linking with Alyssa:



  1. Right now I am obsessed with Buddy by Willie Nelson!

  2. It's My Life is a great life anthem song.

    It's lyrics that get me too, and some just stick and become mantras, like the one from Slide has stuck with you.

  3. Just a Girl was my anthem in High School. I was always told I couldn't do things but yet my brothers could. Seriously it made me rage that even though I was the oldest...because I was a girl I couldn't do the same things. That song was perfect for me at the time!

  4. All great, great songs! Just a Girl is high on my list. :)

  5. It really is amazing how songs have this way of taking you to a specific point in your life or a specific place. I love that Willie Nelson takes you back to Texas, and I think that him or George Strait will always make me think of Texas too. I love that Just A Girl became popular right when you needed it!

  6. Ahhhhh ALLLL Of these songs just yes!!! It's My Life ALMOST made the cut on my list last week. You already know I love our man Butch. And old school No Doubt? You can't get much better. And Slide ahhh who doesn't love that song? And I will have Scars in my head for the rest of the day now. Such a great list!

  7. Oh, numbers 2-4 -- how I could feel those things with you!

    I definitely screamed to Papa Roach (and that song in particular) at the top of my lungs and with tear-stained cheeks more times than I could count, and Just a Girl -- what an awesome song. Goo Goo Dolls, I am with you on the love for them. Such a good song and that lyric is beautiful too.

    I confess to having It's My Life be the first song that made me aware of Bon Jovi -- but, funnily, I was 11 when it came out in 2000, hah!

  8. wow. bon jovi. imagine that. :]

    it's not like i've got room to talk, though. not really. i mean, the first song i loved was bette midler's the rose. hah!

  9. everything you said for Slide? me too. high five. i love everything you said about it's my life too. this prompt totally had me stumped.

  10. Slide by the Goo Goo Dolls is my all-time favourite song ever and it killed me to leave it off my list but the three songs I picked painted a more well rounded picture of life.

  11. I think that Goo Goo Dolls song is beautiful.
    You went into a lot more detail with your songs then I did, which I like. I was just afraid I'd ramble for paragraphs and paragraphs. Plus, I didn't know how to explain 'Grey Street' (DMB) because I find it describes the depression-laced side of my life/brain- and I wasn't sure how to say that.

    Great picks!

  12. Oh I LOVE Just A Girl and Slide, and who isn't partial to some Bon Jovi? Goo Goo Dolls in particular are like an instant teleport to teenage me. Goodness, not a ride to be undertaken lightly! Thanks for introducing me to some new favourites as well :)

  13. I'm from NJ, so of course I grew up loving Bon Jovi, and I totally agree that this selection was a big one for bridging the gaps. I love your tattoo and the meaning behind it. I don't think I've truly listened to the lyrics of "Scars," but I really like that one. I don't think I'd be able to pick just one No Doubt song, but I've sang this particular one more times than I can count. For me though, it was like "little 'ole me" because of my physical size, and it became a sort of anthem.


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