Week Eighteen: Kathy Benson

If your life had a soundtrack what five songs would be on it and why?

 

Ever since I first read through the weekly writing prompts for The Today Voice in July I have been waiting for this one. It was my favorite at first glance, as I love music, as well as Top Five and Ten Lists. Back then I thought about my answer and jotted down which songs would be on my soundtrack. I have written many posts over the years on my blog that include some of my favorites songs/song lyrics. Recently I listed them on this page alphabetically with hyperlinks. Interestingly, I have written individual blog entries highlighting all of the five songs I chose for my “life soundtrack” except for one. Here they are:

1. Forever Young ~ Joan Baez

I danced to this song with my dad at Bob and my wedding reception in September 2000. He and I had gone round and round about which song to use and eventually settled on this, as we liked what the lyrics represented (what my parents wish for me and my life). I feel the same way about my own children now and hope that their lives will be filled with all the things Joan Baez sings about in this song.

Some of my favorites lyrics from Forever Young are:

“May you grow up to be righteous, may you grow up to be true, may you always know the truth and see the lights surrounding you…. May your hands always be busy, may your feet always be swift, may you have a strong foundation, when the winds of changes shift.”

 

2. These are Days ~ 10,000 Maniacs

This song came out when I was in high school in the 1990s. It spoke to me immediately and I choreographed a solo dance to it my senior year for the dance company I was in. I auditioned to perform it in our annual dance show, but I was not chosen to do so. However, it was still a positive experience. The song always calls to mind special and care free times in my life. It reminds me of all that I have to be grateful for. I even got to see 10,000 Maniacs perform it live at a concert with friends the summer after my senior year in high school.

Some of my favorites lyrics from These Are Days are:

“These are the days you might fill with laughter until you break. These days you might feel a shaft of light make its way across your face. And when you do, then you’ll know how it was meant to be, see the signs and know their meaning. It’s true, then you’ll know how it was meant to be, hear the signs and know they’re speaking to you, to you.”

 

3. Time ~ Billy Porter

I first heard this song during the summer of 2007 while watching an episode of one of my favorite reality TV shows So You Think You Can Dance. One of the Emmy winning choreographers on the show, Mia Michaels, choreographed a breath-taking routine to Time imagining a meeting between her and her deceased father in Heaven. There was not a dry eye in the house and probably in many living rooms across America that night after Lacey and Neil performed the routine. I had recorded it on our DVR in our bedroom and watched it many times in the days and months to come. Sometimes when I had trouble winding down at night, feeling anxious about the infertility treatments we were doing back then to try to expand our family, I found solace and comfort in watching the dance performance and listening to the lyrics of the song, to calm me down before I went to sleep. I also downloaded the song and loved listening to it throughout the day for inspiration.

 

When our unborn baby girl Molly was diagnosed with a rare, severe and fatal combination of congenital heart defects in 2008 I found peace and comfort in Time. I made a video with pictures that our bereavement photographer took the day Molly was born and died set to Time. To this day the song reminds me of our second child/our daughter Molly. It often amazes me when I have my iPod on shuffle when Time will come on, almost as if our baby girl is sending us a sign. As with the other two songs I have shared about, I love everything the lyrics represent about life, specifically how we think about time.

 

Some of my favorites lyrics from Time are:

“We live, we learn, we love, in time. We give, we yearn, we grow, in time. Time for change. It’s time to care. It’s not too late. Don’t despair. Reach inside your heart, to find the joy, the love, to share with all mankind. For we know, all we have is time.”

 

4. I Won’t Give Up ~ Jason Mraz

This song was released earlier this year and the first time I heard it I was struck by the power of the lyrics and Jason’s incredible voice. I downloaded the song soon after that and have listened to it many times since. For me it represents the journey that the love of my life and I have been on together and how though we have been through some rough patches and experienced heartbreaking losses, we will not “give up on us,” as Jason sings in his beautiful song. Ironically, after I wrote the first draft of this post, I was watching another one of my favorite dance themed reality shows, Dancing with the Stars, earlier this week and Jason Mraz performed this song live with two of my favorite of the show’s professional dancers Mark and Chelsea dancing to it.

Some of my favorites lyrics from I Won’t Give Up are:

“I’m here to stay and make the difference that I can make. Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use the tools and gifts we got. Yeah we got a lot at stake. And in the end, you’re still my friend at least we did intend for us to work. We didn’t break. We didn’t burn. We had to learn, how to bend without the world caving in. I had to learn what I got, and what I’m not and who I am.”

 

5. Enough ~ Anne Hills

As with the first song on my life soundtrack, my dad introduced me to this one written by a folk singer who I have had the opportunity to meet and hear sing live. It is a short and simple song, one that I like to meditate on, as the lyrics encompass how I try to live my life each day.

Some of my favorites lyrics from Enough are:

“Today let me hum. Today let me run, the spinning earth under my feet. And let me hold loosely the dream of my life to welcome the changes I meet. It’s enough to live and I’m grateful. It’s enough to live. It’s enough. It’s enough to live. Hmmm, enough.”

 

“And let me hold loosely the dream of my life to welcome the changes I meet,” may be my favorite line in a song ever. It summarizes where some of my biggest struggles in life have arisen, including dealing with secondary infertility and loss, and is a mantra that I try to focus on and remember when I my life is not going as I hoped, dreamed or planned.

 

If your life had a soundtrack what five songs would be on it and why?

________________________________

Kathy Benson is a bereaved and blessed mom, writer and group fitness instructor trying to live mindfully and find joy in the journey after dealing with secondary infertility and loss for five years. She lives in Chicago, Illinois with her husband and two living children.

Kathy blogs at Bereaved and Blessed. You can also follow Kathy on Twitter @BereavedBlessed and her Facebook page.

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7 thoughts on “Week Eighteen: Kathy Benson

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  3. Love this Kathy!

    So, my list would include:

    “Someone Like You,” Van Morrison. Our wedding song. The lyrics fit my husband’s journey into matrimony really well: he lived in Paris, DC, London and Hong Kong and was a serious traveler before we met.

    “I’ve been searching a long time
    For someone exactly like you.

    I’ve been traveling all around the world
    Waiting for you to come through.”

    We heard it on the radio when we were driving through Ireland right after we got engaged and we looked at each other and said: “That’s it!”

    “Son of a Preacher Man,” Dusty Springfield
    This song reminds me of my super fun college days, and will forever remind me of getting ready with my friends for a night out. I sometimes think laughing and joking with my friends and dancing as we put on makeup and did our hair was the funnest part of a night out.

    “Air Bag” Radiohead
    Darcy and I fell in love to the soundtrack of “OK, Computer” (we both LOVED that album) and the songs are pretty anxiety-ridden and not happy, but it will always remind me of that wonderful time.

    “La Femme d’Argent” Air
    I listen to this song all the time. It’s so chic and French and atmospheric. It reminds me of being in Paris, and I love Paris.

    “Eple”, Royksopp
    This song and the album it was on was in heavy rotation during our stay in London and reminds me of dinner parties with our amazing friends, where we would passionately discuss world affairs, politics, movies and gossip. Then we’d go out to some amazing bar in Notting Hill and drink champagne. That was such a fun, glamorous time.

    “Warning Sign” Coldplay
    When I was in the midst of infertility misery, I used to wallow in “Rush of Blood to the Head,” not a very uplifting album. This song reminds me of those dark days.

    “April in Paris,” Ella Fitzgerald
    This is the best song for my domestic side. It’s rousing and romantic yet upbeat. I love to cook for my family listening to this song.

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