Monday, August 9, 2010

music monday

If you want to know what kind of mood I'm in, just rip my earphones out of my ear and see what's playing on my iPod at that given time. At any given moment, I could be listening to anything from rap to bluegrass to goth rock. I have it all, and I'm proud of it!

Music is very important to me. I am a singer. I am the girl who goes to a movie a second time to watch it with my eyes closed if I really like the score. And I am the girl who cried all through Les Miserables on Broadway because the music was so moving. 

I don't know what made me think of one of my favorite bands from college, but while on vacation, I had a huge hankering for Sigur Ros, particularly my favorite song, "Staralfur." While trying to explain what I loved about it to JT, I realized that I designate it as a particular music category, what I like to call hauntingly beautiful.

(This is not the same thing as a genre, as you'll discover later.)

Hauntingly beautiful is not the same thing as the overly emotional ballad (a la Boyz II Men, Bon Jovi, or the mid-90s boy band sensations) but they are similar to me because they both evoke emotion. Cheesy or not, I'll admit I like certain songs in both categories, and others I do not like. Basically, my favorite music is the kind that communicates a message so convincingly that it not only relays the emotion, but transfers it, if that makes sense.

Curious about this new musical taste identification I'd given myself, I decided to compile a list of my favorite hauntingly beautiful songs -- only to discover I had almost 30 just off the top of my head. Here they are!

Judy Garland - "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
Sigur Ros - "Staralfur"
David Crowder - "How He Loves Us"
Westside Story - "Somewhere"
Eva Cassidy - "Over the Rainbow"
Bon Iver - "Blindsided"
Les Miserables - "On My Own" (Lea Salonga)
Sara Bareilles - "Gravity"
Explosions in the Sky - "Your Hand in Mine"
Andrea Bocelli - "The Lord's Prayer"
Bryan Adams - "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?"
Nicholas Hooper - "Possession" (Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix)
Iron & Wine - "Flightless Bird, American Mouth"
Chanticleer - "Ave Maria"
Cat Power - "How Can I Tell You?"
Cincinnati Pops Orchestra - "What a Feeling" (From Flashdance)
Enter the Worship Circle - "You Are Mine"
Craig Armstrong - "Glasgow Love Theme"
No Doubt - "Dark Blue"
Nickel Creek - "When You Come Back Down"
Sade - "By Your Side"
John Rutter - "A Gaelic Blessing"
John Williams - "The Force Theme" (Star Wars trilogy)
Josh Groban - "Un Giorno Per Noi" (Intro)
Mazzy Star - "Fade into You"
Enya - "Aniron" (Fellowship of the Ring)
Norah Jones - "The Nearness of You"
The Notebook - "Our Love Can Do Miracles"
Michael Lynche/Maxwell -"This Woman's Work"

As you can see, this is a big variety of songs, most of which you probably haven't heard of. Some of these songs are instrumental; some have words. Some have a happy message; others have a sadder tone. Some are classical; others are contemporary.

But all of these songs are perfect when I need to listen to something that makes me feel. Are there any songs that do this for you?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, especially when thinking of its use at the end of the movie The Elephant Man. I went through a phase in college where I played it every night to fall asleep.

  3. what a great post. ive just recently started reading your blog and have very much enjoyed your writing. so engaging! (side note: "our" song is Sade's "by your side" - so i was thrilled to see it made your list!)


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