Trish, on her blog, asked this question: "If the last year of YOUR life had a soundtrack, what songs would be included?" I hope she doesn't mind that I've taken that and decided to write a whole blog post on the subject.
1) Shadowfeet, from Brooke Fraser's Albertine. "Walking, stumbling on these shadowfeet / Towards home, a land that I've never seen / I am changing, less and less asleep / Made of different stuff than when I began..." When this song first came out on the radio I wasn't too sure about it, but slowly I realised that whenever I heard this song, I would somehow feel much more relaxed and less stressed out than usual - and by now, it's been playing on a loop in my head with these eight other tracks for a long time. It's a song that has reminded me of direction in life other than just getting through the year or the degree or the hoarding-of-money, and has challenged me like no other song... except for the others on her album!
2) First and Second Law, by Flanders and Swann (performed in their show At the Drop of Another Hat). This makes the list because a) it's the funniest song, and b) this year for the first time I found a CD version of At the Drop of Another Hat (as opposed to vinyl) and have since been listening to it WAY too much. This song, about the first and second law of thermodynamics, has always been one of my favourites, and since I was about age four, I could quote from memory that:
1. Heat is work and work is heat.
2. Heat cannot of itself pass from one body to a hotter body.
I'm aware there's no way I can do justice to the funniness of this song by writing about it so I'll leave it at that, but if you ever manage to get your hands on a copy of that show, listen to it!!
3) Won't Give In, from the Finn brothers' album Everyone is Here. This song, by two legends of NZ music (originally from Split Enz and Crowded House), is about family, and the way it sticks together - "What does it mean when you belong to someone / When you're born with a name and you carry it on / It means that I won't give in, won't give in, won't give in / 'Cause everyone I love is here..." This has been revolving round my head lately whenever I think of my family, a big theme of the last year I would say.
4) Ruby, from The Kaiser Chief's Yours Truly, Angry Mob. Since my niece Ruby was born almost ten months ago, this song has been played a LOT on the radio, and I'm almost getting to the point at which it's been played too much. Still, it's nice to sing along with a song and have someone in mind, especially when it's someone so incredibly cute! "Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby! / Do ya do ya do ya do ya / Know what you're doing doing to me? / Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby!" I mean, isn't that the coolest thing to sing along with at the top of your voice!
5) The Scientist, from Coldplay's A Rush of Blood to the Head. I played this a lot around about the time my Mum died, and ever since then it's been one of my major Think About Mum songs.
6) Resurrection, by my big brother Russell! We are a family of musos, but Russell is really The Muso of the family, and we have a few CDs of stuff he's written and recorded. This song was written for his church's Easter production, and is VERY cool (and also kinda thought-provoking). He occasionally reads this blog, so Russell, if you're reading, I hope you don't mind that I mentioned you!
7) One, from U2's album Achtung Baby. This has always been one of my favourite U2 songs but this year in particular I've been thinking about the lyrics a lot - it was written from the perspective of one of Bono's friends who was coming out to his staunchly anti-gay father, and it's been a major part of my thoughts about the whole issue which I really want to make my mind up about. I don't want to make a political statement or something here, but since this has been the major issue I've been thinking about this year (and going in circles most of the time), this song has been in my mind a lot.
8) Kite, from U2's All That You Can't Leave Behind. Another Think About Mum song. This song seems to me to encapsulate all the mind wanderings I go through when I think about the death of a loved one, the confusion, being torn between letting it go and holding on for as long as possible. It also happened to be the last song U2 played at the concert I went to in November 2006 and was beautiful (and rather funny - in a beautiful symbolic gesture, Bono flew a kite, and at the end of the concert, let it fly away - unfortunately, only to get stuck in the lighting a few metres above the stage!).
9) Rusty Cage, by Johnny Cash. "I'm gonna break my rusty cage and run..." It's been roughly a year since I discovered Johnny Cash (along with everyone else - after Walk the Line came out). I think this is actually a cover of someone else's song, but it's one of my favourite Johnny Cash songs, and I always play it when I'm driving in the country or doing something fun instead of something sensible. It makes me wish I was a bass singer. Almost.
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