First of all, if you’re reading this, I want to thank you. You are about to embark on my most ambitious blogging endeavor yet–a series of 64 of my favorite songs and why I love them. I decided to write these short pieces because I feel like I don’t talk about how much music affects my life. It’s my other love language. Music affects my mood enormously. It’s the best way I worship and commune with God, connect to other people, and I think the music someone listens to reveals them a lot. I’m actually more nervous to publish these posts because I feel like somehow they are going to expose me more than anything else I’ve written. So, just know that as you’re reading this, you’re getting Erin Donohoe, unplugged.
That being said, I’m not going to pretend that I think all of these songs are brilliant pieces of artistry. Some of them are, but some of them definitely aren’t. Some of them I know better than others. I have intimate emotional connections and memories with many, and a few of them are just really fun. I’m not pretending to be a musical expert. I’m definitely not. I’m just me. So. Yeah.
So, as for how I’m organizing these posts: there will be eight of them released over the next few days. When I picked out these songs, I originally had eight categories, with eight songs in each. These categories are: Songs that Remind Me of Home, Soulful Songs, Songs for the Road, Songs that Give Me Butterflies, Songs From High School (a very musically formative time for me), Songs that Make Me Smile, Songs that Make My Heart Ache, and Songs That Make Me Worship. So, in each of the posts, there will be one song from each category, in that order. Included will be the track information, an explanation of why it’s important to me, excerpts of lyrics, and the YouTube videos (so you don’t have to look them up–how convenient!). They aren’t in order of preference or anything like that, although you can probably figure it out from the descriptions which I love the most–I tried to organize them so that there were diverse styles and moods in every one.
I guess that’s really all I have to say, except, I hope you like them. Tell me what you think of the songs. I love sharing music with my friends.
Love you all,
Erin Elizabeth xoxo
SONGS THAT REMIND ME OF HOME
Scenes from an Italian Restaurant (Billy Joel, The Stranger, 1977) My dad made me love the saxophone solo in this song. We love singing it together whenever we cleaned the house. There’s a ton of brilliant musicianship in this. Things are okay with me these days/ I got a good job, I got a good office/I got a new wife, I got a new life/and my family is fine/We lost touch long ago/You lost weight, I did not know/you could ever look so nice after so much time
La Vie En Rose (Louis Armstrong, Satchmo Serenades, 1949) “Life in Pink.” This song sounded familiar to me when I first heard it. I love Édith Piaf’s original, but Louis Armstrong’s voice is so lovely and gravelly. And his trumpet, of course. Makes me dance alone in my kitchen. Here’s the link. Hold me close and hold me fast/The magic spell you cast/This is la vie en rose/When you kiss me, heaven sighs/And though I close my eyes/I see la vie en rose
SONGS FOR THE ROAD
Take Me Home Country Roads (John Denver, An Evening With John Denver, 1974) My mom owns a ton of records by John Denver. His voice is so sweet and clear. I have many fond memories of singing this song and others on our trips to South Carolina through the Appalachian mountains. All my memories gathered ’round her/Miner’s lady, stranger to blue water/Dark and dusty, painted on the sky/Misty taste of moonshine/Teardrops in my eye/Country roads, take me home/To the place I belong/West Virginia, mountain momma/Take me home, country roads
SONGS THAT GIVE ME BUTTERFLIES
Stolen (Dashboard Confessional, Dusk and Summer, 2004) Reminds me of long summer nights and the ocean breeze. It’s so simple and so bold. He just says it. You have stolen my heart. Swoooooon. I watch you spin around in your highest heels/You are the best one of the best ones/And we all look like we feel/You have stolen my/you have stolen my/you have stolen my heart
SONGS FROM HIGH SCHOOL
Long Live (Taylor Swift, Speak Now, 2010) This song stood for my last year in the purple hallways of Northville High School’s performing arts wing. Whenever I hear it I think of all the amazing friends and memories I made there over four years. Keep fighting dragons, y’all. I was screaming/Long live all the magic we made/And bring on all the pretenders/I’m not afraid/Singing, Long live/All the mountains we moved/I had the time of my life/Fighting dragons with you/And long, long live the look on your face/And bring on all the pretenders/One day/We will be remembered.
SONGS THAT MAKE ME SMILE
Holding On to You (twenty one pilots, Vessel, 2012) Makes me think of dear friends and the Ocean City Boardwalk. Also I feel cool when I rap. #ftsohn I’m taking over my body/Back in control, no more shotty/I bet a lot of me was lost/T’s uncrossed and I’s undotted/I fought it a lot/ and it seems a lot like flesh is all I got/not any more, flesh out the door, SWAT
SONGS THAT MAKE MY HEART ACHE
Eet (Regina Spektor, Far, 2009) Regina’s voice is incredible and so versatile–she allows herself so much artistic freedom in her work. She’s probably my favorite singer. This song is so inexplicably sad to me. And the best part is that she sounds even better live than she does in any of her recordings. She is truly gifted. It’s like forgetting/the words to your favorite song/you can’t believe it/you were always singing along/it was so easy/and the words so sweet/you can’t remember/you try to feel the beat
SONGS THAT MAKE ME WORSHIP
Beautiful Things (Gungor, Beautiful Things, 2009) This is my theme song of 2014. It’s probably my favorite worship song right now. Gungor is my favorite Christian band because they take such risks with their music. This song isn’t the most experimental of anything they’ve written but the harmonies are great and the lyrics are understated but powerful. God makes ugliness into beauty, and He makes all things new, including me. This video showcases this idea perfectly. And it might have made me tear up a bit. All around/Hope is springing up from this old ground/Out of chaos life is being found in You/You make beautiful things/You make beautiful things out of the dust/You make beautiful things/You make beautiful things out of us