12 songs that changed my life – a Monday Meme

Thanks to Corin for this meme.

1. Blame it on the Boogie (Jackson 5). According to my family, I used to prance around the house singing this into an electrical extension cord I used as a microphone. Yep, that’s me in the pic with my cord and all.

2. Sunday Bloody Sunday (U2) I sang this song at my Year 10 camp as part of a camp concert that we all had to participate in.  Each dorm room had to put on an act.  I honestly can’t remember how it came to pass that the room I was in didn’t have an act but it fell to me and I stepped up to the challenge.  Back then I used to be quite nervous about a great many things…almost to a point of introversion but there was always a sliver of extrovert waiting to leap out. This is a very long story and I may tell it on this blog one day but I’ll just give you the punchline… This was the song that, in one fell swoop, smashed my insecurities to smithereens.  I broke the chains of shyness and took my first steps towards becoming the confident woman I am today.

3. The day you come (Powderfinger) This song represents love (or infatuation) across great distances…hemispheres, even.  This stirs me in a way that very few other songs do. I’ll say no more on that.  Buy me a drink one day and I’ll spill the beans on this one.

4. Thaxted (aka I vow to thee my country; aka Jupiter from The Planets Suite by Gustav Holst) I walked down the aisle to this tune on my wedding day.  Nuff sed.

5. Only a Shadow (Carey Landry) This is the first hymn I ever played at Mass. Actually, I think it was the first piece of music I played publicly (regardless of genre or venue).  I practiced it for hours and hours everyday for weeks prior to playing it as the Communion hymn at Mass on Saturday 26th January 1991. From that night, I was the regular Saturday night organist.

6. The Servant King (Graham Kendrick) This hymn was on “high rotation” around the time that my brother died. I was still the Saturday night organist and I took no time off from those duties in spite of the tragedy of losing a family member. I was not a very skilled organist and I found that this hymn put my talents to the test.  One night I played this as the Communion hymn a few weeks after Sean died.  Something was different. My body felt like electricity was coursing through it.  I played every note perfectly.  I sang every word.  I made no mistakes whatsoever.  I had never managed that ever before.  It was like I was possessed.  A force took over my body and allowed me to finally do justice to this magnificent piece of music.  As I held the last chord I was finally released from the “possession”, like being unplugged.  I looked around and I for a few moments I didn’t know where I was.  I still don’t know what happened.  I have my own private thoughts about it.  Any doubts I ever had about the living presence of God in my life were obliterated that night.

7. Ag Criost An Siol (Seán Ó Riada) This was certainly not the first song I’d sung in Irish (that was Báidín Fheilimí). No, this was the piece I sang as the Reflection hymn at my father’s funeral. I’m not sure it changed my life but my father’s death sure did and this hymn reminds me of that time in my life.

8. El Paso (Marty Robbins) OK, so we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel now.  Not really a life-changer but it does represent an unique aspect of my life.  When I was a little girl – and I’m talking toddler – I used to name my clothes.  I used to have a Mexican print dress which I called “El Paso”…probably after this song which I used to hear regularly playing on the radio as my mother drove me to my babysitter everyday.  I also had outfits called Pockets and Jabberwocky.  Don’t seek to understand the mind of a 3yr old.

9. Sadeness Part 1 (Enigma) I love this song even though it really annoys me that Enigma beat me to it.  From the moment I learned about Gregorian Chant, I wanted to compose a piece of music that was modern and yet had an element of chant.  I had that idea in about 1989. Then in 1990 Enigma released Sadeness.  They did it far better than I ever could but I did wonder how they’d managed to steal the concept from right out of my mind.  When I listen to this it reminds me that I have the capacity for creative musical thought.

10. Last Goodbye (Jeff Buckley) I listened to this endlessly during a break-up with an old boyfriend. I still love listening to this album in the bath (but, oddly, never in the shower).

11. Sex Bomb (Tom Jones & Mousse T) When this song came out I was living in Ireland…and throwing caution to the wind.  I used to go out to bars with my friends.  McGowan’s was my favourite.  I’d go dancing there with two of the girls from the hospital where I worked.  Brenda would go wild for “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” (Jennifer Lopez).  Rosie would go wild for “Survivor” (Destiny’s Child). And I would go crazy for Sex Bomb!  I even had special dance moves just for this song. (I’ll leave those to your imagination.)  If the DJ played any of these three songs we three girls would get up and dance like our lives depended on it.  I went to Austria for Christmas that year and, after midnight Mass, I came back to our hotel and went to the basement bar and danced the night away.  I don’t remember this song being played but it must have come on and I must have danced my “special moves” because I was greeted by the other hotel guests at breakfast on Christmas morning with hearty, smiling cheers of “Sex Bomb! Sex Bomb! Ja! Ja! Sex Bomb!”  That’s one Christmas that sticks in my mind!

12. I’m going to make this last song the Musical Challenge.  I wouldn’t say that it changed my life but this song is a guilty pleasure of mine and it’s a bit of a personal mantra as well.

Music in our walk, music when we talk.
It’s really something magic, to lose it would be tragic.
Can’t you feel the sound movin’ through the ground?
Music makes the world go around.

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6 Responses to 12 songs that changed my life – a Monday Meme

  1. figgles1 says:

    Could it possibly be the Village People’s “Can’t stop the music”?

  2. Dags says:

    Not sure if I could find 12 songs, but there are a few bands/albums that have changed my life
    1 Dr Hook’s entire catalogue – no matter what mood I am in, there is ALWAYS a Dr Hook song that fits
    2 Simon & Garfunkel’s Concert in Central Park – some of my fondest childhood memories are of lying on the loungeroom floor with sad with our heads between the speakers listening to this record while mum cooked dinner.
    3 New Kids On The Block’s Hangin’ Tough – sad, I know, but it is true that my mid-teens would not have been the same without them.
    4 Doug Anthony All Stars – more of a comedy trio than a band, but still, they brought me from adolecence to adulthood and they are still with me, almost everyday
    5 Backstreet Boys – again, apologies, but they seem to have joined Dr Hook in that there is always one of their songs to give me a smile when I need it, or make me want to get up and dance (scary though that prospect is)
    And now for a few songs
    1 and 2 Kenny Rogers The Gambler and Kasey Chambers This Flower – affected me to a certain degree from the start, but since they were played at dad’s funeral, I rarely manage to get through them without tears.
    3 Halleluia, doesn’t really matter who’s singing it, but Rufus Wainwright is hard to beat, it gives me goosebumps every thime I hear it, and actually let me understand how faith can exist in my scientific world.

  3. seanmurgatroyd says:

    When I was a wee fellow, I thought “Baby Driver” by Simon and Garfunkel was about me, because I was the baby of the family. I’m amused by that now I’m grown up and understand that it’s all about sexual precocity.

    Nowadays the song “Only Living Boy in New York” from that same album speaks to me much more…

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