3 Oct 2019

40 Songs for 40 Years

Brenda did this when she turned 40, and I thought it a really interesting idea, so here's my Spotify Playlist of 40 songs that have defined my life so far - either due to the memories they evoke or because at one point I listened to them over and over and over and... (you get the picture). With a small comment next to each of course, because I'm me, and that's how I roll :-P Almost all of these are from the 90s, which I guess makes sense as they've had more time to get thoroughly ingrained into my life ;-) And I'm still more likely to turn to old favourites than check out new stuff.

1. Kim Larsen - Jutlandia Kim Larsen was the first "popular" artist I ever discovered, and this the first song of his I heard. It's not my favourite of his any longer, but it was the first I learned off by heart, and still reminds me vividly of my childhood, and of a weekend sleepover I had with two friends where we rocked out to it :-D. I don't see those friends any longer, but the memory stands. I'm so glad I got to see him live before he died last year.

2. Keith Green - You Put This Love in My Heart My uncle introduced me to Keith Green when I was in my young teens, and I fell for him, hard. For several years he was one of my favourite artists, and I even read the biography his wife wrote about him after his way too early death.

3. New Kids on the Block - Games If there's one band that's been a constant in my life, it's them. I was introduced to them in NZ in 1990 and have loved their music ever since. I missed out on going to a concert with them in 1991, so was THRILLED when they reunited and I got a second (and third!) chance in 2009 and 2012... even if I was annoyed that they'd changed out the rap in "Games" so I could no longer sing along to that part of it!!

4. Cliff Richard - Some People Where even to start with him?! My first really serious boyfriend was a huge fan, and got me hooked as well. From late 1997 to 1999 sometime I listened to his music pretty much non-stop, and I still return to him on a fairly regular basis. His songs remind me of New Zealand, of first love and of myself in my late teens. I've even gotten to see him live three or four times. Deciding on a favourite song of his is almost impossible, as I love so many of them, but in the end I decided on this one, as it was the first one Andrew played for me.

5. Roxette - Joyride I absolutely LOVED Roxette back in the early 90s! A friend of mine from school introduced me to them at a camp back in 6th grade, and I think I basically stole his walkman(!!!) that entire week to listen to them. Joyride is still both my favourite album and my favourite song. I love the energy of it, and can't not sing along to it. It's great "getting stuff done" music, so I'd often put it on when Mum told me to clean my room ;-)

6. Tori Amos - Mr. Zebra Liz introduced me to Tori Amos back in 1996. It's not the type of music I'd probably have found on my own, but I have very fond memories of sitting on the bed in her room, talking, playing cards or working on each our cross-stitch project while Tori Amos played in the background. This is by far my favourite song of hers, as I just love the absurdity of the lyrics. I'm a huge fan of the absurd as you will see again in later songs on this list.

7. Newsboys - Breakfast I've seen Newsboys in concert twice. The first time was at a Christian music festival in New Zealand back in 1997. There were many big names that year, but Newsboys was definitely the headliner. It was an awesome experience, made even better by the fact that one of the guys in the band is from New Zealand. Part of the intro to Breakfast / Take Me to Your Leader could easily dissolve into the start of the New Zealand national anthem... so during their performance of that song he did just that! Cue everybody in the audience instantly singing along and the rest of the band looking at him in mock annoyance :-D And again - there's the absurdity of the lyrics.

8. DC. Talk - Jesus Freak "I don't really care if they label me a Jesus Freak / There ain't no disguising the truth". We listened to this song pretty much NON-STOP during the New Years camp of 1996/1997. I still see myself sitting outside Rebekah's tent with the other teens whenever I hear it.

9. Beach Boys - Kokomo I've loved the Beach Boys ever since I first got to know them through "Full House". I'm so glad I got to see them live. I got a "best of" CD for Christmas 1994 and listened to it so much over the Christmas break that when I went back to boarding school after New Years just listening to it made me immediately homesick until I got used to being back at school again.

10. Amy Grant - Every Heartbeat I got this tape for Christmas back in 1993 or 1994 and immediately fell in love. Since then I've bought many of her other albums, but this was still my first and my favourite.

