Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Songs I Would Give to My Child - Part 2

If you missed Part 1, please to enjoy by clicking here.

And now onto Part 2, or rather, the second CD in this compilation.

1. Mr. Jones - Counting Crows
This song will always hold a special place in my heart. It reminds me of that episode of VH1's "The List" that was hosted by Ashton Kutcher and featured Ike, Taylor, and Zac Hanson and some actress from some TV show. They all had to come up with their top "pop" albums, and then it evolved into a conversation of what "pop" meant. Pop as in bubblegum pop music like Britney Spears? Or pop as in popular music and, therefore, pretty much anything goes? The Counting Crows' August and Everything After was one of the albums that one of the Hanson brothers suggested, prompting the discussion about what is pop. After I saw that episode, I purchased the album through my CD club. Yes, in high school I belonged to one of those clubs where if you purchased a full-price album, you could purchase any number of additional albums for $5 or sometimes $2.99 each! Plus shipping and handling!

At that same time, my friend Teresa cut out a picture of Ashton Kutcher from a magazine and taped it inside my car over the glove compartment box. Underneath the picture she wrote "Mr. Jones". Ah, memories.

2. Uptown Girl - Billy Joel
I really love "Uptown Girl", but there are a slew of Billy Joel songs that could also make the cut. We put "Just the Way You Are" on our wedding mix. "Piano Man" is also a nice classic. And ever since I heard it in my elementary school music class, I've enjoyed "River of Dreams". (I remember being really mad that out of ALL the Billy Joel records my dad owned, he did not own THAT ONE.) "Only the Good Die Young" is good, and I also like "It's Still Rock 'n' Roll to Me". I guess we'll just have to give our child a separate Billy Joel mix.

3. Love Shack - The B-52s
We specially requested this song to play at our wedding. It's just not a party unless this song is played. I think from an early age that is important for our child to know.

4. Tiny Spark - Brendan Benson
I first heard this song when I was working at my college radio station as a DJ. It's such a good song, and I'm glad I put it on the mix for the teen girls, but I feel like I might have to nix it on my child's mix because there are so many other songs out there that are more personal and have more meaning. Like, for instance, Diana Ross's "If We Hold On Together" from The Land Before Time. That was THE movie from my childhood. Who didn't go around looking at leaves and thinking, "TREE STAR!" And who can't recall the awesome Pizza Hut commercial that aired before the movie on the VHS? I used to have a Little Foot stuffed animal and some of the plastic hand puppets that you got when you went to Pizza Hut. Good memories. The movie's theme song is AWESOME, and if I'm ever on American Idol and they do a movie night, THAT is the song I'm singing. Our child will definitely be watching my VHS copy of this movie and our child WILL enjoy it. If our child is anything like its father, dinosaurs will be a BIG thing at our house, so liking The Land Before Time (only the original - not the several sequels) shouldn't be too hard.

5. Take a Chance On Me - ABBA
When I was in middle school, I was pretty obsessed with disco. Just the music, not so much any of the other aspects of disco. I owned all three Pure Disco CDs, and I'm pretty sure there was one ABBA song on each of those CDs. For pretty much all of my childhood, my family owned a working record player, and I used to listen to my moms ABBA CDs and put songs from them on people's mixed tapes. I just couldn't get enough of that crazy Swedish music. I later went and bought ABBA GOLD, which my mother has stolen from me, so good thing I imported the CD onto my computer. There are so many ABBA songs I could give to my child on this mix, but "Take a Chance On Me" with its semi-stalkerish pleading for the guy to just like her already is a classic. I love the a cappella opening, too.

6. Girls Just Want to Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper
Probably if we have a boy, I'll take this song off the list. Guys just don't get this song as well as girls, ya know? But if we have a girl, you can bet that she will be learning how to sing along to this female anthem in the womb.

7. How Soon is Now? - The Smiths
I didn't really get into The Smiths/Morrissey until late high school/early college. But when I wanted to turn on the emo, this is the song I turned up loud. Perhaps our child will need a song like this someday.

