Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Our Favorite Songs

We all have them: our favorite songs that make up the soundtrack of our lives. I happen to be married to a man who will play his current favorite over and over for months until a new one gradually takes its place. Those songs have become deeply embedded in my memory, a fact that I realized when Aaron found a song that had been a favorite about three years back and played it for me. It brought back memories of a fateful bridge to Armington A (the dorm wherein we dwelled), lots of tea and waffles, and cozy evenings studying and falling in love. That song was Murder in the City by The Avett Brothers. (Note: Although I'm including the videos, it's not for the visual aspect, but for the auditory aspect. I haven't even watched all the videos.)

Aaron and I have known each other for over four years now, which seems like an eternity and really isn't even close to a decade! Our musical opinions have influenced each other, and our taste has evolved together for the past four years. When I remembered Murder in the City, I decided that I wanted to think of other songs that have composed the soundtrack of our lives, in the rough order that we enjoyed them. One of our first conversations involved music, and Aaron said he couldn't be friends with me if I didn't like the band Sigur Rós. I had never heard of them, so of course he grabbed his laptop and played a song of theirs for me. I don't remember which one it was, but we both agree now that All Alright by Sigur Rós makes the soundtrack. It reminds me of cuddly nights right when we started dating.

Another such song is The Girl by City and Colour. Back when Aaron and I were “just friends”, I remember him playing this song for me one night in his room. I heard it and wished it could be true for us, and a few months later it did come true. It's a lovely song.

Fireflies by Owl City came out soon after we became friends, and it's a song that reminds me of that friendship period, with all the fun and hope and love that already existed between us. I remember hearing it in someone's car near the end of the semester, and realizing how much I really enjoyed it. 

Another song from the friend time period is Daylight by Matt and Kim. This song had come out over the summer, but I believe Aaron was the one who introduced it to me. I can't even tell you how many times we've listened to this song.

We started dating and after four months, it was summertime and time for Aaron to go to Africa for nine weeks. He'd applied to go before we had started dating, and I'd encouraged him to go. So I knew what I signed up for when we started dating, but that didn't make it any easier when we woke up at 4 AM to drive him to LAX. There are a few songs that remind me of the last few weeks before Africa, and one is Run by Snow Patrol. The singer knows he has a limited amount of time, and it became a bittersweet ballad for me during those weeks leading up to Aaron's imminent departure.

Another song of that period was Existentialism on Prom Night by Straylight Run. That song has popped up during several periods of our lives, but I remember listening to it especially in the last few days before he left. The first lines are absolutely beautiful.

Colorblind by Counting Crows is another song that has drifted in and out of our song consciousness over the years, but reminds me most of those early days.

During our senior year, we played Pandora quite a bit. Aaron perfected a station to where it almost always played songs that we enjoyed. He based it on The Bravery with the influence of Simon & Garfunkel, and I remember so many nights in Clark painting wargaming miniatures or doing homework and listening to that station. Later, I created my own station based on Alexi Murdoch, another one that we listen to a lot today. 

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the song that we played for our first dance at our wedding, Við Spilum Endalaust. I'm sure a lot of people questioned our choice when they realized they could not understand the language they were hearing, but as Sigur Rós has been one of the most significant bands in our collective soundtrack, we decided to forgo the tradition of mushy ballads and go instead with a song in a made-up language. I actually have no idea what the lyrics are, much less what the song is about, but in that moment, it didn't matter. In that moment, it was the song of the start of our life together.

When we moved into our first studio after our wedding, we didn't have the Internet. That meant no Pandora, and our song choice was limited to what was on my iPod. We listened to the soundtrack from (500) Days of Summer probably a hundred times. We also listened to CD's in the car, and to a lesser extent, the radio. I gave Aaron the soundtrack to the first Hobbit movie after we saw it, and we listened to it on our way to Avila Beach, for our one year anniversary. Sorry haters, we loved the movie, and here is our favorite song from the soundtrack, Song of the Lonely Mountain by Neil Finn. (Unfortunately this is the best version of the song I could find from Blogger's access to YouTube...most were covers. So don't actually watch the has nothing to do with The Hobbit.)

Well, if you've made it this far, I'm impressed! These songs have meant a lot to us, and I hope you have enjoyed them as well.

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