Friday, 22 June 2007

Ten Songs That Matter(ed) To Me

I am delighted to be tagged by HollyGL (via Loz, ) for this one. To list ten songs that have mattered to me in my life. They're roughly listed in a time line order.

Edited in January 2010 to add that songs 5 and 6 were ones I used to write my book "First Light" to in the 1990s. :-)

1. Don't Stop me Now - Queen. This will always be my favourite "energy boost" song. As a teenager I used to play it while I got dressed to go out. I played it before my Matric Dance (like a US Prom dance) and I've played it before job interviews and once when I had to give a speech. It always energises me and leaves me feeling I could jump small buildings in a single leap.

2. Perfect - Fairground Attraction. A group I love and a song of theirs with special meaning. The day I had a chance to reconnect with an ex-boyfriend this song was playing on the radio. Although I'd always loved this song I was very unhappy to hear it that particular day. I knew it was telling me the truth - that he had never been "the one" and I should wait for that "Perfect" relationship. I never reconnected with that old boyfriend that day, or any other. I made the right decision and I owe it to that song.

3. Whole of the Moon - the Waterboys. The first time I heard this song (1980s) I thought "Wow, this is me!" I searched it out on You Tube, listened to it again and thought, "Wow, that was me!" :-D

4. Cruising for Bruising - Basia. I bought this record (yeah, still records back then) when I was in the middle of a most complicated time of my life. I cried buckets listening to that song. Even now, listening to it on You Tube, hurts. I love Basia, but I never could get over linking her with that time period in my life.

5. On Bended Knee and I'll make love to You - Boyz II Men. I know this seems cheating to list two, but these songs are so connected for me that I just cannot list one without the other. Around the time these were hits I was madly writing my one and only book (manuscript sitting in a box somewhere) - during the Christmas holidays. Those two songs were my inspiration for the romance part of my plot. I played them probably a thousand times while I was writing. I can never hear them now without remembering my writing.. and Christmas!

6. Toccata 5th Symphony for Organ - Opus 42 - Widor. The only classical music I really adore. I can fly on this piece of music. If I had my wish it would be to lie on the floor of a Gothic cathedral and listen to this played live - so loud that the gargoyles would blink and the stained glass shiver.

7. Domnhall - Capercaillie. When I came to Scotland to meet my future husband he introduced me to this Scottish group he loved. He bought their album, "The Blood is Strong", the first weekend of my holiday and we played it in the car everywhere we went. Then, near the end of my holiday, I bought my own CD to take back to Africa. That way we could play the same songs on both sides of the world whilst we were apart. To be honest, although this song is my favourite, that entire album reminds me of falling in love - both with my highlander and his incredibly beautiful country.

8. How Deep is your Love - Bee Gees. Two years ago in early summer I woke up singing this song. I'm not such a Bee Gee fan, so I knew it was a message, especially since I'd dreamt of asking a little girl on a tricycle to come home with me. I went to the doctor and she confirmed what I already knew - I was pregnant. I looked up the lyrics that afternoon:

I know your eyes in the morning sun
I feel you touch me in the pouring rain
And the moment that you wander far from me
I wanna feel you in my arms again
And you come to me on a summer breeze
Keep me warm in your love and then softly leave
And it's me you need to show

How deep is your love
I really need to learn
'cause we're living in a world of fools
Breaking us down
When they all should let us be
We belong to you and me

9. Run to Me - Bee Gees. For one amazing thrilling month I was a "mother-to-be".. then something changed. I think I already knew, but I went for a scan anyway. We were told the baby had no heartbeat. I finally miscarried a week or so later.. and once again I woke up singing another Bee Gees song, only this time I heard it later the same day on the radio as well. As I've mentioned to Jeff before on his blog - When I listened to these lyrics I knew that God had held me in love from beginning to end:

If ever you got rain in your heart,
someone has hurt you, and torn you apart,
am I unwise to open up your eyes to love me?
And let it be like they said it would be -
me loving you girl, and you loving me.
Am I unwise to open up your eyes to love me?

Run to me whenever you're lonely. (to love me)
Run to me if you need a shoulder
Now and then, you need someone older,
so darling, you run to me.

10. Heaven/Where True love Goes - Yusuf Islam aka Cat Stevens. Last, but not least. : -)

I was delighted when I found this song. Cat Steven's was my husband's favourite musician, so to find a brand new song for him to hear was such a thrill. When we listened to it the words fitted everything we feel and share together. A bit late in the day perhaps, but we finally have "our song". :-)


I'm not going to tag anyone, since several people I was going to tag have already been chosen. Instead I'm leaving this as an open invitation to anyone who wants to share their songs.