11. Hillsong - Shout To the Lord Well, it's no secret that I love Hillsong, and this "oldie but goodie" is my all time favourite. We even sang it at our wedding ceremony.

12. The Lads - The Cactus Song Not many people know of The Lads, as they are a small Christian band from New Zealand. But whenever I hear this, I'm back up under the attic in Benjamin's room ("He's so 11") talking Animorphs with him :-D

13. Aqua - Cartoon Heroes Back when Lars and I first got to know each other, he used some of the lyrics from "Cartoon Heroes" as his email signature. I first started suspecting I was possibly falling for him, when I found myself listening to this song at any chance I got (I didn't actually own it myself at the time, and this was waaaaay before streaming).

14. Alice DJ - Will I Ever Fall in Love Lars told me that he listened to this one quite a bit, when he first realized he'd fallen in love with me ;)

15. Melanie C - I Turn to You "Our" song. I'd originally planned to sing it at our wedding, but didn't feel I could do it justice, so I had my friend, Karen do it instead. It keeps popping up in the radio at the most random times :-D

16. Cher - Just Like Jesse James This is the song that first got me hooked on Cher. Karen and I spent an entire evening at boarding school listening to it over and over again, trying to decipher the lyrics. We never did get them 100% right, but I fell in love with the song all the same.

17. Cyrano - Hvem kommer ind? Ah, my first true obsession with a musical. I was lucky enough to see this three times on stage, listened to the music non-stop for months on end AND then got to perform in it myself! I loved every single minute of it.

18. Cats - Skimbleshanks My love for Cats came slowly... I was first introduced to "Memory" in 1990, but had no clue where it came from. Fortunately my parents had the entire soundtrack on LP, and when I tried to start it right at "Memory", I'd often miss by a few millimeters catch some of the other songs instead. Slowly I'd grow to love "Mr. Mistofelees" and "Macavity" as well, and then that expanded to even MORE songs, so when I finally saw the musical for the first time in 1994 I already knew most of the songs off by heart. "Skimbleshanks" holds a special place in my heart, though. It somehow became tradition for Dad to quote it whenever we took the night train anywhere as kids, so now whenever I listen to it, I'm right back in the rattling night carriage, traveling through Europe.

19. Thomas Helmig - Gotta Get Away From You This song got played over and over and over again doing my year at boarding school.

20. Crowded House - Not the Girl You Think You Are Liz introduced me to Crowded House and Split Enz back in 1996-1997. Apparently this song remnded her of me. I never quite got her to explain why, but of course it now means that it reminds me of her in turn :-)

21. Tom Lehrer - Poisoning Pigeons in the Park Dad introduced me to Tom Lehrer back in 1994-95 sometime. As I've already mentioned several times, I love absurd lyrics, and Tom Lehrer definitely delivers here! I can't even remember why or by which song Dad introduced me to him in the first place, but I'm so glad he did. I just wish I could have gotten to see him live.

22. Fool Garden - Lemon Tree This song was all the rage during my last year in NZ. I still remember trying to catch it on the radio so I could copy it to tape, and sitting in the kitchen listening to it, singing (loudly) along with my host-siblings.

23. Hilllsong - Not Today Hillsong has had such a huge influence on my life that I couldn't stick with just one. I love "Shout to the Lord" for nostalgic reasons - I love "Not Today" for how it speaks to me today.

24. Royal Guardsmen - Snoopy vs. the Red Baron My parents had an LP single with this which my sisters and I discovered back in the early 90s. We absolutely loved it, and quickly learned it off by heart. I still remember sitting in the living room with my sisters working on some craft or the other while it ran on repeat in the background... sorry, Mum and Dad :-P

25. Søs Fenger - Kun et kys herfra One of my friends gave me this CD for my confirmation back in 1994. I'd never heard of Søs Fenger before, but immediately fell in love. I can't even COUNT the number of times I listened to the album over the next years. I don't listen to her much any longer, but this song brings me right back ´to the summer of 1994 and the hopeless crush I had at the time X-D

26. Michael Jackson - Heal the World My first slow dance back in 6th or 7th grade :-D

27. Billie Piper - Day & Night Another song Lars and I decided was "ours" (yes, we have two songs - so sue us ;) ). Nina choreographed a dance to it which she, Rebekka and Michala danced at our wedding. Unfortunately we only caught about 30 seconds of it on video, but we loved it!

