I love music. We all know that, right? I mean, I obsess over it. I can get lost for hours in my Spotify Discovery and New Release Radar playlists. I constantly browse live music shows near me. One time, at Thanksgiving, when my mom asked us all to say something we’re thankful for, I said music. (My brother made endless fun of me for it, but for real- it’s just important to me. I need it.)
There are songs I love for their lyrics, there are songs I love for their beat, there are songs I love for the way they calm me. Happy songs, sad songs, songs that help me work, songs that remind me of certain periods of my life—I have lots of reasons to say, “Oh I love this song!” about any number of songs.
But right now I want to talk about a completely different category of songs: the ones that make me stop the first time I hear them and restart them so I can soak in all the words. I hear pieces of myself in them, even the quiet pieces that I don’t say out loud to anyone. Those are the songs that I belt out in my car or my kitchen, thrilled that someone else put me into a song. I don’t just love those songs. They MEAN something to me. I’ve collected all those songs in a playlist called Lifeline on Spotify. If you’re ever curious about the songs I can’t live without- feel free to check it out. (Just know that it’s a little like reading my diary. I can handle it if you can.)
A while ago, I had the idea to create a Megan Whitmer soundtrack, full of the songs that explain who I am, who I’ve been at various points, who I hope to be someday. The thing is, for some of these songs, it’s really obvious to me why they’re on my soundtrack. There’s a line somewhere in them that totally speaks to me. But in some of the songs, I really can’t explain it. There’s not a specific line. For those, it’s the beat, or the message, or the overall feel of it that makes me think it just has to be on my playlist, even if I’m not sure why.
So- here it is, along with some of my favorite lines from some of the songs. Take a listen, and then tell me a song (or ten) that would be on your personal playlist.
You’ve got every little piece of me scattered all throughout our history, and put together carefully so I’m what you want to see.
-Every Little Piece by Nick Flora
I gave away my phone.
-All At Sea by Jamie Cullum (This song has been THE SONG for me ever since I first heard it over 10 years ago. The piano, the voice, the lyrics—nothing has ever come close to topping it for me.)
She’s imperfect but she tries. She is good but she lies. She is hard on herself. She is broken and won’t ask for help. She is messy but she’s kind. She is lonely most of the time. She is all of this mixed up and baked in a beautiful pie. She is gone but she used to be mine.
-She Used To Be Mine by Sara Bareilles
Hold me up into the light and study every part of me. I’m an open book, no I don’t mind, but sometimes I’m hard to read.
-Excavate by Macklemore
Lean with it, rock with it, when we gonna stop with the lyrics that mean nothing? We were gifted with thought. Is it time to move our feet to an introspective beat? It ain’t the speakers that bump hearts, it’s our hearts that make the beat.
-Holding On To You by Twenty One Pilots
Ok. That’s enough baring my soul for one day. Your turn. What songs define you?