Thursday, January 03, 2008

Velvet: The Soundtrack

Subtitle: I Almost Bit Off More Than I Could Chew

UPDATE - JANUARY 5, 2010: It's a new year, I'm in clean-up mode, and the blog is not exempt. I've moved the "soundtrack" list from the sidebar to the bottom of this post. Once in a while I like to print a pertinent post to share with a friend, and the long song list created way too many extra pages. Maybe one day soon I'll be motivated to check all these links and fix the ones that no longer works. In the meantime, please enjoy those that do.

About three months ago, on an afternoon spent searching for obscure music videos on YouTube, it occurred to me that I could add a music feature to this blog. The fact that music has been important to me throughout my life shows up in different ways. Although it wasn't planned, many of the post titles on this blog are musical references. Then there's that whole thing with the ongoing music in my head.

What a good idea it would be, I told myself back then, to write an occasional blog entry about a certain piece of music and why it means so much to me. So many melodies hold memories for me. So many song lyrics speak words I'd like to say or hear someone say to me. Different songs take me different places, geographically or emotionally. Some songs take me back in time. Some of them I've listened to with people who have since moved on...or even passed away. A handful are so-so to listen to but terrific fun to sing. At least one song never crosses my mind at all unless I'm in the shower, but comes belting out of my mouth fairly often when the water hits my head.

So, I started collecting video links. Many evenings and every recent weekend, I've tried to find the songs that have played in the background of my life. It took a lot longer than I thought it would, but it was an entirely pleasant task. It seemed that every song I found reminded me of another one to search for, and the list of bookmarked videos, though certainly not all-inclusive, grew...and grew...and grew until I just finally had to bring it to a halt. There was no good stopping place.

My original plan was to introduce the music feature on January 1st. I thought I'd write a post about two or three songs and what they meant to me, and those songs would be the first links on the "soundtrack" list. Each time I posted anything about a song, I figured, I'd add the song to the list, and that would be the way the list would grow.

Well, to heck with that! Check out the sidebar, about halfway down. Some of these songs are too good to wait, so tonight I've added the whole bunch of them that I've bookmarked up to now.

It's appropriate here to recognize the many, many, many people who have taken the time to put their favorite songs up on YouTube so those of us who are less creative (moi) could link to them at our leisure. Some of those people have shown remarkable talent in the videos they produced. Others might not have been as creative, but they got the songs up there anyway, for people like me -- and you -- to enjoy. The selections I made were based on the music, not on the videos, so if you don't like what you see, just close your eyes and listen for a minute.

Also, I've been advised not to get too used to music on YouTube because any particular video might disappear just as quickly as it showed up. If you find a link that no longer works, please let me know. I'll either delete the link or find another version of the song to post in its place.

The songs I've chosen span nearly seven decades. Most of them I love now for one reason or another, and a couple made the cut just because I loved them when I was a little girl. I apologize to anyone who was hoping for Frank Sinatra or jazz or hip-hop; there's none of that here (yet). There are a few show tunes, a couple of TV talent-show performances, a tiny bit of opera, a smattering of Irish ballads, plenty of good ol' rock and roll, and way more country music than I expected there'd be. I hope that somewhere on this list you'll find a few songs you love, too, and maybe even a few you've forgotten about.

I still plan to write about many of these songs, a few at a time as the mood hits me. In the meantime, if any of them has a special meaning to you, it would be great if you'd tell us all about it.

  • A Whiter Shade of Pale - Procol Harum

  • Abraham, Martin and John - Dion

  • Ain't No Sunshine - Taylor Hicks

  • All I Have to Do Is Dream - Everly Brothers

  • All of My Life - Roger Whittaker

  • Always on My Mind - Willie Nelson

  • Amazing Grace - Rod Stewart

  • An American Trilogy - Elvis Presley

  • Angel - Sarah McLachlan

  • Angie - The Rolling Stones

  • Apache - The Shadows

  • At This Moment - Billy Vera

  • Baby Can I Hold You - Tracy Chapman

  • Because of You - Kelly Clarkson

  • Because We Believe - Andrea Bocelli & Marco Borsato

  • Bed of Roses - Bon Jovi

  • Big Bad John - Jimmy Dean

  • Billie's Theme - Hoyt Axton

  • Black Is the Color - Judy Collins

  • Black Velvet - Alannah Miles

  • Blessed - Elton John

  • Blowing in the Wind - Peter, Paul and Mary

  • Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen

  • Braveheart (Instrumental)

  • Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel

  • Bring Him Home - John Owen-Jones

  • Broken Arrow - Robbie Robertson

  • Candle in the Wind - Elton John

  • Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol

  • Cry - Faith Hill

  • Cry - Johnnie Ray

  • Danny Boy - Michael Londra

  • Desperado - The Eagles

  • Don't Close Your Eyes - Keith Whitley

  • Don't Cry for Me, Argentina - Lea Salonga

  • Downtown Train - Rod Stewart

  • Edelweiss - Christopher Plummer & Julie Andrews

  • Eve of Destruction - Barry McGuire

  • Everybody Hurts - R.E.M.

  • Faithfully - Journey

  • Feels So Right - Alabama

  • Fields of Gold - Sting

  • Fire and Rain - James Taylor

  • For Rosanna - Chris DeBurgh

  • Ghost Riders in the Sky - Vaughn Monroe

  • Go Ask Alice - Jefferson Airplane

  • Green Fields - The Brothers Four

  • Have a Little Faith - Joe Cocker

  • He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother - The Hollies

  • Heartbreak Hotel - Elvis Presley

  • Hero - Enrique Iglesias

  • Highwayman - The Highwaymen

  • Hold On - Tom Waits

  • Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte - Patti Page

  • I Believe - Diamond Rio

  • I Believe - Frankie Laine

  • I Don't Believe in If Anymore - Roger Whittaker

  • I Don't Know How to Love Him - Yvonne Elleman

  • I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing - Aerosmith

  • I Dreamed a Dream - From Les Miserables

  • I Hope You Dance - Lee Ann Womack

  • I Walk the Line - Chris Daughtry

  • I Walk the Line - Johnny Cash

  • I Want to Talk About Me - Toby Keith

  • I Was the One - Elvis Presley

  • I Will Remember You - Sarah McLachlan

  • I Wonder - Kellie Pickler

  • I Would Do Anything For Love - Meat Loaf

  • I'll Be Seeing You - Jo Stafford

  • I'll Stand By You - Carrie Underwood

  • I'm Movin' On - Rascal Flatts

  • I'm Not Lisa - Jessie Coulter

  • I'm on Fire - Bruce Springsteen

  • I'm Your Lady - Celine Dion

  • I've Been Loving You Too Long - Otis Redding

  • Imagine - John Lennon

  • In Canto - Andrea Bocelli

  • In the Air Tonight - Phil Collins

  • In the Ghetto - Elvis Presley

  • It's a Heartache - Bonnie Tyler

  • It's My Life - Bon Jovi

  • It's Not Easy to Be Me - Five for Fighting

  • Je T'Aime...Moi Non Plus - Jane Birkin & Sergei Gains

  • Just As I am - Brian Doerksen

  • Lady - Kenny Rogers

  • Lady in Red - Chris DeBurgh

  • Landslide - Fleetwood Mac

  • Lay Lady Lay - Bob Dylan

  • Lean on Me - Bill Withers

  • Les Bicyclettes De Belsize - Englebert Humperdinck

  • Let It Be - The Beatles

  • Let It Be Me - The Everly Brothers

  • Little Things Mean a Lot - Kittie Kallen

  • Live Like You Were Dying - Tim McGraw

  • Lonesome Town - Ricky Nelson

  • Love Can Build a Bridge - The Judds

  • Love Hurts - Nazareth

  • Love Hurts - Roy Orbison

  • Love, Me - Collin Raye

  • Main Street - Bob Seger

  • Many Rivers to Cross - Joe Cocker

  • Mary in the Morning - Elvis Presley

  • Me and Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin

  • Me and You and a Dog Named Boo - Lobo

  • Miserere - Andrea Bocelli & Zucchero

  • Morning Has Broken - Cat Stevens

  • My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion

  • My Little Girl - Tim McGraw

  • My Prayer - The Platters

  • Nessun Dorma - Paul Potts

  • New Orleans Ladies - Louisiana LaRoux

  • Night Moves - Bob Seger

  • Nights in White Satin - The Moody Blues

  • No Woman No Cry - Ty Taylor

  • Not Ready to Make Nice - Dixie Chicks

  • Nothing Compares 2 U - Sinead O'Connor

  • November Rain - Guns N' Roses

  • Ode to Billie Jo - Bobbie Gentry

  • Oh, Donna - Ritchie Valens

  • Ol' Red - Blake Shelton

  • Old Dogs, Children & Watermelon Wine - Tom T. Hall

  • One More Try - George Michael

  • Only the Lonely - Roy Orbison

  • Only Time - Enya

  • Operator - Jim Croce

  • Over the Rainbow - Katharine McPhee

  • Patches - Clarence Carter

  • Patches - Dickey Lee

  • Patience - Guns N' Roses

  • Piano Man - Billy Joel

  • Please Come to Boston - Dave Loggins

  • Proud Mary - Ike & Tina Turner

  • Puff, the Magic Dragon - Peter, Paul & Mary

  • Rag Doll - Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons

  • Raglan Road - Van Morrison

  • Reason to Believe - Rod Stewart

  • Red, Red Wine - Neil Diamond

  • Red, Red Wine - UB40

  • Remember When - Alan Jackson

  • River of No Return - Tennessee Ernie Ford

  • Roll Me Away - Bob Seger

  • Scarborough Fair - Simon & Garfunkel

  • Scarlet Ribbons - The Browns

  • Seasons in the Sun - Terry Jacks

  • Secret Love - Doris day

  • Sentimental Journey - Doris Day

  • Seven Spanish Angels - Willie Nelson & Ray Charles

  • Shenandoah - Sissel

  • Shrimp Boats - Jo Stafford

  • Silver Stallion - The Highwaymen

  • Sixteen Tons - Tennessee Ernie Ford

  • Skin - Rascal Flatts

  • Slow Hand - Pointer Sisters

  • Sometimes When We Touch - Dan Hill

  • Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word - Joe Cocker

  • Sounds of Silence - Simon & Garfunkel

  • Stand By Me - Ben E. King

  • Stupid Boy - Keith Urban

  • Summer Wine (Caution: R-rated video - Cover it with a Post-It Note if you're bashful) - Ville Valo & Natalia Avelon

