Mar 3, 2011

Life's Soundtrack - The List


I recently picked up an album by Roseanne Cash called "The List."  The album consisted of songs that were on a list of essential songs from her father, the great Johnny Cash.  Here's how she described it:

When I was 18, I was on the road with my dad. One day, we were sitting in the tour bus, talking about songs, and he mentioned a song, and I said, “I don’t know that one.” He mentioned another one, and I said, “I don’t know that one, either.” Then he started to get alarmed, so he spent the rest of the day making a list on a legal pad, and at the top he put “100 Essential Country Songs.” And he handed it to me and he said, “This is your education.” Source Roseanne Cash's bio at

I love this concept of passing down the songs that were essential to your life - so I thought we'd dedicate this week's playlist to defining those essential songs we'd like to pass on to those we love as part of their musical education.  Now, I'm not asking you to list 100 song - let's limit it to no more than 5 songs.  But take a minute and think about the songs that for some reason are important to you, here's my list:
  • You Are My Sunshine (my mom and grandma used this as a lullaby)
  • Bach - Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring (pure beauty)
  • U2 - One (I saw them perform this in concert shortly after 9/11, they projected the names of all those who died, an incredibly healing moment for me.)
  • Jeff Buckley/kd lang - Hallelujah (if I had to listen to only one song for the rest of my life, it would be this one)
  • Louis Armstrong - What a Wonderful World (because we all need a reminder once in a while)
My advice - don't second guess yourself - just jot down the first songs that come to mind, I could have debated the list all day - but these were the first 5 songs that popped into my head so I went with them.

You are going to love last week's list "Those Were the Days" it's like a little group of time capsules.   I found myself drifting back to high school, my college grunge years and my later-college years where I discovered some of the most amazing music came out before I did.  It is hard not to get caught up in wonderful memories listening to this set of songs!

Those Were the Days Playlist
To listen to the play list, click on the sideways triangle in the middle of the embedded player above.  To skip to the next song or to go backward click on the < or > on either side of the player.

Don't forget to list your essential songs in the comments section - I'm so excited to see what songs should become a part of my own musical education.

Happy Listening


lisa said...

Oh my goodness!!!
Definitely "You Are my Sunshine."
I too, used this as a lullaby for both of my children. Still sing it to them if I know they may be having a bad day!!!

maureen said...

What a great story, and what a great idea for a collection of songs.
My first thoughts go to a few 'classic' classical pieces.
But beyond classical, perhaps Imagine by John Lennon. It's timeless.

Anna said...

Here are four selections that differ greatly in style, but are all significant.
Beethoven - Fur Elise
Antonio Vivaldi - Die vier Jahreszeiten
Joan Baez - Diamonds & Rust
Beatles - Come Together

Lynn Richards said...

What a great idea. Mine would be
Carolina On My Mind-James Taylor
Word Up-Gap Band
Four Seasons-vivaldi
Each one brings back explicit, sweet memories.
Thanks for this!

kelly@thebluemuse said...

This is funny because I actually have a list! I always tell my husband I want him to play all these songs at my funeral...
Yellow Ledbetter - Pearl Jam
The Promise - Tracy Chapman
Tomorrow's Such a Long Time - Bob Dylan
A Murder of One - Counting Crows
Both Sides Now - Joni Mitchell (the version that is on the album called Both Sides Now, not the original)
The Symphony No. 3, Op. 36 - Henryk Górecki

kelly@thebluemuse said...

p.s. - loved this week's list, the Nazareth video really cracked me up!

~Kristina said...

Oh my! I really liked this week's list and can't wait for next week's.
I would have to add Hello by Evanescence.

blue elephant photography said...

ahhh love this playlist again! what you wrote is actually a cool idea. passing on songs - must know songs would be an awesome gift. okay here's my five:
1. the smiths - what difference does it make?
2. the get up kids - mass pike
3. iron and wine - such great heights
4. coldplay - fix you
5. tegan and sara - i know, i know, i know

bee said...

hi jamie! i didn't want to miss this one... love the concept. i guess the easiest way to do this is to focus on my favourite bands... in that case, we have:

1. sigur ros, staralfur
2. r.e.m., losing my religion
3. radiohead, how to disappear completely
4.U2, still haven't found what i'm looking for
5. arcade fire, wake up

i will likely spend the rest of the day thinking of everyone that i left off! but i think this is a good start. :) looking so forward to the mix tomorrow (as i am every thursday).


Prairie Girl Studio said...

jamie ... let me explain that both bee and i have the word LATE in our last name ... serious!

i already really, really love all the songs you and everyone have listed for this week ... all so completely essential ... it is going to be amazing!

i was thinking how these songs ought to pull at all my senses ... cover the whole genre ... but that would be ridiculously all over the place ... and then i felt this wave pull me ... actually to the moon (no, i have not been drinking ; )

1. van morrison - moondance

2. wilhelm kempff plays beethoven's moonlight sonata

3. nanci griffith - once in a blue moon

4. libera - gloria (based on saint-saens's organ symphony)
when i first heard this song on the movie babe, i believe i felt transcended by the singing angels

(i only want to share these words from another song from babe ... inspiring, uplifting message ...
If I had words to make a day for you
I('d) sing you a morning golden and new
I would make this day last for all time
Give you a night deep in moonshine

and lastly and fifthly...
(i truly appreciated the limit on songs *hugs*)
is a special song … not about moonlight … but about being better people … and i think it is essential … : )
5. xavier rude - better people

LOVED last week's list … awesomeness!
thanks always, jamie …