Tuesday, October 29, 2013

30 Songs in 1 Day

I just learned of this challenge from seeing it on Michelle's blog.  Great timing, me.  The month is just about over.  Oh well, I thought I'd catch up with it in one mega-post.

The deal is to think of 30 songs that address a range of questions... most of which, I think, are meant to help uncover the real you.  Do they really?  Aw, who cares, I had fun doing it.  Apologies for taking a pass on some of the questions, and for not linking every song to a place where you can listen to it.  It may have been fun, but I didn't have a ton of time...

Day 01 – Your favorite song

This normally would have me scratching my head, what with all the decades and genres of good stuff out there.  But this was asked before, and I happily settled on Rush's Closer to the Heart.  (The link takes you to an extended concert version... the only way to fly.)

Day 02 – Your least favorite song

Yikes, that's difficult.  For years I hated the Beatles' Wild Honey Pie, because I thought it was John viciously mocking Paul's Honey Pie.  However, it really was Paul making goofy fun of himself!

Okay, I'm going to be controversial here:  I'm no longer a fan of Pink Floyd's Time, from Dark Side of the Moon.  I admit that it's a classic, quality piece of songwriting.  But the way I interpret the lyrics, there's a deep black core of nihilism at the center of this thing.  Every year older that I get, I want to fight against such pessimism more and more, and with everything I've got.

Day 03 – A song that makes you happy

Ah, good.  Something more uplifting.  Can anyone listen to Supertramp's Give A Little Bit and not have their mood instantly boosted into the stratosphere?

Day 04 – A song that makes you sad

Blegh.  There are too many of those.  The first thing that comes to mind is that the sax solo in Springsteen's Jungleland sounds so much sadder since we lost the Big Man.

Day 05 – A song that reminds you of someone

Billy Joel's The Longest Time.

Day 06 – A song that reminds you of somewhere

The Outfield's Your Love is psychically connected to Philadelphia's 30th Street Station in the spring of 1986.  So you get a "somewhere" and a "somewhen" all tangled up in a wibbly-wobbly ball.

Day 07 – A song that reminds you of a certain event

Tom Petty's I Won't Back Down serves a doubly sad duty.  Its original release in 1989 seemed timed to be the soundtrack of the Tienanmen Square student protest and crackdown.  Later, it gave voice to my feelings about another event.

Day 08 – A song that you know all the words to

Putting aside Rush (since so many of Neil Peart's lyrics have been weaved into my DNA), I'd like to say something morally uplifting like Queen's Under Pressure.  However, I think I'd score a B- to C+ if I was tested on it.  Groan, I've got to admit that one I'd probably do really well on is AC/DC's You Shook Me All Night Long.

Day 09 – A song that you can dance to

If anyone has footage of myself and friends in college dancing around to the Housemartins' weird anthem Me and the Farmer, I'll pay dearly for its destruction.

Day 10 – A song that makes you fall asleep

I'm not sure if it's ever actually caused me to lose consciousness, but I think the most soothing, calming song in all of existence is the Fleetwoods' Come Softly To Me.  (Thanks, Libby.)

Day 11 – A song from your favorite band

Haven't I talked enough about those three guys from Willowdale?

Day 12 – A song from a band you hate

Gosh, there may be plenty of songs that I just can't stand, but I can't think of a band or artist that I'd put into that category.  Even the ones I think are politically stupid are just doing what they think is right.

Day 13 – A song that is a guilty pleasure

I have no idea why, but... Kid Rock's Wasting Time.

Day 14 – A song that no one would expect you to love

See above?  :-)  

Day 15 – A song that describes you

I've been answering these out of order, so #24 below covers my first choice(s).

Day 16 – A song that you used to love but now hate

Back to Rush (sort of), so we're not really talking hatred, here.  But I often get annoyed with radio program directors, whose knowledge of this band seems to begin and end with the same song: their biggest hit, Tom Sawyer.  Whenever I hear it on the radio these days I end up switching stations.

HOWEVER, a few years ago, I heard a remix of it (from the soundtrack a movie called "Small Soldiers") that blew me away and breathed new life into this song for me.  So I went from love to hate, then back around to love again.  :-)

Day 17 – A song that you hear often on the radio

I came up with a short list of overplayed finalists yesterday, and I decided to let fate decide the winner.  The next one I heard on the radio would be the one.  The very next time I got in the car, to pick up my son from karate, I heard one of them right away:  Jimi Hendrix's version of All Along the Watchtower.

But guess what?  Not so overplayed, because I listened through the whole thing.  Still a damn good song.

