So many times, people ask me, "Ryan, what are your favorite songs that people wouldn't think are you favorite songs?" Okay, that might not have ever happened before, but I knew it was because you're just too shy to ask.
It's no secret that my two favorite songs are "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler and "Unbreak My Heart" by Toni Braxton. Have been for years. But there are some other songs that I can listen to on repeat for an entire afternoon and feel positively fulfilled with my life. I will pay homage to them today.
As I Lay Me Down (Sophie Hawkins) - I know exactly where I picked up this song. I was in sixth grade and a girl danced to this song at a talent show. Well, I've been hooked on it since. It was actually almost four years before I heard the song again, but it stuck with me in such a profound way that I would sing it to myself. (this was pre-iTunes people. Actually, this was pre-Napster and pre-internet song shopping. It wasn't until I ordered a compilation CD that I realized the song was on there) Recently, I heard it at a bar and I'm not afraid to say that I stopped conversation with my friend because I needed to just sit and listen to it. There's a possibility that it makes me happier than any song (just as Love Actually makes me happier than any film).
Good is Good (Sheryl Crow) - This wasn't a hit for Sheryl, but it's stuck with me. There's something sweeping about it, something that makes me feel like persevering. I don't know if that's what she meant when she wrote it, but it's how it makes me feel. (I think I should also mention that this is the only Sheryl Crow song I own)
One Moment In Time (Whitney Houston) - This was a toss up between "I Believe in You and Me" but this song won out, mostly because there is something so big about it. It's such a big song, it was connected to the Olympics, and the ending of her performance is flawless. It's that sappy song that's too inspirational for it's own good but for some reason, resonates. Did I mention the Olympic tie-in?
Hazy Shade of Winter (The Bangles) - This is a funny story actually. I was driving from Dallas to get to school and was just listening to whatever was on the radio. This song came on and I was really digging the harmonies and of course, I recognized Susanna Hoffs' voice so I knew it was the Bangles. The funny thing is that I was driving over this bridge when the song was playing, so every time I would drive over that bridge, I would feel the need to listen to the song again. Every single time. I've even had friends text me and tell me they are driving over my "song bridge." That's pretty cool.
Suspicious Minds (Elvis) - It's flawless.
You Found Me (Kelly Clarkson) - While her entire Breakaway album is flawless, there's something about this song that has always gotten to me. In the last couple choruses, she drops out and her backup singers are singing the most wonderful little harmony. I remember when I was driving and I caught it for the first time - I kept rewinding over and over again because I was smitten with this 7 seconds of perfection.
Again (Janet Jackson) - It's such a simple song right? It's just her and some music. There aren't a bunch of dance beats, no fancy backup vocals, no techno overlay, just Janet, singing. It's like you're in a cloud when you're listening to it. Is it a rain cloud, is it a white cloud? Depends on the day. But it's one of the most played songs in the history of my iTunes.
Chinese (Lily Allen) - There is something really wonderful about a song that perfectly spells out your existence with someone and this song does that. We would/still do 'get a Chinese and watch TV.' I have this song in ring-tones, in children's choral versions, and on every electronic device I own because it instantly takes me there. It doesn't make me miss anyone, but it takes me to that moment driving down I-35, singing and smelling Chinese food in the car.
I think the moral of this story is that the simple things in life are still the most important. I don't claim that all of these songs are brilliant, but there's something that connects me to them still. There are plenty more obviously, but these are the songs that have become a part of my inner-programing. We all have them. And now you know mine.