I am thankful for music.
It reminds me that I am human. It reminds me that there are other people who have similar experiences to mine. It reminds me that I have experienced both pleasure and pain in this life, and I have some sort of convoluted soundtrack to prove it.
I went back and forth on how to do this. First I was going to select just a few songs from my iPod, but most of you wouldn't even recognize them if I did. Instead I opted for a little bit of googling and sought out "top 100" lists for MOST of the years. The two exceptions are 2006 and 2008.
So, here it is. This exercise proved to be time consuming, but pretty fun!
1980 Don't Stop Til You Get Enough - Michael Jackson
Yeah, I was all about Michael Jackson when I was a kid. Except Thriller scared the expletive out of me and my mom and dad had to tell me the VHS copy of it was in Arizona at my aunt's house. I was so mad when I found it when I was a teenager, right there in our entertainment center!
1981 Jessie's Girl - Rick Springfield
So I really don't remember this particular Springfield song from my childhood, but I remember listening to this Rick Springfield record over and over again. And now, out of the whole list of top songs from 1981, that's the only one I recognize on sight! lol
1982 Eye of the Tiger - Survivor
Say it loud, say it proud, I was 2 when this song came out! It's awesome and reeks of hilarity.
1983 Always Something There to Remind Me - Naked Eyes
Okay, let's face it, these songs from when I was super young don't really mean very much to me. It's just fun poking around at these lists to see what songs I do actually know.
1984 What's Love Got to Do With It - Tina Turner
Now THIS one, I remember. I think this is one of the first songs I actually can affiliate some foggy memories with of being a kid and riding along with my dad to the dump. Yeah, he would bribe me by stopping at 7-11 to buy me candy and the occasional slurpee so he could have some company whilst he was our very own DIY trashman. I heart my dad.
1985 The Power of Love - Huey Lewis and The News
OH MAN! I freaking love Back to the Future. But when I was a kid, that first scene with the amplifier scared me real bad. I think I scared easily, see 1980 and also library scene from Ghostbusters. Ha.
1986 Sledgehammer - Peter Gabriel
This is getting really fun, I recommend you try it. Sledgehammer was maybe the first music video I can remember seeing on MTV.
1987 Walk Like an Egyptian - Bangles
What little girl didn't do this dance? Seriously. If you haven't, you should try it.
1988 Faith - George Michael
Ah, the days of turning up the radio really loud and thinking about anything but my homework. I remember having worksheets in front of me, and I would get so wrapped up in listening to the radio that a half hour later I still hadn't done any of my work. It's when my rebellion against homework started, I think.
1989 Straight Up - Paula Abdul
My friend Danielle and I used my dad's video camera to make our own little movie featuring our barbie dolls and this terribly 80s looking plastic mattel rip-off furniture we had. I do believe this song made the ACTUAL soundtrack. Maybe a party scene? I wish I had that VHS... then again, maybe it's best left to fuzzy memories.
1990 Hold On - Wilson Phillips
Every week we made a family trip to Costco, which I believe was still called Price Club at this point in history. I was getting to that age when I actually wanted things like books and movies. This was also the year when we got one of those new-fangled CD PLAYERS. So one night, we're at Costco, and they had CDs. And they had this CD. And I begged and pleaded and got my very first CD, by Wilson Phillips. L-O-freakin'-L.
1991 (Everything I Do) I Do It For You - Bryan Adams
Yikes! The list of songs for 1991 is surprisingly sultry. This song, for me, represents a couple of things. #1, I think it was the beginning of my hopelessly romantic ideals. #2, I was starting to break away a little bit from KIIS FM and whatever my parents were listening to.
1992 November Rain - Guns N' Roses
Yup, it's not your mom and dad's music anymore! I remember watching this video every time I could on MTV. Man, I loved me some Guns N' Roses for a while. This is getting a little embarassing. I hope it doesn't get worse before it gets better!
1993 Have I Told You Lately - Rod Stewart
Fun facts about this song. I started to make fun of my dad for listening to Rod Stewart and Eric Clapton. Then there was some story Aaron told me about dancing to this song at prom, or something, I can't even remember now… but I decided to pick on him for Rod Stewart being his "favorite" singer. And now sometimes I break out into speak-singing this song to him just to irritate him (in a really loving funny way)
1994 Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm - Crash Test Dummies
In my Jr High to High School transition angst, I thought this song was awesome. Maybe I thought I was a freak or that I wouldn't ever fit in or what, I don't really know. But this is THE song from the 94 list for me.
