It’s a new year and my goal has been to get to the gym on the weekends. I’ve been trying to do 30 minutes or more on the elliptical. As such, there are 10 songs that I’ve selected that help me get through that crunch. In parentheses is the length of the song.
3. King of the Dancehall: Beenie Man – The only song that I own by the Jamaican dancehall king, this is another song that’s actually crass. But the beat in the chorus helps keep me on track. (3:37)
4. Bionic: Christina Aguilera – A high-energy song from the get-go, this futuristic hi-tech sound makes for a heart-pumping few minutes. (3:21)
5. Less Talk More Rokk (Guitar Hero Version): Freezepop – Anything by Freezepop is pure techno heaven and perfect for exercising, but the slow beat at the beginning builds up like a roller coaster ride, taking you through musical twists and turns. I love this song to get my energy up then leveling it out. (4:59)
6. Bulletproof: La Roux – A dance hit during the summer of 2010, this song keeps me going nonstop for 3 straight minutes. (3:26)
7. Nothing in This World: Paris Hilton – I’ve listed Paris Hilton’s music as a guilty pleasure because, really, who should be listening to her? But thanks to some solid producers, this social heiress made a song that’s worthy of exercising to. The catchy beat revs me up on the elliptical. (3:11)
9. Come into My World: Kylie Minogue – How I could I not include a pop queen like Kylie on my list of workout songs? This song has a steady tempo that’s great for leveling energy out before cool down. (4:32)
10. Make It with You: Bread – It’s no secret that I’m a fan of soft rock, and this Bread song is perfect for slowing my heart rate down. (Or conversely, warming it up.) It’s a mellow song with great tempo. (3:14)
Almost everyone’s got songs that they listen to that they wouldn’t want to fess up to if you heard it in their car. But here I list 10 songs that I listen to that I really know I shouldn’t be.
1. Free Bird: Lynyrd Skynyrd – About a man who goes a-cheatin’ and isn’t repentant about it. There’s nothing redeeming in the song except perhaps that awesome guitar solo.
2. Turn It Up: Paris Hilton – I really shouldn’t be listening or paying attention to anything Paris Hilton does, but I love the beat in this song. Her voice is a tad annoying and breathy, but I can get past it.
3. Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey: Paul McCartney – This song is stupid and makes no sense. “Butter pie?” But I grew up with Paul McCartney as a solo artist and absolutely love the silliness of the song. The silliness and stupidity are what endear it to me.
4. Only Thing I Ever Get for Christmas: Justin Bieber – I always feel a bit like a teenage girl listening to the Biebs. I’m in my thirties. I really ought not to be listening to someone a full decade younger but gosh darn it, he’s so cute!
5. Hot Tottie: Usher featuring Jay-Z – Another song with no moral redeeming value. It’s about cheating too. But Usher’s singing is so sexy, the beat gets my body moving, and Jay-Z’s rap is clever (if not crass). It’s a song I really shouldn’t be listening to.
6. Circles: Christina Aguilera – On the same album in which she sings about loving, not hating, this song is totally about flipping the bird. “Spin around in circles on my middle, middle finger” is not really something I should be listening to but the playfulness of the song draws me in. Even if she ends it with a fine point like “motherf****r.”
7. Gangnam Style: Psy – This man could be talking about pooping on my mother for all I know since I don’t understand Korean. But I love doing that crazy horse dance. This will probably fall off my guilty pleasures list once Psy’s 15 minutes of fame are up, but I’m enjoying the song while it lasts.
8. Cheers (Drink to That): Rihanna – A song that celebrates drowning your misery in alcohol. I’m not an alcoholic (or much of an alcohol drinker) so I don’t know why I’m drawn to the song. (It may be the sample of Avril Lavigne’s “Yeah Yeah” from “I’m With You” that draws me in.) But I love to play it at the end of the long week and sing “Cheers to the freakin’ weekend.” Bonus points if I’ve got a beer in hand while listening to the song.
9. Hungry Like the Wolf / Rio: Glee Cast – Glee manages to do a bang-up job mashing up these two amazing Duran Duran songs. I don’t even watch Glee (I’ve seen a few episodes though) but I discovered this mix and haven’t looked back. I love singing along to this.
10. Reggae Strut: Neil Diamond – A Jewish boy from Brooklyn donning a bad Jamaican accent. Need I say more?
I’ve put together a musical playlist of my life and what I hope my future entails. The following 10 songs express some kind of hope, things that I’ve gone through, or how I feel. They are in no particular order.
