Anyone who has spent any time on this blog knows that music is a very big part of my life, so the other day when I saw this story on NPR about the Six Songs of Me Project I was intrigued. I spent a lot of time thinking about the songs I would use to answer these questions. It was a really difficult exercise mostly because how do you choose just one song? Most of these questions I could have answered with dozens of songs. Here’s my best effort though.
- What was the first song you ever bought?
I actually am not sure what the first song I ever bought was. I remember a number of the cassette tapes in my house from when I was a child, but which one I first spent my own money on is not something I remember. Thus, I am actually going to alter this question a little bit to what I do remember, which was what was the first CD I ever bought. I saved my babysitting money to buy myself a stereo that had a CD player in it. This was probably when I was in 7th or 8th grade back in 1991. The first CD I bought to play in it was Salt N’ Pepa’s Blacks’ Magic for the song “Let’s Talk About Sex”. I’m not sure what that is supposed to say about me, but there you go.
- What song always gets you dancing?
This question was the one I had the hardest time answering. I’m liable to dance to anything that has a good beat to it, but whether or not I actually would dance is more situational than song related. Thus I came up with Shout by The Isley Brothers. It’s a song that gets played at almost every wedding, and a wedding is always somewhere I will dance. This song will get me out onto the dance floor at any wedding I’m at. There you have it a song that always gets me dancing.
- What song takes you back to your childhood?
This question could have had a million answers. There are tons of songs I love from when I was a kid and take me back in one way or another. I thought of a lot of different songs I could answer this question with, but settled on one that has a story I like to go along with it. The song is “Jump” by The Pointer Sisters. My mother absolutely loved that song when it was popular on the radio. She could definitely answer the previous question with that song because she would always get up and dance to it. My sister and I being the lovely children that we were and knowing that she loved that song would instead put a song that we knew she didn’t like on one of our Walkmen, hand her the headphones, and tell her “Jump” was on. I’m sure we thought it was terribly funny. My mother probably did not. I still like that song though. I don’t hear it very often, but whenever I do I think about that story.
- What is your perfect love song?
This was an easy one for me. “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel. I was sold on this song the second I saw John Cusack holding up a boom box over his head with song playing on it in “Say Anything”. 20+ years later I stand by that answer. If I didn’t think it was such a lousy song to dance to it definitely would have been my choice as the first dance song at my wedding. We went with Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are” instead, but I made sure to include “In Your Eyes” on the playlist for the cocktail hour.
- What song would you want at your funeral?
It took me a little while to figure out how I would answer this question as well, but once I decided it seemed so obvious that the song had to be “Seasons of Love” from Rent. The lyrics for the song are pretty self-evident about why this song would be the perfect choice. Also it puts a Broadway song on my list, which necessary if this list is going to be somewhat representative of me.
- What song makes you, you?
I surprisingly didn’t have much difficulty coming up with what song should answer this question. I chose Tom Petty’s “American Girl” for several reasons. First off the obvious, I am an American girl. Second, this song is representative of so many things I love about music. I definitely could use this song to answer the dance question as well because it’s got a great beat. It’s got a great hook that draws you into the song, which I’m always a huge fan of in music. It’s from the 70’s rock era that gave birth to a lot of the rock music that I love while also having threads of folk rock that I love and seems to be making a bit of a resurgence these days much to my delight. If I had to make a list of quintessential songs this one would definitely be on it.
And there you have it, the six songs that apparently make me who I am. What songs would you answer the questions with?