Some of my Favourite Songs

We'll go in vaguely chronological order here.

Songs from England and early childhood

I suppose I should start off with this, because every time I'm in my Dad's presence and this song comes on he says "This was a hit the year you were born". That song was Maggie May by Rod Stewart (aka "Rod the Mod").

One of the albums I liked best as a child was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. One of my friends (Katy Mahood) had this album and I liked it so much that we looked all over Coventry for it. There are many versions of this album and finding just the right one was difficult, even in the mid to late 1970s, when Andrew Lloyd Webber wasn't the huge hit he is today. I am in search of the "Jean Jacket Joseph" on CD -- so if anyone ever sees it, drop me a line.

My Dad was a big ELO fan, so I grew to like alot of their stuff (even if I never could quite grok Jeff Lynne's beard). In particular, their Greatest Hits album. Songs off of that album particularly near and dear to me are Mr Blue Sky (where for the longest time I thought the words "so long" were really "Solon", a nearby town :-). Another fave is Can't Get it Out Of My Head. An unusual ELO song is Rockaria!, which combines opera and rock. A very unusual combination :-). One of the more famous ELO songs is Evil Woman -- and I do like it! I also like the most (?) recent ELO hit, Calling America. Rounding out my ELO section are Turn to Stone and Sweet Talking Woman.

I've been a big fan of Paul McCartney since before I was born :-) Not just his stuff with the Beatles, but also with Wings. His ballads are good (I have been a big fan of Mull of Kintyre, my friend Stein Dunn would walk around singing it at playtime at St Gregory's in England), but also the rocking songs like Jet and "mixture" songs (with both ballad and rock parts) like Band On The Run.

Two Jackson Browne songs I liked in my pre-High School days are both from the Lawyers in Love album. The first, the title track, Lawyers In Love, as well as the other hit from that album, Tender Is The Night.

I was really into "popular music" in 7th and 8th grade, and I liked "girl groups" (of which there were many in the early 80s). Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart is a great song. Men at Work was a great band (and had not one but two albums, with perhaps four hits (nearly unheard of in the early '80s)), with Who Can It Be Now, Be Good Johnny, and Overkill. Naked Eyes (a British band) had a few hits, my favourite one of theirs was Always Something There To Remind Me.

My friend Tara Hridel and I used to ride home from basketball practice with our coach, Karen Bolt (she lived on the same street as Tara, and I lived one street over). Karen was cool -- 17 years old and had a teeny tiny car. She had a decent radio, though. I'll never forget listening to Gloria, by Laura Branigan, while sitting in the back of that car. Joe Jackson's Steppin' Out was also a great song from about that time period.

One of my other friends, Jennifer Lewandowski, liked the song Africa by Toto. I also liked that song, as well as Toto's other hit Rosanna (Rosanna was my maternal grandmother's name).

The last song I liked alot before I started high school was Boys of Summer by Don Henley.

Songs from Adolescence (High School, pretty much)

My adolescence was all in high school (12-16). The songs are pretty much all early to mid-80s "classics". The first one (and a one-hit-wonder) is Mary's Prayer by Danny Wilson (no, not the Seattle Mariners catcher). Another is Something About You, by Level 42. This was a hit in late 1985, early 1986. The video is a stunning visual of British Rail (shocking that the people in the band actually got to their destination at something seeming to be reasonably on time). Lindsay Buckingham had sort of two half-hits. His first was in 1985, and it was a featured WMMS song of the week, and it was Go Insane. He also had a song in the very early 1990s (which was also half a hit, barely), Countdown.

Then there's "J", or the person who started out as "John Cougar", became "John Cougar Mellencamp", then changed to just "John Mellencamp", so we joked he'd eventually change just to "J". I loooove his song Lonely Ole Night.

