Tuesday, 11 August 2015

[song of the day]

When I was in high school, we didn't have social media. A fact I thank the gods for EVERY DAY. The amount of rubbish that passed my lips, as with most teenage girls, was ridiculous, and there is certainly no need for that to be shared with hundreds of my nearest and dearest online and in perpetuity.

In the past few years I have become quite circumspect about what I put on the world wide web. There's a fair amount of opinion, a lot of geekery, and a reasonable amount of family and friends events and photos.

One thing I have discovered, that surprisingly connects to my teenage self, is that when I can't describe feelings, I use music. Song of the Day helps me explain if I'm feeling energetic without focus, angry without purpose, happy and peaceful.

Sharing a song is also a great way to tell people how you feel without having the conversation. If you've been hurt by someone and there is nothing you can do about it, music soothes. Having a wonderful day with family and feeling a connectedness that's hard to explain? Share some tunes.

In a lovely moment of synchronicity, you can share a song and also connect with others. Nobody knows quite how you feel except you, but I believe music brings souls together.

So, here's a bit of fun and love, the top 21 songs of the moment that we (read=I) share when words fail. Enjoy!



An old favourite to start things off. This one works on so may levels; when you're feeling down it brings you up, when you get your mojo back, when all your motivation rocks up at once. For me, this one is all about getting my game face on; if I've lost focus, or even if I've just got a great plan, this song makes me exhilarated and ready to take on the world. 

WONDERFUL, Rob Thomas 

This one is all about feeling used up but carrying on. You've made something of yourself, but you're not sure if it's your dream you've made or someone else's. And now that you're at a pinnacle, you've discovered that you need all the things that you got built into to keep going, even if you don't want them. 
This is for those days that no amount of money is worth it, no amount of kudos or respect for your position, and no amount of pep talks take the sting out of not being the person you thought you were. Big, brass band music makes this one a rocker to help you get through the day. 


In the past few years, OneRepublic have become my go-to band (after Matchbox Twenty and Rob Thomas) for songs that explain how I feel. My teenage years were spent endlessly listening to Matchbox Twenty and Garbage albums mooning over various people, places and things. 
OneRepublic has put some new groove into my life with the honeyed vocals of the lovely Ryan Tedder and lyrics that mean something.
Counting Stars is my song about no longer living the mundane and going out there and getting the adventure, no longer living the lie of all the shitty experiences just making things hard - they actually do make you stronger. And with that comes inspiration and courage. Reach for the stars, lovers! 


I'm well aware that the gods of rock, The Rolling Stones, made the original song, but really, I just like the Guns version better. 
This is a lovely, convoluted snake of meaning in a song; recognising the bad stuff and owning it. Knowing who the bad guys are and not pretending otherwise - especially if one of the bad guys is you.
I heard this on the Interview With A Vampire soundtrack many, many years ago, after the Vampire Lestat had come back to the world and decided to be a rock star. This song is all the bad and badass things you do, and still being a good person.

SHAKE IT OUT, Florence + the Machine

Still on the devil theme, this glorious powerhouse from my newest favourite goddess is all about finally shaking off the past and all the bullshit you carry with you. It's time to stop torturing yourself with past deeds and begin afresh. I love the bold and bleeding nature of this song, and how it makes no bones about how you were foolish in the past, but that's about to end. Rock this one when you're finally admitted your past and your mistakes are not who you are.

MAD SEASON, Matchbox Twenty

Brace yourself - we're breaking out the sappy songs. Love songs, heart songs, I miss everything songs.
This album got me through the better part of high school, and the single through my twenties. When all you felt was awkward and misunderstood, this song made you feel like the one you loved still got you and that they'd be there when you needed them.
Strangely enough, this testament to time also related to people I was with. Someone finally admits they are a fuck-up but that they still need you because you are the only one who understands. It's very confusing to be on the opposite side of this song...and also very satisfying.


Like many songs with powerful lyrics, this one seems about getting outside your comfort zone to survive, and doing it with the one you love, a la epic romance. Hilariously, this song is inspired by the momentous events at the end of the '80's, the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Crazy marks a brilliant start to music of the '90's and was up there with other songs that had nothing to do with love, and everything to do with the state of the world.
This was ''our song'' between an ex and I, and as much as it was for us, it was also about being together with the greater community. Us, together. Which obviously changed, hence the ex part. Couples songs break your heart.


I never thought this could work, I never really wanted a relationship, I just wanted to be together. Now we've made it through more shit than I ever thought we could survive, and we're still here. When I find it hard not to dwell on obstacles, real or imagined, help me get through it, because we are meant to be. Forever and forever.
Tres romantic, yes?


