Sunday, January 17, 2010

Your song

I just finished a weekend of training with our student staff and, as has become our tradition, we ended the weekend with a teambuilding exercise in which everyone contributed a song that represents them. We played a clip from each, tried to guess whose song it was, and then heard from the person who had actually chosen it about why they'd chosen that particular song.

It's always a fascinating exercise, as it gives us all a sense of how well we can predict each other, who among us always keeps us guessing, and who no one seems to know at all. It's fascinating to hear the range of music that people choose - ballads, novelty songs, dance tracks, musical numbers, oldies, current hits, songs everyone knows, songs no one else has heard - as well as the reasons that people choose their songs. Some chose their favorite songs of all time. Some chose their current favorites. Some chose songs because of a lyric that is meaningful to them. Some chose songs from their childhoods. Some chose songs that represent their world view. Some chose songs that remind them of a person or a place or a time in their lives. Some chose songs specifically because they didn't think anyone would guess it was theirs. One even chose a song because it was the song that was playing when he got the e-mail telling him to choose a song. Each song - each staff member - had a story, and every one of them was interesting to hear.

It got me thinking that it would be an interesting activity for any group of people to take on. So, if you're willing, post your song in the comments - what song best represents you and why? Post a link to the song if you can, so we can listen if we don't already know it.

I'll go first, with the song I chose for our staff activity today. This was our fourth year using this exercise, and I've found that choosing a new song each year forces me to think about the year that has past since the last January training, about where I was then, and about where I am now. This year I chose the song "Beautiful World," a duet by Dierks Bentley and Patty Griffin. I chose it because its message is one that resonates with me: there is a lot in this life that is challenging. There's a lot of pain and a lot of trouble. But there is also a lot of joy and a lot of beauty. I think that our lives get defined by the choice that we make to either focus on the trouble or focus on the beauty. And I choose to believe that it's a beautiful world.


kristina said...

Right now, this is the song that pretty much is me, I think, or like to think. Neko Case, "People Gotta Lotta Nerve."

kjoeleet said...

I am pining for Spring as the snow falls around us here, so I choose "The Waters of March". I like the version by Cassandra Wilson.

It's nice to read you on a regular basis again, MOM-NOS. We've missed you.

Aimee said...

"A Glimpse of the Weave," by John Bucchino. It's been an inexpressible comfort to me through a lot of really dark times. Because sometimes we do just need to remember.

The sound quality on this video isn't great, but it's the best I could find on youtube. I recommend listening through headphones if your computer doesn't have good speakers, it'll sound better.

kristenspina said...

For me, (and you know this is IMPOSSIBLE, to choose only one!) I would have to say it's the Stones, "You can't always get what you want". Because for me, the ultimate truth lies in these lyrics:

You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need

Janet M said...

Sometimes a song does more than just represent a time, an instance. Dierks Bentley's 'Every Mile A Memory' brought me comfort when I was driving long distances while my mother was dying. What I didn't expect was that it opened doors to meet some really remarkable people who, like me, were using Dierks' music to be uplifted and re-centered. People, whom I now happily call friends, including, Dierks. That thread ultimately led me here to your blog.

You just never know where the music will lead you.

goodfountain said...

I really like the song Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield.

When I first listened to it, I thought of it as a great song for Charlotte. For the longest time, it was always her I had in mind when listening to it.

Then I began to hear the song more as MY song. I am the one who is Unwritten. I am the one who needs to release my inhibitions and feel the rain on my skin.

I've often said that I don't always feel like I am present in my life. That I'm not fully experiencing it.

I used to feel that I had life all figured out, I had all the answers. And now I see more and more that it is all yet to be lived. I simply adore this song.

Robin said...

This is my favorite song of the moment
Taylor Swift- Love Story
It hits my romantic nerve and my 9 YO and I have the same favorite (wonder how long that will last!)

jess wilson said...

One? Seriously - we have to pick just ONE? I'm paralyzed by just one choice. How about a top ten? Can we negotiate?

Royal Ranch said...

This song says it all as far as I am concerned. It is how I want my kids to see the world and how they live within it! Thanks for the idea, I used it in my blog as well. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!!!

pixiemama said...

Oh my gosh. I'm with Jess. JUST ONE?

OK, Ingrid Michaelson and Sarah Bareilles, "Winter Song." It's been one of my songs since I first heard it. The video is very sweet, too.

Christine said...

Oh, fun! For me right now the song I keep listening to is: To Live is to Fly by Townes Van Zandt. It feels like a conversation I keep having with myself.

Here's a link:

Eileen said...

Mine would have to be Smile by Uncle Kracker at the moment. It's my song for where I am right now and the song I am using with this year's Andrew video for Autism Awareness

gretchen said...

This is so fun!

I'm going with a song that made me unexpectedly burst into tears this summer: Jack Johnson's Hope.

"You don't always have to hold your head higher than your heart."

Dawn said...

The Living Years, by Mike and the Mechanics, makes me cry 20+ years after it came out. My grandmother died the year after that, and the lyrics still break my heart, because I still miss her. (And my baby was born the year after she died). It's MY song, if any song is. But I have to admit, at least there are no regrets in the relationship.

Island Mom said...

This week it's "Tonight You Belong to Me" by Patience and Prudence, from 1956. It's so sweet and the melody is lovely -- my mother used to sing it to me at bedtime, and i started spontaneously singing it to my son recently. have a vague memory that there's a Bernadette Peters version from the 70's but i don't know where to find it.

Prof. Claire said...

What a GREAT activity- I am SO stealing it when I work with my college students!

Mine, ironically, also is "Beautiful World" but the one by Jim Brickman and Adam Crossley. "We're all here... lalalala"

David said...

Thanks for posting this song mom! LOVE Patty Griffin, and that Dierks guy is OK too!

This song is about the Big Trick. The best magic of all. :o)

KAL said...

I just want you to know that your challenge to find a song that represents me drove me nuts because as I ransacked my itunes library I realized two things: 1) I don't listen to nearly as much music as I used to, and 2) it's really hard to do when you're the type of listener who tends to ignore the lyrics in favor of the melody.

But then I got to listen to a lot of great music today :) so thanks.

That being said, I really love Amanda Marshall's "Let It Rain"

misscricket66 said...

As I leave my first post, of what I hope to many over the years, my song is "I'm Alive - by Kenny Chesney with Dave Matthews.

I now now that every sunrise is a miracle, as are you, and Bud, with the remarkable impact you both have on me and our community each and every day.

Thank You. Truly. From the bottom of my heart, for sharing your gift with me.

misscricket66 said...

that should have read " I now KNOW". Can we blame it on the newbie status?

telemommie said...

I'm with KAL. This post made me realize that I don't listen to my music enough. It's been all Wiggles for too long! My song would be the Beatles, In My Life. Refreshing to me that it has nothing to do with Autism, just my husband.
PS: I'm loving all the posts!!

Anonymous said...

I've Gotta Crow from Peter Pan always makes me happy!


~Kassie~ said...

it is at this moment "Missing Pieces" by Mark Leeland.

it sums up the last few years experience pretty well, also brings tears to my eyes everytime I hear it... I dont have a link right now. my head hurts too much, but google it... it is worth the effort... its a song about autism...