Wow. It’s over. The 30-day song challenge is over. How ever will I fill my empty days?
Day 30: Your Favorite Song This Time Last Year
I missed the boat on The Darjeeling Limited and only saw it last year for the first time. I got the soundtrack on February 27 last year.
Rolling Stones – “Play With Fire”
Of course, this beyond-epic music video came out about this time last year, on January 28, 2010, and I’ve pretty much been dancing to “Telephone” ever since.
Ah, childhood. That idyllic past.
Day 29: A Song from Your Childhood
I’m not quite sure how best to define “childhood”—legally I guess it would be before I was 18. I’m trying to think of something that’s had an effect on me throughout my formative years. Now, “Peter and the Wolf” or “The Nutcracker” (or anything from Fantasia, really) probably fostered my continuing love of classical music. Hearing my dad blast “Positively Fourth Street” or dancing to Van Morrison in ballet class were important enough to my musical tastes.
However, I think that the real answer to this is Disney.
I actually hated Beauty and the Beast when it first came out. The Beast was scary, and it wasn’t as action-packed as The Great Mouse Detective (which I thought we were going to see when the castle appeared on-screen). But as I get older I realize that the world (and, more applicably to my life: Western literature) is full of that woman who reads too many books and it makes her “affected”: Emma Bovary, the governess of “The Turn of the Screw,” or the telegraphist in “In the Cage,” and other examples I know I’ve come across and outlined furiously in books but now can’t remember. Belle is sort of a refutation of this type, and since I grew up to be a lit major, I guess somewhere she’s floating around in my psyche as some mythological being or other.
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast – “Belle”
Day 28: A Song that Makes You Feel Guilty
Okay, this is probably one of my favorite songs ever so I don’t feel crushing guilt whenever I listen to it, but let’s just say that I’ve been known to have a malicious streak.
Beck – “Asshole”
I kind of wish I could play the French horn well because when done right, it’s very beautiful. Other than that, I think with my minimal skills in guitar and piano, with a little elbow grease I could play almost anything (with some exceptions). However, it would be so cool to conduct.
Day 27: A Song You Wish You Could Play
J.S. Bach – “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” (Stokowkski arrangement)
I like this Bach piece arranged for wind ensemble a lot better than the original, which is just on organ.
Ralph Vaughan Williams – “Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis]
Antonin Dvořák – “Symphony No. 9 in E Minor ‘From the New World,’ Finale”
Shostakovich – “Symphony No. 5 in D Minor, Finale”
I’ve played four instruments throughout my life, and none of them well. I hated practicing, I got nervous in front of my teachers, and I’m still embarrassed about my vibrato block.
Day 26: A Song You Can Play on an Instrument
Here’s something I was working on in high school that never mastered. I could play through all the notes, and even perform it in pieces, but didn’t get through it.
Alexander Glazunov – “Concerto for Saxphone in E-flat”
It’s worth a whole listening to, if you are interested in the other parts.
Here is one I could legitimately play well on the piano.
Ludwig van Beethoven – “Piano Sonata No. 14 in C♯ minor ‘Quasi una fantasia,’ Mvmt 1,” a.k.a. “Moonlight Sonata”
Here is what I was working on when I quit piano.
Claude Debussy – “Rêverie”
I miss the piano. Even if I was never stellar at it, and even though I could never figure out how to play triplets and eighth notes at the same time. Only Salieri truly understands me.
Day 25: A Song that Makes You Laugh
Crash Test Dummies – “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm”
Need I say more?
Day 24: A Song You Want to Play at Your Funeral
(I think “song you want to be played” is a better phrasing, but whatever.)
I have to say, I really don’t know. Any, like, alt-rock song seems pretty inappropriate for a funeral, but considering I’m not really religious, neither does something like “Amazing Grace.” There are some blues songs like Bob Dylan’s version of “In My Time of Dyin'” or “See That My Grave is Kept Clean” that don’t seem appropriate either—I’m already dead, so shouldn’t really be singing the blues. So I don’t mean to be joke-y or anything, but this is what sprang to mind first.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – “Requiem: Lacrimosa”
Or this, I guess:
PJ Harvey – “You Come Through”
I’m not particularly Irish, but there’s also this:
Rankin Family – “An Innis Aigh” (“The Happy Isle“)
Now that I think about it, there are quite a few songs I like. And what do I care if they use the word “lord” or not? (Or whether that last one is from Sookie eating her grief pie?)