Music has always been an integral part of my writing process, and of my life. I've shared playlists for several of my projects on this blog, and I'm currently building a new one for my next project.
I'm also someone who gets outrageously excited when it's a free week on satellite radio; I love the decades channels and the songs they help me recall.
There are so many songs that take me right back in time: "Iris", by Goo Goo Dolls, takes me back to driving with a friend up a mountain on a hot summer day, windows down, the wind in my hair. I was eighteen, and the lyrics, "And I don't want to world to see me/ Cause I don't think that they'd understand./ When everything's meant to be broken/ I just want you to know who I am," made my chest clench, because they spoke the words that I felt inside but could never articulate.
"Hit Me with Your Best Shot", by Pat Benatar, takes me back to my Florida home, where I lived for the first four years of my life. One of my earliest memories is my Aunt Lisa teaching me the lyrics to that song as I wore a t-shirt that hung off of my right shoulder and read: "Gag me with a spoon!"
"Today", by Smashing Pumpkins, puts me back on a charter bus, in the dark of night, when T.J. Chastain put his headphones over my ears and said, "Listen to this song. This is amazing. Just wait!" I nearly jumped out of my skin five bars in.
The opening chords of "Where the Streets Have No Name", by U2, make me close my eyes and inhale. I've always said that seeing the band perform that song live is a religious experience, and I'm filled with the spirit every time I hear it.
And "The Scientist", by Coldplay, makes me weep every time.
There are so many songs, so many memories...enough to fill a book with. And then there are lyrics that I find so beautiful that they pop into my mind at random times and fill me with beauty. Here are some song lyrics I wish I had written:
"The stars are blazing like rebel diamonds, cut out of the sun." "Read My Mind", The Killers
"I pull up in your driveway with magic soaking my spine." "Read My Mind", The Killers
"I've got soul but I'm not a soldier." "All These Things That I Have Done", The Killers
"Oh, the deeper I spin,/ Oh, the hunter will sin for your ivory skin./ Took a drive in the dirty rain/ To a place where the wind calls your name/ Under the trees, the river laughing at you and me" "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses", U2
"You're the reason I sing./ You're the reason the opera's in me." "Sometimes You Can't Make it on Your Own", U2
"Ain't it funny how we pretend we're still a child/ Softly stolen under a blanket sky" "Galapagos", Smashing Pumpkins
"Wait a minute baby/ Stay with me a while/ Said you'd give me light/ But you never told me about the fire." "Sara", Fleetwood Mac
"Drowning, in the sea of love/ Where everyone would love to drown" "Sara", Fleetwood Mac
"We're just a million little gods causing rainstorms/ Turning every good thing to dust." "Wake Up", Arcade Fire
"Just you and me/ on my island of hope/ a breath between us could be miles." "I Love You", Sarah McLachlan
"A paperweight, junk garage/ Winter rain, honey pot/ Crazy, all the lovers have been tagged." "Country Feedback", REM
"Me, my thoughts are flower strewn/ Ocean storm, bayberry moon/ I have got to leave to find my way." "Find the River", REM
"The ocean is the river's goal/ A need to leave the water knows/ We're closer now than light years to go." "Find the River, REM
"Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?/ Can the child within my heart rise above?" "Landslide, Fleetwood Mac
"You fill up my senses/ Like a night in the forest." "Annie's Song", John Denver
"She tied you to her kitchen chair/ She broke your throne/ She cut your hair/ And from your lips she drew the hallelujah." "Hallelujah", Leonard Cohen
"And all the ways I got to know/ Your pretty face and electric soul" "Young and Beautiful", Lana Del Rey
"When you're looking at your shadow,/ Standing on the edge of yourself,/ Praying on the darkness/ Just don't take the money." "Don't Take the Money", The Bleachers
"So let's hang an anchor from the sun/ There's a million city lights/ But you're number one." "Fire Escape", Andrew McMahon
"I went out walking through the streets paved with gold/ Lifted some stones/ Saw the skin and bones of a city without a soul" "The Wanderer", Johnny Cash
"I might have been born just plain white trash/ But Fancy was my name." "Fancy", Reba McEntire
"I believe you love who you love/ Ain't nothin' you should ever be ashamed of/ I believe this world ain't half as bad as it looks./ I believe most people are good." "Most People are Good", Luke Bryan
"Love is blindness/ I don't want to see/ Won't you wrap the night/ Around me?/ Oh, my love/ Blindness." "Love is Blindness, U2 (I wish I had written the entire song.)
There are so many more...but I think I've spent enough time on this post for today!
What songs/song lyrics inspire you?