Freshman year in high school (Lumen Cordium, Bedford, Ohio) I was in the Glee Club (I always hated that term, but loved singing :-). Fall Semester we did The Rose, in which I sang first soprano (my throat cringes at the thought now :-). Spring Semester, one of my favourite arrangements that we did was For Women Only, which consisted of One Fine Day, My Guy, Baby Love, and Breaking Up Is Hard To Do. I used to sing For Women Only while riding on the bus (Twinsburg City School District #28) from Lumen Cordium to St Rita's. I wanted it, and particularly One Fine Day to be all about me. Thirteen years old. Where has the time gone?

I'm also rather fond of the band Heart, particularly Never, a song whose first verse practically described my experiences in 1985 (including "you're banging your head again" :-). Other songs (including the years that I liked them) of Heart's that I was partial to are These Dreams, 1986, Alone, 1986, There's The Girl, 1987 (which I listened to on the trip to England during Christmas break senior year), and Crazy On You, 1988 (many years after it was released).

Sophomore year in high school, my friends Deborah "Debs" Chitester and Annette "Annt" Karr and I started writing a story. The title now eludes me, but the story (which ended up filling several notebooks and LOTS of looseleaf notebook paper) was loosely based on our sophomore year and how we think it could be improved (mainly through boys :-). The main focus of the book was the song from Survivor's I Can't Hold Back "there's a story in my eyes ... ". From that time period, there's When The Going Gets Tough (The Tough Get Going) by Billy Ocean, Tonight She Comes by The Cars, In The Shape of a Heart by Jackson Browne. Dennis DeYoung's Desert Moon is a song that I first liked in 1984 or 1985 but only recently (April 1996) have I managed to obtain a recorded copy of it (albeit a borrowed one from my College Roommate). Cutting Crew's (I Just) Died In Your Arms was another good one (it hit England in 1986, USA in 1987). The Pretenders had a great song (after that miserable hit "Brass In Pocket" -- sorry, I never did like it) in Don't Get Me Wrong.

We also liked Pat Benetar's Le Bel Age and We Belong. Not Pat Benetar's, but from the same time period, was Don't You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds (from the classic early eighties movie "The Breakfast Club").

The band Night Ranger was a strong influence on me, starting with its first big hit Sister Christian and continuing with When You Close Your Eyes and Goodbye.

My friends (freshman year, Debs Chitester and Pam Duman, sophomore year, Debs Chitester and Annette Karr, junior year, Laura Uhl, Michelle Lantos, Kelly Krul, Stacy Sabrino, and others) and I used to go to the Lumen-sponsored dances (and once, junior year, we went to a Chanel dance). Lumen dances were weird. Since it was an all-girls school, the girls often outnumbered the guys. Laura always had a boyfriend. The other girls always seemed to find someone to dance with during the slow dances. I felt like I spent my entire high school dance "career" as a fly on the wall during slow songs (i.e. "pair dances"). I'd often cry. The song Carrie by Europe, describes it pretty well ("when lights go down, I see no reason for you to cry"). .

I've liked Bryan Adams since his Reckless album (and when I found that, I went back and got most of his earlier albums). He released an album in 1987 (with Heat Of The Night on it). I've not liked any of his albums since then, he's gotten too sappy. The earliest song of his I like is Tonight, in particular the version done at the Amnesty International Conspiracy of Hope Tour (no, I didn't go). His third album was excellent, as well, especially the title track, Cuts Like A Knife. There was also a terrific duet with Tina Turner, It's Only Love.

Phil Collins (both with and without Genesis) is a great vocalist. The songs Land of Confusion (with the spiffy Spitting Image video), Invisible Touch,and Throwing It All Away were some of my favourite tunes with Genesis. Take Me Home (a particular favourite of mine), Sussudio ("well she don't even know my name ... but I think she likes me just the same...), Long Long Way To Go (from the 1986 trip to Pineville, Kentucky), and Don't Lose My Number, from Phil Collins' No Jacket Required album. A couple of Collins' earlier songs that I like are I Don't Care Anymore, from Hello, I Must Be Going, and In The Air Tonight, from Face Value ("it was the first time, the last time, we ever met").

