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Today in My History

2000: Totally Tacky, and I Loved It
2001:  The Long Goodbye
2002:  Whirling Dervish
2003:  She Really Did It
2004:  Chicago - Day 1
2005Pushy Mothers

2006:  1, 2, 3...uh...4

2007: Safe, Not Sorry
2008:  The Transcribers' Club
2009:  Hey, Mr. Postman!
2010:  More on Health Care
2011:  To Martini Time

Bitter Hack
"Mamma Mia"

Books Read in 2012
Updated: 3/20
"Blue Nights"

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My 70th Year



27 March 2012

I saw this list on Kwizgiver's home page, only she did 100.  I didn't think I could list 100 songs which have meant something special to me throughout my life, but thought perhaps I could do 50.  These are definitely in no particular order as I'm sure when I list one song, another in the same genre will come to mind.  Probably half of these songs will be songs nobody but me and a handful of others have ever heard of.

1.  You Didn't Quite Know me Yet - I don't know why this one was the first to come to mind.  You will never hear it anywhere.  It's a song my father wrote, which I helped write the lyrics for

I fell in love when first we met
My heart says she's the one to get
So I started to sing, and picked out the ring
But you didn't quite know me yet...

(It was not a brilliant song and later on even has a June/spoon rhyme)

2. Don't Fence Me In sung by Bing Crosby.  I had to bring my favorite record to grammar school to play to the class.  Everyone else had brought something classical.  I suspect I was the only honest one--but I felt like a dork for bringing a bouncy, popular tune.

3. Gary, Indiana from The Music Man, which makes me think of Paul every time, since Paul played the role of Winthrop twice.

4. Where is Love from Oliver!.  Like #3, this reminds me of Paul.  I would come into the theater every night to watch that pinspot on his face as he croaked out the song.  A mother's proudest moment.

5. Bump As You Go.  This song still gets me teary.   It is the song Ned wrote after his dog, Bert, died.

6. In the Arms of the Angel, which Audra and Marta sang at Paul's funeral

In the arms of an Angel far away from here
From this dark, cold hotel room, and the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of an Angel; may you find some comfort here

7. When Irish Eyes are Smiling  I can still see my grandfather standing in their tiny apartment, his hand in the pocket of his suit coat, singing this song, which he used to sing on the stage in the waning days of vaudeville, when he was the company's Irish tenor.

8. The Rainbow Connection.  Who doesn't love to hear Kermit the Frog sing this song?  I remember the first time I heard it after Jim Henson's death and realized that Kermit was dead too.  (Of course he's not really, but he doesn't sound like his old self any more.)

9. I have a song to sing, O.  One of my favorite Gilbert & Sullivan songs.  I wish there were a Lamplighters version to embed here.

10. The Flower that Shattered the Stone.  There are several John Denver songs on this list.  The recording of this song that I love best of this one is Denver doing a duet with a guy called "the John Denver of Japan."  It made me cry every time I heard it because it was just so beautiful.

11. For you.  Another John Denver song.  Perhaps one of his most beautiful love songs.

12. Home Grown Tomatoes.  Let's get these John Denver songs all together here.  I love this one.  Just a fun, bouncy song...and, of course, I love home grown tomatoes.

13. Grandma's Feather Bed, of my favorite JD songs.   Just a fun song that reminds me of playing in my parents' bed with their satin quilt, "flufty wufty."

13a. Flying for Me.  After I got this list done and printed, I started doing some clean up in my office and put on my playlists of favorite John Denver songs.  Oh man, there is so much emotion connected with these songs, when you think back on when they were written, when they were performed, and where we are now.  I was sobbing by the end of this song.  This was written after the Challenger disaster, specifically for Christa McAuliffe, the teacher on that launch.

14. Don't be Stupid by Shania Twain.  I don't even know the lyrics to this one, but I loved the bouncy tune and it makes me smile whenever I hear it.

15. It's all coming back to me now by Celine Dion.  I think this was the first Celine Dion song I ever heard, when Peggy sent it to me on a CD of her favorite songs in the days of Napster, long before I met her.  I really liked it--and still do.

