We are all many things. I’m a strategist, a wife, an ex-wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a homeowner, a professor, a diplomat, a mentor, a humanitarian, a drummer, a blogger, a friend and a pessimist. My list goes on, as does yours. I’m having an extremely busy quarter. Whenever I use the word “quarter” my friend Andrea makes fun of me. Apparently it’s not a term normally used by the general population to describe time. Alas, I’m having a busy quarter.
I sold my house! I also bought a house. Wow! Blog posts to follow about city vs. non-city, moving, and the differences between my husband and I when it comes to how we approach(ed) the entire process. I’m also leaving for a business trip to San Diego in two days (Poor me! I “have to” go to San Diego. Feel sorry for me.). I close on the houses in less than 4 weeks. Not only am I going to San Diego, but I have my day job (strategy), my night job (teaching economics etc), 2 charity events, the Worcester Economic Club annual meeting and I’m taking Not-Tom-Brady to see Dead & Company at Fenway Park in Boston for his birthday. I’m sure I’m missing something, but there’s a lot going on.
Every single day there is someone at my house. The handyman fixing my windows. The electrician covering up exposed wires. My realtor collecting ANOTHER check (Hey Dave!) The myriads of people buying all of the furniture we’re selling on Craigslist. Side note: If you have a busted snowblower, it doesn’t matter how bad of shape it’s in…. put it on Craigslist. We had 48 emails in the first hour!
Looking for a home is awesome, and not awesome, at the same time.
What do I do to get me through busy and/or tough times? Clarification: These are not tough times, these are awesome times… but still busy and a little overwhelming. I look to music. I’m here to share the songs that have meant the most to me in my life, and why. I hope to hear what you think about these songs, and even better, if you can tell me what songs are meaningful to YOU and why. Side note: there are 27 songs that I struggled with NOT putting on this list. It’s very hard to get down to 10ish… so know that there are an additional 27 deserving songs such as “Hear My Train A Comin’: Jimi Hendrix” that I refuse to live without. But I don’t think the general blog reading audience is up for a selfish extended blog of 39 songs… I digress…
Disclaimer: I’ve had a bit to drink. Disclaimer to the disclaimer: I’ve had more than a bit to drink. …. Note to self for future blog title: “Don’t drink and blog”. Damn you Jager and also bless you at the same time. Forgive any typos, I blame the Jager. There is also a Jager related future blog post… you will enjoy the context but it’s difficult to explain in one sentence so enjoy the suspense lol.
Songs that have impacted my life the most… in reverse order. Heads up… these aren’t the song’s you’d expect, I’m just being as honest as I can be:
12. The Chain: Fleetwood Mac. I simply love this song. It’s not only technically on point, but it gives me a sense of calm and meaning. If you haven’t heard this song, you need to listen to it immediately. I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t love this song. I’ve seen it performed live once. It was awesome. My family is always very talkative on car rides. I notice that we are all silent during this song. That speaks volumes.
11. Daughter: Pearl Jam. This song has multiple interpretations. I recently asked my daughter to teach me to play this on acoustic guitar while she sings it. Stay tuned for the youTube debut. #LABRocks
10. Beat It: Michael Jackson. This was one of the first songs that made me feel optimistic and made me want to dance. It’s also brilliantly written and musically just about perfect. In 2015 we saw a famous Michael Jackson impersonator perform this in Woonsocket, RI… and even the impersonator nailed it. The song is THAT good.
9. Wanted Dead or Alive: Bon Jovi. When this music video came out, it was the first glimpse into the life of a musician that may be less than glamorous. The song is well written, has great hooks and is all around great. I love playing it on drums. It’s one of the few songs I can listen to over and over after years of hearing it. This song was ahead of it’s time and still holds up today. I sometimes wonder if non-musicians love this song as much as musicians do… ?
8. Head Over Heels: The Go-Go’s. The Go-Go’s changed my life. As I was trying to figure out how I fit in to the world, Belinda Carlisle helped me get there. This is one of their lesser known songs, but it’s the one I remember listening to over and over and saying ok… I can see myself in this person. I have someone to relate to. Thank you Belinda Carlisle! She wasn’t all punk, she wasn’t all pop, she wasn’t any category she was all categories, and still is. I aspired to be like that. I still want Belinda to be my best friend.
