These five songs are only a few of my playlist perennials, but they have all spoken to me significantly, making me smile every time I hear their opening bars (which I instantly recognise).
Sunday Morning – Maroon 5
I hear this song and I think of lazing around, or cruising in the car with someone special, or just having a good time. It’s chilled and one of my all-time favourite sing-a-long songs. Listening to the lyrics it evokes a lazy Sunday morning in bed image, driving out to get breakfast and spending the rest of the day chilling out with somebody.
That may be all I need
In darkness, she is all I see
Come and rest your bones with me
Driving slow on Sunday morning
And I never want to leave
More than anything, this song reminds me of car rides late at night/early morning when the sun’s just rising or when it’s been raining, indeed on a Sunday morning. Every time I hear it I can’t help but smile, remembering all the times I’ve sang along to this song in the car with and without people, and the incredible times I’ve had both before and afterwards. If I ever were to have a “song” with someone, I think that I’d like it to be this one.
Too Close – Next
I physically cannot resist the urge to get up and dance to this song. Well, to be perfectly honest, not so much dance as Bump and Grind. I love the music, the beat and the oh so smooth vocal tones but most of all singing and grooving along to it. And I don’t know if you’ve actually listened to the lyrics but it’s also a little bit hot. Everything about this song just makes me want to grab a boy, drag him to the dance floor and never let him go. Then of course it doesn’t take a whole lot for me to want to drag someone to the dance floor.
And I defy you not to giggle like a 15-year-old when the Blue boys are looking you in the eyes and singing to you “oooh how I like it”:
Victoria’s Secret – Sonata Arctica
My first encounter with Victoria’s Secret was an acoustic live performance video with just Jani Liimatainen and Tony Kakko. Admittedly I think I was concentrating less on the song itself and more on Kakko’s voice. It has so many ebbs and flows and ridiculous range as I’m coming to learn in other songs. But it was not until listening to the album version that I came to appreciate this song for what it said to me. While I think the acoustic performance is an amazing showcase of Kakko’s vocal talents, the album version does a better job of delivering the song’s message with the collaboration of lyrics and music.
When I first heard the album version I got the strong impression it was about a girl escaping darkness and shadows, overcoming immense odds and stepping into the light a stronger person. The melodies and music behind the lyrics capture a certain struggle I think, reaching a crescendo during and after the instrumental.
Dancing on the path and singing, now you got away
You can reach the goals that you have set from now on, every day
There is no way you would go back now, oh no, those days are past
Life is waiting for the one who loves to live, and it is not a secret.
This song when I hear it, either version, sort of makes me feel stronger, like I can do anything. I’ve found it fascinating reading other people’s interpretations of it (which are quite depressing, most people seeming to think it’s about a girl deciding to kill herself and escape into the light of heaven). One reading I do like is the song telling the girl she can be who she wants to be, she can still love and experience the sunlight in its fullest. Accepting her past and loving herself in spite of it. I don’t see it as being about suicide, but more so overcoming your demons and still surviving, and not taking the easy way out. Which is something I tell myself every day, and it seems to be working.
Leave Your Boyfriends Behind – Leona Naess
I love this song, I mega love Cougar Town, and I love the feelings this scene evokes of summer and fun with friends lasting into the dark of night. And I’ve always had a bit of a longing for summer bonfires mainly thanks to The OC.
Tiny Dancer – Elton John
I love just about any version of this song. Elton John, that weird dance remix released a few years ago, Ben Folds, Almost Famous, Red Hot Chili Peppers. It’s probably on every playlist and mix cd I have ever made. Such a carefree song, a girl hanging on tour with the band. To me Tiny Dancer and the character of Penny Lane go hand in hand, with the song representing a more idealised version of what she wanted to be, and what she wanted her relationship with Russel Hammond to be.
But oh how it feels so real
Lying here with no one near
Only you and you can hear me
When I say softly slowly
In probably its most famous incarnation (and one of my all-time favourite movies and movie scenes), the song serves as a reconciliation after Russell’s drug fuelled bender, with eventually the whole Stillwater tour bus singing along letting go of the antagonisms that plagued them (By the way, a little bit in love with the guitarist who starts singing before Penny Lane, a lot in love with Jason Lee).It actually gives me chills, and of course I sing along with them. It has come to be one of my favourite interpretations of the role music plays in bringing people together. And that it’s just one of those songs that you can’t help but sing along to. It’s a comforting, “sing me home” kind of a song that everybody knows.
Also Ben Folds is a little bit amazing himself: