Friday, September 03, 2010


Although I insist on having my iPod blasting my eardrums at the gym, and greatly enjoy dancing and singing along to random music while I wander around town, I have never been a person who expressed negative emotions through music. Rather, I have always used music to make myself happy and get my endorphins moving. Lately, however, I have found myself downloading songs and culling through my iTunes collection with specific ideas in mind.

When I get homesick, for example, I crawl into my oversized Toronto Maple Leafs jersey and listen to HomeSick; my all-Canadian playlist featuring everyone from Stompin’ Tom to Spirit of the West. Then I turn to You Tube to listen to the "Hockey Night in Canada Theme" (classic, thank you) and "I Want to Drive the Zamboni". I dare anyone not to dance like a gleeful child when listening to "Goin’ Up" by Great Big Sea.

My latest iTunes playlist is called Girl Power. Recent developments in my life, I realize, are probably explanation enough but that would make for a rather short and boring blog entry, so I think I’ll expand on the thoughts and emotions that led to the pounding and blasting of everything from Pink’s “So What” to Gloria Gaynor’s “I’m a Survivor.”

For the most part, these songs put me in a place of power and strength in my newfound singlehood. Every so often, however, I accidentally listen to the lyrics (Lisa Loeb, “Stay”) and find myself drifting toward melancholy. For every “Irreplaceable” by BeyoncĂ© I seem to find a “Your Ex-Lover is Dead” by Stars. I never thought I’d be one of people who cried at telecom commercials or who broke into tears at the sound of “that song” and it bothers me.

Traditionally, the music I choose to download to iTunes tends to be my own personal sensory time machine. Garth Brooks takes me back to getting drunk with the girls in Hen House back in Halifax whilst Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family” flies me straight back to grade nine. Mention of Iron Maiden in “Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheetus always makes me think of my brother, BBA, and anything by Corky and the Juice Pigs reminds me of the fabulously bizarre night when I attended a concert of theirs in Toronto with a bunch of Pages from the library.

(Just as I finished that last paragraph “Gitchee Gitchee Goo” from Phineas and Ferb popped up on my Happiness playlist and I started singing aloud and dancing in my seat. Normally that wouldn’t be so bad except that I’m sitting in an outdoor patio in central Sydney and everyone in the bar now thinks I’m drunk, crazy, or [more likely] both.)

This vaguely pointless trip through my iPod makes me wonder what my readers are listening to. What do you listen to when you want to dance for joy down the crowded streets of your city? What songs do you listen to when you want to wash your face with salty tears? And what songs do I need to add to my collection to make my day brighter or bring me closer to your personal shade of bliss?


N said...

Hip-hop, reggeaton and dancehall make me want to dance all the time. When I want to heal, I listen to rock/alternative music. :)

Anonymous said...

You know what I like to listen to: classical (but not that modern stuff) but the pop songs of the 60s and 70s--the top 20 list ones--and trad jazz also rate high on my list. Irish trad is what I have got used to over the last 40+ years and it isn't bad! But classical is my "go to" music when I am down. An ipod?: I wish!!
What about all those show tunes?
And I always wanted to drive a zamboni like your BBA.
I suppose those choices put an age on me but that's who I am.

Unknown said...

Be thankful that you have an iPod and can select your songs to help you thru any given day, Typo.

I listen to Edith Piaff's La Vie En Rose which always solves all my problems, no matter the source.

Caution/Lisa said...

When I need to feel very sorry for myself, I listen to anything Mary Chapin Carpenter. She seems to have written about my entire life. When I decide it's time to stop the self-misery, I listen to anything but her!

Lydia said...

You know, funny thing about music, it has different meanings to everyone. I have strong 'song association'. I just heard Billy Ocean in the grocery store & wanted to do dishes with my dad.

Joy - Raditude album by Weezer The. Whole. Album.
Brand New Day - Dr. Horrible (actually, the whole soundtrack)

Tears - Lullaby by Dixie Chicks (personal reasons, not really a sad song.)

Brighten my day - Welcome to Paradise - Green Day

Bliss - Lollipop - by MIKA

To rock on - Blow by Prom Kings

Also, (b/c you enjoy Phineas & Ferb,) if you don't have any Lazy Town songs, you're missing out. 'You are a Pirate'; jump up & down fun!

Enjoy the musical novel. ;)

Connie said...

Unless you do not like the language, it is hard to not feel upbeat and dance-able when listening to Lady Gaga. She's got good, modern, girl power music. I am blessed with a good radio station... first time in years!... I can listen to them all the time. Energy Radio ( If I am down... I don't usually want to listen to anything. Quiet is best for me.

Karen M. Peterson said...

I finally broke down and asked for an iPod for Christmas last year and I'm only just now starting to really appreciate it. I don't have a ton of music, but it's a pretty diverse collection, I think.

What do I listen to when I just want to smile and be happy? The Glee soundtracks. The show itself is ok, but the music is AWESOME!

Melissa said...

Wow, I would need to write a book to share my music loves. :)

I think I enjoy music that evokes nostalgia - songs that remind me of certain points in time, or "eras" of my life. Simon and Garfunkel, Daniel Lanois (get the Beauty of Winona album if you don't have it), Emmylou Harris, Allison Krauss, Linkin Park, The Waterboys, old Hothouse Flowers, Dido, the list goes on.

Want an uber happy song? Get The Proclaimers "Love Can Move Mountains" song. It always makes me fill happy. :)

Anonymous said...

You should figure the author out but between my two cars I have the entire Phinneas and Ferb soundtrack, Disney Hits volume something or another and Jonas LA. My favorite is Invisible - Jonas LA and I sometimes find myself putting it on repeat after dropping the kids at daycare.

Anonymous said...

Joshua Radin - Friend Like You is always a winner - in fact anything from his Simple Times Album will match any mood you have.
Lifehouse - Everything -is always what I listen to if I want to think of my close friend and the Goo Goo Dolls - Iris too.
I could talk music for hours - it's the soul of life x