Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Song of the Year

I’m always tempted to write New Year’s Eve posts with quotes from old songs. Maybe because music has always been such an essential part of my life. Or maybe because there are lots of people out there who can write about how I’m feeling better than I can.

When I was in high school, every year on New Year’s Eve, our friends would choose the Song of the Year, meant to help us remember the last 12 months. When we parted ways, as people tend to do, we stopped this tradition. I miss it though, and every year wonder which song would remind me of the year gone by when I hear it 5 or 10 years from now.

It seems like life has sped up this year. I felt like there was never enough time. Maybe this is what it’s like when you get older – everybody is busy running around with their families and work. You want to sit on porches with a beer or have tea with your friends, but suddenly everything has to be scheduled a week in advance. Or re-scheduled over and over until a month has gone by and you’re wondering what happened to your social life.

Working two jobs has been a blessing and a curse. I’ve had a little more money to do things with friends, but no time to get together with them. As the years spin by, I realize that the life I used to know is gone, and while I look forward to getting married and building my own family, I sometimes miss the way it used to be. Then I go out to the bar and remember why I'm happy with the life I have now. The friends I have who are still single and childless spend their weekends getting drunk in bars or house parties, posting crazy pictures on Facebook, and reliving the drama of high school or college. So we’re kind of in a limbo, Jeremy and I, caught between people who have Grown Up, and those who are still clinging to childhood.

So maybe, this is a good song for 2008:

Or maybe it’s something else…

This year my relationship changed from the “boyfriend/girlfriend” feeling it always had into an acceptance that this other person really loves me, all of me, despite the crazy pain in the ass I can be, and will always be there. Even more mind-blowing is that he WANTS to be.

When you’re dating somebody, there is a lot of uncertainty about where the relationship is going. You wonder if this person is The One, how long you’ll be together, how much they care about you, how much you are about them. You have days where you worry about breaking up, and fight about stupid things that mask the real issues that you’re too scared to ask questions about. Because you’re not ready for the answers yet. Despite being in a couple, part of you wonder what it would be like to date another person (even though you would never cheat, you still wonder). Because you’re not ready for the commitment yet. You want your romance to be like the movies, and expect Valentine’s Day and anniversaries with roses and sappy cards. Because you don’t understand that those things have nothing to do with real love yet.

So maybe, this is a good song for 2008;

Even if it doesn’t remind me of this year, this song will be special, since it’s at the top of our current list of possible First Dance wedding songs.

2008 was a great year for music to dance to, especially hip-hop, which I’ve loved a long time (blame living across the river from Detroit for a year). Kanye West and Beyonce released albums that are incredible, and there were so many singles that made me turn up the radio and roll down the window, it’s hard to pick just one. So here's one of the many I danced to in 2008 and look forward to hearing again in 2009...

This song will forever remind me to dancing down Richmond Street singing "Shawty got them applebottom jeans, boots with the furrrr" after a night of dancing with the girls.

This year I added a new song to my All-Time Favourites List, which I’ve already posted up on my blog: “I’m Yours”, by Jason Mraz. I love this song the same way I love “Drive”, by Incubus, “I’m Gonna Be” by the Proclaimers, and “For the Longest Time” by Billy Joel.

Since I’ve already posted it, here is a fantastic video, and another runner-up for a first dance song, by Jason Mraz and Colbie Callait. It’s called “Lucky” and would have been even more perfect if we’d gotten married right after I moved home from England.

(sorry there's no video, but the ones with a real video had embedding disabled)

Often, a Song of the Year was chosen because it represented a major moment in our lives. This year, that song is “Forever” by Chris Brown. Not for the lyrics or the music, but for the memory it represents…

The sun was sitting in the sky at that angle where everything is lit in golds and reds. The air smelled sweet, and birds sang in the trees as people walked together in the early summer evening. I didn’t notice any of it though. I drove through the streets in a daze, quickly and carefully trying to get through traffic without causing an accident.

The phone call had come in about 15 minutes earlier. Though it was expected, it sent me running through the apartment with my heart thumping. The news that it was almost time to meet my new little nephew was long-awaited, and the honour of being asked to wait at the hospital was not lost on me.

As I drove up Richmond street towards the hospital where my best friend laboured through the beginning stages of what we hoped would be an uneventful childbirth, I caught the beginning of “Forever” by Chris Brown on the radio. Turning up the radio, I looked out at the world around the hospital, hoping to always remember the kind of day it was when Oliver was born.

It was a beautiful day.

* click here for the song. None of the actual videos would allow embedding *

So I guess I don’t really have just one song for 2008.There are simply too many to choose from. And if I want to get philosophical, this means I spent a lot of time smiling and singing, with my hair blowing in the wind as I drove to where I was going. Just enjoying the moment.

Maybe that’s why we loved picking the Song of the Year so much – it was never a sad song. We chose to remember the good ones.

Happy New Year world!

May 2009 bring you many happy memories. And some good music to sing along to.


  • At 6:38 AM, Blogger Jeni said…

    I'm so glad I didn't think of trying to pick a "song of the year" -I have a hard enough decision to make about what to cook for supper every day when I only have a couple things to select from in the freezer!
    Have a fantastically Happy New Year!

  • At 12:42 PM, Blogger Suldog said…

    Interesting concept, which I've sort-of been doing subconsciously from the time I was in high school.

    ("Get Ready", by Rare Earth, was more-or-less my theme song during senior year.)

    Lately, I couldn't do this even if I put it into my conscious thought. I just plain don't know enough new tunes to make it worthwhile. That's what happens when you get to be 51, even if you were a real honest-to-goodness working musician when you were in your 20s.

    Damn kids! Get Offa My Lawn! If You Don't, I'll Open My Windows And Play My Iron Maiden Records At Full Blast!

  • At 5:46 PM, Blogger DivineMissB said…

    Found you thru Suldog and I love this post. I'm amazed, as a musician and music lover how many of memories are so vividly tied to certain songs. Love your blog, great post. :)

  • At 5:53 AM, Blogger Leon Basin said…

    Hey, how are you doing? Hope all is well.


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