Sunday 5 January 2014

2013 - A Year In Songs

I think it's fairly safe to say, with a reasonably degree of certainty, that 2013 was a ridiculous year, and not one that I would like to repeat in a hurry.

Since my last post, I've had a couple of weeks to reflect on the last year, and to think about the next one.  Or current one, I guess. I'm not going to make resolutions as such, other than to look after myself better.  

Yesterday, I spent the day shopping and cooking, two things that a year ago would terrify me.  In the evening, I looked at YouTube to find a soundtrack to accompany my chilli and pastry making, and this got me thinking about the music that has got me through 2013.  So, I'm going to share my top "songs to get me through" with you. 

(All song title links lead to YouTube videos - please let me know if they don't work.  And don't judge my terrible taste in music - blame my ipod!)
1.  P!nk, Perfect (January 2013) *PG - this song has swears in it*
I started 2013 pretty much hating everything about me.  I was fat, I had weird hair, my job made me miserable, I spent all of my Christmas holidays revising and still only just scraped a pass in my exams...  I'd been given the P!nk Greatest Hits album for Christmas, so that was the CD that had taken residence in the CD player in my car.  This song was pretty much stuck on repeat, in the attempt to convince myself that someone, somewhere, might believe I wasn't as horrendous as I thought I was.  I would sit in the car at the end of the day and just listen to this on repeat whilst crying over my "terrible life".  What a difference a year makes, hey?!

"...Pretty, pretty please, don't you ever, ever feel
Like you're less than f***ing perfect
Pretty, pretty please, if you ever, ever feel
Like you're nothing, you're f***ing perfect to me..."
(P!nk, Perfect)

2.  Emeli Sande, Read All About It (part iii) (February 2013)
This song was a huge inspiration when I was preparing for my trip to the United Nations in February.  On the flight out to New York, I listened to this song on repeat as the enormity of what I was about to do started to sink in.  This was one of the songs that really got me through on the days when I was so overwhelmed by the whole experience that all I wanted to do was curl up and cry.  But I didn't, and that is partly thanks to this song.

"... You've got a heart as loud as lions
So why let your voice be tamed?
Maybe we're a little different
There's no need to be ashamed..."
(Emeli Sande, Read All About It)

3Break The Chain (March 2013)
This song was written for the "One Billion Rising" campaign to end violence against women and girls, through which events took place globally on 14th February 2013.  As one of our actions at the UN, we did a flash mob to this song at the launch of the WAGGGS "Voices Against Violence" syllabus, and I still can't listen to it without trying to do the dance!  The opening lines make me cry, as this song really expresses how I was feeling at the time in a way that I just couldn't.

"...I raise my arms to the sky
On my knees I pray
I’m not afraid anymore
I will walk through that door..."
(One Billion Rising, Break the Chain)

4.  Take That, Shine (April 2013)
 I don't particularly love this song, but it was a regular in my weekly aquafit class.  On the day I realised I needed to leave my job, I spent the whole class trying not to cry.  When this song started to play, my friend and I looked at each other and just started laughing.  There is one line in particular that just fit with where I was at...

"...Stop being so hard on yourself
It's not good for your health
I know that you can change..."
(Take That, Shine)  

I raise my arms to the sky
On my knees I pray
I’m not afraid anymore
I will walk through that door - See more at:
I raise my arms to the sky
On my knees I pray
I’m not afraid anymore
I will walk through that door - See more at:
 The Simon and Garfunkel version of this song has been part of my whole life, and it's my "go to" feel good song.  The Eva Cassidy version is the one I have on my ipod and was on constant repeat while I was writing my dissertation.  This was the last piece of work I had to do to finish of my Masters degree, and since I wasn't working, I could really focus on it to achieve something I never thought I would do!

"...Sail on silvergirl,
Sail on by.
Your time has come to shine.
All your dreams are on their way..."
(Eva Cassidy, Bridge Over Troubled Water)

 This song doesn't really relate to any particular event in June.  I don't really remember why, but I listened to it a lot! 

"... Oh, tear ducts can rust
I'll fix it for us
We're collecting dust
But our love's enough
You're holding it in
You're pouring a drink
No nothing is as bad as it seems..."
(P!nk feat. Nate Reuss, Just Give Me a Reason)

July.  I had just started my new job, and this song became my "walking to work" song - it's ok to be "different", I don't need to be "perfect", and I was fully capable of doing this thing called life.  There may have been a few blips since then (see August!), but this song reminds me that I don't need to hate my body quite so much, and am starting to be happy just being me.

"...'cause a face without freckles is like a sky without stars
Why waste a second not loving who you are..."

 August was a horrible month.  I took a massive leap in the wrong direction, my head was all over the place, and the "Big D" was back.  One night, the night of pizza and wine, I bought Gabrielle Aplin's album on a whim, and this song just stuck - I couldn't love myself, so how could I expect anyone else to? 

"...And fools rush in
And I've been the fool before
This time I'm gonna slow it down
'Cause I think this could be more..."
(Gabrielle Aplin, Please Don't Say You Love Me)

9. Gabrielle Aplin, Keep on Walking (September 2013)
This album has been on repeat in my car since I bought it in August.  For me, this song resonates in a very metaphorical way.  By September, I was really starting to get into the really difficult part of my counselling, and dealing with things that have been stored in boxes in the back of my head for many many years.  After the huge downhill slide in August, this song really helped me to see that, actually, I needed to go through the difficult things, the metaphorical bruises would heal in time, and I started to accept that eventually I would feel better.

"...But all that glitters is not gold
From the bruises flowers grow 
I feel so much better now you’re not around
There’s no one to kick me while I’m down..." 
(Gabrielle Aplin, Keep On Walking) 

10. Miley Cyrus, Wrecking Ball (October 2013)
I have a massive love-hate relationship with this song, and I nearly didn't include it in my list because of the issues I have with the video.  However, before the controversy kicked off, and before I'd seen the video, this song really fit with where I was in October.  I spent a lot of this month trying to deal with the relationship between food and my relationships with people, and the decisions I made while I was at university (for the first time round) as a result of these relationships.  I had been very much a one-woman wrecking ball, stuck in self-destruction mode, and this song helped me realise that I'm not that person any more.
"...I came in like a wrecking ball
Yeah, I just closed my eyes and swung
Left me crashing in a blazing fall
All you ever did was wreck me
Yeah, you, you wreck me..."
(Miley Cyrus, Wrecking Ball)
11.  Handel, Zadok the Priest (November 2013)
November was really busy and pretty stressful, with weekends filled with travelling and very little down time.  When I'm stressed, I like to listen to classical music, and my ipod decided Handel was the way to go.  I love the introduction and the build up to the choral entry, and conducting along makes the stress disappear!  


12.  Meatloaf, Paradise by the Dashboard Light (December 2013)
I didn't know this was on my ipod until December, when it played every time I listened to a random shuffle.  I love Meatloaf, and I love Patti Russo in the female role - she knows exactly what she wants and she's not afraid to say no.  It's such a powerful song, and just makes me smile!   

"...Stop right there!
I gotta know right now!
Before we go any further!
Do you love me?"
(Meatloaf, Paradise by the Dashboard Light)   

So there you go.  My 2013 soundtrack.  Looking at it in writing, 2013 was definitely ridiculous (and incredibly cheesy!)  Hopefully 2014 will be a lot less of both! 

What would you have on your 2013 soundtrack?

No comments:

Post a Comment