I had a bit of an emo day yesterday – not the type where I felt sorry for myself, just a bit darker than I usually am. Not sure where this came from, but it kind of crept up on me and before I knew it, I was listening to Modest Mouse and not talking to anyone. I had a tummy ache too. Maybe the two are exclusive.
I woke up today all better, but with a strong desire to clean the house. The lazy person who lives inside me wanted me to lie on the couch. I balanced both urges, hence this blog post, inspired by a rare day of moodiness (I like to think I’m happy all the time. Perhaps I’m fooling myself – I don’t care.) Then I turned on my music and the first song out of the chute was one that had I heard it last night, I might’ve gone all Ophelia. (Just being dramatic… promise.)
So I gotz to thinkin’ – what songs always – ALWAYS – elicit some sort of reaction from me, be it crying (usually as I’m a big giant sap), revolutionary moments, anger… what have you. The list is pretty long, but here are some highlights and reasons.
NOTE — I started writing. And dude, I just wrote and wrote. So I’ll break it up into a series. In no particular order.
THE LOVE SONGS
Sure, it’s the most-addressed topic in the world, and everyone’s got their favorites. Here are a few of my most sentimental ones. I should also preface this list the fact that I’m just a hopeless, weirdo romantic whose idea of love is best summed between Doc Holliday and Kate the Prostitute in “Tombstone.” So perhaps I have weird taste I love songs.
“Watch Closely Now,” Kris Kristofferson
If you haven’t seen the Barbra Streisand-KK version of “A Star is Born,” You don’t know what you’re missing. It’s superb. And this song falls very near the top of the all-time favorite list too. It’s a growly, sexy rock song that is a more raw version of the love song.“Watch closely now You’ll observe a curious exchange of energy Are you a figment of my imagination Or I one of yours? Watch closely now – are you watching me now? Your eyes are like fingers They’re touching my body and arousing my soul Ridin’ the passion arisin’ inside me How high can I go? You’re comin’ with me girl I’m gonna show you how When it’s scary, don’t look down Watch closely now – are you watching me now? I see the hunger arise in your eyes and it’s a-urging me on Higher and harder and faster and farther Than I’ve ever gone You’re comin’ closer lady Don’t ya leave me now We’re gonna make it Don’t look down Watch closely now – are you watching me now? I’m the master magician, who’s setting you free From the lies you’ve been told When they’re breaking your back Bring your last straw to me I turn straw into gold I’m gonna need you later When you’re not around But I can take it Don’t look down Watch closely now Are you watching me now?…”
“La Vie En Rose,” Edith Piaf and/or Louis Armstrong
I get it. Paris is romantic. I’ve never been. I’m still waiting, because I want it to be like this. Did I mention I’m incurable?
“Hold me close and hold me fast The magic spell you cast This is la vie en rose When you kiss me, heaven sighs And though I close my eyes I see la vie en rose When you press me to your heart I’m in a world apart A world where roses bloom And when you speak, angels sing from above Everyday words seem to turn Into love songs Give your heart and soul to me And life will always be La vie en rose”
“I Love You, Always Forever,” Donna Lewis
I admit to liking some cheesy music, some not-so-cool, proves-I’m-not-a-hipster stuff, and this is probably the quintessential song for that assertion. But dammit if it’s not a beautiful love song that I hope to better understand someday, as true love has managed to evade me lo these many years.
“You’ve got the most unbelievable blue eyes I’ve ever seen You’ve got me almost melting away As we lay there under blue sky with pure white stars Exotic sweetness a magical time”
Ah, it’s sticky sweet, but it affects me. Can’t do anything about that. Just have to let it envelope me… and gush like a sissy.
“Love Is Alive,” The Judds
The idea of love over a simple everyday breakfast table is just so charming and alluring. This is the Judds at their absolute finest.
Love ain’t a candle It doesn’t burn for one night And need the dark to shine Love is alive And love ain’t just a word In every dictionary With no where defined Love is a man and he’s mine Love is alive and at breakfast table Every day of the week Love is alive and it grows every day and night Even in our sleep Love is alive and it’s made a happy woman out of me Oh, love is alive and here by me
“Time and Tide,” Basia
Once upon a time, I thought I’d found The One, stupidly, and this song was sort of my anthem then, and when that relationship fizzled, I kind of started hating the song. I haven’t been “In Love” since then (quotes intended, as who knows if I was really in love then) but I can listen to this song again and realize why I liked it to begin with. My mom, who was married five times and was an incurable romantic, loved this song. I don’t know who it reminded her of. One of the mysteries she died with.“It’s hard for me to stop my heart Love never knows when the time is right I don’t want to hurt anybody but Can’t help loving you I never felt like this before I know this is passion worth waiting for Let life take its course That’s the only thing for us to do We’ve got time, oh baby There’s no rush gonna be a better day for us Hang on and I will wait for you Our love will always stay as good as new”
… and the Old Faithfuls
“Indian Summer,” The Doors
“If I Needed You,” Townes Van Zandt
“Visions of Johanna,” Bob Dylan
Up next, the sad songs… because they say so much.