Anyone who has been following this blog even for a little while gets that I am obsessed with music. And that I love to write about it. For reference, I blogged about my appreciation for music here, here, and here.
True confession: I’ve always fantasized about being a writer for Rolling Stone magazine. That just might be the coolest job ever, in my opinion. Oh, the people I’d meet! The things I’d learn! The music I’d be exposed to!
I am also a huge fan of creating Google playlists. One of the many I have created is my “Beautiful Songs” playlist. This is the one utilized during those times when I feel the need for self care. When I’m feeling contemplative. It is composed of songs that I want to hear when I’m by myself during a long drive. Or when I’m home alone, cooking a good meal to enjoy when Hubs comes in from work (a rare occasion, these days, and admittedly very traditional, in a Leave it to Beaver sort of way). These are the songs that I will stop whatever it is I am doing (unless of course I’m behind the wheel) and pause to enjoy until the last sweet notes.
My Beautiful Song playlist is a *WIP, just like me (no, I am not finished with acronyms quite yet). Actually, all my playlists are WIP’s. That’s what makes them so much fun for me to create. They can be customized to my own personal moods and tastes.
Here’s a sampling of what you can find on my Beautiful Songs playlist, and why they belong there:
Wildflower, by Skylark: I’m pretty darn sure that Skylark was one of those one-hit wonder kind of bands. If they were destined to fall into the category of one hit wonder bands, they should be quite proud that this was that one hit, right? The lyrics bring tears to my eyes, as they remind me of someone I love very much who is struggling to find her strength as a young woman in this world.
Sunshine On My Shoulders, by John Denver: When I hear the first few lines of this on the acoustic guitar, my heart fills up and my eyes begin to well up. Pure auditory beauty.
Nobody Does it Better, by Carly Simon: The melody and musicality of this one, accompanied by Ms. Simon’s powerful vocals blows me away every time I hear it.
Wonderful Tonight, by Eric Clapton: The first time I heard this song, it was at my Aunt Connie’s house. She was always a huge fan of music and frequently would insist we all shut up and listen to her favorite new song (think we share some genes? ha!). This was one of them. At her funeral (stupid fricking cancer), just a year ago now, once everyone was seated for the service, this song was played. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
This One’s For You-Barry Manilow: Yes, I will admit that I am a lifetime fan of Barry Manilow. I recognize that this statement is unlikely to entice anyone from Rolling Stone to come a’knocking on my door to offer me an opportunity to write for them. The first concert I ever went to was Barry Manilow. I went with my mom, my aunt, my cousin and a couple of other family friends. My cousin Brett and I were totally over the moon (being the “hip” 12 and 14 year old children of the 80’s that we were) about seeing Barry live. We even created a big sign that was emblazoned with the words “We Love you, Barry”. This particular song of his may be the one I find the most beautiful. It is quite likely I’ll be adding more Barry Manilow songs to this playlist (remember it’s a WIP!).
Here we go again, performed by Ray Charles and Norah Jones: Okay, people. If you are still reading this stop and listen to this song. It’s smooth and sultry, like a fine wine for your ears. Trust me, it’s simply gorgeous. You can thank me later.
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road-Elton John: I gotta say, I’m a bit particular when it comes to Elton John. I dislike much of the music he put out from about 1985 to the present. But man, he really had some awesome songs before that. This one is probably my favorite, with the beautiful piano start and the questions: When are you going to come down? When are you going to land? Wow.
Harvest Moon by Neil Young: I think Neil Young is one of those artists, much like Bob Dylan, who people either really love or really dislike, voice-wise. Personally, I love his voice. I love that it’s not perfect. I love the way this song starts, with the simple ba-da, da-da-da-da-da and the percussion (you know that little brush they use on a drum). And the harmonica then the trombone towards the end make it extra special, like the cherry on top. It’s just such a sweet tune to me. My sister and I recently enjoyed a performance of this song by a two man band while sipping craft beer at an outdoor patio in Duluth, Minnesota. I know now that I’ll always think of this moment with her when I hear this song again.
So, fellow music fans: What songs would you have on your own personal “Beautiful Song” playlist?
*WIP: Work in progress.
8 thoughts on “Beauty in Song Form”
Def Neil Young. And Tom Petty. I’ve got a nasally Midwestern accent, so those voices always sound beautiful to me! In the ear of the beholder, I guess; luckily, there’s an artist out there for every ear!
I love Tom Petty too! I’ve got that same accent-born and raised in northern Minnesota and lived in Wisconsin for 15 years. I like your line “in the ear of the beholder”! Thanks for your comments 🙂
Neil Young fan as well. But also, anything with Shaggy — my daughter and I always had such fun listening to him while we went on shopping trips. His songs never fail to make me happy. 🙂
I figured you were a fan of Neil Young-you’ve got good taste, just like me 🙂 I’m not too familiar with Shaggy but I will check him out for sure. The best songs are the ones that put happy memories of the ones we love in our minds, right?
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Ah, then you should start with this one, probably my favorite of Shaggy’s songs. (Also, look for “Strength of a Woman): https://youtu.be/I_h0bVilA_c
Hey, I checked it out and what a great song “Hope” is. Very catchy and a great message. Love the dancing and flash mob in the video too!
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John Denver music always gets me nostalgic; my mom loves his music and would play it all the time when we were younger. “Sunshine On My Shoulders” is one of her favorites along with “Leaving On A Jet Plane.” I also love “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton as well. It absolutely deserves to be on the Beautiful Song playlist. For my list, I’d probably add “Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato, “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston, and “Run To You” by Pentatonix.
Great choices, Sarah! You should check out you tube for a video of John Denver singing “Leaving on a Jet Plane with Mama Cass”. Spectacular! “Skyscraper” is on my Soul Song playlist. Thanks for your comments!