Wednesday, April 04, 2012

100 songs that move me

lifted from The Gal Herself

I found this at One Gal's Musings (who got it from Kwizgiver), and knew I had to give it a spin. Starting on March 20 (the first day of spring), let's see how long it takes me to compile this list (and how many times I change it afterward).

In no particular order...

1. Hallelujah, performed by Rufus Wainwright (2003). It makes very little sense if you listen to the lyrics, but it still manages to reach right in and grab hold of me when I hear it.
"Love is not a victory march; it's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah"

2. He don't love you performed by Tony Orlando (1975). When I thought of songs that move me, this was the first that sprang to mind. Which makes very little sense, because I haven't thought of it in years and years.
"He don't love you
like I love you
if he did he wouldn't break your heart"

3. Tusk by Fleetwood Mac (1997). Their live version with the USC marching band (from The Dance tour) gets me out of my chair every time.
"Don't tell me that you love me
Just say that you want me."

4. Sligo Creek by Al Petteway (1997). I'm not usually one for instrumentals, but this one makes me want to hop into a canoe and see where it takes me. Definitely traveling music.

5. Man, I Feel Like a Woman by Shania Twain (1997). One of those bouncy, happy songs that is very gender-affirming without being strident.
"Go totally crazy; Forget I'm a lady
Man shirts, short skirts, whoa-oh-oh
Get in the action; Feel the attraction
Color my hair, do what I dare"

6. Cherish by The Association (1962). This was my first favorite song, and the first one I learned to sing by myself. Of course, I thought the title was Sherry-shoo, and it was the name of the girl they were singing about. I would have been about 2 or 3.
"Cherish is the word I use to describe; All the feelings that I have hiding here for you inside"

7. Join Together by The Who (1972). They take all comers in a welcoming song that makes me want to get up and dance.
"Do you really think I care; 
What you read or what you wear?"

8. Signs by The Five Man Electric Band (1971). Classic anti-intolerance. Always gets me stirred up.
"So I took out a pen and a paper, 
and I made up my own little sign; 
It said thank you Lord for thinkin' 'bout me, 
I'm alive and doing fine"

9. The Beginning of the End from The Stand by W. G. "Snuffy" Walden (1994). It's so intensely lonely, but hopeful.

10. Fields of Gold by Sting (1993). Romantic and passionate.
"Feel her body rise when you kiss her mouth;
Among the fields of gold."

11. Cruisin' by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles (1979). This one makes me want to put my head against the headrest, one hand on the steering wheel and drive after dark with the top down.
"We're gonna fly away
Glad you're going my way
I love it when we're cruisin' together."

12. Heard it Through the Grapevine by Marvin Gaye (1967). It's one of those that just makes me want to get up and dance. Weird.
"People say believe half of what you see
Son, and none of what you hear."

13. Twistin' the Night Away by Sam Cooke (1962). Another perfect dance tune.
"He's dancin' with a chick in slacks
She's movin' up and back
Oh, man there ain't nothin' like
Twistin' the night away."

14. It Must Have Been Love by Roxette (1987). It came on the radio while I was going through an upsetting breakup, and I had to pull off to the side of the road to cry. It's gotten to me ever since.
"It must have been love, but it's over now;
It must have been good, but I lost it somehow."

15. When the River Meets the Sea by John Denver and The Muppets (1979). Why this ended up on their Christmas album is a mystery to me, but it gives me a profound sense of contentment. I want it played at my memorial service.
"Like a flower that has blossomed in the dry and barren sand
We are born and born again most gracefully
Cross the waves the tide will take us, with a sure and steady hand
When the river meets the sea"

16. Tell Ol' Bill by The Chad Mitchell Trio (1964). One of the first songs my oldest child learned to sing. It's not a particularly happy song, telling as it does of the unexpected death of the unfaithful Bill. Nevertheless, it has a special place in my heart.
"Oh no, can't be so this mornin', this mornin'
Oh no, can't be so this evenin' so soon.
Oh no, it can't be so
I saw my bill about an hour ago
This mornin' this evenin' so soon."

