Playlists

Everyone has their own list of songs they like for different reasons, and different occasions.
Have a look at mine, if you dare, and maybe you’ll find some old favorites, or discover new ones. 😉
Or perhaps my readers would like to suggest other songs for me to try?

The lists will, naturally, be updated as time goes on.

Themed lists:

Self Esteem/Standing Up For Yourself/Others

“Mean” by Taylor Swift — wish I’d had this one in high school.

“If Nobody Believed in You” by Joe Nichols — a sad one, sung from the perspective of the person watching the abuse happen rather than from the abused themselves. But it still fits the list, in an odd way.

“How Do You Like Me Now?” by Toby Kieth.
I’ve thought before about inviting a certain teacher to a book signing and playing this one, but there are two big problems with that.
One, she’s probably long since forgotten about me (it’s only been about 20 years since I’ve been in her class), and thus would never understand the significance of the song choice, and two, I’d have to actually get something published and “make something” of myself for there to be any significance to the song choice.
Even if I ever made it big as a writer (dare to dream 😉 ) I doubt the issue with the song would really happen.

And since I’m a fan and happen to enjoy the sound of his voice, I’ll also add:
“Skyscraper”–actually by Demi Lovato, but my playlist specifically includes the cover performed by John Barrowman.
Yet another one that I wish I’d had in high school. But I’m just a wee bit too old for that–I graduated more than a decade before this or Mean even existed.

Living Your Life

“Live Like You Were Dying” by Tim McGraw

“The List” by Toby Keith

I’m sure I had more to add to this theme, I just can’t think of them off-hand.

Task Lists

Writing/Homework

This one’s a toughie…

I can leave the TV on when I’m working at the computer.
Sometimes it’s actually easier to concentrate at the task at hand if I have a bit of background noise. I hate working in total silence.

But for some reason, I can’t listen to pure audio that way. Meaning I can’t listen to music as background noise.
Instrumental is generally fine, but if it’s vocal music, it’s quite distracting. Which might explain why I rarely listen to the radio anymore.

I think, but I can’t say for sure, that the problem is that I’m hard of hearing.

That random television show? I don’t really care enough about it to try to figure out what everybody’s saying.
A song I happen to like? I need to listen to the lyrics, to be able to make out the words.

*Update*
Apparently this is not all that uncommon in people with Sensory Perception Disorders, which itself is not uncommon among Attention Deficit or Autism Spectrum Disorders.
So perhaps this preference of mine is less of a question of personal taste and caring about the lyrics and more about the disorder. Who knows?
*End Update*

Thus, my “working” playlist is all instrumental… or rarely, vocal songs with chanting or a foreign language.
(And recently, but even more rarely, vocal songs that I know well enough to sing along without consciously thinking about the words, but that’s another list entirely.)
And for my particular music collection, that playlist is almost entirely made up of the Elder Scrolls soundtrack, usually set to random.

Once in a while, I may choose a particular song for the occasion.
Suppose I’m writing a battle scene in my fiction? I pick one of the battle tracks.
Creepy scene? There’s a few songs set in haunted locales that might work.
And so on. It just depends on what mood I’m after.

Traveling

This one has a similar problem to the working playlist.

I may, for a big trip, load a few audio books onto my mp3 player in the hopes that I’ll get the chance to listen to them at the hotel, but I will not, under any circumstances, listen to them while I’m driving.
I just can’t pay that close of attention to the story. Heck, I have a hard enough time following an audio book when I’m not driving.

But music becomes… both a more narrow choice and a more open one, oddly enough. Especially if I’m traveling by motorcycle.

At the computer, I may have the luxury to adjust the volume as I go, even while I’m working, but I simply can’t spare the attention to do that constantly while out riding, and my bike’s volume setting is a bit wonky.

Thus, I eliminate songs that vary widely in volume, or those that are so far different from the other songs.
“Nerevar Rising” (the Morrowind theme song) would stay, for instance, but “Dragonborn” (Skyrim theme song) is so much louder than the rest and is removed from my list. Songs that are extremely quiet will, similarly, be removed.
This doesn’t eliminate the need to adjust the volume, unfortunately, but it does reduce it quite a bit. Someone with a different hearing capacity, however, or perhaps a different vehicle, may find themselves making different choices.

But I also have more choices when riding than I do with working.
Remember how I said I can’t listen to vocal music as background noise? That’s not the case here. I couldn’t listen to all of my music–most of my themed choices would still be gone–but there are some singers out there whose voices are so good, that they are worth listening to on that basis alone, whether I can make out the words or not.

Erutan has several video game/anime covers that I am fond of, particularly from her Bardic Side Quest album.
My playlist here includes “The Place I’ll Return To” from Final Fantasy 9, “The Dragonborn Comes” from Skyrim, “Come Little Children” from Hocus Pocus (though this one is rather quiet, and requires a bit of adjusting), and more.

And last but not least, John Barrowman is another one of my rare vocal choices.
I would not include many of his albums, simply because I’m not interested in certain of the genres–I discovered his singing voice, for instance, via a free library copy of Swings Cole Porter, and loved it enough to go looking for more of his music, but that probably isn’t one I’d ever buy–but I acquired his You Raise Me Up album and added “Skyscraper” and “Loch Lomond” to my mp3 player.
Loch Lomond is a particular favorite of mine, one that I thought a beautiful song even before I knew anything about it, and still find beautiful now that I know what it’s about. I’ve even tracked down sheet music so I can learn to sing it right and maybe even play it on my ocarina… but that’s another topic entirely.
John’s performance is wonderful under most circumstances, and his voice is easy on the ears, sometimes even when I have a migraine coming on… at least until the song gets loud towards the end. Oops. 😉

In fact, if there’s any problem with the You Raise Me Up album, it’s this: the track-by-track commentary, in which John explains why he chose each song, is only available on the Spotify version of the album as near as I can tell.
And as much as I’d like to add his commentary to my MP3 player, I can not afford a subscription for a one-time download, and from what I’m reading, Spotify is really picky about making you log in regularly just to keep anything you’ve downloaded from them.
(Thus a request to John and his team–make the commentary available elsewhere, please?)

Now, I don’t listen to a lot of music these days, quite possibly because of that hearing problem I mentioned. And when I do, I tend to take more of an interest in the song’s topic than, say, the artist.
But when I find something I enjoy for itself, I definitely enjoy it.

So what of it, readers? Do any of these songs strike your fancy? Or might you suggest anything else worth adding to my lists?

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