Monday, September 29, 2014

Tunes for the Month: September


So, I almost didn't make this playlist. It got really late in the month and I'm pretty overwhelmed with what I need to get done in the next week before we head to Mississippi for the better part of a month. Also, I've just been overwhelmed by my thoughts in general.

I don't know why this wasn't an indication I needed to curate a playlist stat. Music speaks to me so profoundly and heals me in such a real way. It blows my mind that I was overwhelmed enough to forget this, or worse yet to think it was worth the sacrifice because "too busy".

I haven't listened to much music at all this month up until the last few days and while I don't think that's the cause of the problem (I'm not sure exactly what is), I know it's not helping. So, enough with that.

Here's the new playlist! I think it's a good mix- some Bruce songs I play every September, all the songs I used in the slideshow of family pictures, and things that I included on other lists but didn't get my fill (civil war and eighties music).

[Also, interestingly, several of these appear on other playlists I've made. Interestingly, the Springsteen songs at the beginning were included on my very first playlist back in September 2012.]

1. The Rising- Bruce Springsteen



Left the house this morning
Bells ringing filled the air
Wearin' the cross of my calling
On wheels of fire I come rollin' down here
Come on up for the rising
Come on up, lay your hands in mine
Come on up for the rising
Come on up for the rising tonight
Li,li, li,li,li,li, li,li,li
There's spirits above and behind me
Faces gone black, eyes burnin' bright
May their precious blood bind me
Lord, as I stand before your fiery light
Li,li, li,li,li,li, li,li,li
I see you mary in the garden
In the garden of a thousand sighs
There's holy pictures of our children
Dancin' in a sky filled with light
May I feel your arms around me
May I feel your blood mix with mine
A dream of life comes to me
Like a catfish dancin' on the end of my line
Sky of blackness and sorrow ( a dream of life)
Sky of love, sky of tears (a dream of life)
Sky of glory and sadness ( a dream of life)
Sky of mercy, sky of fear ( a dream of life)
Sky of memory and shadow ( a dream of life)
Your burnin' wind fills my arms tonight
Sky of longing and emptiness (a dream of life)
Sky of fullness, sky of blessed life

This song is like those huge speckled jaw breakers I'd get when I was little. It has so many layers and for the past decade, I've been uncovering them in the lyrics and in my life. But this year, I understand it in yet another way. A way I never could have if I didn't daily walk these streets and feel an almost tangible pride of a place surround me. I'm not arrogant enough to claim this city, but I'm not too proud to say It's changed me in a huge way. New York, you inspire me.

2. My City of Ruins- Bruce Springsteen


There is a blood red circle
On the cold dark ground
And the rain is falling down
The church door's thrown open
I can hear the organ's song
But the congregation's gone
My city of ruins
My city of ruins
Now the sweet bells of mercy
Drift through the evening trees
Young men on the corner
Like scattered leaves,
The boarded up windows,
The empty streets
While my brother's down on his knees
My city of ruins
My city of ruins
Come on, rise up! Come on, rise up!
Come on, rise up! Come on, rise up!
Come on, rise up! Come on, rise up!
Now with these hands,
With these hands,
With these hands,
I pray Lord
With these hands,
With these hands,
I pray for the strength, Lord
With these hands,
With these hands,
I pray for the faith, Lord
We pray for your love, Lord
We pray for the lost, Lord
We pray for this world, Lord
We pray for the strength, Lord
We pray for the strength, Lord


I think this will be on my September list for as long as I do these- this one and "The Rising". They speak to me on a personal level and are some of my favorite songs, but they also remind me in a very deep since of such a terrible day back when I was in tenth grade. 

3. Lonesome Day- Bruce Springsteen


Hell's brewing, dark sun's on the rise
This storm will blow through, by and by
House is on fire, vipers in the grass
Little revenge and this too shall pass
This too shall pass, darling, yeah I'm gonna pray
Right now, all I got's this lonesome day
Lonesome day

This is just a good song for, well, lonesome days. This is a whole other post, but I've been having some this month. 

