As we travel down the road of life we encounter many bumps, turns and dead-ends. Part of our road map is music. Songs inspire and lift us to reach our goals and know that tomorrow can be better than today.
We can look into the past and see that we have always known that the future is continually getting brighter.
When I started making the list I had too many songs to choose from. In order to whittle down the options, I decided to select one song from each decade beginning with the 30's. This is by no means a list of what I believe to be the best song of each decade, but rather songs that are near and dear to me in one way or another. Without any further ado, here are the choices:
#1) "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" - Judy Garland, 1939
One of the fondest memories I have of my theatrical days was my role as Scarecrow in Village Square Theater's (Lexington, SC) production of the Wizard of Oz. Let's be real, Judy eventually got a little crazy... but Dorothy sang the truth.
#2) "When You Wish Upon a Star" - Cliff Edwards, 1940
Disney. Thank you Disney...let me count the ways.
Actually, that could go on longer than this post. Let your conscience be your guide.
#3) "Que Sera, Sera - Doris Day", 1956
My paternal grandmother passed away around Thanksgiving of 2012. Being the family DJ, I was asked to compile songs to be background music for a photo-slideshow for her funeral. This song stands out the most from that day. This is Jean Snow... just look at this awesomeness:
#4) "Here Comes the Sun" - 1969
I'll admit, it wasn't until college that I fully immersed myself in the music of the Beatles. They opened my eyes to a new light, musically.
#5) "I Can See Clearly Now" - Johnny Nash, 1972
Bad weather doesn't last forever. Johnny shared that message. Of course, this is literal...and metaphorical.
#6) "St. Elmo's Fire" - John Parr, 1985
As Passion Pit has told us "1985 was a good year" (see "Lifted Up", Passion Pit for more information on that), and 1985 was the year I was born. This was one of the top songs of that year. Thus, this is a theme song for my life.
#7) "Return to Innocence" - Enigma, 1993
Oh the stories this song brings to mind. When I was in the 7th grade I discovered this song. It was track #1 on the Pure Moods, Volume I album (which was widely advertised through an info-mercial). I owned that album. I also, did not remove that album from my CD-Walkman for an entire summer. CD's were great because of the track repeat button. Every time the song finished, it wasn't the beginning of the end. It was the return to innocence.
#8) "Welcome to the Black Parade" - My Chemical Romance, 2006
This list needed a fast-paced anthem. In 2006 I was rounding out my junior year of college and feeling nostalgic about all of the friends and relationships I had made. I knew that the real world was in the near future. There was a feeling of growing up and facing what would be my new life. Even though this whole song carries a message of pushing on a carrying a torch, sometimes we pick and choose what lyrics mean to us. To me, it was about carrying on the memories of the times that would soon come to and end and cherishing the memories that I would soon make in my final collegiate year.
#9) "Pumpin Blood" - NONONO, 2014
This is one of the most feel-good songs I know. Instrumentally and lyrically this song creates a sense of happiness. You are alive. Be thankful. After all, the whole wide world is whistling.
And the most honorable of mention goes to:
BONUS #10) EPCOT's "IllumniNations: Reflections of Earth" - Composed by Gavin Greenaway
Year after year I see this spectacle. It is one of the most inspiring productions I have witnessed and never fails to bring a tear. It illustrates the progression of mankind from chaos to world peace. All of the countries around the World-Showcase Lagoon become unified during the show. This is the world we should strive to live in, daily. And daily, you can see this at 9pm in EPCOT.
Side note: I would like to shout out to the pan-flute that comes in at 7:33.