Having not blogged in a long time, a week ago I put up a post about my top five most listened to songs of 2017, according to Spotify. And I’ll be honest: I really enjoyed writing the post. I will always love horror, but sometimes it’s an exciting sort of relief to blog about music, and the moments that add meaning to certain songs. I enjoyed writing the piece so much, in fact, that I decided to do another installment. Instead of writing about the top five most listened to songs of 2017, I’ll write about the next set of songs – my sixth through my tenth most listened to songs of that year. Music is one vehicle through which I create memoir, and I’m just self-centered enough to fathom that there are a few people who might care what songs I was listening to last year. More horror posts hang on the horizon; they will be posted eventually. But right now, I want to talk a little more about music. So, here they are, my sixth through tenth most listened to songs of 2017, and the memories that accompany those songs.
6.) The Sound of Silence: Simon and Garfunkel
I like some songs that appear on these lists more than others, and I particularly love this song. It will always take me back to my senior year of high school, when I started listening to classic rock, mostly because of my dad’s influence, I think. I remember the sheer magic, that startling, delicious initial impact of songs like Bob Dylan’s Mr.Tambourine Man or the Who’s Baba O’Reilly, and The Sound of Silence was a song that had that sort of impact. I find Simon and Garfunkel oddly comforting,and they got me through a lot of PhD work stress in 2017. This is by far one of my favorite Simon and Garfunkel songs, with its brilliant lyrics and captivating melody. “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls, and tenement halls…” – you don’t get lyrics much better than that.
7.) If You Could Read My Mind: Gordon Lightfoot
I really don’t know what to say about this song. I feel like I stumbled upon it a little later in my music-listening career, but I bet, as with many songs on the list, that my parents had some influence on my selection. I think I remember them listening to this song when I was younger, and then I heard a fast-tempo, alternate version of it on a commercial for the movie “54.” That may have been when I investigated the song; I’m not sure. I know that I was originally drawn to the up-tempo version (I’m not sure who sang it) but then I re-found this slow, melodic rendition of the song. It’s such a sad, but all the same such a beautiful piece of music.
8.) We Trying to Stay Alive: Wyclef Jean
I’ve already rambled on about this song in my post on songs from my early 20’s. This is a song that I listened to a lot 10+ years ago, but that I still listen to a lot now. I particularly love the music video for the song – bonus, the song actually has a music video, unlike the last two songs I included in this list –but the whole song brings back memories of fun, frivolity, and the nightlife in Houston, Texas. Something about this song just gives me energy; listening to it makes me want to get up and jump around.
9.) Paper Plans: M.I.A.
So, fun fact: I didn’t even know all the lyrics to this song until, well, tonight. I figured with as much as I listen to the song, and because I’m including it on a blog list, I should probably know what the all of its words are. I first encountered this song when I saw the movie Slumdog Millionaire – a movie I would go on to watch repeatedly one year in my little apartment while living near downtown Houston. I heard the song again one night after going to listen to some bands play in Cambridge Springs with a few friends – a couple years after I moved back to Erie. I remember driving my friends back from the show with the windows down and the humid summer breeze permeating the car as the sun set and this song played on the radio. I’m not surprised this song made the list, because I’m quite a fan.
10.) The Boxer: Simon and Garfunkel
So…between this post and my last post, I’ve showcased ten songs that I listened to a lot in my early 30’s – mostly, last year. This is the third Simon and Garfunkel song on the top ten list. And it’s whatever – I’m not ashamed of it. I mean, Simon and Garfunkel rock and all, but I must have been really feeling them in 2017, because I like a lot of different bands, and these guys made an overwhelming appearance on my most-listened to list of the year. I had a friend in high school who loved Simon and Garfunkel almost as much as I did. We’d drive around town, singing along to this song and listening to it with the windows down and the radio up. Suffice it to say, we weren’t your typical high school students in terms of musical proclivities. From a young age, we were ardent Simon and Garfunkel fans.
Perhaps I’m just being lazy, but I prefer doing these lists in short bursts, so I think I’ll stop now that I’ve posted about another five favorite songs of 2017. After all, it has been a long day. I worked retail for eight and a half hours, then went to a faculty Christmas party — which was a lot of fun but necessitated trying to hide my awkwardness and anxiety. Now it’s time to listen to some more music, as I drift off to sleep. Stay tuned for my top songs of 2018 (when the list generates), more from 2017, and some additional posts about horror and madness. Until then, I’m out!