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Soundtrack for 2009 (I know this is early)

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by forever_town, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    Each year, I think back on the previous year in music. I think back to certain songs, and how those certain songs played a key role in defining moments of my life. Sometimes, it's a song that played in the background as I heard some good news or it's the song that immediately popped into my head when something bad happened.

    I should preface this by saying that the songs I pick for a given year aren't always songs that were released that year. This year, there are probably more songs that were released the same year they appear on a soundtrack than usual. But there's also a song from 1966, a full seven years before I was born. There's a live performance released this year of a song recorded in 1999 and released in 2001.

    This won't be as detailed as Double Down's song memory thread, but here are the songs that help me think of 2009. What about you?

    1. Welcome To The Future (Brad Paisley)
    I just recently heard this song for the first time and didn't get it for a few lines. However, once I heard a verse in which Paisley sings about his friend, the running back on the high school football team, I was sold. In the verse, a cross burns in his friend's front yard because he asked out the homecoming queen. Paisley then references Rosa Parks and "a man with a dream," singing "wake up Martin Luther, welcome to the future." Gold.

    2. Up On The Roof (James Taylor)
    Yes, I know The Drifters did this originally. But to me, this is the definitive version of the song. It's the version I've heard most often in my growing up years. In the early days of this most awful of years, this is one of the songs in which I sought refuge from the dark clouds of my employment situation. In the song, the singer talks about being in place where he can be at peace. It was a peace I was searching for myself.

    3. Sober (Pink)
    Pink wrote this song about her relationship with her (then-ex?) boyfriend/husband. In it, it sounds a lot like Pink is wondering where things went wrong with her life, but ironically, why she's feeling so good about things ending. I justify this song's inclusion in my 2009 soundtrack by saying that, even when I had no income after leaving my previous newspaper, I felt better about being out of there.

    4. Fall From Grace (Stevie Nicks)
    The obligatory Stevie Nicks song. As I've mentioned before, it's Nicks at her angriest, amps-to-11 rocking best. There are so many layers to this song, though. After listening to it a number of times, I finally saw it for what it also was, a song with just a slight touch of love. It's the love of someone who's trying his or her damnest to prevent someone else from making a big mistake in life.

    5. Shuttin' Detroit Down (John Rich)
    I'd always thought of Big and Rich as a duo who put out fun songs that someone can sing along to and just forget about the vagaries of work and life. However, this song was one that came about when Rich watched the news about the plight of Detroit auto workers and penned this track. It quickly took on a life of its own and announced to the world that John Rich could write about more serious themes than saving horses by riding cowboys.

    6. Runaway (Love and Theft)
    This song would be the "title track" of a CD compilation with these songs in it. It's one of those roll down the windows, blast the stereo and speed down the road, destination who gives a fuck kind of songs. The first time I heard this song, I fell in love with it immediately. I wanted to sing it so much, so when I got to my karaoke bar and saw it was available, I put it in. Sometimes when you love a song so much, it loves you back. This one certainly did. It's now one of my staple songs.

    7. Red Rubber Ball (The Cyrkle)
    This is another one of those songs in which I sought refuge during my darkest hours this year. The verses in which the singers recount the dirty deeds of the spurning former lover brought to my mind the abusive relationship I felt I was in at the journalism gig. The refrain is where I sought hope and hoped to use it as my statement of defiance: "And I think it's gonna be all right/Yeah the worst is over now/The morning sun is shining like a red rubber ball." Hopefully, that will hold true now.

    8. We Weren't Born To Follow (Bon Jovi)
    It's just a song I fell in love with from the outset. Like the song said, "life is a bitter pill to swallow" but it creates a motif of hope for a better day. It's a theme I was trying to live by during even the nadir of my year.

    9. Rebels (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)
    Just another song I love to crank up and jam out to. Even though I wasn't really "southern" even though I was born south of the Mason-Dixon Line, the theme of being a rebel is one I just latched onto. There's a fun desperation to this song that just speaks to me.

    10. New Divide (Linkin Park)
    This is another one of those songs I fell in love with. To me, it's about someone who's facing people trying to bring or keep him down, but he refuses to be kept down. He decides to fight and stand up for himself. It's very much what I had to do in an unemployment appeals hearing.

    11. My Life Would Suck Without You (Kelly Clarkson)
    This song isn't the perfect telling of my reuniting with my mother. I was probably at least as much at fault for our 20-year estrangement as she was. Besides, Clarkson sings this song about a lover, not a parental figure. Still, however, the song's themes of her and her spurned lover still being part of each other's lives and still needing each other fit into my reunion with my mother now.

    12. Miracles (Jefferson Starship)
    This was one of the songs I sang at karaoke on New Year's. The reason this song was so memorable to me is the fact that a woman who was standing outside smoking heard the song and rushed inside. Before long, she joined me on stage and sang with me, becoming the Grace Slick to my Marty Balin. To me, this song symbolizes the need to believe in something, miracles or otherwise, to keep you going even when you want to give up.

    13. Living Well Is The Best Revenge (R.E.M.)
    This is one of those songs that gets at how I've been trying to live my life in the wake of everything going on. There's a huge element of "screw you" in the song, and there's also the element of dropping plans for revenge and moving toward just living your life.

    14. Good Lord Willing (Little Big Town)
    This is one of those songs that makes me grab either one of my real tambourines or an imaginary tambourine and imagine I'm on stage singing along. The up tempo track and the harmonies both appealed to me, as did the put the top down, crank up the stereo and fly on down the road nature of the chorus.

    15. First Time (Lifehouse)
    The song may have been released in 2007, but I heard it and really connected with it this year. "We're both looking for something/We've been afraid to find/It's easier to be broken/It's easier to hide." Those first lines jumped out at me, but the whole song just lodged in there and I sing it from time to time at karaoke. There are some moments I still listen to it and can put myself back in a place where I need to hear it. For that reason, it remains part of my 2009 soundtrack.

    16. Eminence Front (The Who)
    This song is one I started singing because I felt as though I was living in an eminence front, trying hard to put on a brave face while everything else was falling apart around me. I must have somehow projected that desperation in the song because one of my good friends kept requesting I play this song every week I went up for karaoke. She even downloaded the track after hearing me sing it a few times. There's a desperation to this song that speaks to me. There's a sense of trying to live in a façade that permeates this song.

    17. Stand Back (Fleetwood Mac) -- bonus track
    This is from the first Washington, D.C. stop on Fleetwood Mac's 2009 Unleashed tour. The YouTube video of this song from the first Washington, D.C. stop on the tour is my absolute favorite. During the first chorus, Stevie Nicks's shawl falls off her back and onto the floor. As she started backing away from the microphone during the musical interlude between that first chorus and the second verse, she saw the shawl was on the floor and very clearly had an "oh shit!" look on her face. She spun quickly, then turned it into a moment where she ad libbed some fun with the fallen shawl. She also flashed some of the high energy of her Live in Boston twirls during the bridge.
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