4. Waitin' on a Sunny Day- Bruce Springsteen


Without you, I'm workin' with the rain fallin' down
I'm half a party in a one dog town
I need you to chase these blues away
Without you, I'm a drummer girl that can't keep a beat
An ice cream truck on a deserted street
I hope that you're coming to stay
I'm waitin', waitin' on a sunny day
Gonna chase the clouds away
Waitin' on a sunny day
Hard times, baby well they come to us all
Sure as the tickin' of the clock on the wall
Sure as the turnin' of the night into day
Your smile girl, brings the mornin' light to my eyes
Lifts away the blues when I rise
I hope that you're coming to stay

I watched Bruce talk about his process with writing this on a Behind the Music I Netflixed awhile back. It was really interesting to see what he said and it seemed very stream of consciousness and not as deliberate as some of the other things he's written. I love the imagery and the contrast of hard times and happy feelings brought by the one you love.

5. Mary's Place- Bruce Springsteen


Familiar faces around me
Laughter fills the air
Your loving grace surrounds me
Everybody's here
Furniture's out on the front porch
Music's up loud
I dream of you in my arms
I lose myself in the crowd
Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain
Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain, let it rain
Meet me at mary's place, we're gonna have a party
Meet me at mary's place, we're gonna have a party
Tell me how do you live broken-hearted
Meet me at mary's place
I got a picture of you in my locket
I keep it close to my heart
It's a light shining in my breast
Leading me through the dark
Seven days, seven candles
In my window lighting your way
Your favorite record's on the turntable
I drop the needle and pray (turn it up)
Band's countin' out midnight (turn it up)
Floor's rumblin' loud (turn it up)
Singer's callin' up daylight (turn it up)
And waitin' for that shout from the crowd

I'm pretty sure this was on my list last September and I may be restating the same things here, but again I love the imagery of the house party that's going on here. The furniture on the front porch (in the rain), the favorite record on the turntable, and the singer callin' up daylight. Of course, the best is the laughter, the familiar faces, and being surrounded by loving grace. It sounds perfect and in many ways I want my home to mirror this- putting furniture on the porch if it feels right, having a constant flow of music through the air, and again most of all feeling, in an almost tangible way, the loving grace that surrounds us.

6. You're Missing- Bruce Springsteen


Shirts in the closet, shoes in the hall
Mama's in the kitchen, baby and all
Everything is everything
Everything is everything
But you're missing
Coffee cups on the counter, jackets on the chair
Papers on the doorstep, but you're not there
Everything is everything
Everything is everything
But you're missing
Pictures on the nightstand, tv's on in the den
Your house is waiting, your house is waiting
For you to walk in, for you to walk in
But you're missing, when I shut out the lights
You're missing, when I close my eyes
You're missing, when I see the sun rise
You're missing

This one is heartbreaking. Just missing someone so deeply and everything throughout your day reminds you of him. Hard.

7. Daughter- Loudon Wainwright III


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?

Who'd have ever thought?


Here's where the slideshow numbers come in. And I just realized that a lot of these appeared in a playlist a couple of years back on their birthdays. Whatever. They are such special songs. In this one I love the line "Everything she thinks blows her tiny mind". It just reminds me of Annie and what big thoughts seem to come from such a little girl. 

8. Ho Hey- The Lumineers


(Ho!) So show me family
(Hey!) All the blood that I will 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
(Hey!)
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
(Ho!)
(Hey!)
(Ho!)
(Hey!)
(Ho!) I don't think you're right for him
(Hey!) Think of what it might have been if you
(Ho!) Took a bus to China Town
(Hey!) I'd be standing on Canal
(Ho!) And Bowery
(Hey!)
(Ho!) And she'd be standing next to me
(Hey!)

This reminds me of El and Minda's wedding a few years ago. But it also reminds me of New York and love and family. I think I'll always love it.