28. Michael W. Smith - Friends This song has been with me for years. I first heard this at the boarding school I attended in 1994-95, I sang it for my music assignment in New Zealand in 1997 and we played it on the stereo in my room as some of my friends came over to sit with me the last few hours before I left New Zealand. It's bittersweet, and will still bring me to tears sometimes... but I love it.

29. Casting Crowns - Who Am I? This song had been on me periphery for years, but I never really paid attention to it until I came across it (again) during a readthough of Neta Jackson's "Yada-Yada Prayer Group" and decided to check it out on YouTube. I cried my way through it the first time, and fell in love.

30. Geri Halliway - Raining Men This song IS the early 00s for me. I can't even explain why I love it so much, but I do... and actually prefer this cover to the original :-P

31. Glenn Miller - Bei Mir Bist Du Schön Farmor and Farfar took me to a "Remember Glenn Miller" concert in the late 90s sometime. I had no clue who he was ahead of time, but they knew I liked jazz, so thought I might enjoy it. I really did, and went straight out to purchase some of his albums straight after.

32. Elisabeth - Hun danser en morgen Another song that Karen introduced me to. Karen and I were best friends from age 6-15 and spent several days a week together. I can't remember the context of this song any longer, but it so clearly reminds me of her and of my childhood, so it had to be added here. Fortunately Spotify had it! I actually hadn't expected that.

33. Kaya - Traffic Jam I have no memory of how or when we stumbled over Kaya (something tells me it was Nina who first found her, but I might be mistaken), but I only have to hear the first few notes of the song, and I'm instantly back in the back seat of our car driving... somewhere... with the music up as loud as Mum and Dad would let us. Few songs take me back that vividly.

34. East 17 - House of Love I listen to this and I'm instantly 13 again... I don't know how it does it. I remember being totally gobsmacked when I started really listening to the lyrics and realized that they might actually be Christian! ("The creator created / we tore apart" here, and even more the lyrics to "Gold": "Jesus wasn't sent to set a precious stone free").

35. Gary Chapman - Sweet Jesus One of the very few songs to make me ugly-cry.

36. Jesus Christ Superstar - Heaven on Their Mind Musicals are weird, because you tend to get hooked on "your" soundtrack as being the only RIGHT one. I almost didn't add this one, as it took me ages to find the "right" one on Spotify and any other version just sounds wrong :-P Finally succeeded in finding the 1970 recording though - which is the one my parents had, and which I've listened to COUNTLESS times on LP.

37. Kylie Minogue - Wouldn't Change a Thing I'm a child of the 90s and proud of it!

38. Sophie & Magaly - Papa Pingouin I love that this is even ON Spotify!! It's a random song from ESC 1980 which Mum and Dad happened to have as a single and which my sisters and I loved to dance along to... and Frode (one of the guys from the gang) won Michala's eternal admiration when she first met him by immediately knew what we were talking about when we mentioned "Papa Penguin" in a random aside (although don't ask me about the context any longer - I have no clue!).

39. Colin Buchanan - John 14:1-4 Anne introduced me to Colin Buchanan when I visited her and her family back in 2011. His songs are awesome and ridiculously catchy (to the point where I found myself humming them to myself on my way home - after only having listened to them once!), so I knew I had a winner. And sure enough - I've been listening to them on and off ever since. They're a great way to learn Bible verses off by heart.

40. Hamilton - Alexander Hamilton The most recent addition to this list, but I doubt anybody's really surprised that it made its way on here ;)

Bonus Track: Continental Singers - Stand Up (Added here because I couldn't find it on neither Spotify NOR YouTube!!! :-o ) Various groups of Continental Singers made it to Denmark on numerous occasions in the 90s, so I've seen them in concert at least 4 times and actually both auditioned and got approved to go touring with them myself in the summer of 1995. Unfortunately that never happened, but by then the damage was done, and I'd been listening to them for hours on end for years.

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