1995 Hold My Hand - Hootie and the Blowfish
This song reminds me of Jaime Randolph. And having friends in general. She was the first one of us to get her drivers license thanks to being a January baby, and we would drive around Bloomington and generally laugh and be girls together. I really miss her. I miss having those friends and those adventures.
1996 One Sweet Day - Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men
Get the kleenex out. This was my sophomore year of high school. I was thoroughly enjoying participating in drama as much as I could, when my drama teacher fell into our orchestra pit and died as a result of her injuries a few weeks later. The thing was, she wasn't just a teacher. She was a friend. She gave me rides home after I would stay and miss the late bus helping out with painting sets or cleaning up after rehearsal. She was a devout Christian. She was kind and funny. This song was on every station we turned to in the car on the way home from her memorial service. I don't even know if I could bear to listen to this song now.
She was an incredible woman and had such an impact on so many students. I love & miss you, Mrs. Edwards.
1997 It's All Coming Back To Me Now - Celine Dion
This song represents the summer of 1996 and spending lots of time at Amber's house swimming. And there was one dance / party, too… I can't remember whose house that was at, but it wasn't Amber's. Anyway, I was all about Celine Dion in my melodramatic teenage romance years.
1998 Foolish Games - Jewel
One girl on the swim team would have her headphones on and sing along to Jewel and the rest of us would follow her lead. Away meets were the BEST. We got out of school early and got to laze around eating snacky energy foods while in between events.
1999 Baby One More Time - Britney Spears
There were these two guys at Dave and Buster's who always insisted that I looked like Britney Spears (riiiiight). And there was a really good friend of mine, who was a bit on the flamboyant side, who had an awesome made up silly dance that he did to this song. I think this song actually does the Dave & Buster's era justice.
2000 The Real Slim Shady - Eminem
Know what's weird? Going to a country line dancing club and hearing this song. This one's another D&B memory, when the Brandin' Iron had a college night on Wednesday nights and I went with my Winner's Circle friends.
2001 Hanging by a Moment - Lifehouse
In 2001 I really connected with this song. I discovered it right in that time when I was doing really well but then went crazy, so this whole album reminds me of that time. But in a good way, because it is one of the things that helped me through it.
2002 Goodbye to You - Michelle Branch
Goodbye to you, goodbye to everything that I knew… at the time, this song had some romantic implications, as well, but now I just see it as a shift in priorities.
2003 Landslide - Dixie Chicks
Country music has been completely missing from this list, even though it really did deserve a spot (at least). I don't listen to the same country I listened to in high school, but I will still occasionally crank up some Dixie Chicks or a few other good female artists.
2004 Meant to Live - Switchfoot
This was the first full year of me and Aaron. This song is also representing the Christian music spot on this list. It's odd to me how frequently it seems like I've been stumbling around with my faith as I look back at this list and think about all of the places and songs and memories I have here. It's oddly comforting to know that even during the times when I thought I had it all together, I really really didn't.
2005 Beverly Hills - Weezer
My biological grandmother is, well, she's different. She listens to the radio ALL THE TIME, even while she's watching TV. One year, when I was visiting for Thanksgiving, she asked me if I liked this song. It seemed like a benign enough question, so I said "sure", more to appease her than out of a genuine affinity for the song. Big mistake. Every single time it came on the radio in her room, she yell at me letting me know it was on. That song I liked. Apparently she didn't let it go after I left that year, either, but still continued to ask my mother why she didn't like the song - because I did, so it meant something must be wrong with her for not liking it. Oy vey!
2006 Happy Everafter In Your Eyes - Ben Harper
I'm deviating from the top 100 list now. This song was one that I discovered in 2006 while driving home from Disneyland with Lori. It was so beautiful I decided that it had to be part of our wedding, too, even though our first dance was already going to be Not Fire, Not Ice by Mr. Harper. Lori and I decided that it would still be okay to use this song for our slideshow, as well. "all that i can give you / is forever yours to keep / wake up every day with a dream /and happyever after in your eyes"
2007 Crank That (Soulja Boy) - Soulja Boy Tell'em
Picture this: A tall young man in a Spiderman costume doing this dance. Yeah. That would be my husband at a pep rally during his second year of teaching. I so wish I could have seen it. Just the mental image is entertaining enough to make me giggle.
Another kleenex box, please. One of the most sadly memorable things about this year has been the passing of Laiken Kenwood. I went to the hospital to pray for her in 2005, and thankfully she got better that time. On April 20th, 2008, I went to CHLA to pray for her one last time. She passed away on April 22nd. She was one little girl who loved life and had a smile that could light up a stadium. This song was written for her by Panoramic View, who are a couple of great girls trying to make something of themselves. I'm so thankful to have known Laiken and her family, and to have been a small part of their lives.