The rules:

1. Each person who wants to join in has to write about 5-10 songs that had an impact on them in their life.
2. They should link back to me as well as HollyGL.
3. Then, if so inclined, tag five more people.


Epimenides said...

A wide range of genres!
The "whole of the moon" reminds me of my student days, and the Bee Gees of Manchester where I studied!
Ah! Good memories! Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Cool. Two Bee Gees Songs. That makes me smile.

Unknown said...

... I believe in signs as well and they mostly come true!

Dustinzgirl said...

Michelle, have you heard

Performed by Gord Downie
Written by Leonard Cohen

Its an absolutely beautiful song, I think you would like it. I about started crying the first time I heard it (yes, the idea of a metal head listening to this song...i also love old time pre 1940 folk and gospel)

: P

Michelle said...


glad my song choices brought back good memories.


I thought you'd enjoy hearing the whole story - and the songs. :-)

Hi Random

yes, they do. :-)


I love it when songs hit like that! Where you FEEL so much it pours out you in tears. :-)

You got any idea if there are online versions I could hear? I did a search in You Tube and got a lot of gord songs, but not that one. :-(

Anonymous said...

Terrific list, Michelle! I have always loved The Whole of The Moon as well. It seems to hit that tender place inside.

Michelle said...

Thanks Holly

yes, that song really does get under your skin, doesn't it?

Loz said...

Hi Michelle, thanks for participating and revealing such personal details. Music has always been a wonderful trigger for me too.

Michelle said...

Hi Loz

I enjoyed this challenge a lot - I always find myself surprised at how much I learn about myself at the same time I'm sharing with others. Yes, music is an amazing trigger.

Independent Traveler said...

This is a great idea, Michelle - it made me think about all the great tunes and songs (with great lyrics) that inspired me or just accompanied me through my life, times good and bad. Some provided inspiration, others food for the soul, some educated me and others provided wisdom. Some were angry along with me and I always knew the songs understood me.

I'm glad you mention THE WATERBOYS(!). I like their earlier stuff the most. The first time I heard Mike Scott's voice was on Capital Radio 604, broadcasting on Medium Wave from Durban and I was blown away with their Big Sounds - lots of sax and soaring trumpets. I was living in East London (S.A.) at the time and was about age 15 or 16. Martin Bailey (DJ) was raving about their album "A Pagan Place" and was giving it loads of airtime. One particular track, "The Big Music", made a major impression on me and to this day is an all time inspirational favourite. I would like to post the lyrics here:

I have heard
the big music
and I'll never be the same
something so pure
just called my name

I have drowned
in the big sea
now I find I'm still alive
And I'm coming up forever
shadows all behind me
ecstacy to come

I have climbed the big tree
touched the big sky
I just stuck my
hand up in the air
and everything came into colour
like jazz manna
from sweet chariots

I have seen the big mountain
and I swear I'm halfway there
- You'll never get there
you'll never get there
you'll never get there
- But I will
I will always climb the mountain
because I have heard the big music
and I'll never be the same
Something so pure
has called
my name

(I managed to see them perform in London in 1997 - EXCELLENT!)
Their site is worth checking out:

Also, I cannot not mention Bob Marley, the prophet - a master lyricist. My favourite lines from "Redemption Song" are:

Old pirates, yes, they rob I;
Sold I to the merchant ships,
Minutes after they took I
From the bottomless pit.
But my hand was made strong
By the 'and of the Almighty.
We forward in this generation

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
Have no fear for atomic energy,
Cause none of them can stop the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look?
Some say it's just a part of it:
We've got to fulfil de book.

Sometimes it's just bit's and pieces of lyrics that stick in my head, like these few lines by the (Scottish) band Big Country:

In a big country dreams stay with you
Like a lover's voice fires the mountainside
Stay alive
Stay alive

I'm not expecting to grow flowers in a desert
But I can live and breathe
And see the sun in wintertime

In a big country dreams stay with you
Like a lover's voice fires the mountainside
Stay alive!
Stay alive!

There's so much more, but let me get on with making my list, before I take up all your comments space... LOL


Michelle said...

Hi Jacques!

Hey, you're always welcome to take up comment space here. *big grin*

Oh those are some great song choices. I love Bob Marley too. I'll have to go check out that waterboys link as well. Thanks! :-)