Saturday, April 27, 2013

Tunes for the Month: April

I made my playlist significantly shorter this month and that was a good thing. I think I like them best when they are about CD length. It's still on the longer side by that standard, but it's more manageable. Sometimes it's just hard to narrow down. One thing I did do again this month was to sort of have a "theme", or a couple. Since it's both of the kids' birthday months, I did songs that reminded me of them or that were special to me as far as our family goes. I also included several tracks from Wrecking Ball because it was around this time last year that we saw Bruce for the first time. Here's the list:

1. Danny's Song- Kenny Loggins
People smile and tell me I'm the lucky one,
And we've only just begun.
Think I'm gonna have a son.
He will be like she and me, as free as a dove,
Conceived in love.
Sun is gonna shine above...
And in the morning, when I rise,
You bring a tear of joy to my eyes
And tell me everything is gonna be alright.

I've always loved this old song. When I was younger and would listen to it, I would always dream of the little family I'd have one day. So, of course now that my dream is a reality, it's very special to listen to. 

2. Over the Rainbow- Judy Garland
 Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.
Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.
Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me.

Although it almost makes me sad to listen to, I just love this song. For some reason I associate it with children/family, too and I just think it's so beautiful. 

3. Gracie- Ben Folds
Life flies by in seconds
You're not a baby Gracie, you're my friend
You'll be a lady soon but until then
You gotta do what I say
You nodded off in my arms watching TV
I won't move you an inch even thought my arm's asleep
One day you're gonna want to go
I hope we taught you everything you need to know
Gracie girl
And there will always be a part of me
Nobody else is ever gonna see but you and me
My little girl

Since it's a daddy singing, this really makes me think of Peyton and Annie and their relationship, but it's also just a sweet, sweet song about a baby girl. I love it and sometimes it makes me cry a little.  

4. Daughter- Loudon Wainright III

That's my daughter in the water
everything she owns I bought her
Everything she owns.
That's my daughter in the water,
everything she knows I taught her.
Everything she knows.
Everything I say
she takes to heart.
Everything she takes
she takes apart.
That's my daughter in the water
every time she fell I caught her.
Every time she fell.
That's my daughter in the water,
I lost every time I fought her.
Yea, I lost every time.
Every time she blinks
she strikes somebody blind.
Everything she thinks
blows her tiny mind.
That's my daughter in the water,
who'd have ever thought her?
This song has several memories attached. First of all, Cookie picked it as one of the songs to be used in the video at our rehearsal dinner. Then I heard it in a video montage after a child passed away and I just fell in love with it and couldn't stop listening. Clearly, the "daughter" in the song is very strong-willed and I know that was me growing up, but a lot of the lyrics resonate with me in regards to sweet Annie girl, too. I'll always love this song.

5. Brown Eyed Girl- Van Morrison
Going down the old mine
With a transistor radio
Standing in the sunlight laughing,
Hiding behind a rainbow's wall,
Slipping and sliding
All along the water fall, with you
My brown eyed girl,
You my brown eyed girl. 

Well, it's been the quintessential junior high dance song for like what, fifty years? But also I have a little girl with brown eyes and so it's kinda a little special. Clearly, some of the lyrics aren't applicable since it talks about love making and such and it's obviously a romantic song, but you know, parts of it work.

6. A La Claire Fontaine- Les Petits Minous

This song marked the introduction into a phase wherein Annie asks questions such as "Does this have words? No, okay, then it's classical. Could you ADD IT TO MY PLAYLIST?" Before that though, I fell in love with this song awhile back when I heard it in a movie and it quickly became a lullaby for infant Annie. I will always, always associate it with her baby days. Looking back, there was so much fear in my life but it was also a really calm time in a lot of ways and I remember just sitting in her cool nursery rocking her while it was playing.

7. 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?

Another Annie song. This is just weird. It's clearly *not* a kid song. It's super strange. But for some reason she loves it. Like enough to request it. So it's on the list this month.

8. Waiting for My Real Life to Begin- Colin Hay
And you say, just be here now
Forget about the past, your mask is wearing thin
Let me throw one more dice
I know that I can win
I'm waiting for my real life to begin
Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
And I'll check my machine, there's sure to be that call
It's gonna happen soon, soon, soon
It's just that times are lean
And you say, be still my love
Open up your heart, let the light shine in 

This one reminds me of the last few weeks when I was pregnant with Graves and on bedrest. In fact, I wrote a post based on it. It was so surreal because I knew for a season he would complete our family and I was just waiting for "real life" to begin. Like with some of the ones above with Annie, it will sort of always be one of mine and Graves's songs. 

9. Beautiful Boy- John Lennon
Close your eyes,
Have no fear,
The monsters gone,
He's on the run and your daddy's here,
Beautiful, beautiful,
Beautiful Boy,
Out on the ocean sailing away,
I can hardly wait,
To see you to come of age,
But I guess we'll both,
Just have to be patient,
Yes it's a long way to go,
But in the meantime,
Before you cross the street,
Take my hand,
Life is just what happens to you,
While your busy making other plans,
Beautiful, beautiful,
Beautiful Boy,
Darling Sean.