9. Beautiful Boy- John Lennon


Close your eyes
Have no fear
The monster's gone
He's on the run and your daddy's here
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Out on the ocean sailing away
I can hardly wait to see you come of age
But I guess, we'll both just have to be patient
'Cause it's a long way to go, a hard row to hoe
Yes, it's a long way to go but in the meantime
Before you cross the street
Take my hand
Life is what happens to you
While you're busy making other plans
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Before you go to sleep
Say a little prayer
Every day in every way
It's getting better and better
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy

Darling, darling, darling

Darling Sean


Of course I replace the very last line with "Darling Graves". This one makes me tear up a lot. It's such a poignant coming of age song and a wonderful reminder that "life is what happens when you're making other plans". 


10. Sigh No More- Mumford and Sons


Love that will not betray you
Dismay or enslave you
It will set you free
Be more like the man
You were made to be
There is a design
An alignment to cry
At my heart you see
The beauty of love
As it was made to be

I titled the slideshow "The beauty of love as it was made to be". I love that thought. I love all these lyrics, really. A love that will not betray, dismay, or enslave but that sets you free and allows you to be the person you were made to be. The design, the alignment to cry...it's all so beautiful and so not obvious, but at the same time very obvious. Which I think is almost always the case with good writing.

11. 10, 000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)- Matt Redmon

Bless the Lord O my soul
O my soul

Worship His holy name

Sing like never before

O my soul

I'll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up

It's a new day dawning

It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes
Bless the Lord O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

One of my favorite worship songs ever. I remember playing it on repeat a bunch during a hard period a good while back and writing it on our kitchen chalkboard at home. "Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes"- not always easy to do, but always the way I want to praise the Lord. 


12. Home- Phillip Phillips


Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you're not alone
Cause I'm going to make this place your home
Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found
Just know you're not alone
Cause I'm going to make this place your home


This I'll always associate with our move. I put it in the slideshow when the family pictures became just me and the kids for a month and then as we moved and got settled in our new home. It was perfect for those shots and it was perfect for that season. 

13. Forever Young- Rod Stewart


May the good Lord be with you
Down every road that 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 will remain
Forever young, forever young
Forever young, forever young
Forever young, forever young, yeah
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


This is one of my favorite "growing up" songs ever. Just such beautiful thoughts and hopes for a child as he or she grows up combined with the reality that "all the wisdom of a lifetime no one can ever tell". I love that it speaks about hoping to have served that boy or girl well. I think so often I forget about serving them and am too busy trying to modify behavior, break up fights, and just survive the days. It's so important to serve them well, I think. 


14. Dixie- Karen Elson, The Secret Sisters


Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton,
Old times there are not forgotten.
Look away, look away, look away Dixie Land!
In Dixie Land, where I was born in,
early on one frosty mornin'.
Look away, look away, look away Dixie Land!
I wish I was in Dixie, Hooray! Hooray!
In Dixie Land I'll take my stand,
to live and die in Dixie.
Away, away, away down south in Dixie!
Away, away, away down south in Dixie!

I went back and included the songs from Divided and United that didn't fit on July's playlist. I think I'll always, always love Dixie. The South has such a hard, deeply disturbing history in many ways. And in some ways so much is still broken there. But there is also beauty and so much to love about a place that means the world to me. 

15. The Mermaid Song- Jorma Kaukonen


It was Friday morn when we set sail,
And we were not so far from the land,
When our captain, he spied a mermaid so fair,
With a comb and a glass in her hand.
Oh, the ocean waves do roll,
And the stormy winds do blow.
We old sailors are skipping at the top,
While the landlubbers lie down below, below, below,
Oh, the landlubbers lie down below.

And up spoke the captain of our gallant ship,
And a fine old man was he.
"This fishy mermaid has warned me of our doom,
We shall sink to the bottom of the sea."
And the ocean waves do roll,
And the stormy winds do blow.
And we old salts are sittin' at the top,
The landlubbers lie down below, below, below,
Oh, the landlubbers lie down below.

And up speaks the mate of our gallant ship,
And a well-spoken man was he,
"Oh, I have a wife in Salem by the sea,
And tonight a widow she will be."


I mostly love the tune of this song, but it's a fun, interesting story, too.