The Outfield was a band with perhaps three and a half hits in the eighties. I liked most of the songs (even some of them that weren't hits. The song about a one night stand (but I didn't know it then, I just liked the video), Your Love Another song of theirs I'm fond of is All The Love In The World. Mr Mister (in particular, Kyrie) was one of the big bands of 1985 (probably the single most important year of my life, at least until I left high school), as was A-Ha (Take On Me), Mike + The Mechanics (Silent Running). The Cars' Drive is a very special song, and not just because of the video at Live Aid. A little later in 1986 were We Built This City by Starship, Never Surrender by Corey Hart, and Don't Come Around Here No More by Tom Petty. Be Near Me by ABC still makes my heart go pitter pat even today (11 years after release). We also used to run to Lay Your Hands On Me by the Thompson Twins.

I should note that most of the songs in the previous paragraph were mostly from October 1985 through March of 1986, when we were practicing with the swim team in the basement of Chanel High School. A song we listened to during swim team practice, and on the way to meets (though not sophomore year) was Yes Love Will Find A Way. Mentioned above, but important to me during senior year swim team, was Mr Blue Sky by ELO.

In Junior year of high school at Lumen Cordium, our history class (and another one) went on a trip to Washington DC. There were about 20 of us, and 2 teachers, so we rented a bus. The bus left the high school at midnight, and none of us really slept well on the trip. My friend Laura Uhl introduced me to Stevie Nicks (her solo work, I loved her work with Fleetwood Mac and I knew it well), particularly I Can't Wait and Stand Back.

One of my favourite pasttimes was recording songs off of the radio onto cassette tape. Sometimes I'd hear the first three notes and decide I liked it and tape the song (without knowing what it was). That's how I came to first hear Angie, by the Rolling Stones (the version I had on my tape was *very* weird. I don't know if there was some crosstalk or not, but there's this whole dialogue with this woman spilling out her personal problems while the song plays in the background). Some other of these "instant-tape" songs are Dream On by Aerosmith, and Behind Blue Eyes by the Who, and Follow You.

Although I heard this song well before I entered high school, and even liked it alot, it affected me quite alot. The song is American Pie. In particular, it reminds me of how my first high school (Lumen Cordium) was closed due to falling enrollment. I know it's not what the song intended but it's what I think of.

My first day as a full-time student (senior year) at Chanel High School I thought of You Belong To The City by Glenn Frey. "Now you're back again, and you think it's strange. So much has happened but nothing has changed. You still don't know where you're going".

There are also "colour based songs" (songs with colours in the title or the artist name). A few are Electric Blue by Icehouse (which reminded me of how much I wanted to go to the Prom senior year in High School), Midnight Blue by Lou Gramm, and from a bit earlier in the 1980s, I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues by Elton John (aka "Elt the Belt").

Other songs I liked in High School (in no particular order or with no particular importance) are Final Countdown, by Europe, Ship Of Fools by World Party.

Songs from after High School (age 16-18)

In the summer of 1988 and summer of 1989, I worked at an amusement park called Geauga Lake in Aurora, Ohio. The park had background music tapes, and one of the songs was I Need You by America. This was the first song of America's I can remember hearing (I know, late 1980s and I'm hearing a band that went out of style at least 10 years before :-). On that tape was a non-Wings, non-Beatles Paul McCartney song, Maybe I'm Amazed.

A song that was big that summer (but has since floated off into oblivion) is All Is Forgiven by a group called Siren. It was the first all-digital recording ever (or so they claimed. :-)

From fall 1988 until spring 1989, I worked for Revco D.S. Inc. That took up 40 hours of my week. I spent other hours with my friend Bonnie Shaffer. We spent alot of time going roller skating to songs like Wheel In The Sky by Journey, Peek-A-Boo by Siouxsie and the Banshees, Straight Up by Paula Abdul, and What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy), by Information Society. I also liked the Stevie Nicks song Edge of Seventeen at this time, even though it wasn't a hit, this song was important to me at that point in my life.

I would dance to Let's Go by the Cars, when I was working at Geauga Lake the second year. Dancing in the Seasons Pass trailer was fun, because it was right next door to the music express (a ride where the ride operators got to choose the music). The summer of 1988 was very difficult for me. I'd left high school and was putting off college for a year. My whole existance revolved around the fact that I didn't (and never had) have a boyfriend. I had these "up moods" when I could dance around and sing Let's Go, or Buffalo Stance, by Neneh Cherry. But I also had down moments where I would swear that Crazy On You was written for me. Some days I'd be so up and I'd swear that New Sensation by INXS or She's Got The Look by Roxette were written for me. And on other days I'd be so down and people would try to hard to cheer me up that I swore that Dear Prudence, with it's line "won't you let me see you smile" was written for me.

If someone had told me when I was 16 or 17 that I would have a husband at 21 (and later, divorced at 37), I honestly don't think it would have made me feel any better. I was that wrapped up in it. And I think that's why I was so emotionally vulnerable and why I'm not surprised that my relationship with my ex ended almost as quickly as it started.

When I started University in the autumn of 1989, my roommate and I started listening to more of America's tunes, in particular Sister Golden Hair . Another America tune which affected me as I was wrestling with the decision whether or not to chuck it all up and move to Boston was Ventura Highway. Marci and I were bound together by Daisy Jane -- I don't think that to this day she has forgiven me for leaving school after freshman year :-). We also liked Take It On The Run, by REO Speedwagon (We'd say to each other "Take it on the run, baby", "if that's the way you want it baby". To this day "take it on the run" means "get food to go" :-) and Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac, particularly the live version starting "this is a story about a Welsh Witch".

Marci and I started out the year with a third roommate, Kelly Ptak. During the fall quarter, she (Kelly) rearranged our triple so that she had one half of the space, and Marci and I split the other half. She moved out in January (the week of Martin Luther King), and took her evil vile curtains with her. We wanted the sun in the morning, not the curtains covering it. Thus every time we hear True Faith by New Order, we think of Kelly ("I used to think that the day would never come, I'd see delight in the shade of the morning sun").

Marci and I took the liberty of gloating when our EDPSBFH roommate moved out and we played We Are The Champions by Queen. And after I broke up with my ex, I sang Jane Says ("but if he comes back again, tell him to wait right here for me [...]"). Also from that time period was Simon & Garfunkel's Fakin' It, and I'm obliged to put up the horrible song Mother by Pink Floyd, from their Album The Wall (I don't like this song. I detest it. But it was an important part of my growth into a mature adult. So I must give it some press).

We would geek out with our friends in the engineering building on campus, in the High Bay (a huge lab with high ceilings). We started calling it "High Tide", and thus we would think of The Tide Is High by Blondie.

Another group which I took a liking to (first over Christmas 1989 break) was the Moody Blues. In particular, Question. Another very moving song is New Horizons. Days of Future Passed is a great album, with Nights In White Satin and Tuesday Afternoon.

Marci and I liked Paul McCartney and The Beatles quite a bit (in fact, we dubbed Paul McCartney as "a god", as well as Douglas Adams :-). We loved the lyrics, especially on Abbey Road, where we would mangle songs deliberately. One song we did that on quite frequently was You Never Give Me Your Money (fill in the blank "you never give me your _____, you only give me your ___________, and in the middle of _______, you break down :-). We also did it with similar lyrics in Carry That Weight/The End and Golden Slumbers.

Post College

Marci spent July 1992 until June 1993 in Israel, part of the time in a Chabad Yeshiva. I missed her alot (not that I had much *physical* contact with her, while I was in Boston and she was in Cincinnati) -- our electronic conversations, even today, really brighten my day. The only form of firm non-slow (i.e. non-letter) correspondence was by fax. In October or November I sent a fax to her that contained Justin Hayward's Forever Autumn. Every time I hear the song I think of her being away that year.

Annie Lennox is a great vocalist! I like her early works with the Eurythmics, as well as her later, solo stuff. Her Diva album is terrific, and three of my favourite songs from it are Why, Walking on Broken Glass, and Little Bird.

