On Six Songs of Me

Can people’s lives be measured meaningfully by the music they listen to? That’s the question NPR raises in an article on The Guardian‘s “Six Songs of Me” project which seeks to understand how people identify themselves by the music they listen to.

The six questions…

  • What was the first song you ever bought?
  • What song always gets you dancing?
  • What song takes you back to your childhood?
  • What is your perfect love song?
  • What song would you want at your funeral?
  • Time for an encore. One last song that makes you, you.

That looks easy. I completed Facebook’s 30 Day Song Challenge about two years a year and a half ago…

What was the first song you ever bought?

The first album I ever bought with my own money was Starship’s Knee Deep in the Hoopla. I wanted it for the lead song, “We Built This City”…

In my defense, I was twelve. I thought it sounded great. And looking up the song on YouTube was the first time I’ve ever seen the video.

What song always gets you dancing?

When I did the 30 Day Song Challenge, I suggested New Order’s “True Faith” or Information Society’s “What’s On Your Mind (Pure Energy)” as possibilities.

However, the absolute guaranteed get-me-dancing-behind-the-wheel song is The Cure’s “Friday I’m In Love“:

Guess I like New Wave. 🙂

What song takes you back to your childhood?

I don’t know what this song’s title might be, but this is how the lyrics go…

“I’m just a little black rain cloud
Hovering under the honey tree
I’m only a little black rain cloud
Pay no attention to little me
Everyone knows that a rain cloud
Never eats honey, no not a nip
I’m doling around over the ground
Wondering where I will drip.”

From Disney’s The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh.

I whistle or hum this song often, and I quote from the scene itself frequently.

What is your perfect love song?

The Goo-Goo Dolls, “Iris.”

I didn’t even have to think about this. There are Elbow songs (like “Mirrorball” or “One Day Like This”) that are fabulous and superb, yet it’s “Iris” that I think of when I think of love. It’s hard to say why, because it’s more of a feeling than an idea. Basically, it’s the song that makes sense to me when it comes to matters of the heart. Listening to it, I realize that it’s a song of unrequited love, and that’s very much how my affairs of the heart have been.

What song would you want at your funeral?

This one is very easy, because I’ve known for a long time what this song will be and I’ve told people the reason why.

The Beatles, “In My Life.”

If you listen to the lyrics, it’s as much a song of nostalgia (John Lennon’s poem to his hometown of Liverpool) as it is a song of final goodbyes.

Time for an encore. One last song that makes you, you.

The Vince Guaraldi Trio, “Charlie Brown Theme”

I’m willing to bet that that wasn’t the piece of music you thought it was going to be. The song everyone knows is “Linus and Lucy.” That one’s sprightlier. The “Charlie Brown Theme” is a little more pensive. It’s still jaunty, but it’s not as exuberant as “Linus and Lucy.” It’s not as familiar. That makes it more interesting.

There you have it. Six songs of me.

And, for a bonus, a song I found while looking for a good video clip for the “Charlie Brown Theme” — “You’re a Creep, Charlie Brown,” a mash of Peanuts clips with a choral version of Radiohead’s “Creep”…

What are your six songs?

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