Belinda ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
7. Fight For Your Right To Party: The Beastie Boys. You should know, the Beastie Boys are my favorite band of all time. They don’t have my top slot in the countdown, but if asked to name my overall favorite band… it’s hands down these guys. They changed the way I felt about music and felt about life. They broke barriers. They still break barriers. I would sit with a friend and memorize the words to Paul Revere and life was good. I couldn’t possibly name all of the songs I love by them, but this was the very first. Plus let’s be serious, before this I had no idea that I had the RIGHT to party 😉
6. Dream On: Aerosmith. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Aerosmith. Too many to count. This is partially due to the fact they they are from my home state. I even settled 2 insurance claims for them in the 1990’s when I was a claims adjuster. I originally wrote the details in this blog because Jager temporarily made me forget that was inappropriate. Luckily I remembered before I hit “Publish”. Let’s say we have a long history. My band did a cover of their cover of “Walking The Dog”. That said, Dream On has always been an important song to me. I’m in the process of convincing my daughter to perform this one with me because it’s such an emotional song and has so much meaning to me. Whenever I hear this song, I feel like a 19 year old drummer at UMASS in a state of Zen once again. Does it get any better than that?
5. I Know You Won’t: Carrie Underwood. Best vocals of any song I’ve ever heard. Also a great emotional message. Lauren will learn this song when she’s ready. I’ve heard this performed live twice, and have been speechless every time. Not only are the vocals better than anything I’ve ever heard… even without production/mixing/blending… but the emotion and meaning is real. When someone doesn’t keep their promises but you keep hoping they will, this is the song for you. Carrie Underwood can’t dance for $hit but I’ll tell you what, that woman can SING. She doesn’t need studio tricks… this song is the real thing. Songs I couldn’t include in a short top 10ish list: Someday When I Stop Loving You, The Night Before Life Goes On & Wasted.
4. Ali In The Jungle: The Hours. I learned about this song last year. I asked, on social media, for inspiration. Someone who knows me better than most suggested this song. The music video is just as good as the song. A senior leader at my day job recently asked me what I felt my best quality was. I responded by saying “overcoming adversity”. I believe that to be true. When self-doubt creeps in I listen to this song and it tells the self doubt to F-Off and go back to where it came from. If you’ve overcome adversity and struggle with intermittent bouts of self-doubt, this song is a necessity. In my 40’s this song has been a critical reminder that I CAN and I WILL. Thank you song writers and producers.
3. Ride The Lightening: Metallica. When I was a Sophomore in high school I experienced a lapse. I have always been extremely driven. Focused. Achieving. Surviving. Cutting through red tape with a machete. In 1985 I experienced a lapse. I gave up. I decided the fight wasn’t worth it and almost gave into the dark side. I started smoking cigarettes. I stopped caring about my schooling. I focused on survival but nothing else. I determined there was no point. A fellow student gave me a Metallica tape. One day while mowing the lawn at my house I put the tape in and heard Ride the Lightening. I have no explanation why, but this was a turning point for me. It energized me and put me back on track. I felt a kinship with the meaning of the song. I realized I wasn’t the only person going through something. I realized I had the power to control my outcomes. I could ride the lightening. Thank you Metallica for this turning point. I regained control of my future because of a cassette tape and a lawn mower.
2. When Doves Cry: Prince. This is one of my favorite songs of all time. I loved this song at the same time that I loved Metallica. I wasn’t a metal head. I wasn’t a pop culture buff. I wasn’t into anything, I was just me and I loved parts of most things. This song is almost perfect. I regret that I never heard Prince perform it. This is my go-to song when I need to forget about something. I get in my car, I put this song on, and I sing every… single.. word. I LOVE THIS SONG. Prince had a way of helping you to let go and become a part of the music. You dance in your car, sitting down, and you don’t care who sees you. We will never hear a song like this again. People in the next lane over in traffic stare at you like you’re crazy. Instead of worrying about what they think, you feel sorry for them because they can’t experience the same sense of freedom. I’m thankful it exists.
- Jesus Walks: Kanye West. If there’s one thing in the world that I CANNOT STAND, it’s Kanye West. I think he’s one of the biggest narcissistic assholes of our time. He’s overconfident and often unintelligent. He puts down others to make himself feel powerful. That’s my least favorite type of person. That said, he has produced the song that has had the most impact on my life. I listen to this song several times a week. This song is my anthem. This song is my reset. This song is for anyone that has come close to going to the dark side and come back. This song is for those who have gone to the dark side and come back. This song is for those who are still on the dark side and still have the opportunity to come back. This song is brilliantly produced. It’s motivational and meaningful. I have listened to this song weekly since it came out over a decade ago. This song keeps me on track. This song reminds me to stay the course. This song has had more of an impact on my life than any other song every has. My only regret is that it wasn’t released earlier in my life when it would have helped me sooner. This is the message we need in the struggle. We are all equal. We can all rise above evil and do what’s right, even without the resources or means to do so. Even if we have already gone down the wrong path, there is always still time for course correction. YES WE CAN. We can always come back no matter how far off track we have gone. #JesusWalks.