17. Calling All Angels by Train (2003). Another socially-aware song that tugs at me.
"In a world where what we want is only what we want until it's ours."

18. I'll Stand By You by The Pretenders (1994). Another anthem, one I want to live up to.
"When the night falls on you
And you don't know what to do
Nothing you confess could make me love you less.
I'll stand by you."

19. Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel (1986). The potential just reaches out to me.
"In your eyes, the light the heat
Your eyes, I am complete"

20. Exile by Enya (1988). Haunting and lonely. I associate it closely with one of my favorite movies, L.A. Story. It's heartbreaking, but somehow hopeful.
"My light shall be the moon
And my path the ocean
My guide the morning star
As I sail home to you."

21. Sing by My Chemical Romance (2010). I first heard of this song on Glee, but I looked it up on YouTube and liked the original better. It's another very motivational song that makes me want to get up and DO things, from making my mark on the world to getting my house clean.
"You've got to make your choice
If the music drowns you out
and raise your voice
every single time they try and shut your mouth."

22. Born This Way by Lady Gaga (2011). An anthem to self-acceptance and tolerance.
"I"m beautiful in my way
'cause God makes no mistakes."

23. Order My Steps by Donnie McClurkin (1994?). A Gospel song my oldest child used to sing in her school choir. They sang it in the Pennsylvania Capitol building rotunda, and the sound ringing down from the dome above was amazing. As a point of interest, I don't even believe in a personal devil, but this couplet gets to me:
"Though Satan is busy, God is real.
Order my steps in Your Word."

24. The Theme from Firefly ("The Ballad of Serenity") by Sonny Rhodes (2002). Lonely but defiant, it reminds me that we can't lose everything.
"Take my love, take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don't care, I'm still free
You can't take the sky from me."

25. Going Home by Mary Fahl (2003). Another lonely one. I associate it with loss, probably because it's the theme from Gods & Generals.
"I know in my bones
I've been here before.
The ground feels the same
Though the land's been torn."

25. Unwritten by Natasha Beddingfield (2010) . Another anthem song that I take to heart. I kind of like the gospel feel of it, too.
"Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibition."

26. In the House of Stone and Light by Martin Page (1994). Its spiritual tone touches me. I once wrote an entire fictional religion based on this song for a story.
"I'll make my way
Oh, gonna be such a beautiful day
In the house of stone and light."

27. If Everyone Cared by Nickelback (2007). Yet another social awareness song, both plaintive and hopeful. The video is informative and inspiring.
"And as we lie beneath the stars
We realize how small we are.
If they could love like you and me
Imagine what the world could be."

28. When I'm Gone by 3 Doors Down (2002). Powerful song about separation, dedicated to the troops.
"Hold me when I'm here
Right me when I'm wrong 
Hold me when I'm scared
And love me when I'm gone."

29. Theme to Game of Thrones by Ramin Djawadi (2011). It's both regal and adventurous. Stirring.

30. Could it be Magic by Barry Manilow (1975). I love the way it starts out slow and romantic, builds to passionate desperation, and then settles down to slow and romantic again. You know what I mean.
"Come, come, come into my arms.
Let me know the wonder of all of you."

31. Fade Away by Bad Company (1975). A somewhat antisocial, but spiritual song. For when I want the world to disappear, or want to disappear out of the world.
"Fading color, changing sound
Shades of night come tumbling down.
Will tomorrow, like yesterday,
Fade away?"

32. For What It's Worth by Buffalo Springfield (1967). The paen to political paranoia.
"Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep.
It starts when you're always afraid
You step outta line, the Man come and take you away."

33. I'm Yours by Jason Mraz (2008). I absolutely have to smile every time I hear this song. And if no one's listening, I have to sing along. And bop a little.
"Listen to the music of the moment people dance and sing;
We're just one big family
and it's our Godforsaken right to be loved loved loved loved."

