Friday, January 25, 2013

Tunes for the Month: January

I've been really enjoying January's playlist. After a month of Christmas songs, I needed some variety. It's longer than my typical list and I've really enjoyed it. Here are this month's songs:

1. I Am Trying to Break Your Heart- Wilco
 I'd always thought that if I held you tightly
You'd always love me like you did back then
Then I fell asleep and the city kept blinking
What was I thinking when I let you back in?

This song is weird as heck lyrically, and I don't have much for it except for the music. Because OMG, the music. Like some of the best ever. [In a really weird way. You were warned.]

2. Winter Song- Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson

[Peyton thinks this video is like the coolest thing he's ever seen. It is quirky and cute and whimsical.]
I still believe in summer days.
The seasons always change
and life will find a way.
I had this on my September playlist, but I wanted to include it again. Because it's beautiful and also because it's well, Winter-y, which I wanted to be a partial theme for the list.  

3. Blackbird- Foo Fighters
Blackbird singing in the dead of night 
Take these broken wings and learn to fly  
All your life 
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
This was on a list of "Winter Songs" Peyton had. I'm not entirely sure what makes it such, but I loved it.  I love the lyrics. I love the upbeat music. I love it. 

4. The Scarlet Tide- Allison Krauss

Man goes beyond his own decision
Gets caught up in the mechanism
Of swindlers who act like kings
And brokers who break everything
The dark of night was swiftly fading
Close to the dawn of day
Why would I want him just to lose him again
We'll rise above the scarlet tide
That trickles down through the mountain
And separates the widow from the bride
This is from the Cold Mountain soundtrack and was also on the aforementioned playlist. Not sure why, again. I think it may be it's haunting beauty. Just gorgeous. 

5. White Winter Hymnal- Fleet Foxes
I was following the pack, 
All swallowed in their coats  
With scarves of red tied 'round their throats  
To keep their little heads  
From fallin' in the snow 
And I turned 'round and there you go.
I'm not at all sure about the lyrics, although I think the imagary is neat. Mainly it's Fleet Foxes. And it's Winter. So? Perfect. 

6. Desperatly Wanting- Better Than Ezra
I remember running through the wet grass
And falling a step behind
Both of us never tiring
Desperately wanting

Came off the Winter playlist again. Again not sure why Peyton had it classified as such, but I'm fond of this song, so I went with it. Also? The chorus seems cheerful and nostalgic (and also ironically Summer-y) and is what I remember. The verses...they're pretty morbid and weird. 

7. Ho Hey- The Lumineers
Ho!) So show me family
(Hey!) All the blood that I would bleed
(Ho!) I don't know where I belong
(Hey!) I don't know where I went wrong
(Ho!) But I can write a song
1, 2, 3
I belong with you, you belong with me, you're my sweetheart
I belong with you, you belong with me, you're my sweet
This song has everything- I love the music and the lyrics about love and family and belonging. And it also has a precious memory attached, which really, is one thing that makes a song go from good to great or, in this case, from great to a favorite. The first time I heard this song (I realize it's really popular, but I don't listen to much pop radio and I hadn't heard of it yet) was at El's wedding. Literally, everytime I hear it I go back there. I'm planning to work up a (long overdue) post in the next week or so, but as y'all know, it was one of the most special events in my life. 

8. All These Things I've Done- The Killers 
I want to stand up, I want to let go
You know, you know - no you don't, you don't
I want to shine on in the hearts of men
I want a meaning from the back of my broken hand 
Another head aches, another heart breaks
I am so much older than I can take
And my affection, well it comes and goes
I need direction to perfection, no no no no 

Another song I was drawn to mainly for the beat and then found beauty in the lyrics afterwards. A lot of the comments on one of those "song meaning" sites talked about the Christian imagery and one even went far enough to mention "Gospel overtones". I'll be honest- I didn't see it at first. I do think that message can be read in it, but it's more difficult to find than in some of my favorite secular songs.