Day 18 – A song that you wish you heard on the radio

No one ever seems to play ELO's Hold On Tight (To Your Dreams) any more.

Day 19 – A song from your favorite album

V is for Vienna.

Day 20 – A song that you listen to when you’re angry

I guess I don't tend to plug in to music when I'm angry.  But if you want to channel your anger into personal power, you can't go wrong with Pink's So What.

Day 21 – A song that you listen to when you’re happy

Again, I don't think I run for the MP3 player when I'm feeling a strong emotion.  In the past, though, I was known to cycle through Van Morrison's Jackie Wilson Said, over and over, when feeling in an exuberant mood.

Day 22 – A song that you listen to when you’re sad

If I see myself start to wallow, I do my darndest to snap out of it.  Exercise, fueled by up-tempo stuff on my MP3 player, can sometimes do the trick.  No one specific song, though.

Day 23 – A song that you want to play at your wedding

We didn't do the big catered shin-dig... no band or DJ.  Just the ceremony on a Saturday (with 6 or 7 people in attendance), then the party the next day -- a backyard gathering of about 30 to 40 people -- with somebody's boombox playing in the background.  I guess I wish we'd squeezed in Bill Withers' Lean on Me at some point, but the occasion was pretty much perfect none the less.

Day 24 – A song that you want to play at your funeral

There are two that I can't decide between.  Both are by the same artist, and they share a word in their titles.  John Gorka wrote a song called "Good" in 1991, and then a song called "Good Noise" in 1994.  They're very different songs, but I'd like to think their intersection defines the person that I'd like to be remembered as being.  (Hm... Youtube doesn't seem to have "Good."  I may have to post some lyrics.)

Day 25 – A song that makes you laugh

Do parodies count?  (best line: coffee table)

Day 26 – A song that you can play on an instrument

Nope... I don't think I could even do Chopsticks correctly at this point.  :-)

Day 27 – A song that you wish you could play

Journey's Don't Stop Believin.  (Piano intro only)  :-)

Day 28 – A song that makes you feel guilty

The Eagles' Hotel California.  Ain't ever telling the story behind thaaaaat.

Day 29 – A song from your childhood

10cc's The Things We Do For Love was freakin' everywhere.

Day 30 – Your favorite song at this time last year

Ha!  I can actually check to see what I added to my electronic storehouse about one year ago, can't I?   The closest match in time is Prince's Kiss.  (Gotta love how he drops the falsetto at the end, right?)  If you limit it to new songs, then Muse's Madness.

Rock on!


  1. Great list! I wish I had thought to do it in one day! LOL

    I saw Rush in concert 20 years ago in Indy...it was awesome! Well worth the drive.

    I can't hear Tom Petty's song anymore without thinking of 9/11, he made such an impression during that benefit show. I did buy the CD too, so I have both versions of the song on my playlist...I prefer the latter.

    1. Well, see below... too much in one post can cause overload... :-)

      I saw Rush 4 times... 1986 thru 1992; always great. Their "Beyond the Lighted Stage" documentary is on youtube in full, I think. (Can't find good linkage from work computer.)

  2. Dear Cygnus,
    "meant to uncover the real you" - that's interesting, because: yes, the picture of you (very unreal before) becomes a tiny bit clearer. Sort of. And root you in a special era of time. (Women who try to hide their age must be quick thinkers, songs make one very databale :-)
    I share your (de)valuation of Pink Floyd - I really hate "Another Brick in the Wall", because it denies those children who need it most the opportunity to learn which would free them into thinking for themselves.
    I share yor love of saxophone. To Day 7: I always wonder why Tom Petty is underrated (at least in Europe) - the song you mention I play when I am angry - and Pink's "Try". (And Heavy Metal, ha).
    I have a wonderful way to find out what I really think at a given moment: I (really, no story) always have little scraps of songs, lines, playing in the back of my head - and it is astonishing what comes up - lines I haven't thought of for decades are there in the spur of a moment - and quite helpful they are (sort of formulated intuition).
    See: such a long reply - much easier this time than on the topic of video games :- )

    1. Thanks, Brigitta. Good to know something of my psychology is coming through.

      Yeah, as a nerdy kid in the 70s, I was turned off by "We don't need no education," too. I eventually learned to empathize a bit with where they were coming from (to them, education = cruelty, beatings, and the English class system), but it's still not a world I need to inhabit.

  3. 'Okay, I'm going to be controversial here: I'm no longer a fan of Pink Floyd's Time, from Dark Side of the Moon. I admit that it's a classic, quality piece of songwriting. But the way I interpret the lyrics, there's a deep black core of nihilism at the center of this thing. Every year older that I get, I want to fight against such pessimism more and more, and with everything I've got.'