34. Glory Unseen by Juniper (2004). Although it's the theme music from the GI Joe movie, it's a great song about friendship, loyalty and valor.
"I will never leave you to fend for yourself
Trust me to stand behind you, I'm the glory unseen."

35. All the Same by The Sick Puppies (2006). Remember the Free Hugs campaign? The song has nothing to do with love or affection, but it's an awesome angry song.
"Go ahead tell me you'll leave again,
You'll just come back runnin'
Holding your scarred heart in hand.
It's all the same."

36. I'll Be by Edwin McCain (1998). Despite its simple moon/June lyrics, it's a strangely romantic song done in 3/4 time.
"Rain falls angry on the tin roof
As we lie awake in my bed.
You're my survival, you're my living proof
My love is alive, and not dead."

37. You and Me by Lifehouse (2005). I am a sucker for music in 3/4 time, and this sweet love song is a perfect waltzy example. It was also popular during Lost's run, and I thought it was a perfect song for Charlie and Claire.
"cause it's you and me
And all of the people with nothing to do, nothing to prove.
And it's you and me and all other people
And I don't know why I can't keep my eyes off of you."

38. Amazed by Lonestar (1999(. Another of those "I wish someone felt that way about me" songs.
"Every little thing that you do
Baby I'm amazed by you."

39. Incomplete by The Backstreet Boys (2005). So plaintive...
"I pray for this heart to be unbroken
But without you all I'm going to be is incomplete."

40. Last Train Running by Whiskey Falls (2007). The harmony gets to me as much as the music and lyrics. And the video will break your heart.
"You only get one shot
One chance against the clock and you
Only get one life
One chance to make it right."

41. On the Turning Away by Pink Floyd (1987). Another socially-aware song by an artful band.
"Don't accept that what's happening
Is just a case of others suffering
Or you'll find that you're joining in
The turning away."

42. Leader of the Band by Dan Fogelberg (1981). A loving tribute to his father that never fails to get to me.
"I thank you for the music and your stories of the road.
I thank you for the freedom when it came my time to go."

43. Hole Hearted by Extreme (1991). For reasons I have yet to explain, shortly after we moved to Illinois this song became lodged in my head for months, and would pop out at odd moments, even though I only knew one line:
"There's a hole in my heart that can only be filled by you."

44. Affirmation by Savage Garden (1999). Many many truisms, and I agree with all but one. Care to guess?
"I believe I'm loved when I'm completely by myself alone."

45. Blaze of Glory by Jon Bon Jovi (1990). All bad-boy rebellion.
You ask about my conscience
And I offer you my soul
You ask if I'll grow to be a wise man,
Well, I ask if I'll grow old."

46. I Can't Drive 55 by Sammy Hagar (1984). This ain't cruisin. This is pedal-to-the-metal down the Interestate.
"Go on and write me up for 125
Post my face: wanted dead or alive
Take my license, all that jive
I can't drive 55."

47. At the End of the Day from Les Miserables (various). Sowing the seeds of class warfare. In 18th century France.
"At the end of the day there's another day dawning
And the sun in the morning is waiting to rise
Like the waves crash on the sand, like a storm that'll break any second
There's a hunger in the land, there's a reckoning still to be reckoned
And there's going to be hell to pay at the end of the day."

48. Mr. Cellophane from Chicago (2002). Hasn't everyone felt invisible at one point in their lives? This song sums it up perfectly.
"Cellophane, Mr. Cellophane
Shoulda been my name, Mr. Cellophane 
'cause you can look right through me, walk right by me
And never know I'm there."

49. I'll Cover You (Reprise) (go to 2:06) from Rent (2005). The funeral scene, and the way Collins sings it will break your heart. (it might help to have heard the original).
"I've longed to discover something as true as this is
So with a thousand sweet kisses, I'll cover you
When you're cold and you're lonely, when you've got one nickel only
With a thousand sweet kisses, I'll cover you."

50. No Day But Today from Rent (2005). Ode to living each day to its fullest, and not giving into fear.
"There's only now, there's only here
Give into love, or live in fear.
No other life, no other way
No day but today."