9. Bowl of Oranges- Bright Eyes
And I came upon a doctor
Who appeared in quite poor health
I said, "There's nothing I can do for you
You can't do for yourself"
He said, "Oh, yes you can, just hold my hand
I think that that would help"
So I sat with him a while
And I asked him how he felt
He said, "I think I'm cured
No, in fact I'm sure of it
Thank you stranger
For your therapeutic smile"
So that's how I learned the lesson
That everyone's alone
And your eyes must do some raining
If you're ever gonna grow
When crying don't help, you can't compose yourself
It's best to compose a poem
An honest verse of longing
Or a simple song of hope
That's why I'm singing, baby, don't worry
Because now I've got your back
And every time you feel like crying
I'm gonna try to make you laugh
And if I can't, if it just hurts too bad
Then we'll wait for it to pass
And I will keep you company
Through those days so long and black

I guess I always love songs for the music first and then I let myself listen and enjoy the lyrics. I figure most people do? Anyway, this is a good one. I like it because it speaks poignantly to things that help me when the days are "long and black"-- that is, of course, the people who just sit and hold my hand and the composing of the written word. Those people who sit with me and try to make me laugh, and when they can't, they just just keep me company until it passes? They are invaluable and there are no words for the kind of blessing they bring. And, of course, there's not much that I love more than composing "an honest verse of longing" or a "simple song of hope". Finally, I love the line "thank you stranger
For your therapeutic smile". I'm going to do a whole post about this soon, too, but it's a reminder to me that our little encouragements and words of love to one another are powerful. They bring hope and healing and, as I'm recognizing lately, are a vital part of my calling as a Christian.

10. Wagon Wheel- Old Crow Medicine Show
Walkin' to the south out of Roanoke
I caught a trucker out of Philly
Had a nice long toke
But he's a headed west from the Cumberland Gap
To Johnson City, Tennessee
And I gotta get a move on fit for the sun
I hear my baby callin' my name
And I know that she's the only one
And if I die in Raleigh
At least I will die free
So rock me mama like a wagon wheel
Rock me mama anyway you feel
Hey mama rock me
Rock me mama like the wind and the rain
Rock me mama like a south-bound train
Hey mama rock me
Lots of Southern imagery and folksy sounds, both of which I love, love, love. There's really no more to it than that. Edited to add: I forgot to include it, but a comment got me thinking about the memories I associate with this one.  My senior year of college was, by far, the best. That was due in large part to my roommate that year, who went from being a complete stranger to someone I considered one of my best friends. Anyway, she introduced me to this song. So it always makes me think of Logan and the fun we had that year- baking cinnamon rolls in the nasty dorm kitchen late at night, watching Dawson's Creek dvds, and spilling our guts about things are little and great importance. Such a special time and one I almost didn't have (I had really wanted to quit the dorm thing and just marry Peyton earlier in my college career, but I decided to stick it out and for me it was so, so worth it to have those experiences).

11. I Feel the Rain Fall- Red House Painters
This year, oh what a year
I layed around
Just feeling down
And from our happy room
I watched the seasons as they flew
I feel the rain fall
Down my back
I'm going back
To my place of work
To get things done
To get them right
But i'll mess them up
And i always do
I like that it's about years, seasons, time. Seems perfect for January. I also just love this song and have for years. I think it describes something everyone feels at some point(s)- that our hard work is just not enough, that we're insufficient for the task. Of course what the song doesn't say is that we are sufficient, but only by and through God's grace. I recently encouraged a new-ish momma friend with the verse from 2 Corinthians 12 that tells us God's power is made perfect in [our] weakness. Honestly, if I didn't believe that to be true with all my heart, I don't know that I could find any joy in mothering. 

12. Seasons of Love- Original Broadway Cast of Rent
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights
In cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure
A year in the life?
How about love?
How about love?
How about love? Measure in love.
Again, I liked it because it talks about time and years and seasons and all that and this list sort of came to include that as a partial theme, as well. It's just a beautiful song. I love the images of the "everyday" juxtaposed with the idea of measuring a year in love, one of God's greatest gifts to humanity. 

13. This Year's Love- David Gray
This years love had better last
Heaven knows it's high time
And I've been waiting on my own too long
But when you hold me like you do
It feels so right
I start to forget
How my heart gets torn
When that hurt gets thrown
Feeling like you can't go on
So whose to worry
If our hearts get torn
When that hurt gets thrown
Don't you know this life goes on
And won't you kiss me
On that midnight street
Sweep me off my feet
Singing ain't this life so sweet
This song actually sort of reminds me of an old boyfriend because David Gray was a favorite of his. I remember, however, listening to it after Peyton and I got serious and thought "hmmm, maybe this year's love really will last". [If you don't know our story we were best friends. Then Peyton was a rebound man. Then we fell in love. Then we dated for four years. Then we got married. Then (right then) we started having babies. You can read more here.] Anyway, it's special in that way.