16. My Heart Will Go On.  If we're going to talk Celine Dion we can't not include this one, can we?

17. Well of course Over the Rainbow.  Judy, Judy, Judy.   Love 'em all, but this was the one that started the Legend.  I still remember watching her sit on the edge of the stage at the Opera House in San Francisco in her tramp makeup and sing her signature song.

18. Defying Gravity from Wicked, with those amazing, empowering lyrics.  Even better to see it done live on stage.

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules
Of someone else's game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes: and leap!

It's time to try
Defying gravity
I think I'll try
Defying gravity
And you can't pull me down!

19. For Good from Wicked

Another empowering song, for different reasons.  A celebration of friendship and the way it changes everyone.

20. The Twelfth of Never by Johnny Mathis always reminds me of grammar school, and the parties we had in 8th grade, where Johnny was always on the turntable.

21. How Do You Fall Back in Love? by my friend Steve Schalchlin.  This song still gives me chills.  The embedded video is just the vocal.  It was the "11th hour" number Steve wrote while The Big Voice: God or Merman was in previews.  It's a beautiful, powerful song.

22. Non, je ne regrette rien by Edith Piaf.  I first heard this song when I was studying French in high school.  I had read Piaf's biography and knew the kind of life she had lead and the unapologetic anthem "No, I regret nothing" was all the more powerful.

23. Les Grands Boulevards by Yves Montand.  While I'm in France with Piaf, might as well add this one which I learned when I was studying French and sang over and over again. 

24. Puff the Magic Dragon, which Walt and I decided was "our song" when we were dating.  It was years later before I realized it was all about marijuana!  (No, we never smoked marijuana)

25. I Am What I Am from La Cage aux Folles.   I've loved that song since I first heard it in San Francisco back in the early 1980s.   Such a powerful affirmation, again, unapologetic.

26. Mama Look-a BooBoo by Harry Belafonte. I was going through my list of music on my iPod and laughed when I saw this one.  I remember when my then-boyfriend Bill and I decided that Bill would dedicate it to my father.  I don't think my father was pleased.

27. Halleluja.  The first recording of this I heard was by Jeff Buckley on the West Wing episode "Posse Comitatus," where C.J.'s love interest, the Secret Service agent Simon Donavan (played by Mark Harmon) is killed and President Bartlet has to give the order to assassinate the defense minister of Qumar.  I've since heard several versions of it, including Justin Timberlake's version to raise funds for Haiti relief, Susan Boyle's emotional version. and even Neil Diamond.  It's beautiful, whoever sings it.

28. She Shanty by the Righteous Mothers.  A salute to childbirth.  Need I say more?

29. Old Fat Naked Women for Peace.  This was the song that made me a Righteous Mothers fan.

Don't you wish we'd been there In Nigeria
In Eskravos in 2002
Those mothers and grandmothers
They organized, they strategized
They occupied refineries -- woo woo!
Chevron gave in to all their demands
The final threat they never had to use
'Cause economic justice is easier to deal with
Than lots of older women in the nude.

Knock it off, or we'll take it off
We're old fat naked women for justice.
It seems to me
This strategy
Could def'nitly
Work cross-culturally
Even Dick Cheney
Doesn't want to see
His granny's titties in the breeze

30. Bound for the Rio Grande by the Robert Shaw Chorale.   Gilbert had this record of sea shanties that I just loved, and kept after he died.   This was one of my favorite songs from the album.

31. Baby Mine.  This is the song that is played while the mother elephant rocks Dumbo in her trunk out the bars of her jail cell.  A tear jerker.

32. You Send Me by Sam Cooke.  I wanted to buy this record when I was a teenager and my father threw a fit.  It was junk and would never be worth anything.  I never bought the record. I'm sorry my father didn't live to see Sam Cooke celebrated as one of the grand old men of rock 'n' roll.  And I now have the recording.

33. It's a Round, Round World from Stan Freberg's "History of the United States of America, Part 1" which was played over and over and over for years.  How can you not love a record that includes the song Take an Indian to Lunch this Week ?

34. Don't Go to London (it's under construction), another Lawsuit song.  I love this song because we all went to London in 1988 and as we rode around the city, we remarked on how many buildings were surrounded by scaffolding.  Ned came home a week before the rest of us did, and by the time we got home he had written this song.   It's a fun song that brings back fun memories of our time together in London.