51. She's Got a Way by Billy Joel (1981). The kind of sentiment I think most people want their lover to have for them.
"She's got a way about her.
Don't know what it is,
But I know that I can't live without her."

52. My Sweet Lord by George Harrison (1970). Laid back and easy devotional.
"I really wanna see you Lord
But it takes so long, my Lord."

53. Knocking on Heaven's Door by Guns 'n Roses (1991). I know Dylan did it first, but I like this version better.
"Mama take this badge from me.
I can't use it anymore.
It's gettin' dark, too dark to see.
Feels like I'm knockin' on heaven's door."

54. Old Devil Moon from Finian's Rainbow (1968). A sweet old love song.
"I look at you and suddenly
Something in your eyes I see
Soon begins bewitching me."

55. F*ck You by Cee Lo Green (2010). I love the juxtaposition of up-tempo beebop and verbal hostility. He's just so cheerful when he tells them to f--- off and die.
"I see you drivin' round town with the girl I love and I'm like f*ck you.
I guess the change in my pocket wasn't enough, I'm like f*ck you and f*ck her too."

56. Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd (1974). The song of a roving generation.
"If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me?"

57. Losing My Religion by R.E.M. (1991). Another soundtrack of my life song. I can still feel the breeze on my face and the sun on my skin when I listen to it.
"I think I thought I saw you try."

58. Like No Other Night by .38 Special (1986). They played at Pine Knob in Michigan when I lived there. We were on the lawn. The sky opened up, the rain poured down and there were thousands of us dancing in the rain and mud. Amazing.
"This night could be like no other night, if you and me
Find a fire in our hearts and dance in the light, yeah
We'll take our chances, how can we lose? We're making our own rules.
This night could be like no other night."

59. Hazard by Richard Marx (1991). A creepy-cool mystery ballad.
"My mother came to Hazard when I was just seven.
Even then the folks in town would with prejudiced eyes
'That boy's not right.'"

60. Straight From the Heart by Bryan Adams (1983). A tender side to the rocker.
"You know I'll never go as long as I know
It's coming straight from the heart."

61. Tempted by Squeeze (1991). Great new wave ballad about infidelity.
"I said to my reflection 
'Let's get out of this place"

62. Stiletto by Billy Joel (1978). Another soundtrack of my life. So much of my teen years were soundtracked by Billy Joel, the local boy made good.
"She cuts you hard
She cuts you deep 
She's got so much skill
She's so fascinatin' that you're still there waitin'
When she comes back for the kill."

63. Ain't No Sunshine by Bill Whithers. So sad and lonely, with a great riff in the middle.
"Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
Only darkness every day
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
And this house just ain't no home."

64. Goodbye by Night Ranger (1985). A departure for the band, getting a bit more folk-rocky, but still a nice ballad, and another soundtrack of my life song.
"Now it's hard leaving all this behind me now
Like a schoolboy so lost, never found until now.
and all this could be just a dream so it seems
I was never much good at goodbye."

65. Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell (1968). So lonely.
"And I need you more than want you
And I want you for all time."

66. Because the Night performed by 10,000 Maniacs. I know Patti Smith did the original, but I like the 10KM version better.
"Take my hand as the sun descends
They can't hurt you now..."

67. If I Had a Million Dollars by The Barenaked Ladies. A lighthearted imagining of what $1,000,000 could buy. Including her love.
"If I had a 1,000,000 (If I had a 1,000,000) 
I'd buy you a fur coat (but not a real fur coat that's cruel) 
If I had a 1,000,000 (If I had a 1,000,000) 
I'd buy you an exotic pet (like a llama or an emu) 
If I had a 1,000,000 (If I had a 1,000,000) 
I'd buy John Merrick's remains (All them crazy elephant bones) 
If I had a 1,000,000 I'd buy your love"

68. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen/We Three Kings (2010) by The Barenaked Ladies. Yeah, it's a Christmas song, but it's one of the few that I'll listen to all year long.
"From God our Heavenly Father the blessed angel came
And unto certain shepherds brought tidings of the same
How that in Bethlehem was born the Son of God by name"

69. Boogie Fever by The Sylvers (1975). I'd done my time with disco, and had solidly turned my back on it, until this blast from the past appeared in the movie The Stand. It's hilariously upbeat.
"I-I got the boogie fever
You-you got the boogie fever
He-he got the boogie fever
Everybody got the boogie fever."

