1. "River of Dreams" by Billy Joel. I grew up listening to this song in the car with my parents, and I always loved it. I think because it's pretty repetitive, so I was able to remember the words. This was my very first "favorite song".
2. "Can't Touch This" by M.C. Hammer. If a movie was made about my life, there would have to be a scene in which my dad is holding me and dancing with me around the living room to this song. I know it's silly, but this song will forever remind me of my dad and my childhood - in a good way.
3. "One Love" by Bob Marley. I have always loved this song, and when I was in middle school, I started listening to music that my friends didn't listen to, including Marley, Dave Matthews, and The Grateful Dead. It was really a turning point for me- when I realized that I didn't have to be just like everyone else around me.
4. "At the Beginning" by Donna Lewis. This is the song from Anastasia. When I was a freshman and sophomore in high school, I was transitioning into a new group of friends, and they played this song a lot. I wasn't really sure where it was from, but I learned fast. This song reminds me of them every time I hear it, and it used to be the unofficial song of the LSC. (Yes, our group of friends had a nickname, and EVERYONE used it haha) "I'll be there when the world stops turning. I'll be there when the storm is through. In the end I want to be standing at the beginning with you."
5. "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" by Meatloaf. This song is a tradition at PACAA. Every year, we have a dance, and at the end of the dance we play this song. The girls line up on one side, and the boys line up on the other side- everyone with a partner. It's just a fun thing that we do- some people don't approve because the song doesn't exactly have the best message, but it's one of my favorite things about Leaders and plus I love traditions!
6. "Peace Train" by Cat Stevens. When September 11th happened, I was a freshman in high school. I played Field Hockey that year, and the parents made a slideshow for us- I still have a VHS copy. They used this song in the beginning, which began my love affair with Cat Stevens at age 14.
7. "Silent All These Years" by Tori Amos. This song was introduced to me when I was in high school by my friend Rachel. I don't think she knows that it ended up being the song I played over and over, and sang to myself to be able to fall asleep during those nights when I was too scared to be in the dark by myself and terrorized by flashbacks. "Silent all these..years go by will I still be waiting for somebody else to understand? Years go by if I'm stripped of my beauty and the orange clouds raining in my head...Do you think there's a heaven where the screams have gone?"
8. "Tonight, Not Again" by Jason Mraz. When I was a freshman in high school, I started listening to Jason Mraz with my friend Becky. She was really into him and I'd never heard of him, but instantly fell in love with his voice and the amazing lyrics to his songs. This was way before he was on the radio or anyone knew who he was. This was my favorite song by him, and I was so excited when a couple of years later, he mainstreamed and hit the radio. This song is special because the summer of '03 was like out of a movie for me. It was just perfect, and my friend Max and I would listen to this song over and over. It was ours, and for years whenever one of us was at a Jason Mraz concert, we would call each other during this song. "It's when you cry just a little, but you laugh in the middle, that you've made it.."
9. "Crazy Game of Poker" by O.A.R. Another band that I listened to long before they were on the radio. Every time I hear this song, it brings me back to being 15 and riding in Becky's backseat, where it was my job to play the bongo while this song played. This is one band that I'm sad went mainstream though... their style of music really changed and became much more commercial and less unique once they started getting more attention. I guess things change, though.
10. "World Spins Madly On" by The Weepies. On the flight home the day after Liam died, I listened to this song on repeat on the plane, crying my eyes out. It's sad, but now I listen to it and it makes me smile and think of Liam. "I thought of you and where you'd gone. And the world spins madly on.."
11. "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles. This song represents me going to college, finding out new things about myself, and being extremely happy with my life for the first time in a long while. Plus, it's a great tune!
12. "I Kissed a Girl" by Jill Sobule. Hahaha...self explanatory! "I kissed a girl, her lips were sweet. She was just like kissing me...but better!"
13. "Small Town" by John Mellencamp. This song always makes me think of Chestertown. I love all John Mellencamp, and he actually put on one of the best concerts that I've ever been to! This song makes me feel happy to have a connection to a small town. "I cannot forget from where it is that I come from. I cannot forget the people that love me. I can be myself here in this small town. Where people let me be just what I want to be..."
14. "The Sound of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel. This song represents a period of my life where I was positively sure that I was going to go into Deaf Education. When I was in high school, I took ASL classes at the local college, and I taught myself much of what I know (or, knew..) I chose my university based off of my Deaf Ed major- UNCG has an outstanding program. Even though I don't plan on going into this field anymore, it was a huge part of my life for many years. "People talking without speaking. People hearing without listening. People writing songs that voices never shared. And no one dare disturb the sound of silence."
15. "One Safe Place" by Marc Cohn. This song has always been a favorite, and was the inspiration for the name of this blog. It represents this point in my life where I am finally beginning to feel "safe" - in a lot of different ways. "How many roads you've traveled. How many dreams you've chased. Across sand and sky and gravel. Looking for one safe place."
Bonus Track! "This is Him (Hurricane Song)" by Virginia Coalition. This song is seared into my brain!! During the summer when I lived at 2004 Walker, Kim and I would come home drunk, crank this song up, and dance around the kitchen and do the dishes. I can't count how many times we've blasted this song with the windows down, singing and dancing and getting stares at stoplights. It's a great, great song. "So this is me, I'll be no one else... There's nothing wrong with the sound you've been needin' all along!"