Friday, May 22, 2009

It’s in the words

I have a friend who doesn't listen to the lyrics of songs; she simply loves the rhythm and melody. I guess I can understand that, I like Henri Dikongue's music and I don't have a clue what he's talking about but he can pick that damn guitar. However for the most part the words are what matters most to me. The rhythm and melody hook me and then the words reel me in until I am awash with raw emotion and energy. I feel the words as if I was reading poetry and the emotions just seep through the artist's voice. Sometimes I identify with a song to such an extent that it becomes intricately woven into the fabric of my life, it's as if the words were written for me and those moments in my life. Sometimes the words simply say you're not alone, other times they allay my fears and give me hope and every so often they inspire me and point the way. These songs obviously become all time favourites.

I was stuck in airport terminal thousands of miles away just the other day and so with all the time in the world I scoured the internet for something to while away the time. Facebook excels in this respect and I'm sure many companies have experienced a decline in employee productivity due to this marvellous application. Anyway I found an application on FB that allows you to make all sorts of top 5, worst 5 and probably even mediocre 5 lists that you can then share with your friends and get them to waste 30 minutes or so of company time. But what the hell, all work and no play eh? So I made top 5 lists of all sorts of things and when I did one on favourite songs I found that I had so many songs I liked that I decided I would hazard a top 20 list on this here blog and get some of you to do the same (and nick another 30 mins). Let me see how far I can go down this rabbit hole:

  1. Angel – Sarah McLachlan

    This has been the theme song of my life for a long time. There is a certain melancholy to it that I somehow always identify with and I have a thing for sad songs. I have been in the arms of the angel and found comfort there. I first came across it while watching "City of Angels" and the moment I heard it, I knew I had to find this song. I waited for the credits until I got the title and artist and I have since been a Sarah McLachlan fan. In fact the movie soundtrack was the first CD I ever bought.


  2. Secret Garden – Bruce Springsteen

    This is the most romantic song I have ever listened to. Sometimes I prefer the one with the voiceovers from the movie "Jerry Maguire" and other times the original is just as intoxicating. It brings back memories of a more innocent time when I believed that if two people loved each other, then nothing else mattered. It was a time when I watched romantic movies featuring the likes of Drew Barrymore and I felt all mushy and warm inside. It reminds me of conversations I had with Carol back in A' level, of writing down the lyrics and having her giggle and say "Secret Garden" in a naughty way.


  3. You Move Me – Susan Ashton

    I can't recall when I first heard this beautiful song but I fell in love with it. I remember being told it was a gospel song and that being atheist it should be out of my sphere. "It is a love song" I said "And I am very much a believer". It reminds of Jackie O back in A' level and of our conversations about the Christian God, of her writing down the words for me and her hope that I would one day see the light. Ah you cute girl, I hope he still moves you.


  4. I'd Like - Freshlyground

    I heard this song only last year and it captured all my feelings for you. I wish I had told you all these things sooner, held back by the fear of rejection I could only have you listen to it. I felt these things for years but I could not say them, I was scared of one thing only. That one day you would feel different and leave me and I would lose the will to go on. Ironic that you're now gone and I struggle for the will to continue. But I know that you felt the same things.


  5. I Cried For You – Katie Melua

    This woman has the most beautiful voice I have ever heard. This song will forever be with me. These are the words of the songstress, these are my words.


    "You're beautiful, so silently it lies beneath the shade of blue, it struck me so violently when I looked at you.
    But others pass, they never pause to feel that magic in your hand, to me you're like a wild rose they'll never understand.

    I cried for you and the sky cried for you and when you went I became a hopeless drifter.

    But this life was not for you, though I learned from you, that beauty need only be a whisper.


    I'll cross the seas for a different world with your treasure a secret for me to hold

    In many years they may forget this love of ours or that we met, they may not know how much you meant to me.

    I cried for you and the sky cried for you and when you went I became a hopeless drifter.

    But this life was not for you, though I learned from you, that beauty need only be a whisper.


