Songs That Make My Heart Sing

Hilda Carroll started a great meme a couple of weeks back: Songs That Make My Heart Sing. Dawud tagged me and now it’s my turn to share the song that makes me sing.Just as there are so many different ways that a song can sing, there are so many different ways that my heart sings. There are songs that awaken joy and songs that allow me to touch and express the deep sadness that lives within me and needs to come out from time to time. There are songs that make me dance and songs that kindle and focus my intention to be a force for positive change in this world.

So where does that lead me with this post? How can I possibly pick just one song that makes my heart sing? I can’t of course! So here’s a look at some of the music that makes my heart sing.

Depending on my mood and what I need in the moment, I might crank up and dance to Seal’s Bring It On, or reconnect to myself with Van Morrison’s Into the Mystic. Billy Joel’s Songs in the Attic is a great CD to crank up when I’m feeling the need to connect with and vent some frustration. The Indigo Girls, James Taylor and more recently, Nora Jones, can make me sing – along with my heart – at almost any time.

And there’s nothing like a little Ella (not my daughter) or Sarah on a lazy Sunday morning. And, of course, being a child of the 60’s and 70’s just about any Beatles song brings a smile to my face. (Interestingly, there’s a Beatles’ CD playing here at the café. Right now it’s When I’m 64).

Then there’s Peter Gabriel’s live version of In Your Eyes which I already wrote about.

So which lyrics will I share with you?

So many of Harry Chapin’s songs make my heart sing. But, as a father, and as someone who was “educated” in this culture, Flowers Are Red gets me every time I listen to it. Make sure you listen to the live version where Harry appends “But there still must be a way to have our children say” before going into the final chorus.

Here’s first bit of the lyrics:

The little boy went first day of school
He got some crayons and started to draw
He put colors all over the paper
For colors was what he saw
And the teacher said.. What you doin’ young man
I’m paintin’ flowers he said
She said… It’s not the time for art young man
And anyway flowers are green and red
There’s a time for everything young man
And a way it should be done
You’ve got to show concern for everyone else
For you’re not the only one
And she said…lowers are red young man
Green leaves are green
There’s no need to see flowers any other way
Than they way they always have been seen

But the little boy said…
There are so many colors in the rainbow
So many colors in the morning sun
So many colors in the flower and I see every one

Then there’s The Things We’ve Handed Down by Marc Cohn. When my wife was pregnant, I was going through some pretty significant first-time-father-to-be stuff. This song was sweet medicine for me. Every time I listened to it, the joy, fear, sadness and excitement of what had been and what was to come would all come flowing out of me.

Don’t know much about you
Don’t know who you are
We’ve been doing fine without you
But, we could only go so far
Don’t know why you chose us
Were you watching from above
Is there someone there that knows us
Said we’d give you all our love

Will you laugh just like your mother
Will you sigh like your old man
Will some things skip a generation
Like I’ve heard they often can
Are you a poet or a dancer
A devil or a clown
Or a strange new combination of
The things we’ve handed down

I wonder who you’ll look like
Will your hair fall down in curls
Will you be a mama’s boy
Or daddy’s little girl
Will you be a sad reminder
Of what’s been lost along the way
Maybe you can help me find her
In the things you do and say

And these things that we have given you
They are not so easily found
But you can thank us later
For the things we’ve handed down

You may not always be so grateful
For the way that you were made
Some feature of your father’s
That you’d gladly sell or trade
And one day you may look at us
And say that you were cursed
But over time that line has been
Extremely well rehearsed
By our fathers, and their fathers
In some old and distant town
From places no one here remembers
Come the things we’ve handed down.

But if I had to pick the song that most makes my heart sing (at least now) it would have to be Love Will Show The Way, by David Wilcox. A while back I left a comment on an Adam Kayce post about a David Wilcox song, That’s What The Lonely Is For. I thought it had been the song that had gone on “repeat” in the CD player on my drive home from LA. But, I realized that the song that had my heart singing and the tears rolling down my face on that trip was this one:

Love Will Show The Way

You say you see no hope,
You say you see no reason we should dream
that the world would ever change.
You’re saying Love is foolish to believe.
‘Cause there’ll always be some crazy
with an Army or a Knife
To wake you from your daydream,
put the fear back in your life…

Look, if someone wrote a play
Just to glorify what’s stronger than hate;
Would they not arrange the stage
to look as if the hero came too late?
He’s almost in defeat!
It’s looking like the Evil side will win!
So on the edge of every seat
From the moment that the whole thing begins.

It is Love that makes the mortar
And it’s Love that stacked these stones,
And it’s Love that made the stage here
Although it looks like we’re alone
In this scene set in shadows
There is Evil cast around us
But it’s Love that wrote the play…
For in this darkness Love can show the way.

So now the stage is set.
Feel your own heart beating in your chest.
This life’s not over yet.
So we get up on our feet and do our best.
We play against the fear
We play against the reasons not to try.
We’re playing for the tears burning
in the happy Angel’s eyes

It is Love that makes the mortar
And it’s Love that stacked these stones,
And it’s Love that made the stage here
Although it looks like we’re alone
In this scene set in shadows
There is Evil cast around us
But it’s Love that wrote the play…
For in this darkness Love will show the way.

What a great exercise. I want to go home and put on some great music right now. And I want to go out and get all of the songs that have been mentioned by other participants in this meme.

And what about you? What songs make your heart sing? If you have a blog, let us know that way. If you don’t have a blog, leave a comment here and let us know what songs get you going, lift you up, or take you where you need to go!

And to keep this great meme going, I’ll tag

Steve Olson, Steve Aitchison Jonathan Bankert, Kara-Leah Masina, Lyman Reed, and Shama Hyder.

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      6 Responses to “Songs That Make My Heart Sing”

      1. Songs that make my heart sing on June 24th, 2007 1:44 am

        […] do tags but I thought this was a good one. It was started by Hilda Carroll a few weeks ago. Now Ed Mills from Evolving times has tagged me with this, thanks Ed you chose a good one. I have strayed a bit from the original […]

      2. Adam Kayce : Monk At Work on June 24th, 2007 4:43 pm

        That is a fantastic song (the David Wilcox one) — many times I’ve found myself singing that one over and over in my mind all day long.

        I don’t know if you’ve ever had the chance to see him (or them — he and his wife, Nance Pettit, sing together often) live, but he’s a blast in person.

        I used to groove on Marc Cohn a bunch in college (‘True Companion’ used to lay me to waste back then), but I lost touch with his work; sounds like it’s time to head back over and see what I’ve missed.

        Great list!

      3. Saturday roundup 30th June 2007 on June 30th, 2007 3:29 am

        […] was Songs that make my heart sing which was a meme started by Hilda Carroll a few weeks ago and Ed Mills from Evolving times tagged […]

      4. Hilda on July 9th, 2007 4:19 am

        Hi Edward,

        thanks so much for playing along. Apologies I’m so slow getting round to all the posts, but I am trying and hope to have the compilation complete by next week. I’ll let you know when it’s ready.

        all the best,

        Hilda

      5. Edward Mills on July 9th, 2007 12:21 pm

        Hilda: Thank YOU for starting this great game! I can’t wait to see the compilation!

      6. Living Out Loud on August 19th, 2007 6:03 am

        Songs that make your Heart Sing: The Playlist…

        It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve finally gotten around to compiling the playlist of Songs that Make your Heart Sing. I think I’ve tracked down all the posts, but if I’ve missed any that you’re aware of, maybe…

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