16. Hard Times- Chris Hillman

Let us pause in life's pleasures and count its many tears,
While we all sup sorrow with the poor;
There's a song that will linger forever in our ears;
Oh hard times come again no more.
Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard Times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door;
Oh hard times come again no more.
While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay,
There are frail forms fainting at the door;
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say

Oh hard times come again no more.

I've always loved the Eastmountainsouth version of this song. It's old, old, old but so current. I've heard Bruce sing it as well and it's really stirring in every rendition I've ever heard. I think espesially this year, when I've interacted with the poor much more than ever before, it's even more meaningful. How often we "seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay" while "there are frail forms fainting at the door". 

17. Pretty Saro- Ashley Monroe, Aubrey Hay


Fare thee well to ol' mother, fare thee well to my father too
I'm going for to ramble this wide world all through
And when I get weary, I'll sit down and cry
And think of my Saro, pretty Saro, my bride



Mainly, just the tune again. I think it's a lovely song. 

18. Beautiful Dreamer- Cowboy Jack Clement

Beautiful dreamer,
Wake unto me
Starlight and dewdrops
Are awaiting thee
Sounds of the rude world
Heard in the day
Led by the moonlight
Have all passed away
Gone are the cares of
Life's busy throng
Beautiful dreamer
Awake unto me
Beautiful dreamer,
Awake unto me


This song is almost hard to listen to. It's not super sad, but it just feels sad to me. Not even sad, really- I guess melancholy is a better word. But I think it's beautiful and peaceful and really sweet in a way. I love that "Sounds of the rude world heard in the day, led by the moonlight have all passed away".

19. Hard Times- Eastmountainsouth


Let us pause in life's pleasures and count its many tears,
While we all sup sorrow with the poor;
There's a song that will linger forever in our ears;
Oh hard times come again no more.
Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard Times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door;
Oh hard times come again no more.
While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay,
There are frail forms fainting at the door;
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say
Oh hard times come again no more.

Again, great song. I just love this version too so I added it. I would have added the Springsteen version too, if I could have found it on Spotify. I'll probably YouTube it some. 

20. High Enough- Damn Yankees


We don't need to talk about it anymore
Yesterday's just a memory, can we close the door?
I just made one mistake
Oh, I didn't know what to say when you called me baby
Don't say goodnight
Say you're gonna stay forever
Oh woah, all the way

So, I added two more Monster Ballads that couldn't fit on last month's playlist (or rather, I didn't want to make it excessively long). These aren't my very favorites, but I do enjoy them. 

21. Almost Paradise- Mike Wison, Ann Reno

I thought that dreams belonged to other men
'Cuz each time I got close
They'd fall apart again
I feared my heart would beat in secrecy
I faced the nights alone
Oh, how could I have known
That all my life I only needed you
Whoa-oa
ALMOST PARADISE
We're knocking on heaven's door
ALMOST PARADISE
How could we ask for more?
I swear that I can see forever in your eyes
Paradise


One last power ballad! Such a great one. 

22. Beautiful Scandalous Night- Smalltown Poets



Go on up to the mountain of mercy 
To the crimson perpetual tide 
Kneel down on the shore 
Be thirsty no more 
Go under and be purified
Follow Christ to the holy mountain 
Sinner sorry and wrecked by the fall 
Cleanse your heart and your soul 
In the fountain that flowed 
For you and for me and for all
At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree 
On that beautiful, scandalous night you and me 
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white 
On that beautiful, scandalous night
On the hillside, you will be delivered 
At the foot of the cross justified 
And your spirit restored 
By the river that poured 
From our blessed Savior's side

We sang this the other night at church. Sometimes I forget how scandalous what happened on "the wonderful tragic, mysterious tree" really was. Even though I try to be cognizant, I think it's a given that modern believers are sort of sensitized to it and we have a very clean version of Jesus. I think every line of the song is pure poetry and it's one of my absolute favorites right now.

So, there's my first Fall playlist this year. I love it. I needed it. Maybe it contains something you need, too. 



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