    Without you now I see how fragile the world can be

    And I know you've gone away but in my heart you'll always stay

    I cried for you and the sky cried for you and when you went I became a hopeless drifter.

    But this life was not for you, though I learned from you, that beauty need only be a whisper.

    That beauty need only be a whisper"


    The sky cried for you, I crossed the seas for a different world and now I drift but I am hopeful.


  6. Falling Into You – Celine Dion

    I am a Celine Dion fan. I am not afraid to say so. I remember being gutted when I found out that she didn't write most of her songs, I had put her on a pedestal so high that I needed a ladder to reach up there and bring her down a notch or two. Nevertheless she still moves me. This one reminds me of Geri; it reminds me of those days in G.P. when we would sit and chat about anything, about our shared love of the music and my infatuation with R. It all began there; my love for you, that was the point I began to fall into you. In the end, I could not be all that you wanted and your rejection forced me to reinvent my life but that was the path I was meant to tread for it is the one that led me to her and brings me to this point. You will always be one of the most beautiful people I have ever known, I hope you have all the happiness you've ever wanted, because no one deserves it more than you. Oh, and thank you for making the music very special.


  7. Healing Song – Bebo Norman

    Another gospel entry and another beautiful song, Bebo Norman is nothing short of amazing. You can feel all his emotions when he sings. Every time I listen to him I am reminded of Diana T, of those conversations we had all the way up on P floor. I remember the discussions about God and the meaning of life, going for Cell and to KPC for the experience. Your earnest attempts to get me to see the light and you accepting me just the way I was. I remember meeting Dimples and being amazed by the purity of spirit and that sparkle. I could pick any Bebo Norman song and it would bring those memories, this one however resonates with my life.


    "And for the love, for the love God,

    Oh I've gathered up my pride, I've gathered up my bits and bones

    And in a world that broke me down, oh I'm standing up, oh but not alone

    'Cause this is a healing song and I've got a heart that fails

    But love is pushing me along; I'm lifting up above this veil

    This is a healing song, oh and I don't know if you can tell

    But love is pushing me along; I'm pressing up against the rail, pressing up against the rail"    


  8. Here With Me – Dido

    Fiona thinks Dido should be given the equivalent of a knighthood for her music, I couldn't agree more. You can never be the same after listening to her music, she tells you stories about all manner of things and when she's done something about you is changed. Dido introduced me to the internet. I was watching TV one night when I managed to catch an episode of Roswell and what captured me most was the theme song. I did the credits thing and then mounted a search for a CD, after an unsuccessful tour of the music shop (if I recall properly we only had that one on K'la Rd.) I discovered I could download it from the internet. Enter all sorts of new words like IE, P2P, CDRW, etc. Back then a blank CD cost about 20,000/= and I had no idea that one needed a CD writer to be able to burn CDs. I was fascinated with this world of computers and the internet that I ended up working in the "IT" field for years to come despite studying different stuff at campus. I have engaged in and will still engage in my fair share of copyright infringement. My apologies to all those artists, if I ever become filthy rich, I'll send you a couple of bucks until then LimeWire will do.


  9. I will always love you – Whitney Houston

    This was the theme song of my first crush ever. I was in P.7 and one day I just looked at this girl and I fell. I spent a good number of weeks day dreaming but I could not say a word. Back then such things were a no-no; in fact I remember receiving a good number of lashes for passing on a note some guy had written to some girl. Granted the contents of the note were along the lines of "girl I wanna make you sweat, sweat till you can't sweat no more..." but I was merely a link in the delivery chain. The girl on receiving this note screamed and ran to the teachers who promptly decided that anyone who had touched this note was complicit in this 'crime'. I pleaded my innocence vociferously stating the fact that I did not possess X-Ray vision and could therefore not have known what the note contained but inevitably I had to succumb and receive my share. Damn you Mr. Mpagi! Anyway my crush lasted a whole term before I let it go but I will always remember.