70. Troubled Child by Journey (1983). Reminds me of my restless, rebellious days.
"War with yourself makes you feel better
Caught behind the lines, troubled child."

71. Let it Be by The Beatles (1970). This was my first favorite song.
"and in my hour of darkness, she is standing right in front of me
speaking words of wisdom, 'Let it be.'"

72. Dust in the Wind by Kansas (1977). In high school, my friends and I, jealous that we didn't get parts in our high school production of The Wizard of Oz, put on our own version, rewriting the lyrics of popular songs to fit the theme and calling it "The Wiz of Oz." Our first number was "Kansas is just dust in the wind."
"I close my eyes
Only for a moment and the moment's gone
All my dreams
Pass before my eyes a curiosity."

73. Kiss From a Rose by Seal (1995). When I was pregnant with Bear, I loved this song and listened to it over and over. After she was born, less than 2 weeks old, the song came on the radio. She stopped nursing to turn her head toward the music. Amazing.
"But did you know 
That when it snows
My eyes become large and the light that you shine can't be seen."

74. Get Closer by Seals & Croft (1976). Good relationship advice in any age.
"I can't go on living day to day wondering if you'll be here tomorrow.
People change and you're changing.
And I've given you my all, there's no more to borrow."

75. My Way performed by Elvis Presley (1977). That fabulous baritone singing this song, so near the end of his life. Fantastic.
"I faced it all, and I stood tall
And did it my way."

76. Get Happy by Judy Garland (1950). Ah, lovely Judy. One of her best numbers.
"Forget your troubles come on get happy
You better chase all your cares away."

77. Keep Pushin' by REO Speedwagon (1976). This was my mantra during a particularly dark time in my life.
"Well it's comin together 
I finally feel like a man, oh yes I do 
 I never thought that I'd be where I am, 
oh Everyday I wake a little bit higher 
 Whoa I keep pushin on, oh yeah"

78. I'm Against It by Groucho Marx from Horsefeathers (1932). Funny bit of argumentation by The Great Groucho. It's become part of our family lexicon.
"Your proposition may be good
But let's have one thing understood:
Whatever it is, I'm against it.
No matter how you've changed it or condensed it
I'm against it."

79. Feel it Again by Honeymoon Suite (1986). I can still feel the last of the rain blowing away at that Pine Knob concert as we all danced in the mud to this song (as well as the other one above). The tone perfectly matched the storm.
"There's something that sets you apart
and tightens your grip on my heart."

80. Beautiful by Christina Aguilera (2002). Another empowerment song. Very uplifting.
"You are beautiful
No matter what they say
Words can't bring you down."

81. To Morrow performed by The Kingston Trio (1960). This one just amuses me no end. It's plain silly wordsmithing.
"said he to me, 'Now let me see if I have heard you right
You'd like to go to Morrow and return tomorrow night.
You should have gone to Morrow yesterday and back today
for the train that goes to Morrow is a mile upon its way.'"

82. Mack the Knife from Threepenny Opera, performed by Bobby Darin (1959). Bouncy, snappy tale about a hitman.
"Could it be our boy's done something rash?"

83. Sleeping Angel by Stevie Nicks (1981). Just a nice song. I like that it acknowledges the later part of life, too.
"Well, someday when we're older 
And my hair is silver gray 
A braid with all of the love that you have 
Like a soft silver chain"

84. Brand New Day by Sting (1999). Not just the laid back yet traveling tune, but the message of hope and second chances.
"Why don't we turn the clock to zero, honey
I'll sell the stock, we'll spend all the money 
We're starting up a brand new day"

85. Unwell by Matchbox 20 (2002). Another song from the soundtrack of my life.
"I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
I know right now you can't tell.
But stay awhile and maybe then you'll see 
A different side of me."