For a while I was drawn into watching TV shows like Life Goes On and My So-Called Life. They were shows about teenaged years ... it was a comfort to me that I wasn't the only one who seemed to have a rough time as a teenager. My So-Called Life had brilliant music, including one song What Is Love, by Haddaway.

I rediscovered You Wear It Well by Rod Stewart. I heard this the morning we left for England in 1995, and couldn't get it out of my head during the whole red eye flight. :-\ On the same trip to England in 1995 I heard Kate Bush's Running up That Hill, which actually was released some 10 years earlier. :-)

In 1995 I discovered this tune by Janis Ian, At Seventeen. I heard it on Delta Air Lines, channel 11 (which is IMHO the best in-the-air music channel :-).

I used to watch this girl when she was an actor on You Can't Do That On Television, which I would watch on Nickelodeon when I was younger. Well, she's no longer a girl, she's a woman, and she's Alanis Morrissette. I like her song Ironic. It's got a great early-80ish video -- "just how many people do you need to have appear in a video?" (the answer, of course, is "one" :-). An earlier hit from her Jagged Little Pill album is You Oughta Know, although I didn't hear it until *after* Ironic became a hit. Alanis did a terrific version of You Oughta Know at the 1996 Grammy awards.

I've never been a huge fan of Melissa Etheridge, but I really like her song I Wanna Come Over, which reminds me of my summers working at Geauga Lake. (see my comments about the Seasons Pass trailer).

While in England in 1996, I heard several good songs on the Radio (mostly Virgin Radio, but also on HeartFM (out of both Birmingham and London)). One of the songs which I only recently (September 1997) got the lyrics to is Lighthouse Family's Goodbye Heartbreak. Other songs are Everything But The Girl's Missing, No Doubt's Don't Speak, and Des'ree's You Gotta Be.

Although not a 1997 song, I like Mike Oldfield's Moonlight Shadow, which is an upbeat song about loss and grief.

It seems that whenever I'm in England I always hear terrific songs on the radio. While in England in September 1997, I heard a band which I would have sworn was The Supremes, as the lead singer did a terrific Diana Ross. But it wasn't The Supremes. The group wasn't even American - they were Scottish! The group's name is Texas and the song is Black Eyed Boy.

Not only do I like Neneh Cherry's Buffalo Stance, but I also like the song released more recently by her baby brother, Eagle Eye. The song is Save Tonight.

I was in New York City in July of 1999. I had a near religious experience at the Virgin Megastore in Times Square. I was alone. I walked into the store feeling rather lonely and very homesick. The Virgin Megastore is three stories with the entrance on the top floor. Over the escalators down to the next floor was a bunch of television screens with a music video. The video playing (and the song) was Crazy by Seal. Seal is a very big artist in England and I've heard many of his songs while in England. The song filled a little hole in my heart and made me marginally less lonely.

Duncan Sheik's Barely Breathing is a recent(ish) release, but reminds me of running at swim practice in high school. I would always have asthma attacks. "I can't find the air..."

I took two trips to Paris in 2000 (and one trip to Switzerland in between). On both trips to Paris, Christopher and I flew through Paris Charles deGaulle (CDG) airport. The video for Beautiful Day by U2 was filmed at CDG. None of the days we visited CDG were beautiful, but I can't think of a gorgeous weather day without thinking of CDG. Also recent, but not affecting me due to the video is Dido's Thank You. "My tea's gone cold". I knew she was British before I ever saw her bio!

Eeek, I hit 30..

I wasn't (as) fond of Alanis' second (US) album, but Under Rug Swept is shaping up to be excellent. Hands Clean is the first single, and first rate to boot!