  10. Baby Can I Hold You – Tracy Chapman

    Okay, who does not like this song or Tracy Chapman for that matter? This one, along with other classics by Abba and Whitney Houston, reminds me of my mother. She loved this music, I recall spending weekends listening to these songs and having a blast. This is one song that I would really love to be able to play on the guitar. It is simply timeless.


  11. Angel – DMX feat Regina Bell

    I remember telling a friend of mine once that if I had any religious inclination, this song would inspire me endlessly. Rap music is normally associated with violent, shallow and sexually explicit content and with good reason. I mean, what the hell do you do with a song like "I get money" by 50Cent? It was the worst song I heard in 2007. However this particular time, DMX dug deep, sifted through his life and soul and came up with something to inspire. To this day, I am moved by the passion with which he delivers these words.


  12. Where Is The Love – Celine Dion

    Yes, here she is again, wowing me to the moon. She asks, "If ever the river could whisper your name, would the choices you make still be the same?" This one will forever remind me of Sheila back in my S.4 Vac. It is nice to be young and in love.


  13. Dear Mama – 2 Pac

    For all those who have been and will forever be my mothers.


  14. King Of Sorrow – Sade

    "I want to cook you a soup that warms your soul" There's a line that I will never forget. Thank you Jacque for telling me that "Beyond every mountain climbed, there's another waiting to be conquered" I hope I never lose the desire to conquer these mountains.


  15. Let It Flow – Toni Braxton

    The first song I ever heard on CD. It was back in school and we had gone to a certain girl's school for a function. I remember the clarity of the sound, beautiful stuff. I love Toni's husky voice and the song reminds me of my cousin Jimmy who was my best friend back when I used to stay with a certain uncle of mine. Those were the days of discovery, of awakening to an inner spirit and beginning a journey of self discovery that has led me to this point.


  16. Doggy Dog World – Snoop Doggy Dog

    I used to be hip in my younger days; I was on top of most things hip especially the music. I had a knack for listening to rap songs and getting the lyrics. I remember my classmates asking me to write down the lyrics to songs like 'C u when u get there' by Coolio. I was cool! However my foray into rap music all started with that album 'Doggystyle' by Snoop and this was my favourite song. I can still rap it from start to finish.


  17. River – Natalie Merchant

    No one sings a sad ballad like this lady. The first time I ever heard her, I was sampling my aunt's music collection. I put her Tigerlily album into the CD player and pressed play, in 5 seconds I was hooked for life. She simply begins "San Andreas Fault" humming and its beautiful stuff. River is dedicated to River Phoenix, a promising Hollywood actor who died of a drug overdose in the early 90s. It is a moving song.


  18. Iris – Goo Goo Dolls

    Another entry off the "City of Angels" soundtrack, however this one reminds of the Rick Dees show that was my rock music source for a long time.


  19. Lay Down Beside Me – Alison Krauss & John Waite

    Another timeless song that reminds me of Don Williams who vaguely reminds me of my father, I also recall that you loved this song.


  20. Just Dance – Lady Gaga

    Because it tells me you're okay and I should just dance.

There are tons of songs that I feel should be on this list, like Anything Can Happen, Nantongo, Like a Woman, Don't Speak, My Favourite Mistake, 3 Little Birds, etc. I'll stick with this one for now and if I were to change anything it would probably be among the last 6 songs.


normzo said...

so Dude....still held up at an airport somewhere or what???

kati me i am thinking of coming up with a ka list and see....what memories i do have with certain songs.....

Anonymous said...

Did you know that Angel is actually about a friend of Maclachlan's who was found dead in a hotel room of a heroin overdose? "Pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie."?

Sleek said...

your music says you are the quiet, contemplative type...nice

Rhino said...

@Baz, didn't know that, somehow it makes it more intimate. Thanks for the link.

Darlkom said...

I love Sarah McLachlan too. You should definitely get her album 'Surfacing' on which 'Angel' is. There is a beautiful song, 'Do what you have to do' that brings me to tears every time I hear it.