30 Day Song Challenge

My Favorite Song This Time Last Year

Day Thirty – My Favorite Song This Time Last Year:

Wow. I can’t believe it’s been 30 days of posting songs and videos on my blog. Okay … so I’ve interspersed a few posts in between the 30-Day Song Challenge, but they were for good reasons. At least I think they were.

Regardless, this now means I get to post another NaBloPoMo badge on my “Badges of Honor” page. Woo-frickin’-hoo!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed following along with my music posts. As you can probably gather by now, music has always played a big part in my life. Somehow, I can’t see my life being complete without having a song in my head and in my heart.

But today, really is about the last song I need to name. I have a hard time remembering what I ate last night, let alone trying to remember what song I liked this time last year. I mean, give me a break … I’m getting senile in my older years. Especially since I have a birthday coming up this week.

So instead, I’m posting my favorite song once again. Except this time, I actually had time to put a video together for myself. So enjoy the slideshow below … as the description I added on YouTube says, this video is:

A photographic tale of my personal relationship with Hubby & with kids … and the fact that we can’t have any of our own. Resolving that part has been hard on us, but now we know … “Apron Strings can be used for other things than what they’re meant for.” But I would like to think that other persons (whether they’re kids or not … ) can still be happily “wrapped in my Apron Strings.”

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What is with this 30-day song challenge?

What was yesterday‘s song?

 

A Song From My Childhood

Day Twenty-Nine – A Song From My Childhood:

I’m not sure why I always think of this song whenever I reflect back on my childhood. I could probably bring up a ton of songs from my younger years, thanks in part to my parents’ own love of music. Or I could bring up some old storybook songs that my parents used to play on our record player.

Yes, oh younger ones, that’s what us older kids had for on-demand entertainment back in the day. No VCR’s back then, and TV programming that was dictated by the TV stations.

Which is probably where I remember seeing “Yellow Submarine” for the first time.

But really, the reason this song has such a firm grasp in the recess of my mind is because of this memory I have of singing this song with my parents in various locations. I remember singing it at home on the mornings or afternoons when Mom would put some Beatles on the record player. And I remember singing this song in our old station wagon while my Dad played his 8-tracks on those road trips to London, Ontario (or even that famed trip down to Disneyworld in the late ‘70’s).

So now every time I hear this song, I remember singing this song at the top of my 5-year old lungs and having such a blast with my parents.

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What is with this 30-day song challenge?

What was yesterday‘s song?

A Song That Makes Me Feel Guilty

Day Twenty-Eight – A Song That Makes Me Feel Guilty:

Once upon a time when Emily was a young lass of twelve, her brother brought home a cassette tape by the Violent Femmes. The emerging 80’s alterative music lover (thanks in part to her older brother’s taste in music) loved the infectious songs recorded on that now-classic album.

There was one particular song that cracked 12-yr old Emily up every time she heard it. It was a song that her brother loved to play over and over again, just to get a rise out of his “baby sister.”

One fine day, while blasting out the Violent Femmes’ “Add It Up” on the stereo system, the siblings’ mother came rushing into the room. She pressed the stop button on the cassette tape player and then took it out of the stereo system. She then proceeded to throw said cassette tape down on the ground and smash it with one stomp of her heel.

From that day forward, every time Emily hears that song … she can’t help but feel just a tad guilty.

The other part of her looks back at that memory and GRINS. Because really … how smart were those two siblings to play such a song in front of their mother?

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What is with this 30-day song challenge?

What was yesterday‘s song?

Who knew that one day we'd be delinquents in our Mom's eyes?

 

A Song I Wish I Could Play

Day Twenty-Seven: A Song I Wish I Could Play:

Simply no other words.

I just wish I could play it.

I wish we could live it.

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What is with this 30-day song challenge?

What was the other day‘s song?

 

Dr. Bro & Me as Paul McCartney & John Lennon 😛

 

A Song I Can Play

Day Twenty-Six – A Song I Can Play:

Like most first-generation Filipino-Americans that spent the majority of their formative years in the late 70’s and early 80’s, I took years and years of piano lessons. Yet even after all those years of lessons, I still can’t read notes quick enough; nor can I count out the correct melody so readily. Unless, of course I already knew  how a particular song was supposed to sound.

