Thursday, May 14, 2009


Part of why movies are so great isn't the story or the characters. It's the background music. It always lets you know what to anticipate. Is someone about to be kissed or killed? Just listen and you'll have a pretty good guess.

I always wished that my life came with background music. Not only would I have a better idea of what to expect in my own life, it would just be cool.

So, I've created the soundtrack to my life.

This is not necessarily my favorite music, or what I listen to on a daily basis. But rather, it is the background music of where I've been, who I have been, who I am now, and what I (hopefully) am becoming.

(I also had to cut quite a few songs out. Because after 27 years, that would be a lot of music. And no one would buy a CD that had 462 songs on it.)

1. Lemon Tree- Peter, Paul, & Mary: My parents would sing PP&M songs as we road-tripped between California and Utah. I always remember sitting in the back of the car and falling asleep to the sound of Lemon Tree, Where Have All the Flowers Gone, and If I Had a Hammer. My dad also would play them on his guitar, whether it was around campfires or in the living room after dinner.

2. Annie's Song- John Denver: If there is a singer that reminds me of my dad, it is John Denver. When I was little, my dad had a list of songs taped to the back of his guitar. This one was on it. It was one of my favorites. He would play it and my five-year-old self would dance. Years later, he played it at my wedding, and I cried.

3. I'm Only Happy When It Rains - Garbage: I know: a big jump from PP&M and John Denver to Garbage. Besides that this song is "about" rain, and I love the rain and songs related to it, this is just a good song. It reminds me of my period of teenage angst. Bad days and good days and drives with my friends at night. Don't we all have that song?

4. I Love You- Donna Lewis: I asked some of my friends what songs reminded them of our time in middle school. This song was on all of their lists. I guess it reminds all of us of sleep overs, way too much sugar and nail polish.

5. You're All I Need- White Lion: This was the first (and only) song that Hubster sang to me. Just once. Back when we were dating, on the way home from a road trip. In the darkness of the car, lit by the instrument panel, him singing to me. One of the moments when how much I loved him hit me like a tidal wave.

6. Can't Help Falling in Love- Elvis: There was no way a soundtrack of my life would not have an Elvis song on it. Enough said.

7. Cable Car (Over My Head)- The Fray: No kidding, the first time I heard this song was after a very hard day in the hospital. Now, regardless of what the song is really about, it has become an anthem to the moments that I'm not sure I'm going to make it. (And you all thought I would choose another The Fray song.)

8. Unwell- Matchbox 20: There were days during medical school that I was sure I was falling to pieces and was never going to make it. I would sit on the kitchen floor and cry and ask to be allowed to quit. While I'm glad (I think) that I finished, it's hard to speak to how difficult those days really were.

9. If I had $1000000- Barenaked Ladies: Every time Hubster and I start talking about all the plans we have for our future, it isn't long before one of us says this. And we can't never hear this song without looking at each other and smiling and thinking how much we want for each other and our family. This is truly an everyday song.

10. Suddenly I See- KT Tunstall: The perfect song for all of us overly-ambitious, dedicated females. I felt that I could hear this music in the back of my head when I walked across the stage to receive my medical degree.

11. I Don't Love You Much, Do I-Guy Clark and Emmylou Harris: Okay, like I said, a little cheesy. But still perfect. I hum this song to my boys, because it is true.

12. When You Dream - Barenaked Ladies: I can't listen to this song without getting a little teary-eyed. Being a mother to two little boys had been the most amazing thing that I can imagine. And it is hard to find songs that speak to the hopes and wishes and insecurities and successes that parenthood provides without them being a little cheesy. But this song is perfect.

13. Closer- Better than Ezra: Every time I hear this song, I get that tingly feeling and I want to run and hold my family and thank them for everything and tell them how much I love them. This song, every since I discovered it one day among a bunch of songs Hubster had dumped into my iTunes, has become the current theme song for my life.

I know that it is an eclectic (although not random) collection of music, but isn't everyday like that? It was hard to sift between all the songs that I love and those that have strong memories and emotions tied to them, but in the end these are the ones that made the cut. (I'm sur that there will be a sequel sometime in the future.)

Music speaks to me (or at least I pretend that it is). These songs in particular always have something to say.


  1. Closer is definitely on my list of favorites. Also, though an overplayed wedding song, The Luckiest. Those two choke me up pretty much every time.

    This is a fun idea, thanks for sharing. I'm glad I'm not the only one that has music so closely tied with memory.

  2. What a great list. I love it!

    I don't know if I could possibly make my own. But now I'm going to try.

  3. I was thinking about those days just yeaterdeay when Lightning Chrashes by Live came on the radio. ANd how Cameron and Clark were always trying to get us to listen to "their" music. I don't know, I don't miss those days for anything. I'm nostalgic, and I miss the friendships. I don't know if I could narrow my past songs to about ten.