There’s a thing that’s been going around Instagram for a while called the 30 Day song challenge where you post the image listing your prompt for each day in your Insta Stories along with a music clip from the song you choose to go along with that day’s prompt. Given my love of music you would think that I would have jumped on this right away, but I didn’t because I always feel like I can never think of things.
It’s why I was not a great bookseller and would be a terrible public librarian. I am terrible at reader’s advisory because as soon as someone wants recommendations I’m like books, what are books? It’s why I can never eat at restaurants outside my neighborhood that aren’t on OpenTable because I just can’t remember that they exist if I’m not looking at a list of their names.
But eventually I got bored because, you know, quarantine and decided to give this a go. I sat down and plotted out all my songs ahead of time. I didn’t want to include more than one song per artist so there was definitely some shuffling around along the way as I had to figure out other options when I wound up with multiple songs by the same artists initially. There were also a couple that I changed along the way when I thought of something I wanted to use more than what I had originally written down.
Since it’s a 30 day challenge I decided that June would be the perfect month since it has 30 days. It just so happened that the prompt for a song from the year you were born was the Day 18 prompt and my birthday is June 18th, so it seemed like it was kismet. Anyway, if you don’t follow me on Instagram or for some reason wanted a permanent record of my song selections I decided to turn it into a blog post too. That way I could add a little context to some of my choices too.
- A song you like with a color in the title – Pink Moon by Nick Drake
- A song you like with a number in the title – 1957 by Milo Green
- A song that reminds you of summertime – Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen – This is the best song of summer that ever existed. You could not escape it back in the summer of 2012 and I never got tired of it. I still love it and think it a perfect summer song.
- A song that reminds you of someone you’d rather forget – Worn Me Down by Rachael Yamagata – I don’t really have anyone that I’d like to forget, but this was a song I was super into when I broke up with the last guy I seriously dated before I met my husband, so I went with it because it seemed the closest thing to the prompt I could come up with.
- A song that needs to be played loud – Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin – I mean this doesn’t really need an explanation. If you’re not listening to this song loud you’re doing it wrong.
- A song that makes you want to dance – Dancing on My Own by Robyn – Perhaps a little bit too on the nose, but I don’t care. It’s a great song that makes you want to dance and who doesn’t want to be inspired to have a personal dance party. Plus this video of people dancing and singing to the song in the subway station under MSG after a Robyn show there always makes me smile and is something I go back and watch when I need a little joy in my life.
- A song to drive to – Windows Are Rolled Down by Amos Lee – Again as song that’s title is perhaps a little too on the nose, but it’s still the first song I want to drive with my windows down to every spring.
- A song about drugs or alcohol – Break Out the Champagne by Amanda Shires
- A song that makes you happy – Alive and Kicking by Simple Minds – Every time I hear this song it makes me really happy. It was an 80s song I forgot about for awhile, but at some point in the late 2000’s it wound up on on iPod in a workout mix and it’s been a perennial favorite since then.
- A song that makes you sad – Elephant by Jason Isbell – It’s a song about someone dying of cancer, so you know the sad is kind of built into it. I love this reaction video to it.
- A song you never get tired of – Pictures of You by The Cure
- A song from your preteen years – Constant Craving by k.d. lang – During my actual preteen years this song was everywhere for awhile and it wasn’t something that I particularly loved at the time. As a preteen it unsurprisingly didn’t speak to me. As an adult it’s one of those songs that I’ve developed an entirely different relationship to and now it’s a favorite.
- A song you like from the 70s – Dreams by Fleetwood Mac
- A song you’d like to be played at your wedding – I wanted to use Ray LaMontagne’s You Are the Best Thing for this prompt but for some reason it wasn’t available on Instagram, so I used my actual wedding song Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel instead.
- A song you like that’s a cover by another artist – America by First Aid Kit – I adore the harmonies in this song. They’re great in the original version, and I think I might like this cover even better.
- A song that’s a classic favorite – For the life of me I cannot remember what song I used here. I had a couple written down that I wound up using for other prompts and apparently didn’t write my actual choice down. I guess it wasn’t that much of a favorite.
- A song you’d sing a duet with on karoake – The Boy is Mine by Brandi and Monica
- A song from the year you were born – Forever in Blue Jeans by Neil Diamond
- A song that makes you think about life – When My Time Comes by Dawes
- A song that has many meanings to you – In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel – I have so many memories of this song from various times in my life.
- A song you like with a person’s name in it – Josephine by Brandi Carlile
- A song that moves you forward – Shake It Out by Florence + the Machine – I actually had Maggie Rogers’ Back in My Body written down as my song choice for this prompt, but then when I went to post it this song popped in my head instead and I had to go with it instead. It for sure is a song that makes you want to pick yourself up, shake off the bad stuff, and keep moving forward.
- A song you think everyone should listen to – This Land by Gary Clarke, Jr.
- A song by a band you wish were still together – Poison and Wine by The Civil Wars – I loved The Civil Wars. I first learned of them when I saw them open for Adele in a little club in Philly right before she broke it really big. I’m sad that their band ended in a civil war of its own. I’ve tried the stuff they’ve both done solo since they broke up and none of it has the magic they had when they were together.
- A song you like by an artist no longer living – Have a Little Faith in Me by Joe Cocker – I adore pretty much every version of this song, but Joe Cocker’s is my favorite.
- A song that makes you want to fall in love – Into the Mystic by Van Morrison – If you pressed me to name my all time favorite song I would probably name this one. It’s a perfect love song.
- A song that breaks your heart – Waiting on June by Holly Williams – Written about her maternal grandparent’s relationship this song is a beautiful ode to their relationship. It paints a perfect picture of a life together. It’s the only song I have ever seen an entire audience full of people weep to during a concert. I love this song and the entire album it is from and it makes me sad that Holly Williams doesn’t really play music anymore.
- A song by an artist whose voice you love – Baby, Now That I Found You by Alison Krauss
- A song you remember from your childhood – Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears – I have loved this song ever since it came out when I was a kid. I still do. The first year I started creating annual playlists in Spotify I tried to add a song a day that I heard during the day and I really liked. Since then I’ve changed my playlists to only songs that I like released during that year and I add them as I hear them and not on a daily basis. Anyway, this song is the only one that I accidentally added more than once during that first year because I like it so much.
- A song that reminds you of yourself – American Girl by Tom Petty – Tom Petty is one of my favorite all time artists. I’m still sad about his death. I’ve always said that if I played baseball American Girl would be my walkup song. It’s always the song I choose whenever I have to answer a question similar to this one.