  • Summertime - Fantasia Barrino

  • Sunday Morning Coming Down - Kris Kristofferson

  • Sunshine on My Shoulders - John Denver

  • Superman's Song - Crash Test Dummies

  • Suzanne - Leonard Cohen

  • Sylvia's Mother - Dr. Hook

  • Take My Breath Away - Berlin

  • Tammy - Debbie Reynolds

  • The Briar and the Rose - Peter Pringle

  • The Crying Game - Boy George

  • The Dance - Garth Brooks

  • The Dock of the Bay - Otis Redding

  • The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - Roberta Flack

  • The House of the Rising Sun - The Animals

  • The Last Farewell - Roger Whittaker

  • The Little White Cloud That Cried - Johnnie Ray

  • The Load Out - Jackson Browne

  • The Longest Time - Billy Joel

  • The Man Who Sold the World - Jordis Unga

  • The Music of the Night - Michael Crawford & Sarah Brightman

  • The Prayer - Celine Dion & Josh Groban

  • The River - Bruce Springsteen

  • The Rose - Bette Midler

  • The Three Bells - The Browns

  • The Wall - Pink Floyd

  • The Water Is Wide - Niamh Parsons

  • The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald - Gordon Lightfoot

  • These Dreams - Heart

  • They Call the Wind Mariah - Harve Presnell

  • Three Times a Lady - Lionel Richie

  • Time After Time - Cindy Lauper

  • Time in a Bottle - Jim Croce

  • Time to Say Goodbye - Andrea Bocelli & Sarah Brightman

  • To Know Him Is to Love Him - Teddy Bears

  • Today - The New Christie Minstrels

  • Total Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler

  • Travelin' Soldier - The Dixie Chicks

  • Turn the Page - Bob Seger

  • Two Out of Three Ain't Bad - Meat Loaf

  • Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers

  • Vincent - Don McLean

  • Vivo Por Lei - Andrea Bocelli and Helene Segara

  • We Are the Champions - Queen

  • We've Got Tonight - Bob Seger

  • What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong

  • What's Love Got to Do with It? - Tina Turner

  • When a Man Loves a Woman - Percy Sledge

  • When I Dream - Crystal Gayle

  • When I Get Where I'm Going - Brad Paisley

  • When the Children Cry - White Lion

  • Where Have All the Flowers Gone? - Peter, Paul & Mary

  • Whiskey Lullaby - Brad Paisley & Allison Krause

  • Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? - The Shirelles

  • With a Little Help from My Friends - Joe Cocker

  • Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton

  • Would You Like to Swing on a Star? - Bing Crosby

  • You Raise Me Up - Josh Groban

  • You're Beautiful - James Blunt

  • Young Love - Tab Hunter

    1. You could have put the Joy sign on this post too. What a huge amount of work you've done to find such a wonderful playlist of songs that mean so much. I can remember some special moments very clearly when I just see the title of some of these songs - and then when I play them I am back in that moment again. Thanks, Velvet.

      Now, which song to you belt out in the shower?

    2. Yajeev, there are no Italian donkeys on this list, but "Sixteen Tons" might appeal to the same part of your brain that likes Dominic so much.

      Annie, it was a joyful project. The song I find myself singing in the shower frequently -- though I can't imagine why -- is Englebert Humperdinck's "Les Bicyclettes de Belsize." Go figure!

    3. Velvet, The one that jumps out at me if REM's Everybody Hurts. It always seems to be on the radio when I'm hurting and lost and feeling like I'm at the end of my rope.

