I suffer from depression, which is expected considering I live in the Pacific Northwest. My vitamin D level is low, but it’s in better shape now than it was a few years ago. I take daily supplements and spend as much time in the sun as my daily life will allow.
I am always on the look out for ways to lessen my sadness, if only for a few minutes. One thing I reach for is my music. I like something with a beat that I could dance to. This ranges from music from the 50’s and 60’s as well as pop classics from the 80’s. Throw in a good punk or ska song, and that works too. Alternative and grunge music is great as well. Even newer music works. It just has to feel right.
This got me thinking, what songs make me the happiest. I sat down and thought of people, moments, places and came up with a list of top five and a couple of honorable mentions. Here they are in no particular order.
Crazy Little Thing Called Love–Queen
This song is a toe tapper! I learned how to Jitter-bug to this song in my kitchen when I was young. Our kitchen wasn’t that large, but if we pushed the table all the way to the wall and moved the dog dish, my dad and I had a ballroom to dance in. I have a handful of happy memories of my dad. Most of them involve him teaching me to dance on the faded yellow linoleum in our kitchen. We started slowly, with me on his feet and him holding my hands. Once I got the beat figured out, my dad encouraged me to step off of his feet and follow his lead.
The small town I’m from had an Oldies station that would play continuously in the background of the kitchen. When a song came on that was dance-worthy, my dad would turn up the radio and we would dance away!
I tried to teach my daughter how to Jitter-bug, but failed. But I was able to teach my husband the basics…now to just get him to take me out dancing.
Brown Eyed Girl–Van Morrison
My mom always called me her Brown Eyed Girl. I’m the only girl of 6 children my parents had. Rumor is that when I was born my grandpa told my mom she finally got it right. (My mom had two sisters) Whenever this song came on, my mom would say “Katie, it’s your song!”. She would sing it once in while to me as well. When my mom passed away, she had letters delivered to us kids. Mine said that I will always be her Brown Eyed Girl. I have my own Brown Eyed Girl now, but it isn’t her song. She has one of her own.
This is my daughters’ song. She is a very unique personality and I made sure of that. I encouraged her to do what feels right and she embraced that. She started out as a princess. She would wear princess dresses that I sewn for her and walk around in her “clappy” shoes. Sometimes a crown would complete the outfit, but most times it was just her Pooh Bear in her arms. There were days where I would beg her to wear pants, if only to keep her legs warm.
Kindergarten and grade school brought a different “Beautiful Freak”. She put the princess dresses away in favor of t-shirts, leggings, and less frilly dresses. She wanted her long, blond hair chopped off into a bob. And her shoes had to be sparkly.
Junior high came another change. Puberty hit and she was not having it. She started to wear baggy shirts, a zip up hoodie, and “soft” pants. She “didn’t want perverts to see her body”. She would wear the hoodie all of the time. I don’t think I saw her bare arms once.
Finally, her High School years. I think my Beautiful Freak has found herself. She still wears the baggy shirts and soft pants, but they reflect her personality. The shirts feature her fandoms, her hair has been every color of the rainbow as well as all lengths, her shoes are Converses or ones I painted for her, she advertises her likes on a variety of bracelets on her wrists, and she speaks her mind. She is definitely my Beautiful Freak.
You Don’t Know How It Feels–Tom Petty
This song is one that I turn up loud when I hear it on the radio. There is really no reason why. The lyrics speak to me, that is all. It doesn’t help that I have always had a huge crush on Tom Petty and the video gives us a nice close look into his beautiful baby blues.
White Wedding–Billy Idol
There is a large age gap between my brothers and I. I am the 5th of 6 children. I have four older brothers, then there is almost a 10 year gap, then me ,and then a five year gap ,then my little brother. There was maybe a 6 month period where all of us were at home at the same time.
My oldest brother went off to join the Army and my second oldest brother joined the Marines. I spent a lot of time with my fourth oldest brother while he did big brother things. This was the 80’s and early 90’s. My brother just got his first job and bought a sweet-ass pick up truck. It was a Nissan with a roll bar and I loved it. It even had a CD player. My brother was the epitome of cool. He would drive around with me in it blasting Billy Idol and sometimes Def Leopard. He would always crank the song “White Wedding” and we would sing at the top of our lungs. Now when I hear it, I think of the times I worshiped my brother.
Something I Can Never Have–Nine Inch Nails
This song is a very personal song. I have been with my husband for over 21 years. We met on a blind date my senior year of high school. This was 1995, I was still trying to find who I was. My music knowledge was limited to what my mom, dad and brothers listened to. I did fall in love with Nirvana (thank you MTV) on my own. Then here comes Nate. His musical background was broader than mine. He was exposed to so much more.
He showed me NIN, Foo Fighters, Soul Asylum, Oasis, Green Day, The Cranberries, Radiohead, and many others. My mind was opened up. I drank these in like I hadn’t had water for years.
So back to “Something I Can Never Have”. As with any teenager, there is kissing and making out and all that stuff. There was usually something playing in the back ground during these moments either in my car or his room. This song is the one that I remember the most. Now when I hear it, I remember those hot make out sessions when we were teens. And you don’t need to know what happens next.
Walking on Sunshine–Katrina and the Waves
This song is just a perfect pick-me-up. Who cannot get up and dance when they hear this?