Sinister as fuck, Sting admits this song is about how he stalked his ex-wife for a while after they broke up because he couldn't get over her. So damn romantic all the same; someone is so deeply obsessed in love with you that they watch you all the time. Surely not as creepy as all that...

IRIS, Goo Goo Dolls

Of course I'm not crying, dammit. The epitome of epic romance, this song was originally written for the film City of Angels, where Nic Cage's character is an angel sent to help humans transition to the afterlife. He falls deeply in love with Meg Ryan's character and gives up his grace to spend a mortal life on earth with her. In a heart-stopping conclusion, Ryan's character is killed in a road accident not long after they get together.
IRIS is played just as the couple get together, Ryan's character death, and a brief shot of Cage's character swimming in the ocean for the first time.
When your heart is too tiny a space to hold all the emotions you feel, release this beautiful bird and set them free.

MEZZANINE (album), Massive Attack

Everyone has a rainy days' album; this is mine. Of all Massive Attack's albums, this has consistently been my favourite, with glorious tunes such as ANGEL and TEARDROP, both of which get their meanings mistaken for something else. The heavy bass and honey bourbon vocals of both Horace Andy and Elizabeth Fraser send shivers down my spine every single time, and every time I move into a new house, change my bedroom around, or even just do some serious Spring-cleaning and rearranging, I play this album. It's like a musical smudge stick.

HOME, Depeche Mode

Someone very close to me once said that this song was one of their favourites, and at the time I don't think I quite realised the significance. I love the intensity and rawness of this song, and only found out years later that it's about alcohol addiction. Which is interesting, because this person was/is an alcoholic.
I've never really been addicted to anything, so I have no comparison, but the deep, visceral rush that comes from listening to this song feels familiar.
This is a gutsy song, full of darkness and hope. Hard to share and hard to keep to yourself, this one is for when you remember that something imagined can never be lost.


While technically not in the same category as the above - having no lyrics to convey feeling - this is an old-school classic that slams you in the back of the head and gives you a full-body slam. Part of the Matrix soundtrack, this song is the rush of being super smart, super fast, and super cool. Friday-afternoon-before-the-weekend sharing complete with Boom! caption.

GHOSTS N STUFF - deadmau5 featuring Rob Swire

 A friend who is madly into his skiing, snowboarding and other extreme sports, first played me this song as a soundtrack to an epic skiing video of a few guys doing one of the largest mountains in the world. I was mesmerised. I love snow but am not that keen on snow sports (read=sports). As with Clubbed to Death, this one has no lyrics, but conveys all sorts of meaning. It's a heart-soaring, world-is-an-adventure, anything-is-possible song.

SONG 2, Blur

Lead singer Damon Albarn has a history of being a too-cool-for-school groover, who also gained status as a gay icon for a while. Also doing some brilliant vocals for Gorillaz, Albarn wrote this one as a jibe at grunge music in America at the time.
Song 2 was the epitome of getting hyped up and psyched out for a weekend of fun and shenanigans in high school and my early twenties. Though I have some more recent favourites to fill that slot, this is still a great one to rock out to on a sunshiney Saturday morning.

SECRETS, OneRepublic

You get to a point in life where you realise all the hearts you've broken, all the lies you've told, all that pain you caused; it catches up with you. It eats at you until you can't stand it. So you give all your secrets away. You don't become a better person by one act, but you take that step and still remain true to yourself. This song makes me think of the god Loki; he's never going to stop being a trickster, but he means well and loves his family dearly. Sing along with this one, it's good for your soul.


Without lyrics, this song is simply amazing and beautiful and makes you think of far-off lands and adventure. This is my Summer days song, when all I can dream off is brightly coloured tents, hazes of incense and the smell of the ocean... 


A whimsical little tune, this jazz band elicits feelings of '20's glamour and glitz, when people worried about real things in real times, so they partied like it was the end of the world. Seriously, we have no comparison to war-time, food stamps and inequality. Have a wiggle and give thanks for all that you've got.  

BRAVE, Sara Bareilles

Brave is my favourite tune when I've had the courage to tell the truth. It's bold and funky and makes you want to dance. Sometimes it can be hard to say what matters, but nothing beats that feeling when you do. 

THE GOOD LIFE, OneRepublic

Another Friday afternoon, feel-good tune. The whistle stays with you long after the song has ended. As with a lot of other OneRepublic songs, I love this song for the simplicity of the message and the feeling it gives me; you have all you need, life is good, enjoy it while it lasts. 


By no means an exhaustive one, I hope this little list has made you remember all your favourite tunes and what they mean to you. Bring them out to share and I hope we all understand each other a bit more for it. 

Bright blessings earthlings,