      I also love One More Try - George Michel ( I love almost anything he's written) but I was going through another breakup with the Jackass.

    4. What a wonderful list must have taken you hours to do this.....we love the same music....

    5. you're right. i've loved 16 tons for about as long as i can remember.

    6. tennessee ernier ford, jo stafford, names and artists i had forgotten about but have loved their music sonce way back when, thanks for the memories!

      keepers korner

    7. I can't believe I love almost al of these songs! Who would think that anyone would remember 'Cry' by Johnnie Ray. In 1951 I was in 7th grade and loved this song. Journey is one of my favorite groups> You did some incredible work here. I've been listening and watching these for about 3 hours now. What a great gift!

    8. CreekHiker, I love the two songs you chose. On "One More Try," George Michael sounds so heartbroken that it might be helpful to him to listen to "Everybody Hurts."

      4th Sister, I'm glad you like the list. It makes me feel good to know we like the same music.

      Yajeev, I'm glad you like "Sixteen Tons" but surprised you'd heard it before. You're so *young*.

      JM, my mother used to play Jo Stafford's 78 rpm records way back when the best record in my personal collection (of 3) was a plastic record of "Puss 'n' Boots." Some of those old songs were wonderful.

      Nan16, I'm thrilled to see you commenting again after all this time. If it took this list to bring you back, it was worth every minute of time spent on it. I'm glad you're enjoying these songs.

    9. Fire and Rain - The first song I learned to play when I got my first guitar. My friend and I used to play and sing in the backyard until all the neighbors complained that we were making their dogs howl! Great idea Velvet, my husband would include "She Drives Me Crazy" by the Fine Young Cannibals on his soundtrack list.

    10. Velvet... when I was just a young boy, my babysitter listened to the local "heart of gold" AM radio station that played "the hits of the 30s, 40s, and 50s". She always had the radio on: at our house, at her house, in her car. Crazy as it sounds, that music (rather than the music of the 80s) was the soundtrack of my childhood.

      I should mention that this particular babysitter was not the one who believed herself to be the messiah (the one I previously blogged about:, but she is equally blogworthy and will probably get a post all her own one of these days.

    11. Kat, "Fire and Rain" is a great song, one I associate with the time we spent in Miami, Florida. I see on Wikipedia it was released a few months before we moved there, but I don't remember hearing it before then.

      Yajeev, I bet you'd be hard to beat if you play music trivia games with people your own age. You had some interesting babysitters.

    12. This list is fantastic Velvet. There were so many I love too that as I scrolled down I kept saying "Ah, that one *as well*" I haven't played the videos - but I will and thank you for all your work, what a brilliant idea.
      Take a bow. :-)
      So many memories here.

    13. Just watched the Phil Collins link and wondered if you had seen this ad. I think its the best ad ever. :-)

    14. Sandy, hahahahaha! Thanks for the url to the gorilla ad, very funny! And I'm glad you like the song list.


    Your comments might be the very best thing about blogging. I love it when you care enough to share your thoughts here, so go ahead and say what's on your mind.