- This Journey Is My Own: Sara Groves – The title of my blog. I’m still trying to live and breathe for an audience of one.
- Paperback Writer: The Beatles – I hope to get a novel published someday!
- Real Bad News: Aimee Mann – This is the song I always think of when I stepped off the plane from college and received the news that my father had died.
- I Shall Believe: Sheryl Crow – I’m a hot mess in many ways but I resolve to believe in God even when it’s difficult.
- OK: Rebecca St. James – If I could have told my teenage self anything, it’s that life would get better. And everything will be okay.
- Gone Too Soon: Michael Jackson – In my opinion, my uncle and my father died much too soon. It’s a beautiful song that expresses loss.
- Show Love: Mary J. Blige – Too many people have hated on me in my life and tried to bring me down. This song encourages me to keep my head held high.
- In Christ Alone: Keith & Kristyn Getty – I want my hope and my life to be found in Christ alone.
- C.S. Lewis Song: Brooke Fraser – A hopeful song about waiting for God.
- Surrender: BarlowGirl – I have such a hard time giving up my dreams and desires to God, but this song reminds me that they are best left in his hands.
I originally had 25 songs listed (!) and cut it down to a top 10. I hope you click on some of the songs and enjoy.
Here’s a list of some of my top 10 favorite songs of all-time in no particular order. It was hard to narrow it down to just 10, but they’re songs that I could listen to over and over and never get sick of. (I’ve tried to vary the artists since I could list whole albums by the same artist.)
- “Look What You’ve Done” by Bread
- “Nocturne” by Billy Joel
- “Shoot the Moon” by Norah Jones
- “Irish Sea” by Margaret Becker
- “This Journey Is My Own” by Sara Groves
- “Gone Too Soon” by Michael Jackson
- “Today’s the Day” by Aimee Mann
- “Linus and Lucy” by Vince Guaraldi Trio
- “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)” by George Harrison
- “Dear Prudence” by The Beatles
I look forward to seeing the new music that comes out in 2013! But in the meantime, here’s a list of 10 songs I loved in 2012. (I think you know all too well which one of them that will appear on here.) Read more…
Aimee Mann is the best song lyricist that I know of. Her lyrics are funny and clever in a way that many other artists’ lyrics are not. Two of the songs I enjoy by Ms. Mann include “Driving Sideways” and “Stranger into Starman.” With another song, “Save Me,” I resonated deeply with the lyrics because I felt like I was part of “the ranks of the freaks who suspect they could never love anyone.”
Yes, I admit it: I was one of those people who gave up on Alanis after her Unplugged album. When I heard “Hands Clean” from Under Rug Swept, I disowned her as the voice of my tortured soul.
When Jagged Little Pill came out, I was a teenager scorned who had never had a boyfriend but a series of crushes that went all wrong. “Ya Oughta Know” screamed my angst and pain, “Perfect” explained the pressures I felt from my parents to be the overachieving, A+ child, and “You Learn” reminded me that life taught me lessons that I would have to learn from. Morissette’s follow up, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie still had the right amount of angst for me. 1998 was the year that I became a Christian, but was still searching for inner peace. “Baba” was a cynical song about Eastern religion that I identified with as I wasn’t fully sold on Buddhism, “Thank U” reminded me to be thankful to God and the universe for all the blessings life afforded me, and “Heart of the House” inspired me to become the “goddess” of my home one day.
Most people thought Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie was a let-down, but I thought it was an astonishing sophomore follow-up. Unplugged was my last Morissette album. “No Pressure Over Cappuccino” spoke about the paradoxes of life to me, and “Princes Familiar” made me think that one day, just one day, I’d meet a man who treated me like a princess the way my father always treated me. (That dream has come true, by the way.)
Then I heard “Hands Clean” and thought, Alanis doesn’t speak for me anymore. I need angst. Alanis sucks without the angst. But that’s because I had just gotten out of a relationship gone wrong, and suddenly songs like No Doubt’s “Ex-Girlfriend” were speaking for me.
But I’m rediscovering Alanis. She has grown out of her angst and so have I, making me more receptive to her softer, more contemplative side. Now, I am going through and listening to havoc and bright lights, Flavors of Entanglement, So-Called Chaos, and Under Rug Swept only to realize that I can still identify with her songs but on a different level than before. I’ve grown older with Alanis Morissette, and I’m glad that she didn’t stay trapped in her angst because really, who wants to experience that emotion forever? She would have been stagnant as an artist and artistry is all about evolving. And art sure imitates life.