All to often, we listen to the music. The beat. The instruments. But do we take the time to listen to it as a whole. The lyrics. What they mean.
Most people will say yes…but do they really?
As I approach my 36th birthday in two days (April 3), I wanted to take a few minutes to share the songs that shaped who I am today…and a little of background on each.
Let’s start with the one that has meant the most. Steve Holy’s “Good Morning Beautiful” is a song I sang to my girlfriend (then fiance and now wife) every morning. It will always hold a special place in my heart.
“Good Morning Beautiful” was released in July of 2001 as the fourth single from the album Blue Moon. The song slowly became a major hit, reaching # 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart on in February of 2002. The song’s five-week reign atop the chart was part of a 41-week chart run.
It’s so simple, but powerful. One listen, and you’ll be hooked.
“Good morning, beautiful, how was your night?
Mine was wonderful with you by my side
And when I open my eyes to see your sweet face
It’s a good morning, beautiful day”
Next up is another ballad (which may be an ongoing theme here). In 1992, John Michael Montgomery recorded “Life’s a Dance”. To this day, it’s one of my favorite songs of all time and probably the most quoted song I use on a daily basis. Montgomery provides listeners with the example of being too scared to ask a girl out when he was 14 years old. The girl ends up moving away and he never had the chance to ask her.
While not necessarily the same experience, we’ve all had those moments where we hesitated and never know what might have been. Thinking of this song always reminds me that we have one life to live and you learn as you go!
“Life’s a dance, you learn as you go.
Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.
Don’t worry ’bout what you don’t know,
life’s a dance, you learn as you go.”
U2’s “With or Without You” has been my all time favorite song since it came out. The song is the third track from The Joshua Tree and was released as the album’s first single in March of 1987. The song was easily U2’s most successful single at the time, becoming their first number-one hit in both the United States and Canada. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks.
But enough background. The song just makes you think. Ponder your life. Can you live “with or without someone”. Those thoughts ran through my mind for years…you know how tough high school years are :)
“My hands are tied
My body bruised, she’s got me with
Nothing to win and
Nothing left to lose”
There was a time in my life. A time that many go through. When you don’t think you can go on. When you don’t want to go on. You come so close to taking your life, then a song pulls you back out. The funny thing is that the song that pulled me out was a song about suicide.
“Fade to Black” was the first power ballad by Metallica, released as the first promotional single from its second studio album, Ride the Lightning (their best album in my opinion). While I’m sure the band freaked out a bit how their fans would react to a ballad, I’m glad they recorded it.
It saved my life on one summer evening back in 1998.
“No one but me can save myself, but it’s too late
Now I can’t think, think why I should even try
Yesterday seems as though it never existed
Death greets me warm, now I will just say goodbye”
Those are just three of the songs that shaped me. Maybe I’ll post a few more later down the road.
How about you? What are the songs that shaped who you are today? The ones that mean the most to you?
Feel free to leave your thoughts and songs in the comments.