The Music of My Life

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Mix Tape.”

Music has always been very much a part of my life and I tend to actually get a little bit obsessive over the songs/groups that I listen to at certain points in my life. There are a few groups/singers that stand out at various times, so let’s see who they are.

Those Early Years

Boy George – Karma Chameleon – I was born in 1982 and for the first few years of my life I don’t think I had a musical preference, but I’ve heard that my Mum would get me up to listen to Boy George if he came on television so I’ll go with him being my first obsession. I did name my first My Little Pony after him, after all. Catchy and fun. I’m thinking those first few years were pretty good.

Early 1990s – The Wilson Philips/Crystal Gayle Years

Somewhere around grade 3 I started spending hours and hours alone with my dolls, listening to Wilson Phillips and Crystal Gayle over and over and over again. I didn’t know anything about love or life or anything, but I clung to a few songs and they became part of my life.

Wilson Phillips – Hold On. This song had the tendency to make me cry at various points in my life (both then and more recently). I think that even way back in the early 1990s I was looking for change and holding on seem like all I could do. The fact that it did, and does, make me cry suggests that hope is really hard for me. Other notable songs that I played over and over were well, Over and Over, and Eyes Like Twins (in which I act that one of my dolls was in trouble and another girls would come and help her be okay). This is all pretty fresh right now as my daughter recently wrote a journal entry asking me about my favourite things to do when I was her age and I was telling her about my “dolls from different countries.” I so miss those dolls. They may have been living what I wanted.

As far as Crystal Gayle goes, I cannot remember any of the specific songs on the album, beyond Don’t It May Your Brown Eyes Blue. I seem to recall there were a few I’d use when my dolls were sick, but I really can’t recall now, so I’m saying that Wilson Philips most marked those years.

1994-1996 – Reba McEntire and The Rankin Family –  Facing Loss.

I latched on to those that have faced tragedy and families that seem put together. My Mum died in 1994 and almost immediately turned to Reba McEntire. She’d recently lost band members in a plane crash. She knew pain and she was still okay. I loved her. I dedicated my journal to her. I wrote to her and told her about things I was going through then got rid of the letters (though at one point I sent her my journal and some drawings that I’d done…I got back an autographed photo :p ).I just went on youtube to see what song I could choose, but there are so many. She is so, so real, but I’ll go with this one.

Reba McEntire – The Greatest Man I Never Knew – Though my father was, and is, alive and well, I still wanted to be near to him and want him near to me as I’d already lost my Mum. I wanted to know my father in case I lost him too. We weren’t that close of a family, though, and never really talked about much.

Reba McEntire – Not Going Down Like That – Even now, so many, many years later Reba McEntire sings my life. I don’t really follow her at all anymore, but my husband paused an episode of The Voice for me about a week ago, and there she was, still singing for me and I found myself with tears rolling down my cheeks. I’ll never be the life of the party, but I’m tired of feeling like dying. There’s that little spark there somewhere.

As far as The Rankin Family goes, well, I wanted a family. I don’t really know how to explain it. At that time I felt I couldn’t talk to anyone about anything and felt very alone. The Rankin Family just seemed so together and I wanted them to whisk me away to Cape Breton. When we went to visit Newfoundland the year after my Mum died I wanted to drive through Mabou just so I could be where they’d been. I was quite obsessive for a while and even named my cat Cookie (though I told my family it was after the oreo cookie, it was after the one of the Rankin girls). We lived in Cape Breton for a few years recently and you know, I never did make it to Mabou, but that’s okay. They’ve had their share of pain in the last years with the deaths of two bands members/siblings and their Mum (to cancer, which was another thing that drew to met them). There’s really not a song that spoke about my life at that time, though, so I can’t really put them in this playlist, they were important, though, and are worth mentioning.

1999-2002 – Basket Case, Falling in Love, and a Little Bit of Pink

Green Day – Basket Case – I may have spent some time in a psychiatric ward. I used to put this on my walkman and listen to it in the washroom with the nurse right outside the door (initially, being treated for an eating disorder, if they were suspicious I’d be followed to the toilet after meals).

Good Riddance – Green Day – Ending highscool, new beginnings (and goodness no, it wasn’t the time of my life, just closing some doors and moving on).

Crash and Burn – Savage Garden – I found the person that was all this to me. There was someone to take care of me and love me back into togetherness. I finally had someone that was there for me. He was so, so there for me and there were some challenging times as I continued to heal.

Pink – Just Like a Pill – There were times I wanted to run. I felt a bit smothered. I needed to spread my own wings. I didn’t though.

2003 and Beyond

Shania Twain – Forever and For Always – I first saw this video in the days after my first child was born. I was so madly in love with him and protective. I wanted someone to be so protective of me so this song made me cry so much. I called my midwife in tears and got counselling for past hurts in my life, so that I could see that whatever happened to me wasn’t because I wasn’t loved, but because people had their own things that they’d been going through to. Anyways, this song also spurred changes in my life because of the sweet love I had for my new little one.

Pink – F***ing Perfect – I wanted to let everyone know that they needed to fight and that they were worth so much and that they shouldn’t give up. That they were so very, very perfect. This was my little anthem for a time. I wanted to go back about 10 years and have Pink tell me I was perfect. I recently wrote that letter to myself, actually.

Pink – Try

The Present and Beyond

Demi Lovato – Let it Go – “Standing, frozen, in the life I’ve chosen, you won’t, find me. The past is all behind me. Buried in the snow.”


Raise Your Glass – Pink


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