Tag Archives: Songs

My Christmas Soundtrack

4 Dec

Red-Christmas-Decorations-ChristmasIt’s that time of year again where the only type of music that fills my ears is holiday-inspired. (Besides the ’80s tunes that I require during my shower time. Hello, Mr. Big.) I do not discriminate, well I do, but my playlists are filled with many artists I wouldn’t usually listen to on a daily basis, like Mannheim Steamroller, Amy Grant, and Harry Connick, Jr (but never Jessica Simpson or the like. Never.) I actually look forward to going to work, knowing I will be listening to my Christmas soundtrack on Spotify on the way – which is always uplifting, no matter the circumstances.

So here are my top six tunes this year, the ones that I gravitate toward walking to and fro. Some have been on my favorites list for years, while others have moved up the ladder in the last couple weeks.

1) Pennies From Heaven – Louis Prima

This is not a Christmas song. It has been recorded by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Andy Williams, but I think he has the perfect voice for this song. Louis’s gravely, gritty voice plus the fast-paced beat makes it the perfect listen to while walking down the crazed streets of NYC. It doesn’t hurt that it was featured on Elf and now I believe it is a holiday song. I feel like I’m in a soundtrack to my own holiday-themed movie when this pops on.This song isn’t really a Christmas anthem, but it sure has made the rounds on the radio stations like this number has:

I Believe – Frank Sinatra

But I would never consider Annie Lennox’s version of “My Favorite Things” a holiday tune. No, that’s just freakin’ creepy, like Elf On A Shelf. Save that shit for Halloween.

2) Same Old Lang Syne – Dan Fogelberg

This song has been my go-to Christmas tune since high school. I love, love Dan Fogelberg’s work, and this song is just gorgeous. Like many of his songs, it is autobiographical, and the lyrics just paint such a sad, lovely picture that many people can relate to. The fact that it was written about a meeting between him and his high school sweetheart in their hometown of Peoria, IL and that they both kept it a secret from the public for such a long time, so damn beautiful.

3) The River – Rachael Yamagata

Yes, the Joni Mitchell original version ranks supreme. But I love, love, love Rachael Yamagata. I own all of her records and absolutely love her voice quality. And as much as I love Joni, I hate to admit that I like this version even more. It’s so sad, so relatable, and just so wonderful.

4) Wishlist – Pearl Jam

Yes. Just yes. Pearl Jam is probably one of the top bands that pop up regularly on my Spotify playlists. We actually made a wedding playlist CD as party favors (which I will post next week), and Pearl Jam made the list with love song “Just Breathe”. Vedder sings of all the things he wishes for, but ends it with the line “I wish I was as fortunate, as fortunate as me.” What we should be thinking about at this time of year.

5) Winter Song – Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson

Damn beautiful. That’s all I can say about this song. “Is love alive?” and this stanza “This is my winter song/December never felt so wrong/Cause you’re not where you belong/Inside my arms”. I listen to this song in remembrance of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. I think of the families, the community, and the extremely sad loss.

6) Still, Still, Still – Mannheim Steamroller

I remember singing this Austrian lullaby in middle school and loving the melody ever since. Whenever I hear it being played, I close my eyes and imagine it being dark at night, with the snow falling and twinkling lights nearby. I instantly get transported back to my childhood.

And while I’m not including all of my favorites, I cannot stop listening to Sting’s If On A Winter Night album and Sarah McLachlan’s Wintersong. Both just delicious bites of the season.

Oh, Christmas.


Music creates limbo brain

25 Oct


Hum, hum, home … something, something, da-ti-da.

Have you ever had that happen? Scratch that, it has had to happen to everyone.
You hear a song, somewhat like it, and then … caput. It’s gone. You might remember a word, a phrasing, but that’s it. Unless you search endlessly on the Internet or randomly hear it again somewhere, it’s stuck in this place in  limbo brain.

Yesterday, I was trying on some clothes at H&M. It’s unusual for me to like what I see in the mirror in a changing room, but yesterday was different. Perhaps it was because I had just finished an interview. Or maybe it was because I had just consumed a Pecan-caramel Cinnabon and I was on a sugar high. Nonetheless, I heard a song that was super catchy and enjoyed it. It had been the background of a commercial recently or on tv, so I recognized the chorus. But it wasn’t until I heard the song in its entirety that I realized that I needed it on one of my playlists. Over and over in my head, I hammered the first line of the chorus in so that I wouldn’t forget it.

Unfortunately, when I got home, there was dinner to make, a stray cat to feed and numerous other jobs to apply for. The song was forgotten. Until this morning.

So here I have been for a good 45 minutes, trying to write in my journal, find more jobs to apply to, news to read, and I can’t pay attention. Instead, I have a few bars from this song and the word “home” stuck at the front.

After searching on Spotify, writing random things in Google, I just wrote “Home” in ITunes. And there it was. “Home” by Phillip Phillips. I listened to it a couple times and it is definitely still catchy. Didn’t know until now that he was the winner on American Idol (don’t watch that show) and that was his coronation song. Not sure it’s my absolute favorite, but what I know for sure is that the song is out of my limbo brain. I can finally concentrate on the rest of my day.

Until something similar happens, which always happens.

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