The Soundtrack of My Life
I’ve often wondered what songs I’d include on the soundtrack if someone made a movie of my life.
Not that any movie producer or screenwriter is looking at my life and thinking “Hey, you know what would make a GREAT movie? An aging stay-at-home mom who’s lost her mojo and can’t seem to shake the holiday weight she put on in 2011.”
Besides, who the heck would want to play that role?
But if they DID, I’d have a list in hand of tunes that would land on the soundtrack. Because the movies that really resonate with me and make me want to crawl in to a character’s life for a little while are usually the ones that have a kick ass soundtrack with songs that speak to the character’s struggles and triumphs.
Or have scenes with a song so intertwined to the plot development and are just so plain memorable you can’t remove the song from the movie in your mind. Case in point: the famous boom box scene from Say Anything. Can you hear Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” and not think of John Cusack in a trench coat in the middle of summer?
I’ve wiggled my booty and pulled 80’s dances out of my pocket to this song more than is humanly possible. It is The Song that will lure me out to the dance floor. Over and over again.
I first heard Toad the Wet Sprocket the summer after high school before they released a hit song, and became a devoted fan. I can’t think of making my college voyage without a Toad song sprinkled in the mix.
My theme song. Need I say more?
The sireny vocals of Harriet Wheeler telling me to love myself like no one else is exactly what I need to hear every now and then. Like a good friend slapping me out of a bad decision.
“Mr. Bitterness” by Soul Coughing
When I moved to New York City after graduate school, I spent the majority of my daily commutes listening to Soul Coughing on my portable CD player. Yeah, that’s right. A CD PLAYER. The kind that weighed four pounds and felt like a brick at the bottom of my messenger bag. This band’s sound felt like the city to me. Raw with unexpected finds around every corner, smart and boiling over with creative energy.
For the disappointing times in my life. What? A girl's entitled to be moody every once in a while.
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Mr. Wainwright, and this song is perhaps one of my favorites of his. Not necessarily because I've had any kind of similar heartbreaking experience, but because I saw him perform this live at the Beacon Theatre in NYC. A performance so raw and flawless and moving that it was truly a transformative experience for me.
Besides all of the songs that accompanied our wedding, this gorgeous song plays for my marriage, my husband. For all the obvious reasons found in the song lyrics, and for all the reasons between just my husband and me.
The beauty of this song is that I loved it years ago, but it speaks to me even more strongly now that I’m a parent. I dare you moms and dads to listen to this without tearing up a tiny bit.
“Carry On” could easily find itself on my soundtrack, as it got me through some pretty rough patches this past year. But “Sight of the Sun,” which appears on the Girls soundtrack, turns around one of my bad moods in the first nine notes. This band may just be my new obsession.
If any one of these artists wants to write a song for or about a retired, mediocre dancer who feels inept and swept up in motherhood while finding herself virtually unemployable at 40, contact me ASAP.
What songs would you want included in YOUR soundtrack?