Anythink Songbook: The Luckiest

About a week ago, my coworker Julie posted a blog about memory songs versus forever songs. Memory songs are those tied to a specific memory, and forever songs are those tied to your heart forever. Make sure to check out my fellow bloggers' lists and add the songs to your favorite playlists.

With no further adeieu, here are the songs that made mine.

Memory Songs

"Come Undone" by Duran Duran – This is the earliest song memory I have: I’m in middle school and I’m obsessed with a boy named Isaac who is utterly indifferent to my existence. I remember laying on the floor of my bedroom and listening to this song again and again. Really identifying with what I’m not exactly sure, but I do know that I felt "Come Undone" in the most real of ways. I also liked that it sounded like being underwater and I still pretended that I was a mermaid occasionally.

"My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion I was a junior in high school when Titanic came out and that movie hit me full in the heart and didn’t let go for years. One of my most embarrassing memories consists of crying over a Teen Bop magazine that Leonardo DiCaprio would never know how perfect we were together. My very first real heartbreak occurred to the sound of this song, and I would play it over and over again as I cried in my room until my best friend finally forced me to go out. While it sounds like heartbreak and impending death at sea, it also reminds me of that very special friendship.

"Silent All These Years" by Tori Amos – Tori Amos stood for college in all of the best ways. I rememeber short days and long nights spent watching my best friend smoke cigarettes while we debated the lyrics, our bodies lying below a giant Tori Amos poster. She was a true fan and I was gladly brought me into the fold of Cult Tori. While this song about domestic abuse thankfully didn’t apply to me personally, it was the first time that a song really made me think of the implications of the lyrics outside my own narrow sphere. It's still as powerful today as it was then.

"Elephant Love Medley" from Moulin Rouge! – The first date I ever had with my husband was to go see Moulin Rouge!, and somehow the movie and the music from it became interwoven in our love story, which felt like the song itself. Fireworks! Explosions! Love! Beauty! Truth!  Basically, this song feels like drunkenly falling in love atop a bedazzled elephant, which is what our life felt like at the time. 

Forever Songs

"Your Song" by Elton John – My parents danced to this song at their wedding, and I danced with my Dad to it at my wedding. It’s just the most perfectly executed and sweet song, a light piano medley that touches my heart in all the best ways. I never tire of hearing it and it is forever a part of my inner life. “My gift is my song and this one’s for you..." It really is.

"Fools Rush In" by Elvis – "Fools Rush In" is perhaps the most perfect song ever written. I love all of the versions of it: Elvis, UB40, Ingrid Michaelson, Kina Grannis from Crazy Rich Asians. When my son was born, all I could hear playing in my head were the lyrics “Take my hand, take my whole life, too.”  Someday soon I’ll be getting a tattoo with these exact words on my shoulder. It means that much to me.

"Row" by The Autumn Film – Row got me through some of the toughest years of my life, when my husband and I were struggling with infertility. Another good friend of mine was going through the same thing and she sent me this song. It’s about one friend yelling to each other over a storm at sea to row their boat to shore as they battle the waves. It became our mantra that we would say to each other: “May your heart hold on when it gets hard. May your pulse stay strong, when you’re falling apart. And you'll row, row, row…” Eventually, she got pregnant and we adopted. Now we just say it out of support, but it will forever be a song that kept me strong in the midst of struggle.

"Shut Up and Dance" by Walk the Moon – This is a fun one!  We always have dance parties at our house with my son, and this is our favorite song to dance to. We even allow him to say “Shut Up” when he’s singing it because it’s just such a banger and so fun.  It will always bring me immediate joy when I hear it and I can't help but bust a move.

"The Luckiest" by Ben Folds – When I hear this song, I always think about how I am the luckiest to have my family and my life.  It makes me cry on the drop of hat. It reminds me not only of how lucky I am to have my life, but it’s also the part of a movie (About Time) that makes me lose my mind with crying. Someday, when the end of my life has come, I hope someone plays this at my funeral and they know that I considered myself the luckiest.