I honestly don't know what I'd do without music in my life. It comforts me, inspires me and gives me a kick in the ass when I need it. So, when Nancy of Midlife Mixtape asked me to participate in a blog hop and write about the seven songs that made me, I was like, "YESSSSSS!" So, here are the seven songs that made me...at least this is my list today. Ask me in a month and I might give a different answer.
1. Orange Blossom Special
My dad owned a bar in Kansas City and every night at closing time, he played the Orange Blossom Special on the juke box. I wasn't always there at closing but often enough to remember it and every time I hear it, it's like I'm right back there, sitting on a bar stool with a Shirley Temple.
2. Freebird - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Go ahead and laugh but this is one of the first songs I remember learning to play on the guitar and I still love playing it. In high school, my dad once walked in while I was playing it and said, "Play that at my funeral." And years later, I did. I'm sure the priest really enjoyed that part of the service.
3. Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
Tracy Chapman's self-titled first album rocked my world. Right after it came out, I was back in Kansas City and I remember driving through the streets with the windows down listening to Fast Car and relishing the fact that I had gotten away. My life was going to be different than my parents', in part because of the sacrifices they made. "I had a feeling I could be someone."
4. Cry Like an Angel - Shawn Colvin
I wrote a guest post on Midlife Mixtape about Shawn Colvin's album, Steady On. It was the soundtrack of my coming out and the title track definitely gave me hope but Cry Like an Angel got me through a tough summer and it's a song that I love to this day. I may have paid to much attention to the line: "May we all find salvation in professions that heal." I eventually became a social worker and can now say that you should never take career advice from a song.
5. Give Yourself to Love - Kate Wolf
This is the cheesiest love song in the history of love songs and I can't help myself--I love it. A friend taught me to play it in 1990 and I played it at her commitment ceremony in 1999. She played at my commitment ceremony in 2000. In 2013, we performed it together at our joint wedding when same-sex marriage was finally legal in Minnesota.
6. Let Me Say I'm Sorry Now - Shawn Colvin
When I became a mother, I wanted to be the best mother the world had ever seen and I naively thought that meant that I would be a perfect mother. Silly, silly, me. I quickly realized that I was going to make mistakes--some small, some big. So, each night as my children drifted off to sleep, I would sing Shawn Colvin's I'll Say I'm Sorry Now, "For everything I do that will tear at you, let me say I'm sorry now."
7. Steer - Missy Higgins
How could a song released in 2007 have made me? Well, maybe it hasn't made me but is making me. Even at 46, sometimes I need to remember that my life is what I make it and when I need that kick in the ass I mentioned, I turn to this song. And if that doesn't work, I turn to Eve's Let Me Blow Ya Mind. But Steer usually works.
Now, go check out all these fabulous bloggers to see the songs that made them. You're bound to get some good stories and some new music!