35. I first heard Glitter and be Gay from Candide when our friend Lenore sang it here in Davis, but this video of Kristin Chenowith is just...indescribable.

36. Maybe This Time from Cabaret.  When I saw Liza Minnelli sing it in the film, it sent chills down my spine.

37. Don't Cry for Me, Argentina from Evita.   Long before I ever saw the show I came to love this song because the Brasilian guy who was living with us at the time, Marcio de Vassimon, had seen the show and had fallen in love with it.  He bought the record and played it frequently. I never hear the song without thinking of Marcio, with many saudades.

38. Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again from Phantom of the Opera.  There are so many people I wish were somehow here again that this song gets me every time.

39. Barbeque by MumboGumbo.  An early song by this Davis-born group, which has gone on to greater fame.  This song, with a cajun sound, is my ring tone for Tom

...open the gate, come on through
everybody wants barbeque...

40. Secret Love by Doris Day.  This was the very first album I ever bought.  It was from the soundtrack of Calamity Jane and was a 10" LP record that we played on the brand new portable record player that my father had just bought.  He was excited about something called "high fidelity."   Boy, if he could see where music has come now!  Whenever I happen to catch the old movie, I can still see putting this record on the turntable for the very first time.

41. Seven Old Ladies.  Ahhh, the songs of our carefree youth.  Walt was a great hit at parties in college when he sang this 8-verse song, accompanying himself on the ukelele

Oh dear, what can the matter be?
Seven old ladies locked in a lavat'ry
They were there from Sunday to Saturday
Nobody knew they were there.

42. Dancing Queen by ABBA.  Actually it could be any one of the songs from Mamma Mia.  I didn't really know ABBA until Peggy started putting together a CD of their songs for the little girl that lived next door to her.   Peggy didn't know ABBA either.  But she came to really enjoy their music and made a copy of their album "ABBA Gold" for me.  I was very glad that I was familiar with all the songs before I saw Mamma Mia for the first time.

43. Merano from Chess.  I don't know when this song was dropped from the show, but it was the opening number on the original cast recording that I have and I always liked it and was disappointed when I saw the show and it wasn't there.

44.  I also love I Know Him So Well from that show, two women in love with the same man, each thinking they know him, neither of them really knowing the whole man.

45. Potato by Cheryl Wheeler.  I only saw Wheeler in concert once, but loved this fun song she sings about the lowly potato.  Embedding the video was not permitted, but you can see it here

46. Lollipop by The Chordettes.  This was the other song I wanted to buy in my teens, along with Sam Cooke's You Send Me.  I now finally have this recording too, thanks to iTunes.

47. Sur le pont d'Avignon by Sandler and Young.  I have been a fan of Sandler and Young for SO long.  They don't perform any more, but check out some of their songs on YouTube.  They were famous for pairing songs like Dominique with Deep River, sung together with Sandler's French tenor and Young's deep bass.  I like this song, which pairs the original song with Frere Jacques, not only because it's a light-weight cute song, but it also reminds me of being in Avignon with Jeri.

48. Save Me a Seat by Steve Schalchlin.  I want this song played at the start of my memorial service.  It's really about HIS funeral, and so a lot of it has to do with his going away for awhile and playing the piano across the street, but I still want it at my funeral.

Perhaps some day for several hours
You'll fill some church with lots of flowers
And display some saintly shot of me
Somewhere in the hall
And stick a tray of NACHOS
up against the wall.....

Then I'll find my way back to the seat in the back
And I'll be a good boy til it's over
Then I'll get to do something that you cannot do
I'll follow you home everyone of you

Then on a day when you feel lost or hurt
Go to the kitchen and get some dessert
Then sit at the table and eat
Just remember to save me a seat
Please remember to save me a seat

49.  And somewhere in the middle of my memorial service, of course you have to play Funny since that became a whole blog.

Funny the world in a world all alone
I feel like I've lost everything that I own
Funny the funnies aren't funny any more.
Funny the tears as they fall from my eyes
There are two kinds of tears--
one from truth, one from lies
There's a broken soldier,
who's going home...

50.  Thank God, You're Doing Fine.  I want my memorial to end with this upbeat song, by Lawsuit.

Whew.  I did it.  I was right--there was no way that I could have done 100.  And I think that this list is a pretty clear example of how very little I am in touch with current popular music!


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