My music habits have changed almost completely since the arrival of my iPod in November of 2001. I listen to much more music, but it almost all tends to be older music (since my iPod is not a radio). Some favourites include The Corrs' cover of the Rolling Stones hit Ruby Tuesday, Coming Up Close by '80s 1.5 hit wonder 'Til Tuesday, Sister Golden Hair by America, Gypsy (of a strange & distant time) by the Moody Blues, It's The End Of The World And We Know It by REM). Not a Golden Oldie is Beth Orton's haunting tune Paris Train (which also appeals to the Train Spotter in me). I mentioned earlier Thank You by Dido. I also like Hunter by Dido.

Songs I'm embarrassed to have on my iPod (or I would be embarrassed to admit it fifteen years ago), include Freedom 90 by super stud George Michael (I can't stand him actually. My baby sister used to pant over him. But this song is one of many that speaks to me ("I won't let you down"). I first heard Everything But The Girl's Missing in 1996 in England, but I recently got a hold of the Todd Terry Remix (me? a dance mix? ick!). I also have started listening to some Moby, which is freaky (Electronica?), and am rather fond of South Side. I also will admit (in some very limited circles) that I am rather fond of Tommy by the Who. A particular favourite of mine is Go To The Mirror, Boy ("what is happening in his head? I wish I knew...).

While I gave up any fraction of belief in the religion I was brought up in, I very much like Gabriel's Message, a Christmas Carol, particularly Sting's rendition. I first heard it in 1987 and the song carried me to & from England that Christmas. I found it again in 2002 and who knows how far it will carry me.

I find that I can identify with many songs, while some songs speak to me. There are even fewer which I swear could be written for me, as if I was singing them myself. The first example from 2003 is Alanis Morissette's Sorry to Myself. It's self-deprecating, but in an apologetic, regretful manner. I'm so good at saying I'm sorry to others; will I ever be able to say it to myself and mean it? And then there's Nik Kershaw's Wouldn't It Be Good (it's getting harder just keeping life and soul together, I'm sick of fighting even though I know I should).

I really enjoy British Movies (it's my heritage, what can I say?). They often have really awesome movies. Billy Elliot was one example. More recently, I enjoyed Bend It Like Beckham. The song Inner Smile by Texas (of Black Eyed Boy fame) is from that movie. It's upbeat and happy. Unlike Sorry To Myself, which I put on to punish myself, I play Inner Smile when I'm feeling exceptionally good.

Of songs that speak to me, I was recently reintroduced to Crosby Stills & Nash (& Young). My Dad used to play their music alot when I was younger. Wasted On The Way has a message that if I actually listen to, is very affirming. Also on the more cheerful side is Supertramp's Give A Little Bit.

And then there are those songs that speak for me, such as Fly Away by Lenny Kravitz and Mother's Little Helper by the Rolling Stones ("what a drag it is getting old"). Ironically, as much as I like to kid my Dad about his love of Bob Dylan, I've recently become reaquainted with All Along The Watchtower, from U2's brilliant cover. I know all too well what it's like to think there must be some way out of here, where "here" for me equals "life".

Alanis certainly knows how to reach into my soul and speak for me. I found Fear of Bliss quite accidentally off of Feast on Scraps. I wouldn't call it a scrap. I've tried to be small, I've tried to be stunted. And reaching much further back than that, there's a-Ha's half a hit The Sun Always Shines on TV. I reached inside myself and found nothing there to ease the pressure of my every worrying mind. Kate Bush's This Woman's Work is very powerful.

I officially feel old. There's a song titled after the best year of my teenaged life. I'm not supposed to identify with everything in it. The video is even funnier, as the band does some raging riffs on common artists of the era (Robert Palmer included, even though it's been done before). Even scarier, the song is good (not the usual current crap). Give up yet? The artist is Bowling for Soup (what a name!) and the song is 1985.

Disclaimer: these lyrics are as I could find on the net or as I could best transcribe them. I welcome any corrections.

Also: please do not email me asking me to find the lyrics to a song I do not have on my page. If I like a song enough to put its lyrics up, I will, otherwise I either (1) do not have the lyrics or (2) have no interest in the song. thanks.

Last modified: Tue Sep 28 21:01:27 EDT 2004