30 Day Music Challenge: Day 23

A song you think everybody should listen to.

There’s this one song by a band that no one has heard from again after this album was released that has always evoked meaning for me. Like I could see this magnetic traveling vagrant coming through town telling stories to kids on an early Autumn day. I remember it was a day like that in August 1977, when a then 7-year old learned from the radio news that Elvis Presley had died. I didn’t know who Elvis was, but it seemed like it was a big deal because it was all over the place that “the King of Rock and Roll” had died. I remember running outside where all the neighborhood kids were playing in the street to spread the news.

“A Salvation Army band played, and the children drunk lemonade, and the morning lasted all day…and through an open window came, like Sinatra in a younger day…”
That just says the start of Autumn to me. Crisp air, but not quite the first day of school – back when school didn’t start until after Labor Day. Kids out playing.

I can imagine going back to the winter of 1963 and just being so cold – perhaps it’s the Salvation Army being invoked in the opening verse, maybe just being a lifelong New Englander who knows what it feels like when it’s so cold that it feels like the world would freeze, or maybe the sound of the wind blowing through the air. Perhaps it’s just the thought of a cold winter, paired with the assassination of our young president – the world feeling so cold and dead, yet the promise of what’s to come with this little band out of Liverpool, England who would change rock music forever, like a little sapling growing out of the tundra. A promise that the world does go on.

“In winter 1963, it felt like the world would freeze, with John F Kennedy and the Beatles…”

Maybe it’s the music itself or the repetitive African chant “ah hey ma ma ma ma…” or just the feelings it evokes for me. I don’t know, I’ve just always loved this song.

Wisdom of Crowds picks:

Always on Your Side” Sheryl Crow

Let It Be” The Beatles

The Sounds of Silence” Simon & Garfunkel

L-O-V-E” Nat King Cole

Beloved Wife” Natalie Merchant

At This Point In My Life” Tracey Chapman

Elderly Woman Behind The Counter in a small town” Pearl Jam

The Greatest Love of All” Jane Olivor

30 Day Music Challenge: Day 22

A song that makes you move forward.

Back in the late 1990’s – early 2000’s both Mitsubishi and Mazda had some catchy tunes for their commercials: “Start the Commotion” in particular, but also “Zoom Zoom Zoom

(As an aside, all you eclipse lovers will appreciate this one)

I have to say though, when I’m kind of in a trough while running, this song brings me back up. It’s literally 180 BPM, perfect cadence for running.

So, Metallica it is. (NSFW)

Wisdom of Crowds Picks:

‘In my Life” The Beatles

“Let There Be Peace on Earth” Harlem Boys’ Choir

God Bless the U.S.A.” Lee Greenwood

“Sunny Afternoon”  The Kinks

Shut Up and Dance” Walk The Moon

Silence In The Snow” Trivium

“Black Widow” Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora

In A Big Country” Big Country


30 Day Music Challenge: Day 21

This is like the easiest one of the challenge thus far. This song is the reason my daughter Delaney is so named.

It’s a song about a father watching his little girl Delaney grow up…funny how that works out. Apparently there’s only so long you get to watch them grow up, before they’re grown up.

My advice to parents of young kids and teens? Stop worrying about where the time went and enjoy the time you have. It doesn’t last forever.

Wisdom of Crowds Picks:

Jessica” The Allman Brothers Band

Bette Davis Eyes” Kim Carnes

Walk Away Renee” The Left Banke

Hey Jane” Spiritualized

Alison” Elvis Costello & The Attractions

Layla” Derek & The Dominoes

Sweet Caroline” Neil Diamond

Sweet Melissa” The Allman Brothers Band

Jane Says” Jane’s Addiction

Gloria” U2

Doncha Know (Sky is Blue)” Alicia Keys





30 Day Music Challenge: Day 20

A song that has many meanings to you.

This requires a little bit of thought. I mean I’d love to be able to point to a song and say, “yes, this,” but I can’t.

I think that I’ll choose a song with one of my favorite double entendres of all time in it, “Words are cheap, but can turn out expensive, words like ‘conviction’ can turn into a sentence.”

Wisdom of Crowds Picks:

Kind and Generous” Natalie Merchant

Sweet Caroline “ Neil Diamond

Wicked” Indina Menzel and Kristin Chenowith

You Can Close Your Eyes” James Taylor

The Circle Game” Joni Mitchell

Magic Power” Triumph

Sweet Surrender” Sarah McLaughlin

Alison (My Aim Is True)” Elvis Costello & The Attractions

A Whiter Shade Of Pale” Procol Harum

Just A Girl” No Doubt



30 Day Music Challenge: Day 19

A song that makes you think about life.

You know, I figured this would be the hardest one for me to figure out. I wasn’t wrong. There’s a lot of music that speaks to me in ways that get me thinking about various aspects of life, and maybe that’s what is being sought here – just some music that makes one think about some vaguery of life.

From the first time I heard this song, it hit me. It’s not a particularly great song, but it has held meaning for me for almost 30 years. I remember telling my dad how important it was that I got to know him because of this song. I may not have ever have told him that had it not been for this simple pop song.

Wisdom of Crowds picks:

“What a Wonderful World “ Louis Armstrong

I Lived” One Republic

“In the Blood” John Mayer

No Ceiling” Eddie Vedder

Hurt” Johnny Cash

Oh Very Young” Cat Stevens

The Middle” Jimmy Eat World

Days Like This” Van Morrison

All About Soul” Billy Joel

Cats In The Cradle” Harry Chapin

Symphony No. 9 ~ Beethoven

The Captain & The Kid” Jimmy Buffett

Keep Your Head Up” Andy Grammer

Stairway To Heaven” Led Zeppelin

Best I Ever Had” The Swellers

Leader of the Band” Dan Fogelberg

The Dance” Garth Brooks

Man in the Mirror” Michael Jackson

Wash Away” Joe Purdy

Landslide” Fleetwood Mac


30 Day Music Challenge: Day 18

A song from the year you were born.

Wow. What a trip. At first, I considered just going with the song that was #1 the week I was born but decided against that because….well, because it’s kind of blah. Then I started thinking about some hokey stuff: “Candida” is a trip; “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” is great. When I was in grad school, “Cecilia” was having a bit of a revival, so I considered that.

There’s more than a few songs I’d really like to choose, but ultimately I went with one that reflects what was going on in the world I was born into. We were slogging our way through Southeast Asia, fighting a war we really had no business fighting. Young men dying because our government couldn’t commit to fighting the war as it should be fought and not getting out because of the egos of our leaders.

What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.

Wisdom of Crowds Picks:

Make it with you” Bread

Make it with you” The Carpenters

Green Eyed Lady” Sugarloaf

Margaritaville” Jimmy Buffett

Could It Be I’m Falling In Love” The Spinners

I’ll Be Around” The Spinners

Mr. Sandman” The Chordettes

Good Vibrations” The Beach Boys

More than A Feeling” Boston

Rock the Casbah” The Clash

Touch Me” The Doors

Paranoid” Black Sabbath

“I Shot The Sheriff “ Eric Clapton

Ride Captain Ride” Blues Image

“Sweet Little Sixteen” Chuck Berry

Shake, Rattle and Roll” Joe Turner

Dirty Water” The Standells

Hello, I Love You” The Doors