    WOW! Okay, so I wanted to comment this and then saw how far I had to scroll down to get to the comment box. I am absolutely certain that there will be a number of your selections (and reasoning behind them) that will inspire commentary from me so I am going to hazard a suggestion. I think things like this might be a little better if they are at least broken into, say, three posts?

    Okay, well, for this Day 2 response, I understand *eXACtly* where this is coming from because last week, I was thinking about dressing up as Wednesday Addams for Halloween but the more I thought about it, the more I felt like the energy I'm working so hard to put out there, I don't want it subverted by an inconsistency. I dunno, I think I overthought that one but I believe it comes from the same place as your reasoning. Wednesday, as played by Christina Ricci, was clever, sharp, darkly funny and makes for a kick-ass costume, but I just ... you know?

    1. WAAAA! Just got to Day 3 and already I'm like !!!!

    2. Hmmmmm on Day 5. I see AT LEAST a short story in that one.

      Did you see Pelican33Pictures comment on the Tom Petty song? Noteworthy for its visceral elicitation (is that a word?)

      Under Pressure was a song that Nick serenaded Valerie (Leilani's) entire dorm with in the first version of Music Major.

      Day 10 -- Okay, Cygno, you trying to make me bawl here????

    3. Day 18, I play it all the time in the PRM! :) Listening to TS remix, not sold ...

      Day 19: impeccable

      Only made it through 25 seconds of Day 25 but miiiiiight have listened to more if I didn't have 30 songs to go through in one post. ;)

  4. Apologies for overloading. I knew I didn't want to devote myself to spreading it out over 30 days, so I thought this would be easiest.

    I was thinking about referencing something else you'd recognize in Day 3, too. I can't hear that song now without picturing Nick pounding on the piano, Leilani twirling around with that percussion stick, and the janitor groovin' along.

    Day 5... I kinda did, but never finished it. :-)

    The Day 25 parody is worth it for all of the subtle Star Wars jokes, but it also calls back to the Jay-Z original a lot, too.

    You could definitely pull off the Wednesday Addams look, but I get it. You'd have to talk in a dry monotone all night about all the horrific things you plan to do to your enemies. Not your vibe! :-)

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. That last comment just wasn't sitting right with me. The truth is, like you, I want no part in the harm of another on any conceivable level.

      As an aside, have you ever read anything by David Wilcock?


      And finally, I've been having trouble with my linking html code today. Do you happen to know if there was some sort of upgrade that rendered the old code obsolete?

    3. No worries. I don't know David Wilcock. I just took a quick look through that site. All his main ideas do seem to jive with things that I'm eager to attune with... but... but... I'm not sure. I'll look deeper.

      I just linked to my False Start above, so standard HTML was working yesterday. Let's see if this works.

    4. That is a classic, classic costume, right there. I've been sad at myself for having cut off my hair all year, remembering when I could have temporarily dyed my own braids to effect the look. I can finally do a tiny top of my head ballerina pony tail again. What a year. ;P

      Anyway, I finished Wilcock's latest release last night and .... I've had an interesting time trying to figure out what the heck I think. Put it this way, something I read at the end made me decide not to even keep the book. Much that I read in the middle was very encouraging. Some stuff was just, at my core, nuh-uh. See how well I'm articulating? In any event, some of the stuff, I kept wondering what certain people would think and you were one of them. The book is a door stop, quite poorly organized and in desperate need of an editor. Yet, he finished writing it in March of 2013 and it was released just a few months later!

    5. I still have to look deeper at the output of this fascinating soul, but I'm sensing a definite lack of groundedness. It's possible to have TOO many ideas floating around one's head. Without one's feet planted firmly, those ideas can carry you off like a swarm of locusts or something.

      If you're into a more graded, step-by-step approach to some of these same topics, I can recommend this. I haven't completed the program therein, but maybe some day... :-)

  5. Nice job! Mock and I took this list on together a few summers ago. I enjoyed it immensely but, as Michelle suggested, half-wish I'd thought of the all-in-one-day idea.

    It's interesting to see that even your Rush devotion has its limits.

    Now, having gotten to the end of the post, I realize what your sheet music is there at the top. Didn't register at first. "Just a small town girl..."

    1. I knew you'd get it! That's actually a screen-capture from a program called MuseScore. This song was so much in my mind a few weeks ago, I found the score online and entered it into this program. Once I figure out how to get some interesting sounds out of the synthesized instrument library, I may record it into an MP3 or something.