I cannot imagine a life without music. It is a part of my everyday and the emotions that I experience because of music, are essential to my being. God blessed me with this love and appreciation of music and I am thankful everyday for it.
There are certain songs in everyone’s life, that you will always associate with a moment – either a memory, a time period – but in some way, the song remains with you and will always stir certain emotions.
What are your 5 songs that have left a mark on you? Can you narrow down your top 5?
My top 5 songs are as follows:
- Vaishnava Janato/Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram – Ravi Shankar, The Wren Orchestra- This song plays at the end of one of my favourite movies – Gandhi. I first heard it when I was 8 years old and the beauty of the song has remained with me. If I need to be moved and calmed, this is the song for me. I grew up going to the Mandir and hearing Raghupati Paghava Raja Ram and singing it, but hearing this version, for me, was such a spiritual experience. My parents both loved this song and it is one of my father-in-law’s favourite Bhajans. It truly has everything – a beautiful melody, meaningful lyrics and beautiful orchestration. Coming on 40 years, this song remains an important song to me. For me – it represents my roots, my spirituality and love.
- They Won’t Go When I Go – George Michael – written by Stevie Wonder in 1974 – So many intersections connecting on this song, to make it perfect for me. Written by Stevie Wonder, who I think is one of the best songwriters and musicians of all time, in the year I was born, sung by one of my favourite singers of all time – George Michael. This song’s haunting beauty has always resonated with me. Again, this song never fails to move me and I can listen to it on repeat non stop, without tiring of it. I remember the first time hearing it and wishing that I could share it with everyone I loved, so that they could experience what I was experiencing, because I knew I would never be able to communicate it. When I was younger, I dreamed of George Michael singing it to me – just the 2 of us, with a choir in the back, and big grand piano. I had a very vivid imagination, which really sustained me growing up. That never came to be, but I was fortunate enough to see George Michael when he last came to Toronto in concert, and it was one of the best musical experiences of my life. The song for me is the embodiment of pathos.
- By Your Side – Sade – This was our wedding song, but beyond this, I truly believe that this song was my pathway to finding my husband. I fell in love with this song when it was released in 2000. When my good friend and I went to Reading, UK in 2001, to meet up with her now husband, I brought this CD with me and I remember listening to it with them, as their love was rekindling, and becoming resolute in stating that this song inspired me to know what I was looking for in the love of my life. It became a road map for me to know that until I met someone who made me feel as if this song was written for us, that I could accept no less. And one of the first presents I sent to my now husband, when we first met, was this CD, because I knew that he inspired the feelings in this song! It is a song about, for me, that represents what my husband and I feel – that we will always have each other’s back, no matter what!
- Everything is Everything – Lauryn Hill – This entire album is an essential part of my musical collection, but this song, it was an anthem for me and remains a song of inspiration. My brother gave me the CD for my birthday and again, one of the best musical presents I have ever received. He had just returned from a trip to Ottawa and after he gave it to me, I listened to it non-stop. This song asks all of the right questions and again, the music and the lyrics speak to me personally. Take this:
Sometimes it seems
We’ll touch that dream
But things come slow or not at all
And the ones on top, won’t make it stop
So convinced that they might fall
Let’s love ourselves and we can’t fail
To make a better situation
Tomorrow, our seeds will grow
All we need is dedication
5. I’ll be there for you/You’re All I need to get by – Method Man/Mary J Blige – What can I say – Mary J Blige has a voice touched by God and hardship. You hear it every time she sings. And this song again is an intersection of so many amazing things – Mary J. Blige, Motown and Method Man. I love dancing and when I first heard this song in a Club, again, it was one of those moments where I looked around to see if everyone was as uplifted and moved as I was. Method Man’s rapping is fierce and smooth. Again – it is a song I requested to be played at our wedding reception because it embodies the joy of finding your true person:
Those are my songs. You know from reading my blog, that music is an essential element in my life, as important as breathing to me. I look forward to seeing how life amends my list going forward and what musical gifts I have yet to encounter.
But that’s just one Diva’s view.