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6 October 2009
I read this on Facebook this morning, and I really liked the idea of making this list. Here are ten songs that give me the chills no matter how many times I hear them. They are not in order, merely in the order I thought of them.
1. In the Arms of the Angel, by Sarah McLaughlin
This was the song that Marta and Audra sang at Paul's memorial. I had never heard it before, but the lyrics alone ripped my heart out
and then to have it sung by Marta and Audra...well...I tear up just remembering it. It used to play regularly on the radio station that was playing in Dr. G's office and every time it came on, I had to stop and compose myself for a moment.
2. For Good, from the cast recording of Wicked.
This song just hit me for its truth about friendship and the indelible effect that relationships between people can have on each of them. It's still one of my favorites.
3. Stormy Weather, the Judy Garland recording
When I lived alone, shortly after the Carnegie Hall album came out in 1960, I would come home from work, lie on the floor in front of the speaker, turn the volume up and just listen to that song over and over again. It's not the song itself that does it for me, it's Garland's version of it.
4. All This Joy, by John Denver.
There are several John Denver songs that give me chills and this one is the least likely. I swear someone gave him the words: joy, sorrow, promise, pain, life, being, spirit and love and dared him to write a song just using those words. The lyrics are very simple
But each time the lyrics are repeated, there is a building of voices. It starts with Denver singing one stanza, then some more voices and then more until it builds to a full chorus and then starts backing down again until it's Denver singing the last line. It's brilliant and beautiful.
5. Non Je Ne Regrette Rien by Edith Piaf
A defiantly unapologetic song by a woman who lived a hard life, but lived life to the fullest. Nobody can sing that song like Piaf.
6. If These Shadows Have Offended by The Lamplighters
For one of the Lamplighter Galas, the committee took Puck's final speech from Midsummer Night's Dream and set it to the melody "Eagle High" from Gilbert & Sullivan's Utopia, Ltd. Sung a capella with a full chorus it will take your breath away. (For anyone who would like to hear that song, it was sung at a memorial service in 2007 and I posted a clip here. It comes at about 4:18 into the video.)
7. The Flower that Shattered the Stone by John Denver
This is a very nice song, very sweet and I liked it. But then I heard a version where John is joined by Kosetsu Minami, who is known as the Japanese John Denver. The places where it's a duet are just...chilling. I've heard it many times and I always have the same reaction to it.
8. Funny by Lawsuit
It's the song for which this journal is named, it's a song that had a special connection between Paul and me after David's death because in the middle of it there is an instrumental break and Paul would often get off the stage and come and hug me and we'd both cry before he had to go back on stage and finish the show. The only line from it that kept going through my head over and over again after David died was there's a broken soldier who's going home. Sometimes I can't listen to it because it just hurts too much.
9. Empty Chairs at Empty Tables from Les Miserables
This song kind of became the anthem sung at memorials for AIDS victims. It always reminds me, mostly of people I love who have died of AIDS, but also for anybody I loved who died for any reason.
10. I Am What I Am from La Cage Aux Folles
Another unapologetic, defiant, triumph acknowledgement of self. I will never forget the first time I saw it performed and am always moved by it whenever I hear it again.
Making this list evoked lots of memories of lots of songs and I could
go on and on, but I won't. Music has been a huge part of my life, ever since birth
and there are countless songs which remind me of special places and special times and
special people but this enough for you for today!
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