14. Jesus Was an Only Son- Bruce Springsteen

Now there's a loss that can never be replaced,
A destination that can never be reached
A light you'll never find in another's face,
A sea whose distance cannot be breached
Well Jesus kissed his mother's hands
Whispered, "Mother, still your tears,
For remember the soul of the universe
Willed a world and it appeared  
 First of all, this resonates as a parent. You want to protect your child. You just do. Sometimes more than anything. And sometimes, it's what you should do. But it isn't always. I recently read this powerful post by Jen Hatmaker. She says: "I don’t want my kids safe and comfortable. I want them BRAVE. I don’t want to teach them to see danger under every rock, avoiding anything hard or not guaranteed or risky. They are going to encounter a very broken world soon, and if they aren’t prepared to wade into difficult territory and contend for the kingdom against obstacles and tragedies and hardships, they are going to be terrible disciples." And I say: AMEN. There's a tension between wanting this, though, and wanting to protect my children. And I'm sure the tension will only grow stronger as they gets older. But I'm saying it now-- I do not want to be afraid to pray hard things for them or to watch the Lord work powerfully in their lives in ways I maybe would not, in my selfishness, desire.

Of course there's a huge faith component to this song. It's pretty self-explanatory and I think it's pretty powerful. 

 There's also another level in this song, too. In the video, Bruce says "The choices we make are given meaning by the things that we give up. By the things we sacrifice for them. That's what gives them weight and meaning." I sobbed when I heard him say that. There are alot (alot!) of things Peyton and I have been discussing that require me to trust. To make choices that are given meaning by the things I sacrifice. Pretty much, it's time for *me* to stop being safe and comfortable and start being brave. Over the next few years, whatever that means, I know this song will be my background music and I will hear The Boss's wise words play out in my head, reminding me that the significance of my choices are in direct correlation with the sacrifices I make for them. And that will be one of the sources of my strength.

15. All I'm Thinkin' About- Bruce Springsteen
Little boy carryin' a fishing pole
Little girl pickin' huckleberries from off of the vine
Brown bag filled with a little green toad
We hook him through the the lip and throw him off with a line
A sweet pair of legs got me feelin' so blue
And all I'm thinkin' about is you, baby
All I'm thinkin' about is you
All I'm thinkin' about is you, baby
All I'm thinkin' about is you
There ain't nothing in this world I can do about it
All I'm thinkin' about is you 
This is the part of the list where I start going through Peyton's library in alphabetical order. That's been fun and I've discovered some spectacular stuff this way. Anyway, this and the next song just happen to be off the same album as the song above. If we didn't own it, I'd be really wanting to buy it. So, this song. It's basically just a feel good song. I love the picture of children and the sweet chorus. Don't be surprised if it reappears on another list this Summer. 

 16. All the Way Home- Bruce Springsteen
I know what it's like to have failed baby
With the whole world lookin' on
I know what it's like to have soared
And come crashin' like a drunk on a bar room floor
This song is, in general, just really sad. But I liked it, so I added it. There's that. 

 17. All for You- Sister Hazel
Rain comes pouring down
Falling from blue skies
Words without a sound
Coming from your eyes
There's been times, I'm so confused
All my roads, They lead to you
I just can't turn and walk away
It's hard to say what it is I see in you
Wonder if I'll always be with you
But words can't say, And I can't do
Enough to prove,
It's all for you
Pop music from the '90s at it's best. Interestingly, the lyrics aren't that bad, really. 

18. All You Need Is Love- The Beatles 
All you need is love.
All you need is love.
All you need is love, love.
Love is all you need.
Okay then, John and Paul. We'll end with that.

1 comment:

Kodi said...

This might be the best playlist I've ever seen. So many good ones. Was Wagon Wheel new to you? I think I need advanced copies of the lists so I can dl & enjoy them all month long too. :)