I had never heard this song until Ashley used in the video she made after she brought Liam home from Korea. I just loved it and thought it was so sweet. There's something very sweet and touching about a "beautiful" boy and my heart was really tender at the time and I played it on repeat for a good long while. Again, it'll always be a "Graves" song.  When I put it on the playlist, I got a little emotional. Graves has been having some issues with being "scared" of any number of things, but mostly the dark. His sweet little voice saying "scare!" (scared) is almost too much. Anyway, the first stanza just could not be more apropos. And I love the line about how not being able to wait to see your children "come of age". For some reason (I really don't know why), I think about this more with Graves than with Annie. Maybe because he's still such a baby and I've already started to see the process with her? I also love that "life is what happens when you're busy making other plans". Because, isn't it the truth?? Finally, I love the "darlings" and of course I replace "Sean" with "Graves".

10. Good Life- One Republic
I feel like there might be something that I'll miss
I feel like the window closes oh so quick
I'm taking a mental picture of you now
'Cause hopelessly
The hope is we have so much to feel good about
Oh this has gotta be the good life
This has gotta be the good life
This could really be a good life, good life

This is ordinarily not really my "type" of song, but I heard it on the radio awhile back and it sort of clicked because I loved the idea of "taking a mental picture of you now" and the idea of missing something and feeling the window close really resonated. It's just a good reminder to live in the moment.

 11. Not with Haste- Mumford & Sons
We will run and scream
You will dance with me
Fulfill our dreams and we'll be free
We will be who we are
And they'll heal our scars
Sadness will be far away
Do not let my fickle flesh go to waste
As it keeps my heart and soul in its place
And I will love with urgency but not with haste
I've written about it a couple of times, but for some reason this song has become a bit of a mantra in my mothering. It's sort of a hipster Cobwebs poem, if you will. It's just a reminder to love my children with urgency and not with haste.

12. Forever Young- Bob Dylan
May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.
May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.
May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young

Okay, had to quote the whole song here. I just love it so much. It's so, so beautiful and I recently rediscovered it. I'll probably always associate it with the kids turning four and two, it's been so on my mind. I guess I particularly associate it with Graves because for some reason, it feels more like it's talking to a boy/man. So many of these things are my actual wishes for him (and Annie)- that'll they'll always do for others and let others do for them, that they'll grow up to be rightous, that they'll always know the truth, that they'll be courageous and stand upright, and that they'll have a strong foundation when the winds of changes shift. It really makes me teary thinking of all this for them. Sacred in the secular again and some of this has actually informed my prayer life.

13. Forever Young- Rod Steward
May the good lord be with you
Down every road you roam
And may sunshine and happiness
Surround you when you're far from home
And may you grow to be proud
Dignified and true
And do unto others
As you'd have done to you
Be courageous and be brave
And in my heart you'll always stay
Forever young, forever young
Forever young, forever young
May good fortune be with you
May your guiding light be strong
Build a stairway to heaven
With a prince or a vagabond
And may you never love in vain
And in my heart you'll always remain
Forever young, forever young
Forever young, forever young
Forever young
Forever young
And when you finally fly away
I'll be hoping that I served you well
For all the wisdom of a lifetime
No one can ever tell

I really like the Dylan version better, but there's some stuff here that I couldn't not include. I love the part about serving them well and also about the prince or the vagabond. I said the other version reminds me more of Graves, but this one makes me think of Annie. Of course, like most little girls Annie wants to "grow up to be a princess". But I want there to be room in her life for "princes" or "vagabonds". Her friends (or husband if she's so blessed) may not be exactly what we envision for her, but I want her to choose them/him based on the her own heart and the Lord's guidance, not what the world says is good and successful and desirable.

14. We Take Care of Our Own- Bruce Springsteen
 I've been knockin' on the door that holds the throne
I've been lookin' for the map that leads me home
I've been stumblin' on good hearts turned to stone
The road of good intentions has gone dry as bone
We take care of our own
We take care of our own
Wherever this flag's flown
We take care of our own...
Where the eyes, the eyes with the will to see
Where the hearts, that run over with mercy
Where's the love that has not forsaken me
Where's the work that set my hands, my soul free
Where's the spirit that'll reign, reign over me  

This is kind of the perfect transition song, because it leads into the sort of epilogue to the playlist that is my favorite songs from Wrecking Ball, but it's also recently become very tied to some thoughts and feelings about my little family and my mission in the world right now.

15. Death to My Hometown- Bruce Springsteen
No shells ripped the evening sky
No cities burning down
No armies stormed the shores for which we’d die
No dictators were crowned
High off on a quiet night
I never heard a sound
The marauders raided in the dark and brought death to my hometown, boys
Death to my hometown
They destroyed our families’ factories and they took our homes
They left our bodies on the plains
The vultures picked our bones

This is one of those songs that I just love the music and the words are kind of periphial. It's sort of got an Irish feel to it and has such a strong beat. It almost feels millitary-esque...which is fitting since it talks about dictators and shells and armies and such. The song is clearly about how American cities have been ruined by greedy corporations stealing from "the little man". As I've said before, I don't agree with Bruce on many political issues, but I can't help but nod here. 

