My 9 Songs List

Ann Litts tagged me so I will play along and try to come up with 9 songs that had a major impact on my life…

Somewhere Over the Rainbow, sung by Louis Armstrong

This is the very first song that stuck forever in both my noggin and my heart. I was maybe 8 or 9 or 10 years old and I received a Louis Armstrong collection record for either my birthday or Christmas. While I loved his trumpet playing, I really dug his voice and I played that one song over and over. Now, so many decades later I really, really like Israel Kamakawiwo/ole’s ukelele version of the song as well.

Joy to the World, by Three Dog Night

“Jeremiah was a bullfrog!” That’s what everyone was yelling at school. I had a little transistor radio and every time that song would come on I would turn it up and sing along. I haven’t heard this song in close to a hundred years but it’s still there on the list in my noggin. It’s impact was that it got me into popular music.

Stone in Love With You, by the Stylistics

I went through a major Motown phase around the time I was in puberty. This song along with The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, by Roberta Flack were among my favorites. Curiously, back then I thought the title of the song was, ‘Stoned in Love With You.’ It wasn’t until I was an adult many years later that I learned that the actually first word of the title was ‘stone,’ not ‘stoned.’ It no longer made any sense. The song helped push me into the world of romance.

Flying, by the Beatles

I didn’t discover The Beatles until I spent the summer in Europe when I was 14 years old (very late — they had already broken up). I was immediately hooked and after returning to America I got all their albums. I have a hundred favorite Beatles songs but this song was different. For one thing, it is only one of two Beatles songs that are strictly instrumental without any lyrics. It was actually a song the Beatles played in order to warm up before a recording session or concert. They finally included it on the Magical Mystery Tour album. It was never a hit but I sure loved it. When I came back from Europe is when I started smoking pot and, let me tell you, this is the perfect song to play with eyes close and headphones on after smoking a doobie. I no longer have any of my records (or smoke pot) so I haven’t heard it in a couple of hundred years but it had a huge impact on me back when I was entering high school.

Poetry Man, by Phoebe Snow

This may be my favorite song of all time. For me, it is the defining song of the 1970s. I had the album which I played a few hundred thousand times and whenever I was driving my car out in the desert this song was playing on the 8-track. A couple of decades later I was still playing it (except on cassette) and I introduced it to the woman who would become my second wife. She fell in love with it, too.

Imagine, by John Lennon

This may be my favorite song of all time. It has endured since I first heard it. While it may remind me of ten thousand things, when I hear it all thoughts leave my mind and I become fully immersed in the song. It is an anthem for an era. It has always been one of the most spiritually uplifting songs to me.

Trouble, by Lindsey Buckingham

This is the song the woman who would become my second wife introduced me to. I can’t hear this song without feeling the joy of new love.

You Can Call Me Al, by Paul Simon

My wife and I bought the Graceland album for ourselves for our wedding anniversary in July, 1987. It immediately became our go-to album. We listened to it ad nauseum and You Can Call Me Al was our favorite song on the album. We listened to Paul Simon in the car all the way to Chaco Canyon for the Harmonic Convergence and back. Curiously, this song always makes me feel very spiritual. At the time, if I wasn’t in a sweat-lodge, on a vision quest, or meditating I was listening to that album.

Guardian, by Alanis Morissette

This is a song about female energy and motherhood. I was listening to it repeatedly at a time when I was writing a novel with a female protagonist from a female point of view. I was trying to get into the female part of me. Now I simply cannot hear it without feeling like a woman.

Harvest Moon, by Neil Young

This song just makes me feel relaxed and happy and it always has. It’s the perfect chill out song. It has chilled me out many, many times. While all the previous songs are mostly connected to romance, drugs or spirituality, this song is just connected to feeling joy.

Okay, now I’m thinking of more songs but this is 9 so I’ll stop. I hereby tag Bridget Webber and Nalini MacNab .

Written by

Earthling — Lifelong novelist & essayist —

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