Yesterday I mentioned that I’ve been working on a list of Personal Anthems in celebration of a certain upcoming birthday. I thought I’d make CDs and it would be a cute party favour, if I decide to have a party, which I still haven’t decided yet, and I better decide soon, or else the only people available will be me and Sir Monkeypants, and he doesn’t even LIKE Belle and Sebastian.

Anyway, I’m not sure I will hand around CDs because music is a very personal thing, and there is no one in the world (except, excitingly, perhaps, Julie) who shares my exact same taste in music. And it’s 25 songs, which is like an hour and a half of music, most of which other people won’t like or won’t have heard of before. What’s more fun than listening to an hour and a half of songs you didn’t pick out? Nothing, I’m sure!

On top of that, I was reading Entertainment Weekly yesterday and there was a quote in there from 30 Rock where someone said NBC executives were as white as “the audience at a Wilco concert.” And I thought, “Hey, I like Wilco! I even have two of their songs on my Anthems list!”

And then I realized that this list of songs is the WHITEST. MUSIC. EVER.

No funk, no soul, no dance, HEAVENS no rap. Nothing that smacks of groove. It’s exclusively sweet pop, with light touches of folk and rockabilly. Safe for your kids and your grandparents! I am nothing if not edgy.

(Be grateful finalists Elton John and The Carpenters didn’t make the last round of cuts. NOT EVEN REMOTELY KIDDING.)

So again, perhaps I won’t be handing these around as “fun” party favours.

But since you asked, here is the list. These are not just favourite songs, but songs that personally touch me in some way or represent something in my life. They’re Theme Songs Of My Life. A few of them I could not find anywhere on the internet – no clips or anything – but most I was able to link to YouTube in at least some respect.

Satisfied – The Odds (just a terrible, terrible quality video of a live performance, so sad as this is my favourite song. You can hear a high quality 30-second clip here instead.)
Center of Attention – Guster
The Taming of Carolyn – Lowest of the Low (lyrics only — this is the only song that I couldn’t find online anywhere)
Greetings to the new Brunette – Billy Bragg
Everything You’ve Done Wrong – Sloan
Clumsy – Our Lady Peace
What’s the World Got In Store – Wilco (oy vey, crappy live version)
Running to Stand Still – U2
Strange Currencies – REM
Regret – New Order
Obscurity Knocks – The Trash Can Sinatras
Slight Return – The Bluetones
End of the Line – Traveling Wilburys
Fire in the Canyon – Fountains of Wayne
Left and Leaving – The Weakerthans
Rose Coloured Glasses – Blue Rodeo
Deeper than Beauty – Sloan (another bad quality iPhone-recorded live version)
Step Outside – The Housemartins
Mary Jo – Belle and Sebastian
Extraordinary Machine – Fiona Apple
Rosy and Grey – Lowest of the Low

Happy listening!

[Edited to add: if this sounds good and you’d like a CD version, let me know! Nothing would make me happier than to discover demand for my birthday CD.]

11 thoughts on “Anthems

  1. Love this list! (Sign me up for a CD!) You’re wrong – there IS soul in these puppies, just that kind of soul that is about songs with meaning. I love how eclectic and unique the list is too. And it’s YOUR list for your awesome anthem birthday celebration so you can put whatever you want in it and we can be in awe of its greatness, damnit! Haven’t heard them all but I’m looking forward listening to all in detail. Some great ones there that I forgot how much I loved. Thanks!

  2. If you’ll make me a CD I’ll make you one — there might even be a little rap. Seriously, many of these would make my top 25 too, and a couple I don’t know and would like to hear.

  3. I have that Lowest of the Low CD around here somewhere. Salesmen, Cheats & Liars was the song I remember listening to most. I like the list. I tend a little bi more toward alt-rock, but I dabble a bit in the poppy/rockabilly end of the spectrum, too. Elton John would in fact be on my Anthems CD (Ed and I danced to Your Song at our wedding).

    You have me thinking now, though, about what my Anthems would be. I’ll think about that…

    1. Your Song was the Elton song that almost made the cut. Love that song – I just about passed out from excitement when it appeared in Moulin Rouge.

      I wanted “Rosy and Grey” by Lowest of the Low for our wedding song, but sadly, some questionable language and references to oral sex meant it wasn’t quite suitable for mixed company. I still think it’s the perfect song for me and Sir Monkeypants, though.

      We ended up dancing to “All I Want Is You” by U2. It’s a lovely song with nice sentiments but HOLY CRAP, is it ever long. More than seven minutes of people staring at us swaying awkwardly. EEP. By the end we were begging for it to be over.

      So now when I run into kids getting married, my number one piece of advice is to pick a short song for your first dance!

  4. Would you consider shipping one to us in the US? I’ll gladly cover the costs! Thanks for sharing your songs – and I’m a big fan of Elton John so I would have put him on there too… The concert that I shelled the biggest $$$ was dueling pianos with Elton and Billy Joel… Says a lot about my white musical tastes too I’m sure!! 😛

    1. Hey, since when have you guys been in the States??? I totally missed that. I have GOT to get on Facebook more often. I’ll email you!

  5. be careful of what you offer. you’re going to be constantly burning this cd! if you happen to have an extra at the trivia night, i won’t say no. my elton john song would have been lady madona or mona lisa and mad hatter. and i probably would have some rod stewart, like glad rags or maggie may. how’s that for white? though to bring back some of my street cred, there would absolutely be some depech mode, cure and smiths. and for newer stuff, duffy for sure. maybe some stars or metric. or maybe foxtrot hot tub. ooh, that’s all pretty pasty white, ain’t it. we need some soul classes, stat!

    1. Oh man, we really do have the same taste in music! It’s like finding your hand twin. I also adore the Cure, Smiths, and Depeche, but none of their songs seemed to fit with the list I was building. The Cure in particular is probably my all-time favourite band but no one song really stood out as being all about me, you know? I almost picked Close To You but backed out.

      Now you really DO have to make up your own list so I can run out and get everything on it.

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