86. Smooth by Santana (feat. Rob Thomas) (1999). It's kind of an ode to co-dependence, but it's so smooth.
"You're my reason for reason
The step in my groove."

87. Walk of Life by Dire Straits (1985). Bouncy song about the power of storytelling.
"And after all the violence and double-talk
There's just a song in all the trouble and the strife."

88. Into the Night by Santana w/ Chad Kroeger (2007). There is something about Chad Kroeger's voice that I find very appealing. And I love the Latin feel.
"There were drums in the air as she started to dance
Every soul in the room keeping time with their hands."

89. Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls (1998). Another 3/4 tempo song that just pulls me into it.
"And I'd give up forever to touch you
'cause I know that you feel me somehow."

90. It's Alright by Huey Lewis and the News (1993). I'm such a sucker for a capella harmony.
"When you wake up early in the mornin' 
Feelin' sad like so many of us do
Hum a little soul, and make life your goal
And surely something's gotta come to you."

91. Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding (1968). Perfect slacker song, with a sad, lonely undertone.
"Sittin' on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time."

92. I Can't Dance by Genesis (1991). Another silly song that my kids and I used to dance to together. I have a fond memory of S at a Christmas pageant, strutting down the church aisle with the "I Can't Dance" walk.
"I can't dance, I can't talk
Only thing about me is the way I walk."

93. In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins (1981). Great tune with a great mythology behind it.
"Well if you told me you were drowning
I would not lend a hand.
I've seen your face before my friend,
But I don't know if you know who I am."

94. She Won't Let Me Fly Away by John Denver (1970). Another Soundtrack of My Life song (reverse the genders.) For the life of me, I can't find John Denver's version online. Please recognize that it's ever so much better when he sings it.
"Well, we got no heat and the window's broke, 
The storm rains came, everything got soaked. 
And there's no bread left, nothing "here to smoke, 
and the Lord looks down saying, "Can't you take a joke?" 

95. Walk on the Ocean by Toad the Wet Sprocket (1991). More 3/4 time love. With minor harmony. Sigh.
"And somebody told me that this is the place
Where everything's better. Where everything's safe."

96. Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson (2006). Still more 3/4 time love, plus good lyrics about growing up.
"I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly
Though it's not easy to tell you goodbye.
I gotta make a wish, take a chance, make a change
And breakaway."

97. Little Boxes by Pete Seeger (1965). Another of the little subversive tunes so dear to my heart.
"There's a green one and a pink one 
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they're all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same."

98. Goodbye Earl by The Dixie Chicks (1999). Music as wish fulfillment.
"Right away Mary Ann few in from Atlanta
On the red-eye midnight flight.
She held Wanda's hand and they worked out a plan
And it didn't take them long to decide
That Earl had to die."

99. Her Diamonds by Rob Thomas (2009). Got stuck in my head for days. It's a very relatable song about someone trying to deal with a loved one's depression.
"And she says 'Oh, I can't take no more.'
Her tears like diamonds on the floor
And her diamonds bring me down
'cause I can't help her now."

100. The National Anthem by Huey Lewis and the News (1985). One of the best versions I've ever heard. But then, I'm a sucker for a capella harmony. It gives me goosebumps every. time.
"O say does that star spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?"


  1. Incredible list! I feel as though I need to revise mine because you've reminded me of so many good songs.

    1. Thanks Ms. Kwiz! I got some ideas from your list, too!

  2. One of the best posts you've done in a long while, at least in terms of giving us personal glimpses of YOU! :)

    I might have to give this one a go, although how od you differentiate between songs that "move you" and songs that you simply like a lot?

    1. John, you know I don't like to put too much personal stuff online... but this one was fun!

      I differentiated by choosing songs that had a specific meaning or association. Either they consistently spark a specific emotion when I hear them, or they bring back a specific memory.