Yeah, I seam to have an “ear” for music, but not necessarily the talent to actually play music … at least not in the caliber I would need to in order to be that famous musician I had always dreamed of becoming in high school.

During one of the years I was playing a lot on the piano, I was able to figure out how to play the music to Yaz’s “Only You.”

Now ask me if I know how to play the entire song now? Uhm … the answer would be “Nope.”

Which is really too bad, because I would love to start playing the piano again.

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What is with this 30-day song challenge?

What was yesterday‘s song?

A Song That Makes Me Laugh

Day Twenty-Five – A Song That Makes Me Laugh:

What more can I say about this song?

Or the Pixies, for that matter?

This song always makes me smile … so much that I’ve told Hubby that if we ever throw ourselves a Silver Anniversary party, this would be our “entrance song” …

Come on now … who wouldn’t laugh at a song that starts out with telling you to “shake your butt”?

( “But not too hard … ” )

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What is with this 30-day song challenge?

What was yesterday‘s song?

 

A Song I Want Played At My Funeral

Day Twenty-Four – A Song I Want Played At My Funeral:

It started a few years ago … probably even longer. Come to think of it, Hubby &I probably started to have discussions about what song we’d want to have at our own funerals shortly after we had seen “Love, Actually” when Liam Neeson’s character plays “Bye Bye, Baby” by the Bay City Rollers at his recently-deceased wife’s funeral service.

When Hubby’s grandmother passed away in January of 2008, Hubby’s family had asked him to put together a slide show that they could take with them back to the Philippines, where his “Nanay” would finally placed at rest. But when you have a slide show, you must have accompanying music to go with the slide show, right? So Hubby & I had come up with a handful of songs to place on this DVD slide show: “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion was an obvious choice. We also threw in Boyz II Men’s “A Song For Mama” for good measure. (That song gets me every time!)

A few months after that project was completed, Hubby told me about a song that came up on digital music library. He had been missing his Nanay when Rob Thomas’ “Now Comes The Night” came on. It was a song, he said, that was perfect to play at a funeral.

A Hard Day ... Last quiet moment together as a family

Of course, I had to listen to the song right away … and when I did, I couldn’t help but think the same thing. Because, as sad as the song sounded, the lyrics were hopeful and uplifting.

In fact, it’s a song I can listen during the days when I miss my Dad the most. Because it reminds me that – even though he’s not physically here next to me – he’s still with me in spirit.

So this would be the song that I’d like to be played at my own funeral … I want those family and friends to feel comforted that I will still be with them, looking over them in the best way that I can.

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What is with this 30-day song challenge?

What was yesterday‘s song?

 

A Song I Played At My Wedding

Day Twenty-Three – A Song I Played At My Wedding:

One of the movie dates Hubby & I went on when we were still dating was Aladdin. We had loved the humor of the movie so much (not to mention what cuteness occurred during our showing of the movie) that it quickly became a favorite of ours.

A few months later, in one of my rare displays of creativity … I surprised Future-Hubby with a nice romantic picnic on the floor of my dorm room. And since the movie was no longer in the theaters, I happened to find all the makings of an Aladdin-themed picnic for a very modestly cheap, “I’m a broke college student”-type price. To this day, Hubby & I look back on that “date” with such fond memories.

When it came time to plan our wedding, Hubby & I had no intention of having anything but your standard, middle-class Filipino-American reception. We never thought that we’d associate a theme with our wedding. But in another one of my rare displays of creativity (Hubby’s the one with the Fine Arts Degree … not me!), the thought of doing something around an Aladdin theme came to mind. And luckily, Hubby thought the idea was also brilliant.

