Music can quench a thirst that leaves us feeling full but never drunk. You can never have too much music, you can never overdose on it yet it takes you to a higher place. Weather the music be country, church hymns, rap, pop, rock ‘n’ roll, international or girl anthems, music is a human connection, an emotional expression and a language completely of it’s own. I would like to share with you some songs on various playlists I have made up over the years, on my iPods, smart phones, lap top, desk top… wherever they’re stored, I want to bring them to you! Some songs on my playlists are inspirational songs, some are songs of stories, some are anthems, some cryptic, some fun and some run unspeakably deep because I can relate to them so much. Most of these songs I’m going to share are positive and I’m sure you have heard of them but hopefully I can introduce or at least reintroduce you to one song. If there is a great song or songs that are meaningful to you please share in the comments below! Thanks!
(Not necessarily religious)
1. “This Is Your Time” Michael W. Smith-
This song was originally written to honor slain Columbine High School Victim , Cassie Bernell. It is said that when one of the shooters pointed a gun at her, he asked her if she believed in God. Knowing she would be shot if she admitted her faith, she responded “yes” and was shot dead. Numerous songs have been written about her including Flyleaf’s song, “Cassie”. In 2010, the parents of murder victim, Chelsea King, used, “This Is Your Time” as an ending song to their daughter’s memorial service. I remember at the memorial service, bag pipes blared (in the song’s ending) as thousands of San Diegans raised sunflowers (Chelsea’s favorite flower) upward to the sky to pay tribute to Chelsea. This song always makes my heart ache but it is hauntingly poetic and beautiful.
2. “Note to God” JoJo (and cover by Charice)-
This is an important song, firstly because it is eloquently beautiful and poetically brilliant but also because of a heart touching performance that goes with it. Pop star, JoJo, first released the song on her 2006 album “The High Road” (“Note to God” was written by Diane Warren, one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE music writers). But in 2009, on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, 18 year-old, Charice, a pop singer from the Philippines, KNOCKED it out of the park! Prepare yourself for goose bumps.
3. “Skinny Love” Bon Iver; (also done by Birdy and also done by Bella Ferraro)-
I first came across “Skinny Love” in 2010 when I downloaded Bon Iver’s album, “For Emma, Forever Ago”. I LOVED it. Then I heard Birdy’s version and I appreciated the simplicity and nostalgia of her cover. Then I saw X Factor. A young 16 year old, Bella Ferraro changed the song for me forever. The reason that comes to mind as to why her version beats out all the rest is because her’s was just sweeter and truer. I don’t know how but it somehow was those two things but also it was also purer and more powerful. It greatly helps that her voice is gorgeous and she is just so young, not just age wise but she is so innocently young!
Link to X Factor audition
4. “Hands” Jewel-
I admire and truly love folk/country/ pop singer, Jewel. As well as successful albums, she has also put out books of poetry (“Chasing the Dawn” and “A Night Without Armor”) that are absolute MUST READS! On another note, “Hands” has literally helped me out of sorrowful moments of my life by shedding small streams of bright light into a dark world I was being held captive in. “I will not be made useless, or idle with despair”… simplistic, bold, powerful, beautiful and full of truth and wisdom. With lyrics,”I am never broken” and “In the end, only kindness matters” how can it not serve as a helping hand to pull you out of your darkest moments (Pun not intended).
(Uplifting and light hearted)
1. “5 Years Time” Noah and the Whale-
Noah and the Whale offers up cheerful, sleek indie songs but “5 Years Time” is truly their best ever! With such unorthodox approaches to this song, such as playing a recorder (the instrument) to whistling and clapping through out the song , all truly makes this song one of a kind. It’s fun, cheery, cute and makes you want to hit the zoo with balloons (you’ll find out why when you listen to the song).
2. “Birthday” Katy Perry-
How can I make a “fun” music list and not have a Katy Perry song included? And what’s more fun than celebrating yourself everyday, not just on your birthday? Perry teaches that it’s okay to be weird so celebrate your oddities, every day of the week!
3. “Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)” Shinedown-
If you need a song to inspire you to work out, this is it! But with that aside, this song is relateable, self-empowering and infused- no, dripping wet with adrenaline. I love Shinedown and they rarely miss to impress. I’ll give you an excerpt of the song,
“I’m on the front line
Don’t worry I’ll be fine
the story is just beginning
I say goodbye to my weakness
so long to the regret
and now I see the world through diamond eyes”
(Lyrics taken from your own thoughts)
1. “What I Cannot Change” LeAnn Rimes-
This is one of those songs that makes me wonder if someone isn’t stalking me, jolting down my every emotion and every experience unto paper and than turning them into main stream songs. This is a great song to listen to if you are feeling melancholy and down in a rut. “I will learn to let go of what I cannot change”, this beginning to the chorus makes me think of strength and bravery in letting go of what you cannot control, accepting uncertainty and realizing your own strength. It is incredibly brave and empowering, accepting the things you can’t change and letting go of your disappointments and expectations of what should have been.
2 “Lessons Learned” Carrie Underwood-
“There’s some things that I regret,
Some words I wish had gone unsaid,
That had some bitter endings,
Been some bad times I’ve been through,
Damage I cannot undo,
I wish I could do all all over again,
But it don’t really matter,
Life gets that much harder,
It makes you that much stronger,
Oh, some pages turned,
Some bridges burned,
But there were,
Once you accept that change is sometimes out of your control, remember that they are now lessons learned.
3. “Sad Song” Christina Perri
I’m not sure if this is really a song you should listen to when you are feeling down but it is a song I can completely unequivocally relate to. A lot of the time, I feel myself in dire need to explain myself because, I didn’t express myself correctly to someone, so song sort of explains it for me. The lines:
“And all you need to know is
I’m so sorry it’s not like me,
It’s maturity that I’m lacking
So don’t, don’t let me go
Just let me know that growing up goes slow”
are lines that I feel should be a disclaimer tattooed to my forehead. “Beware: she doesn’t always know what she’s doing or means what she expresses”. This is a song about being misunderstood, miscommunication and feeling horribly guilty about hurting someone. We’ve all been there.
4. “Virginia Bluebell” Miranda Lambert-
“Virginia Bluebell” is another lovely song that reminds you to come out of what ever funk you’re in and raise your head up to the light. I really get comfort from listening to this song when I am feeling blue. (No pun intended?) Lyrics below:
“Carrying the weight on the end of a limb
you’re just waitin’ for somebody
to pick you up again
shaded by a tree, can’t live up to a rose
all you ever wanted
was a silent place to grow
Pretty little thing
sometimes you gotta look up
and let the world see
all the beauty that you’re made of
cause the way you hang your head
nobody can tell
you’re my Virginia bluebell
my Virginia bluebell
Even through the snow
a flower can bloom
you just need a little push
spring is coming soon
umbrella in the rain
they’ll roll off your back
better watcha you can; realize what you have
Put a little light in the darkest places
put a little smile on the saddest faces”
I love Virginia Bluebells, they are such a beautiful flower. I think the flower that really inspires me the most are the sunflowers; they let the light guide them. They look up towards the sun and follow it where ever the light takes them. If you’re feeling blue, remember to cheer up buttercup, don’t be a bluebell with your head hanging low, raise your head up and be like the sunflower, with your face towards the sun.