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.