So … here’s what we did to make our wedding unique. First off, Hubby wanted to design our wedding invitations; which, in 1996 was not a very common thing to pull off. Second, we decided that our wedding favors would be in the shape of Aladdin’s magic lamp and contain pieces of candy inside of it. Thirdly … we wanted to use a musical porcelain figurine of Aladdin & Jasmin on the Magic Carpet as our cake topper. And finally, the fact that the figurine could wind up and play “A Whole New World,” which we decided would be our “First Dance” song … well that was the icing on the cake (both literally and figuratively).

And that’s the song (one of many songs played that night) that we had at our wedding.

Here’s a video (seen on the Aladdin DVD) of how the song came to be …

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What is with this 30-day song challenge?

What was yesterday‘s song?

A Song That I Listen To When I’m Sad

Day Twenty-Two – A Song That I Listen To When I’m Sad:

There’s something about music that can stir up the best and worst of emotions. Just like any INXS song can bring a smile to my face, so can another song drive me to tears.

I recently heard an episode of “Fresh Air” on NPR where Stephen Colbert talked about how he took voice lessons to help train for his one-time / one-performance role in Sondheim’s production of “The Company.”  Colbert, who graduated from Northwestern University with a Theater degree, said it was like having to retrain himself after all these years; exercising vocal cords and muscles that he hadn’t used in years. And while his vocal coach had taught him all the technical aspects of singing, he still hadn’t known how to sing with any “emotion.”

That is, until the day Colbert’s vocal coach told him to forget all he learned, to not worry so much about “breaking the rules” … he was told to sing “silly.”

And that’s when it clicked for Colbert. From that moment, he was able to use his voice – a voice that was meant for musical theater, according to Sondheim – and fill it with all the emotions that were required for his character.

There are certain recorded songs out there where you can “feel” the emotions behind the singer’s voice. Those are the songs that give you the goose bumps when you hear it … whether for the first time or the hundredth time.  Those are the songs that can make you cry; whether for joy or for sadness.

Those are the songs that can likely lift you up — even if it’s a sad song — out of the darkness.

James Blunt’s “Beautiful” does that to me. There’s something about his voice, matched with the lyrics to this song that speak to me … that make me even the slightest bit happier whenever I hear it.

Maybe it’s because Blunt talks about a chance encounter with a woman he will never know. Maybe it’s because it’s because he speaks of that moment with such reverence. But the way that Blunt sings his lyrics has a way of making me feel as if I could be that “angel” … that I could be that beautiful person who had caught some stranger’s eye and captured this stranger’s imagination.

Now realistically, I know that’s absolutely untrue. (Who would look twice at me?) But I think it’s the possibility that it could happen that captures my imagination … captures my smile long enough for the wave of sadness to dissipate.

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What is with this 30-day song challenge?

What was yesterday‘s song?

A Song I Listen To When I’m Happy

Day Twenty-One – A Song I Listen To When I’m Happy:

I’m not sure where I was when I first heard the Black Eyed Peas’ song, “Where Is The Love?” In fact, I’m pretty sure I liked the song more for its addicting beats and catchy chorus more than I did for the actual lyrics of the song.

What got me listening to the song over and over (and over) again was on a trip to London, Ontario for my cousin’s wedding back in May of 2004. The only decent television station we could manage to get in our hotel room was Much Music (Canada’s version of MTV) and that Black Eyed Peas video must have been on high rotation for that weekend.

Regardless, it’s because of that weekend that I got a chance to listen closely to they lyrics for the entire song. And every time I heard it, I could feel the “hippie chick” in me growing stronger; the high-school and college activist who wanted to make a change. Who thought she could make a change.

Not that I don’t think I could make a change today … Obviously writing and speaking up about infertility and living child-free as a first-generation Asian American (where infertility is a “taboo” topic) is one way that I can make a change  …

But hearing the Black Eyed Peas singing exactly what I had always thought in my head (and with a catchy dance beat, at that!)? That was refreshing; especially knowing that there are still people in the world that are trying to affect positive change.

So that’s why I listen to this song when I’m happy. It reminds me that there are times where you can feel down in the dumps … but if you at least try to change the situation you might be, you can take that step forward in becoming a happier person.

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What is with this 30-day song challenge?

What was yesterday‘s song?

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