8. I Wasn't Prepared - Eisley
As much as I love Eisley and the beautiful notes hit in this song, it's definitely not a song that I think my child HAS to know. I can't believe that I forgot about STYX on these mixes! What was I thinking??? So in place of the Eisley song, I'm going to go with "Renegade" by STYX.

I went to Florida the summer before high school and ate in a Hard Rock Cafe when the song "Babe" started playing. Because I listened exclusively to the soft rock radio station back home, I knew the song but didn't know who sang it. The Hard Rock answered that question for me: STYX.

image credit
Yes, I found this man attractive at
one point. Don't judge me.
Also when I was in high school, I watched an entire STYX concert on PBS. I enjoyed it so much that I even made it through all those "commercial" breaks where the PBS people try to convince me to give them money so that I can continue to enjoy fantastic programming such as televised STYX concerts. I also developed a crush on Tommy Shaw (pictured at right). Instead of giving PBS money, I asked for the STYX Greatest Hits CD for my 16th birthday AND I GOT IT! Because it was my Sweet Sixteen, I was going away on a special birthday trip with some friends, and I remember bringing the STYX CD and trying to make everyone listen to it in the car.

It's impossible for me to see the full STYX lineup because Dennis DeYoung can't tour anymore due to a disorder that causes him to be sensitive to light. Also, none of the other band members like him. But I did see some of STYX in concert a few years ago, and it was amazing. It also reminded me how much I like the song "Lorelei". Not gonna lie. I got super excited when that song started playing.

9. I Want it That Way - Backstreet Boys
If you know me personally, you've probably been wondering where the heck the Backstreet Boys were already! Well, here they are. A mix from me to my child cannot be complete without the Backstreet Boys. I will not hide my crazy boy band love from my child. I think it's important to know the full background of mommy's musical history, especially because I think the "crazy boy band" personality might be genetic. Apparently, my mom was something of a teenybopper, and I know I totally was to a higher degree, so I'm a little concerned about how my child will turn out. As long as my child enjoys the sweet, sweet voices of Brian (swoon), Kevin (swoon), Nick (bleh), AJ (eh), and Howie D. (eh), that is all that matters.

10. Set the Fire to the Third Bar - Snow Patrol
Okay, I REALLY like this song. It's got great harmony, which I'm a sucker for. BUT, I'm feeling like I want to replace it with something else. Perhaps "Transatlanticism" by Death Cab for Cutie? Yes, perhaps.

So, here's the story about that, future baby: I first heard "Transatlanticism" on the TV show Six Feet Under, a show you're not allowed to watch until you're much much much much muchmuchmuchmuch older. When I first moved to New Jersey, my roommate had a DVR and A&E was just starting to replay the entire series of Six Feet Under from the very beginning. (Edited for cable, of course, but whatever.) I had never seen the show, and my roommate told me it was great, so I decided to DVR the episodes and watch. LOVED IT. Probably one of my top 5 or, at least, top 10 TV shows of all time. Now, when this song played on the show, it was in a scene where some of the characters were getting high. But I didn't need drugs to fall in love with the song or find it incredibly mesmerizing. Fast forward to a few months later, and I was on a date with your father. He had made me a "love" mix, and guess what song he put on it? "Transatlanticism". Without me having told him that I liked the song. We had seriously never talked about it. So, I figured, well, I better hang onto this guy!

11. I'll Stand By You - The Pretenders
I first heard this song in one of my high school choir classes and immediately fell in love with it. It took me awhile to find The Pretenders CD on which it came, but I finally found it and purchased it through my CD subscription club. I have no idea what the other songs are on that CD because this was the only one I listened to. Over and over and over and over again. I also chose to put it on our wedding mix.

12. The Way I Am - Ingrid Michaelson
Well, I like this song so much that I put it on our wedding mix, but once again, I'm going to have to delete and replace. How could I have omitted my signature song "Gloria" by Laura Branigan? That is my go-to karaoke song, something that every person needs to have! I just found out that some karaoke places (at least in New York) stay open during the day so that parents can bring their kids on, I guess, play dates for karaoke. Kind of cool, right? I can just picture me and perhaps one or two girls (do boys like karaoke?) playing hooky from school for a mommy-daughter karaoke date. I get to sing lead. The kids do back-up.