16. Wrecking Ball- Bruce Springsteen

I was raised out of steel here in the swamps of Jersey, some misty years ago
Through the mud and the beer, and the blood and the cheers, I've seen champions come and go
So if you got the guts mister, yeah if you've got the balls
If you think it's your time, then step to the line, and bring on your wrecking ball
Bring on your wrecking ball
Bring on your wrecking ball
Come on and take your best shot, let me see what you've got
Bring on your wrecking ball...
  Yeah we know that come tomorrow, none of this will be here
So hold tight on your anger
Hold tight on your anger
Hold tight to your anger, and don't fall to your fear
Now when all this steel and these stories, they drift away to rust
And all our youth and beauty, it's been given to the dust
And your game has been decided, and you're burning the clock down
And all our little victories and glories, have turned into parking lots
When your best hopes and desires, are scattered through the wind
And hard times come, hard times go...
Yeah just to come again

I love, love, love the tune but I'm also obsessed with the imagery. Peyton and I joke because we think "some misty years ago" is just classic Springsteen. Like, who says that? No one but The Boss. Anyway, I love that it starts of as an athem about Giants Stadium and kind of has a Glory Days feel to it, but by the end we're talking about not falling to fear and youth and beauty being given to the dust and our best hopes and desires being scattered through the wind and...if that's not poetry I don't know what is.

17. Rocky Ground- Bruce Springsteen

You use your muscle and your mind and you pray your best
That your best is good enough, the Lord will do the rest
You raise your children and you teach 'them to walk straight and sure
You pray that hard times, hard times, come no more
You try to sleep, you toss and turn, the bottom's dropping out
Where you once had faith now there's only doubt
You pray for guidance, only silence now meets your prayers
The morning breaks, you awake but no one's there
We've been traveling over rocky ground, rocky ground
There's a new day coming
We've been traveling over rocky ground, rocky ground 

This is where the album starts to get super spiritual. I mentioned this on my last playlist post, but Bruce got Michelle Moore to do the rapping segment. I am no fan of rap music ordinarily, but this brings me to tears some days. It's just gorgeous. There's a lot of religious imagary in the song and a gospel choir does back up vocals. The song even includes "I'm a Soldier in the Army of the Lord" which is a traditional gospel song. The lyrics above are the part of the song that's rapped and I think it's just the most beautiful picture of the desperation I know I've felt at times (espesially as a parent). But I also love the reminder "There's a new day coming". Also, as an aside: this might be my favorite music video ever. I love the juxtaposition of the urban and suburban settings and the different people writing the lyrics of the song.

18. Land of Hope and Dreams- Bruce Springsteen

Grab your ticket and your suitcase, thunder's rolling down this track
Well, you don't know where you're going now, but you know you won't be back
Well, darling, if you're weary, lay your head upon my chest
We'll take what we can carry, yeah, and we'll leave the rest
Well, big wheels roll through the fields where sunlight streams
Meet me in a land of hope and dreams
I will provide for you and I'll stand by your side
You'll need a good companion now for this part of the ride
Yeah, leave behind your sorrows, let this day be the last
Well, tomorrow there'll be sunshine and all this darkness past
Well, big wheels roll through fields where sunlight streams
Oh, meet me in a land of hope and dreams
Well, this train carries saints and sinners
This train carries losers and winners
This train carries whores and gamblers
This train carries lost souls
I said, this train, dreams will not be thwarted
This train, faith will be rewarded
This train, hear the steel wheels singing
This train, bells of freedom ringing

This song is actually a rebutall to Woody Guthrie's "This Train Is Bound for For Glory". On Woody's train gamblers, liars and smokers aren't allowed. On Bruce's, of course, they are. This is Springsteen's America, y'all. And I have to say I'm a little fond of it myself. Whereas I've come to apply "We Take Care of Our Own" to my goals and dreams and in some ways my aspirations as to the kind of mother I want to be (doing the "work that sets my hands, my soul, free") this song always makes me think of Peyton. And it'll probably always make me think of Peyton in April of 2012 when we saw Bruce that first time. I love the lines "Darling if you're weary, lay your head upon my chest. We'll take what we can carry, yeah, and we'll leave the rest". And I love the part about needing a "good companion for this part of the ride". Lastly, this doesn't really have to do with Peyton but "Yeah, leave behind your sorrows, let this day be the last. Well, tomorrow there'll be sunshine and all this darkness past" is one of my go-to verses in a song when I'm having an awful "down" day.

Such a sentimental playlist, but such a good one for this month! 


Kodi said...

I saw (heard) Daughter in a movie or on a commercial or something and I've always loved it since then. And Beautiful Boy! I *think* it's featured on Mr. Holland'a Opus. I think that's the movie I remember it from. Anyway, beautiful song. And you know I love Mumford.

Bech and Marley Evans said...

I would love a copy of this mix...I think you should start doing that as part of your blog!

Mallory Pickering said...

Ooh, I really liked these. Will be adding some to my itunes.