And FYI, the karaoke places out here are not bars. They are like Japanese karaoke places where you get your own private room and only sing to the people who are with you.

13. Brave - Nichole Nordeman
This song means a lot to me. I chose it for our wedding CD mix that we handed out as a favor to our guests because it summed up how I felt about my husband. And I want my child to understand that. You don't have to settle for compromise in relationships or just life in general. Find a person or place that lets you be who you are. Be brave!

14. Kentucky Woman - Neil Diamond
If my child doesn't like Neil Diamond, then we're taking he or she back. Enough said.

15. Hunter - Dido
When I first heard Dido's album No Angel, I freakin' fell in love. IT WAS SO GOOD! I listened to that CD ALL THE TIME. (Well, when I wasn't listening to Hanson.) And no, it had nothing to do with the fact that one of Dido's songs was the theme song to the CW (or was it still WB then?) show Roswell, which was superfreakingawesome. Dido has such a cool-sounding voice, and I especially love it on "Hunter", a song about a woman asking her boyfriend/husband/lover to let her go because she wants to live life on her own.

16. Eleanor Rigby - The Beatles
For some reason, this has always been my favorite Beatles song. I hope that one day we'll be able to take our child to England and go to Liverpool and sit by the Eleanor Rigby statue. Perhaps we will even take the Magical Mystery Beatles Tour, but hopefully this time the bus won't break down before the tour ends, forcing all of us to take (and pay for) public transportation back to Liverpool city central. Long story.

17. Big Yellow Taxi - Amy Grant
This is the only version of the song that matters. Sorry, Joni Mitchell. No apologies to The Counting Crows, though. I HATE THEIR VERSION. I'm not saying that my family is going to be all hippy, dippy, trippy, organic or whatever. Although, I do envision myself as the kind of mom who makes her own baby food and takes her kid to farmer's markets, which is insane because I hardly have time to make my own food from scratch, and I don't even go to farmer's markets as a childless adult!! But I can dream, right?

18. Don't Wake Me Up - The Hush Sound
Again, another song that I love, but I'm going to have to omit it in favor of a song that I love EVEN MORE: Saves the Day's "At Your Funeral".  I listened to that song non-stop in college. That one and "This Is Not an Exit", mainly because it reminded me of my favorite Bret Easton Ellis novel at the time, Less Than Zero.

19. Just a Girl - No Doubt
Probably a song that I will omit if we have a boy. This is a song about what it's like to be a girl, the good and bad, and I just don't see a boy having the same reaction to it as a girl. Although, it could be a good teachable moment for the boy. Of course, we could always put a different No Doubt song on the mix. "Spiderwebs" is always a good choice. I also like "New", "Bathwater", "Ex-girlfriend" and "Simple Kind of Life" from Return of Saturn. But pretty much nothing after that. Have you listened to No Doubt's latest album, Push and Shove? It's just embarrassing. I can't believe the band is back in the studio working on another album. Please no.

20. Mix Tape - Brand New
I initially put this song on the mix for the teen girls because I was making them a mix and this song is about making a mix. HA. But for my own child, I think I'm going to end CD 2 with "Cruz" by Christina Aguilera. Yes, this song came out during her XXXtina days. I believe it was on the same album as "Beautiful", which is also a good song, but what Diane Warren song isn't? I remember borrowing this CD from my friend Courtney and really thinking, "Well, I should give it a shot, shouldn't I?" And I did. And I listened to every song on the album. And aside from "Beautiful", "Cruz" was the only other song I liked. I love the a cappella beginning. I love the harmonies. I love the "roll down the windows and belt the song even if you don't have Christina's vocal range" nature of the song. And I hope my future child does, too.

1 comment:

  1. This post was so much fun! I read every single bit of it and it brought back lots of fun song memories. I'm going to be playing some of these for my kids too. Of course, they'll probably roll their eyes and say "Mooooom!"